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Meet Maria Hegedus, the artist behind UAE Murals.  Maria is an American Artist who relocated to Abu Dhabi last year.   She works as a freelance muralist.  Her artwork varies but is not limited to murals, portraits, watercolors, and landscapes.  You may have already seen some of her work around Abu Dhabi.  Her most public paintings are two murals at Dalma Mall in Mussaffah, which can be found on the ground floor and on the second floor.  She is a talented artist who captures the beauty of the UAE in her pieces.

Here is our interview with Maria –

UAE RHWAD 7Describe yourself in three words:

Creative, Chaotic, Happy

What do you consider your greatest professional achievement? 

I consider it an achievement to be able to do what I love, while also being able to be a stay-at-home mom. I truly feel like I have the best of both worlds!

Do you have children and have they influenced your career?

Yes, I have two girls: Heidi (age 5) & Hazel (age 3). Of course they influence my career. I have been a stay-at-home mom since my daughter Heidi was born and have just now begun pursuing my own career once we moved to Abu Dhabi in March 2013. Back home in the states I painting and worked from home, but nowhere near as much as I am able to do here. I have been so blessed to be able to stay home with my children, but am also enjoying this new phase in my life where my career has a role as well!

UAE Murals RHWAD 6How do you stay connected through social media?

I started following groups such as RHWAD, and Moms Guide to Abu Dhabi and was inspired to start my own Facebook page, UAE Murals.  I’m still learning how to use social media as a business tool, but the biggest benefit I’ve discovered is the ability to connect with other women in my community!

What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? 

I could see myself running events for a charity or other non-profit organization. I’ve always secretly thought I would be good at hosting a radio show, but I think that’s just because I love to TALK!

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

I depend heavily on my husband to keep me in check and not let “work” overrun my thoughts and emotions, particularly when I have many projects going on.

UAE Murals RHWAD 4What websites do you visit every day?

Facebook of course! I do love Pinterest and follow many AMAZING artists on Instagram (even though that’s an app, not really a “website”).

Who is your hero and how have they helped make you who you are today?

I’m inspired by other moms – whether they are my friends or bloggers, celebrities, etc. Being a mother is such a privilege yet at times overwhelming, scary, chaotic, etc. There is no “handbook” so I feel like we are all trying to figure out this thing called ‘motherhood’! Its such a HUGE job to have this much influence on the entire lives of our children!

What are your top 3 favorite people/places/things in Abu Dhabi?

I love so much about Abu Dhabi! It’s the first big CITY I’ve ever lived in, so that alone is exciting for me! If I have to list three: 1) Escape Lounge (Hilton Corniche) – I love smoking shisha with my husband after a long week. 2) The amazing architecture – blows my mind! 3) The cultural diversity.

UAE Murals RHWAD 5What is your goal for retirement?

Financial security obviously – maybe that means a couple pieces of real estate, and a variety of investments.

Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own company Abu Dhabi?

I think Abu Dhabi is a great place to start! There are such large mixes of people, interests, hobbies etc. There are wonderful social groups (such as RHWAD, etc), and people seem very willing to help and promote.

How did you come up with your idea to start your company?

I’ve always painted – whether it was for friends or family, but being a mother to young children was always my first priority. As my children are getting a bit older, and we moved to AD, I thought it was a great time to pursue my art and try to make a successful business out of it! I am glad I did!

UAE Murals RHWAD 10What challenges as a business owner have you had to overcome and how?

I think the biggest challenge was moving to Abu Dhabi and getting my name out there as an artist! I did some free work in Dalma Mall to promote myself and that went a long way.

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

My actions should be like that now, but truthfully if I KNEW I couldn’t fail, I would probably be more motivated to keep pushing and hit the ground running each morning!

Please take a look at Maria’s Facebook page for UAE Murals.  Her paintings are the perfect accents to any home and make great souvenirs to remember your time in UAE.