Kazakhstan- Akmo is a 24-year-old artist and entrepreneur.
According to the ECO Cultural Institute, She was exposed to different forms of art: “painting, pottery and singing” at an early age in her home country, Kyrgyzstan. She told Euronews that "in the late 90s, they used to turn off the lights after 11 pm, so my family would sit around candles and my dad would play the guitar and I would sing along".
Every time she passed by the local conservatoire, she would ‘stand there and watch the artists’. Later, she attended an international vocal contest in Asia and won a special artist award, and that is how she got admitted to a conservatoire.
Akmo had to take a break from her studies to work and support her family.
She moved to Dubai at the age of 18 with plans to stay for a year, adding "when I moved to Dubai and I actually started working and exchanging experiences with other artists from different countries, I noticed that I am learning much more here than back in school. That’s when I realized, I am in the right place, I could open up my potential here".
After teaching music for three years, she started her singing career in several venues in Dubai including the Burj Khalifa. “I performed for celebrities like Hugh Jackman and for other sports and music stars” she said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the singing gigs dried up and she went back to painting. It was then that she came up with the idea to start ‘ARTfem’ – a three-hour guided painting experience from afternoon sun to sunset.
"I was sold out every week, every event was sold out. ARTfem has become a destination for people to go out on weekends” she says and adds “coming to Dubai five years ago, I would never have thought I would be a business owner".
Akmo is now working on an e-commerce business "to be able to provide the ARTfem experience to people at home". In the meantime, she is also building her painting portfolio to showcase at ‘Art Dubai 2022’.
Akmo is positive for the future and loves her new home: “Dubai has surprised me in unimaginable ways, so I am looking forward to what other surprises it has prepared for me”.