An Artist Interview with Nabil Abdulkadir

Our very own Nabil has his first individual lobby show coming up next week, so we thought it would be a great time to catch up with him and talk about his artistic practice, what first ignited his interest in film, and what it was like to present at last month’s mentorship dinner at Independent Sector. If you haven’t gotten tickets to Nabil’s upcoming solo show on November 1st, be sure to grab your tickets here — the show is selling out fast!

How did you first get into film and what do you love about it?

I first got into storytelling through my love of music. I pretty much would spend most of my free time in high school diving through the Youtube recommended section finding new music and watching interviews of artists I liked. Afterward I would look into their inspirations, which led me to filmmakers, producers, and musical artists alike, mostly hip-hop stuff. I wouldn’t really say I’m “into film” like I love watching movies, but I’m not like a film nerd as much as I am a nerd for music, I really like watching a wide range of things honestly, and haven’t seen a lot of the “most famous” directors stuff, I’m behind on that. I’m more into storytelling in general and that all comes from my love of music. 

What was it like presenting at the mentorship dinner?

The mentorship dinner was small and intimate so it was easy to show work, I kind of just hit play on a short film I worked on last year, and then went into showing other work, mostly freelance stuff, except for this one performance video I hope comes out later this year. People asked questions and stuff, but I just wanted to show work and talk less. It was a great opportunity for me to just present my work and hear other people’s thoughts about it. It was a great opportunity to reflect on all of the projects I’ve worked on in the past couple of years. 

What is your artistic practice?

I haven’t considered myself an “artist” per se in a while. I’ve been so deep into doing this “content” stuff for work for the last couple years, I’ve felt so much pressure financially and professionally to consistently turn stuff out and produce projects for other people, that I haven’t really done any “art” for myself in a while. This is the first thing in a long time that I am doing for myself and my own creative interests. I’m just working on a big project to create, and not really seeking a certain outcome — whether it be financially, satisfactorily, or like “hype” wise.

What inspires you when you are trying to develop a new project?

I think right now what inspires me are the people around me. I’ve watched a lot of people kind of grow into their own and build a career off their work around me, as well as knowing people who really just stuck with their gut and kept making work, they motivate me to just keep going. With this certain project though, I’m doing my best to find some intrinsic motivation, I think that’s a reason why it’s about my mom. I feel like I’ve made a lot of work in the best where I made what I thought I was supposed to be making, or making something that I was being paid to do. Whereas with this project, I’m really just creating something that I think is important. I just kind of want something that I can make my mom proud with. 

Tell us about your upcoming show:

I don’t wanna say too much about AMIRA. – mainly because I want the story to speak for itself. What I can say is, on November 1st, 2019, at 1602 L ST. AMIRA. will be showcased for the following 3 months, so if you have time, we would love to see you at the opening!