Basically, the whole narrative of creation begins with inspiration, but oftentimes this inspiration comes from every facet of the world, and you just have to pile all your ideas together until you’re ready to move to the next stage.

Every time I begin designing my next line, I start to gather little elements that stir something within me: a bit of trivia a friend shared, the way a shadow crosses over a building, a beautiful picture my sister sent me, a tactile experience. A feeling, a fact, an object, a memory, a moment: they all become stones in my mountain. And once the mountain is built, I look over each stone and pluck out the ones that sing to me. 

But many remain – a color, a shape, an unusual idea – and I keep a record of those in the hopes that one day they will have their moment as muse absolute. In the meantime, though, I still turn some of them over in my head. 

For my recent collection, Cipresso, I began with my mountain and ended in the trees (Cypress trees, to be exact), but on the way, I became enchanted by the idea of utopias. Already I see you wondering, “Noor, how could you create a physical piece that represents the idea of a perfect society? It seems impossible!” Great question! And, spoiler alert, but you’ll notice that there’s no reference to utopias in my collection. You see, for weeks (months?), I turned it over in my mind, sketching out ideas, trying to coax it into reality. Golden shapes with smoothed surfaces, studded with glittering diamonds; mathematically precise angles set with bold, bright stones – I tried to create my own little ideal world from metal and gems.

In the end, the elements felt too perfect – sure, that technically matches the idea of utopia, but not the reality. The reality is always messier – the humans that strive for this ideal society are also ultimately the downfall. But in truth, the mess is part of the beauty. It’s a particularly human thing, to strive for perfection but cause chaos instead. And to do so repeatedly, yet still hope for something better each time. It’s felt particularly resonant lately. For every dire moment in the world, there are still people out there trying to make the best version of it. 

And it’s a feeling I’ll keep trying to capture in my pieces, because perfection isn’t as interesting as the complexity of being a person existing on this planet. The ideal isn’t as beautiful as the real. The truth is, we live in a world that will probably never be a utopia, but we persist, creatures full of hope and desire and yearning trying over and over again to create a world better than the one we knew before.

I’ll always be inspired by that.

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