Shortly after moving to AZ, he took a few classes at The Scottsdale Artist School to continue challenging himself. “My inspiration as an artist 1st comes from my parents. Besides my parents being educators, my mom made beautiful hand-crafted jewelry & my dad was an artist. “My fondest recollections were walking into our home in D.C., which was only 8 blocks from The White House, where I was raised till the age of 10 & seeing art all through our home. My favorite artists, besides my parents, include Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Charles White & Norman Rockwell.“ After taking a long hiatus from art, fast forward to 2021, Ahmed won the 2022 Scottsdale International Jazz Artist of the Year Competition, which is how he met Doc Jones, Head of the Scottsdale International Jazz Organization. “What I admire most about Doc is how much he cares about seeing the future become brighter for youth that might not have an opportunity to prosper. The Molina School Of Jazz continues to need our help to reach a larger number of children. With this amazing opportunity to showcase my work starting February 2nd through the entire month of February at Larsen Gallery a portion of the proceeds I plan on donating will enable The Molina School of Jazz organization to purchase more instruments for underserved communities which allows kids an opportunity to dream bigger & achieve more.”
In 1999 an ex-girl’s grandma named Connie McCrudden & her sister Anne Davison saw Ahmed’s artwork and challenged him to paint jazz musicians. “I really liked jazz but never in a million years thought to paint jazz artists. Well… these weren’t just any jazz musicians, these were some of the baddest jazz musicians on the planet with names you wouldn’t recognize.
Connie had original photo’s that she and her friends had personally taken at jazz festivals and concerts. Most of the images Ahmed used & now owns are extremely rare, and no one else has these images. Connie also pulled some strings to get the first painting of Joe Williams in the series. You might know him best from his role on The Cosby Show, where Joe played Phylicia Rashad’s dad on many episodes. “I named this painting of Joe ‘The Unicorn’ and had it on display at the Chandler Jazz Fest in 1999 in the lobby, where Joe Williams was to be honored.” Unfortunately, he passed away a month before this fest, but the show continued.