Dubai holds a very special place in my heart since it was the city that inspired me to start Travel Write Draw many years ago. It should come as no surprise that when Renaissance Hotels reached out to me this past November regarding a collaboration with their newest property, Renaissance Downtown Dubai, I jumped at the opportunity. They wanted me to partner with local food expert Arva Ahmed of Frying Pan Adventures to design an illustrated map that reflected the globally inspired restaurants and cuisines surrounding the property. I was able to draw, quite literally, from my previous experiences in Dubai to create a map of the city that felt both usable and enchanting.
On December 2nd 2017, I flew out to the new property and was utterly blown away. The design, location, and epic views were unparalleled to anything I had seen before in Dubai. I got to stay in the executive suite for 4 nights facing an impeccable view of the Burj Khalifa, while my artwork was installed in a larger than life 3 piece panel in the front lobby of the hotel.
On the evening of the opening, I was asked to sign the A2 prints of my illustrated map for attendees. I was also so thrilled to meet a few TravelWriteDraw family members who came over to say hi during the festivities. It always blows me away that despite living halfway across the world, there are people who know of me and what I do as an illustrator in the Middle East, Asia, and beyond.
The night was made all the more magical when we got to watch a private Gwen Stefani concert on the RenDXB stage. I was honestly in tears to witness one of the most creative female artists performing at the same event I was flown from New York to attend with my art. This is what dreams are made of.
Watch the video below to see a little bit more on the partnership and what went into this incredible event. You will also catch a glimpse of yours truly being interviewed as well as amazing shots from inside the hotel!