Three people join hands to provide space and stuff for everyone to indulge in creative madness

The Jam Jar is being marketed as a DIY painting area for everyone and the marketing is honest, for a change. No fancy jargon, even though there is a PR executive involved, but just pure raw energy, by three creative people, who just happen to be entrepreneurial.

It is just 1,200 square feet of space, but has 25 easels, unlimited acrylic paint, aprons, brushes and other accessories, where anyone can indulge in a little bit of creative madness without being watched or judged.

Founded by Hetal Pawani, Preeti Pawani and Abbas Fazal, The Jam Jar, located near Lamcy Plaza, looks like a New York loft space, with the false ceiling knocked off, a 14-foot high ladder and abstract expressions strewn around.

"Art is fun and The Jam Jar is a place where that fun element in everyone becomes art," says Hetal Pawani, of the studio, if one may call it that.

"Of course, it is a studio," says Abbas Fazal before he proceeds to explain how the three converted a dinner-table conversation into a reality. "It just boiled down to what are the things to do in Dubai and the creative inclination in us saw that there was absolutely no fun outlet for everyday people to release their imagination," he says.

Setting up an artistic corner within the confines of a home not only costs a fair bit, but also requires a dedicated space, which is often a luxury in the city. "This venue on the other hand allows people, to try it [painting] out before they invest at home or just come here and make this their space," says Pawani.

For Dh170, visitors are allowed to paint absolutely anything on a 3x4 ft canvas and enjoy a tranquil ambience, while the founders make them coffee or smoothies. Artists can then take their work of art back home. "The DIY experience can even extend into the kitchen if someone wants to make their own coffee," says Pawani.

If there is any rule or prerequisite that has to be fulfilled before entering The Jam Jar it is that there should be no fear. The studio provides a platform for amateur artists and even those without a trace of the artistic gene within them.

Fazal is a pilot and never imagined he would ever pick up a brush, but felt obliged to contribute to the canvas and proudly pointed to his work of a yellow stick figure, unimaginatively titled, The Yellow Man.

"There's this image that art is for a certain group of people, who go to museums or galleries and stare at a painting and wish they could have created the masterpieces. Well, they can, they just have to try and now people in Dubai have that chance to try," Pawani says.

Of the three, it is only Preeti Pawani who is professionally associated with painting and though she concedes that not everyone can create a masterpiece, most of the expressions are beautiful because of the personal touch.

"They make excellent gifts just because of the time and effort spent in creating an attractive display of colour," she says.

Their enthusiasm is refreshing and they refuse to compromise on the quality of the products. "Right from the aprons to the adjustable easels, we're just so proud because of the attention to detail," Hetal Pawani says.

As she demonstrates how the height of the easels can be adjusted, she says this was intentionally done to encourage children and the disabled to feel comfortable at the studio.

The naming of The Jam Jar was a well-thought out process that drew from the spontaneity associated with jamming, the various colours of jams and the importance of jam jars to artists. "It's where the dirty or used brushes are stored," Pawani says.

One of the primary aims of The Jam Jar is to bring people — friends, family and colleagues — together through an innovative concept and art. "It's a fun activity that is really needed in a stressful fast-paced city," she says.

With the studio already attracting many curious passers-by, Pawani and her partners are taking things one step at a time and plan to have workshops with visiting artists in addition to using their walls as a gallery for local talents. All this, of course, only after this jam has set.