Welcome back WWQD readers. We’re restarting Supportive Sunday!
Today we have a slightly anticlimactic feature: team WWQD’s very own Aimen from aimen.me. This is an interesting feature for several reasons. One: is aimen.me really a business? If so, why? Two: No one has ever managed to get aimen.me to share what they do before, so this is an unprecedented feature in unprecedented times.
Being notoriously private, I found it difficult to introduce myself. So my husband wrote a generous summary: “Very hardworking, deeply caring. Aimen has a diverse set of talents. Interested in design, music, production, business, management, speed reading, and things.”
What does aimen.me actually do? Broadly, multidisciplinary creative work. This is my separate entity where I (Aimen) run creative endeavors and projects I pick up purely for the joy of doing them, or for what they can teach me. In my 9-5, I’m a product manager for a non-crypto blockchain company. Outside of this, I contain multitudes (lol jk I just do a LOT of fun creative work I never talk about because I’m pathologically shy).
So. Let’s kick off!
Hello Aimen, how are you doing?
How are any of us doing?
Personally, I am balancing self-compassion with my desire to keep learning, keep doing, keep creating. In a very literal sense, I’m good! On Maslow’s pyramid, I’m at least approaching, if not mid self-actualization.
As for how aimen.me is doing…we’re in our mindful, anti-flop era. During Lockdown the First in 2020, I went full steam ahead with any and all creative projects, because I’d lost my full-time job. This was a questionable decision that saw me balancing full-time SEO work with building the WWQD platform, assisting with music videos, making decks, designing random brochures, illustrating heavily and… in general working a lot.
This year is slower. The luxury of a full-time job that guarantees my income lets me become more selective about projects I pick up, which is where I always want aimen.me to sit.
Why did you start aimen.me?
The desire to learn and create. Secondarily, my love for computers.
I grew up in an ambitious environment where academic excellence and capitalist achievement was highly valued. While my career is very important to me, I’m obsessed with the act of creation, and expression across mediums.
Print and graphic design was my first love: I remember designing restaurant menus for made-up places on a bootleg copy of MS Paint on my dad’s Linux home PC in 2005 (I would’ve been…10 years old?). I’d print these and stick them to my mom’s fridge.
Music was next, I started running a fairly popular audioblog on tumblr in 2010, through to 2012 focused entirely on reviewing EDM. That led my affair with live music from 2013-16, after which I transitioned entirely to production in Audacity and Ableton. In the meantime, I also freelanced heavily, developing my print design skills working with a mix of local businesses, startups and indie agencies. At this stage, I desperately wanted to learn and do, so I picked up anything from designing cafe signage to full-fledged websites.
These miscellaneous creative projects made me realize I needed a manageable outlet for creative projects. I also needed admin support as my freelance obligations scaled up alongside a full-time role. So, I hired an EA, streamlined design work through aimen.me and built my own website ‘store’ in Cargo to sell music on. This Frankensite came complete with psychedelic animations half-copied off Codepens, half-original. The legacy site functioned as a direct-to-consumer music store where people would purchase MP3s that my EA would email directly to them, because I couldn’t figure out how to hide downloads behind a paywall. I sold 1,000+ units through my self-published music store…meaning I saw actual £££, which I’ve yet to see via streaming services, LOL.
In 2019, I wound all of the above down to focus ‘more’ on my 9-5. I regretted this and started creative work once more in 2020!
What are you most proud of at aimen.me to date?
The versatility and diversity of work taken up, and what the work has given back to me.
Seeing aimen.me as a separate entity – sometimes a business – helped me pick projects I would never have pursued otherwise: designing a website for a film studio, producing music for my project io, working with incredible pop artist Roma Radz, pitching music video collateral to Rebecca Black, creating art for the G.O.A.T. Komato$e.
What I’m most proud of in terms of pieces of work:
Project 1: Album artwork for Komato$e and Lucas Versace’s compilation album (out soon!!), plus it’s lead single ‘Summary’.
The LV Koma Vol. 1 art combines Komato$e’s classic chaotic evil with my chaotic good energy: it’s vibrant, it’s current: it used GraphixSlayer’s clip art, it’s deep. The colors honor trans music genius CCI Midas who passed away in 2020 (gold and black). The colors for ‘Summary‘ honor Komato$e’s excellent taste. This project is special beyond words because this was the first music I released posthumously for my brother Komato$e.
Project 2: Cityscapes for Boyfriend in Every City by Roma Radz.
This is a catchy, gorgeous song by pop’s rising princess. I love Roma – I met her while she was supporting Hannah Diamond’s tour, we started talking on Insta and I jumped at the chance to work on her debut music video.
Watching this inspires me: the artists featured here are so cool and the (extremely talented) video editor made my small contribution shine in ways I couldn’t have imagined!
Project 3: ‘Personal Statement‘. I just love how it looks LOL.
What keeps you going when the going gets tough?
The relentless energy, passion and curiosity my darling friend Max had for every piece of music he worked on. I carry his troll spirit with me and it carries me through creative block.
Showing my sister any work I do, or being able to support her in any way with the work I do. She’s my number one concern and her resilience is something I want to channel.
In tough (and good) times, I lean on my husband. His clarity of thought and calm creativity is unlike anything else; it balances me out and provides a blank slate where I can breathe and create freely.
I am replenished and encouraged heavily by my best friend and cheerleader, WWQD’s Queenie. I can trust her feedback and guidance without question, and our discussions fuel me.
In the day-to-day sense, I allow myself to passively appreciate art others have made if I don’t feel creative myself. I’m refreshed by 7G by A.G. Cook, all of Charli XCX’s discography, Graphix Slayer brings chaotic good energy to my Twitter feeds; Terrell Davis inspires not only me, but an entire visual movement.
What’s your ambition for aimen.me?
Honestly, none. This space is the antidote to material achievement. What drives me is creation. It’d be nice to do more personalized work through my ko-fi. Formally, aimen.me is currently working on closing three main projects: publishing an essay collection on loss, a poster series about why I miss the 00’s so damn much, and honoring Komato$e’s musical legacy.
Beyond projects, the ethos of aimen.me is the pursuit of creation for the sake of creation, or for what creation can teach you.
That being said, I love to work with pop princesses. More of that.
Well thank you Aimen! I promise I didn’t threaten to withhhold non-existent wages from her to be our first feature or to say that I’m amazing. You can find out more about Aimen’s projects here and if you’d like to say a small thank you to her, you can find her ko-fi here!