Now the kids are settled back into school, why not pick up a couple of fun classes yourself? It’s time to discover your inner Picasso and unlock your creativity with these great art lessons in Doha.
It’s well recognised that getting involved in creative activities from a young age benefits kids in many ways, such as boosting emotional intelligence, critical thinking skills and even self-confidence. But what about the grown ups?
Research has shown that picking up a hobby at an older age, such as photography or playing the piano, is far more effective at increasing brainpower than other proven methods like doing crossword puzzles or listening to classical music. Other studies have shown it can also lessen depression and stress levels and even boost your memory. Not to mention, it is a great way to meet new people and really learn to express yourself. So, what are you waiting for? Why not try one of these crafty classes available in Doha…
Arabic calligraphy is a beautiful form of writing that’s steeped in ancient Islamic roots, with many scripts depicting verses from the Qu’ran. While you’re living in the Middle East, calligraphy classes are a great way to connect with this poetic, rich culture and where better to do it than at the Museum of Islamic Art? Every Saturday, from 9am to 11am, an expert instructor takes you through the Ruq’ah script – the last calligraphy invented at the Ottoman court. With its simple, clear style, Ruq’ah is the perfect introduction to calligraphy for beginners. This class is available to all ages for free but make sure you book your spot.
Email email@example.com. Museum of Islamic Art, Corniche, www.mia.org.qa (4422 4444).
Visual and studio arts
If you’re looking to get a good grounding in all things arty then get in touch with the IAID Academy for Dance, Music and Arts ,where an expert instructor runs the Visual and Studio Arts Programme. You’re asked to attend a 30-45 minute complimentary skills test to see which category you should be in, from beginner to advanced, and then you have two one-hour classes a week (you can choose the days and times). The programme covers the essentials of the elements of art and principles of design, covering techniques such as watercolour, oil painting, charcoal and pastel sketching, printmaking, clay modeling, as well as art theory and history, plus much more. It’s open to all ages and prices for adults start from QR550 per month.
Al Hilal Street, D Ring Road, www.iaidonline.org (4432 0974).
Graphic arts and digital illustration are becoming increasingly necessary around the world as technology provides an incredible creative outlet for talented, contemporary artists. Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar runs a digital illustration course in their community class series that takes you through the basics of Adobe Photoshop and design skills, and allows you to create ideas on sketchbooks and then progress and finalise them on the software. You do need some of your own materials such as pencils, pens, a sketchbook and USB flash drive. The course starts on October 16 and costs QR850, spread over eight lessons.
Al Luqta Street, Education City, www.qatar.vcu.edu/communityclasses (4402 0555).
Inspiration Station, a haven of creativity off Al Waab Street, is split into four rooms – one for painting and drawing, another for scrapbook and paper craft, a cosy room for knitting, crochet and embroidery and a dedicated sewing room with six machines. All kinds of arty activities go on here and in the sewing room you can join plenty of classes or pop along to socialise with other like-minded crafty individuals, particularly in the cosy room which doubles up as a relaxation zone. We reviewed the bag making class which proved to be very inspiring due to supportive instructors and we left proud of our creations. It’s handy to become a member of Inspiration Station as it has a range of programmes with prices ranging from QR300 to QR3,000.
Above Central English Speaking Kindergarten, off Al Waab Street, www.inspirationstation.wordpress.com (3305 7907).
Other places to look
Katara Art Studios
It runs artist-in-residence programmes with relevant exhibitions and workshops throughout the year.
Building 19, Katara Art Centre (4408 0233).
Visual Arts Centre
The centre offers training in disciplines such as photography, graphics, oil paintings and screen painting.
Building 19, Katara Art Centre (4408 1388).
Institut Francais Qatar
Not only does it teach language courses but also a few arty classes, often in French.
Al Inshirah Street, Onaiza, www.institutfrancaise-qatar.com (4493 0863).