This happy little art space in New Cairo offers everyone a collaborative environment to nurture their creativity, regardless of age or experience.
Having an artistic side doesn't always come from years of formal education or just being born with it, all it should ever take is passion, confidence and maybe a guiding hand to get you started on the path of self discovery. Luckily for us, Fantasiam Art Space is here to give us just that and much, much more.
Fantasiam was originally created in 2010 by the exceedingly passionate and multi-talented young entrepreneur Malak El Masry. An artist and former google employee of two years specialising in community and outreach, El Masry initially used the platform to sell her own work and market her talent with mural painting, but over the years she decided it would be a much more rewarding idea to open Fantasiam up to the public and allow any aspiring artist of any age, background, or experience level to learn, collaborate with other artists and share the creativity. Fantasiam finally opened its physical doors at Dreams Mall in New Cairo last August, providing a vibrant and welcoming platform where artists the country over can exhibit their pieces and put them out for sale.
"Our mission is to bring local artists together and give them more exposure," Malak told me, "giving them a space where they can work, learn and develop their skills, we currently have a network of around 92 artists online and we showcase their work in our gallery and promote them and their ideas on social media as well."
Malak told me about one of their artists, Islam, who has the gift of turning people into living, classical art pieces using body paint, "He turned me into the Mona Lisa and another one of our artists into The Girl with a Pearl Earring, it's amazing because after he's done, he takes pictures and video and it's so hyper-realistic when it happens." Fantasiam has no odds or ends when it comes to age, with their youngest artist being 14 and their oldest being 72, offering artists of any background or expertise the ability to rent their space and collaborate with other artists to help hone their craft and learn from each others experiences.
"We're trying to promote the general concept of art, and a key concept I believe in is the power of partnership," Malak added. "Sometimes you need the help of people who are good at what they do. I work with AlMaqarr, a key partner for their expertise with community outreach and management. I also work with Adams Dance Studio to connect with dancers and similar types of talent, Clapperboard are key to us for drama as well, helping us open a more varied platform for drama."
Part of the philosophy that gives Fantasiam its vivid and warm energy is the insistence that art is something absolutely anyone can enjoy, a constant that Malak personally lives by; "You don't have to get a degree to be an artist, if you're passionate about it and just put in the work and time it deserves, it can turn into something beautiful."