24-year-old Mohammed (likes to be called Ijaz) was nominated for TrinityTalent 2020 for his achievements in ballet for his Bronze Arts Award. He completed his Arts Award with Birmingham Royal Ballet and took part in the Birmingham Royal Ballet's LEAP Ambassadors programme.
Mohammed was nominated by Hannah MacGregor, the Engagement Coordinator for the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Hannah said: "Ijaz made significant progress in his confidence and aspiration levels as a result of Birmingham Royal Ballet's LEAP Ambassadors programme and completing his Bronze Arts Award. Throughout his time on the programme, he was able to take part in a variety of different training and experiences including ballet, contemporary and jazz class, technical production, marketing training and so much more. His confidence was noticed when Ijaz took part in a Dance Day. Dance is completely out of Ijaz's comfort zone - however, he thrust himself into the classes and challenged himself beyond what he thought he could achieve."
The Trinity judges said: "Mohammed's journey, both personal and artistically, is impressive. He's thrown himself into things he'd never experienced before and showed real determination. He's allowed himself to let himself go artistically which is beautiful to see."
How has your Trinity College London qualification influenced your progress with your art?
In terms of my progression, completing Arts Award has allowed me to understand my learning styles, and given me the confidence to be more independent, e.g. getting public transport on my own and getting to new places.
Has taking part in a Trinity qualification helped you to develop wider skills?
Completing Arts Award highlighted my passion for drawing, particularly anime, and it has led to me discovering a newfound interest in graphic design and digital art. I took part in an online masterclass about digital art and have since invested in my own graphic tablet where I am exploring lots of new and creative ideas.
Would you like to tell us anything about the challenges you’ve faced this year, and how you’ve overcome them to achieve your qualification?
I have a tendency to overthink a lot of the time which can lead me to feelings of self-doubt in my abilities and this was one of the challenges I faced whilst trying to complete my Arts Award during the pandemic. The main way I overcame this was through having the confidence to ask for help when I needed it and as a result, the programme leaders of Birmingham Royal Ballet assisted me with the tasks I needed to complete and coached me through them at a pace and style suited to me.
What are the next steps for you following your qualification?
I am going to continue working on developing and improving my artistic skills in drawing, anime and digital art.
What are your career aims?
In the future, I would like to become an author and publish my own comic book which includes all of my own work including anime drawings and creative stories. I have been inspired by the Japanese manga artist, Hiro Mashima, who I used for my Arts Inspiration part of the Arts Award. He has a new anime coming out soon called ‘Edens Zero’ and I’m really excited to see his new work and what creative ideas and messages I can take from this and use in my own work.
Have you got any advice for other young people working towards an Arts Award or Trinity qualification?
I would encourage young people to try new things and take part in activities that you would never consider yourself doing because it can help you to break down certain stereotypes and allow you to explore new creative ideas.
More from Ijaz:
LEAP Ambassadors end-of-year celebration film:
Read more about the talented young people selected to be featured as part of the TrinityTalent Class of 2020.