It has taken Saffron Souk a while to pin Mr. Alan Abernethy down; between entertaining his lovely wife Vanessa and 3 year old son Alex, traveling the world, making mosaic art work, writing pop music, learning jazz piano, and on the home stretch of writing the first draft of a novel about Dubai, it has been tricky to touch bases with this UAE based man of many talents. But here he is in all his tall, dark, handsome, lithe and panther-like self! Enjoy…….
2. Alan showing us his skills (be sure to view the video clip at the end of this blog to listen to him work his magic! 3. The sheet music. 4. Alex Abernethy listening to his father play!
What sort of products do you make?
I keep myself busy with all sorts of things. Being a stay-at-home Dad, I have a bit of time to fill up in the mornings when my 3 year old son, Alex, is at nursery. So, to cut a long story short, I make mosaics for hanging in the garden (using ceramic tiles as a base so there are no issues with water-proofing), I write pop music, I’m learning Jazz piano, and am a long way through a first-draft of a novel about Dubai.
When did you decide to start your own enterprise? Selling?
I didn’t really. I fell into it. I can’t even think what made me interested in mosaics in the first place, except that we had some spare tiles from some paving in our courtyard. I thought it might be interesting if I could make some designs on them and hang them up so that they would blend with the courtyard tiles. So I made a few pictures of birds and lizards which still hang up today, about 4 years later, and became more interested in mosaics as an art form. I was particularly impressed with the ancient Roman mosaics in the British museum, and the way that they made incredibly detailed pictures out of such irregular, minute tesserae. From there, I started on bigger projects, sold one to some friends, gave away a few more which were all well received. I intend to sell more on this website (that’s a plug, by the way).
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
Time. Always time. I’m not the most disciplined of individuals, so making the most of the mornings isn’t my strong point. I’m not idle, by any means, but I naturally switch focus from interest to interest, usually from week to week, but also day to day sometimes. Right now I’m really focused on Jazz piano – I have a brilliant teacher with the improbably cool name of Ovidio de Ferrari. But it takes a lot of time to learn those darn chord progressions by heart…
5. Alan giving Saffron Souk a listen to his demo pop music (watch this space it is pretty good!!!) 6 & 7. We LOVE the electric drums and want to get ourselves some as well (the silence with the headphones will definitely be necessary)
8. Alan hard at work on his latest mosaic creation. 9. The mosaic workshop zone. 10, 11 & 12. Tools of the trade. 13, 14 & 15. The final product… what do you think?
Tell us 5 words to describe yourself.
Easy (actually 6): Tall, dark, handsome, lithe, panther-like, and not.
What’s your favourite colour?
Blue. I’m a boy.
What’s your favourite film?
Inglourious Basterds. I’m still a boy.
What are you reading right now?
I don’t know the name of it, but it’s a historical novel about the ancient Roman emperor Vespasian.It’s on my kindle – I don’t look at the titles.
When did you last laugh?
2 mins ago when I described myself.
What keeps you awake at night?
Coffee in the afternoon. You’d think I’d have learned by now… Oh, and of course the terrible stresses of my job of being a stay-at-home Dad.
Do you have any regrets?
I didn’t buy Apple shares? And lately that I didn’t sell them.
What do you think you’d taste like?
Great question. If you are what you eat (or drink), I’d say wine. Probably a bottle of that Stump Jump red you get from MMI.
Do you believe in luck?
No, but I’d like to believe in karma. That’s a very nice idea.
Do you like girl groups or boy bands?
No and No. No! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
What are you most embarrassed by?
Girl groups and boy bands. I’m embarrassed on their behalf.
16. Alan showing us his stuff!! Saffron Souk would like to thank Alan for being Septembers ‘meet’ of the month. We are looking forward to the release of your single!!