working girl: katra awad, artist

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– As told to Tamara Pridgett

A self-taught artist, Katra Awad attributes her inspiration to her family of artists and her travels throughout Europe and the Caribbean. Each of her one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces incorporates her Egyptian lineage and represents “the past, present, and the future.” Katra is an artist who uses her work to inspire others to create, heal and love.

stats

Location: Brooklyn, NY/ Born and raised in California

Profession: Jewelry Designer/ Artist

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work

How did you get started?

I started working with different mediums at a young age , jewelry design included. I began showcasing my work at musical events and selling pieces to local boutiques. I grew up amongst a family of artists and was constantly surrounded by their talents. It was very inspiring. I spent a great deal of time traveling with my mother around Europe and the Caribbean. These experiences opened my mind to the world of art and the idea of making a living utilizing my gifts.

What’s an average day like?

I design, I create, source materials, build mood boards, style, plan photo-shoots, utilize ideas I’ve sketched.

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Why do you do it?

I love it and each day has an opportunity to learn something new.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

My jewelry is rooted in my Egyptian ancestry as well as the concept of the “past, present and future.” I’ve always been intrigued by the universe and all its natural elements, so it seemed fitting to include crystals, repurposed leather, brass and gold.

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Ups and downs you sometimes face on the job:

I feel fortunate to be able to create, share, inspire and connect with people from all over. I’ve met some amazing artists along the way who have become my friends. Some days are challenging, but I know that the knowledge I’ve gained throughout the process is essential to my growth as an artist. I feel so thankful to be doing what I love.

Your greatest achievement so far?

The Pyramidion Collection, my most recent. “The Pyramidion Collection” was my first official release. It was created before I moved to New York City to pursue design. This collection is one of my greatest achievements so far, simply because of how natural the entire process was. I hand crafted each piece in California in my boyfriend’s studio, formerly known as the “Tree House.” Shortly after I then collaborated  on a photo shoot with my friend Eden Hagos. The photos in the look-book were all shot by Andre Power and styled by Eden Hagos and I. It’s amazing what can be achieved when you are willing to share your magic with others and vise versa.

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Are your pieces available online only?

Yes, at my online shop katraawad.com!

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What might be next for you?  

I’m currently working on a brand new jewelry collection and customizing pieces for a new boutique in Dumbo, NY. Aside from design, I am also collaborating on a couple exciting projects and traveling this summer!

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hair

What are your top 5 go-to hair tips?

  • I try to keep the process as simple as possible.
  • Nurture your hair and protect your scalp.
  • I co-wash with Biolage deep conditioner and Mixed Chicks leave in moisturizer.
  • You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have healthy hair. Most everything you need can be found in nature and even in your kitchen.
  • Enjoy your hair journey!

Fun Fact: On my flight to New York I met an older man who said to me, “Our ancestors play an important role today in your existence and if it wasn’t for their sacrifice you wouldn’t be here today and be honored with the gift to create. It is our responsibility in life to pursue our talents to the fullest extent and make every second count.”

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