When Sara was 15, she wanted to become an entrepreneur. Even though she did not understand how to run many of the businesses she currently owns today, Sara was able to RESEARCH her way into success.

Photography by: Alaa Al Dahabi @aaldahabi

Sara Al Madani is the founder of Rouge Couture Fashion House and the Nature Bisse Middle East Ambassador. In addition Sara is an advocate for women, public speaker, and author. In an interview with Women In Power host, Elena Cardone, Sara states how she likes to be known as the “Lady in Black.”Sara does not see black as a sad color that you wear to a funeral, but as a happy color that you wear to work. "Black is a power color that makes you feel professional and confident, especially for women. Women in Dubai are taking over! Many people are still under the impression that women are still being empowered, when really in Dubai women are IN POWER.” The term “empowered” is not Sara’s favorite because she believes that women do not need to be empowered. From her perspective, women are already strong and they know it. They don't need to be encouraged or supported to make the same choices as men. Men don't need empowerment, so why do women? According to Sara, what every person needs, no matter the gender, is INSPIRATION. People who are inspired follow their dreams no matter the obstacles. They do the research, they take risks, and they don't let failure ruin their inspiration. Sara is a living example of the journey from failure to success. After losing everything, gaining it all back, and continuing to grow her businesses, Sara shares how the art of knowledge truly is power!


A lot of factors to consider for making a profit. A major one is how much you understand marketing. Marketing entails its own research. If you research your competitors, you can get a good idea of how they are marketing their products or services. This should give you a good idea of how you can market yours, but again, you have to be innovative. "Do not copy your competitors way of marketing because your audience will see that you are imitating and not innovating." Take what is already there, and find new ways to build on it so that your business can stand out in a new and interesting way.

Marketing does cost money, so remember to apply what you learned on how to collect the money you already have. You can not just make a product and then charge a ton of money to pay for the cost of marketing it. When it comes to pricing Sara says, "you have to remember that charging a little bit too much might kill your business, or charging too little might kill it". Pricing is tricky because it is understanding how to create a dynamic demand and supply relationship with customers. A myth in business is that if you have to cut costs, then the quality of the product or service should go down as well. But that isn’t necessarily true. The quality of your product or service should never have to suffer if you are being innovative with your cost and price. Again, this all goes back to doing the research. This is also where having a small team or asking people for their ideas can come in handy. They may have new and innovative ideas on how to save and spend. This is called “culture innovation.”

Culture Innovation is used especially when you have reached the level of hiring employees. How you manage your employees creates the work environment or "culture." Innovative employees need be working in an environment where they can trust you as their leader and feel free to be creative. Provide rules or guidelines for employees to follow, but do not micromanage. Rules are great because they keep everyone safe and prevent legal problems, but people need to feel their bosses are approachable enough so they can pitch new ideas. Managers who are open to new ideas will find their employees will be more loyal to them. That is leadership. "I once had people working for me for free for a period of time because they told me how much they loved my leadership style. Had I been a supervisor who oversaw every little detail, I would have no loyalty from my employees." Invoking fear by micromanaging is not healthy for your business. You need an environment where your employees are happy so they are motivated to help your business grow.


"There is no such thing as life, work, balance. Every person creates their balance based on their comfort, happiness, and priorities." In other words, time management is the ability to prioritize how the person is feeling on a daily basis. For example, if you wake up and are feeling absolutely exhausted from working endlessly the day before, then your priority should be getting rest for your mental health and comfort. Everyone needs rest and if you do not rest, your other priorities will suffer.

Most people try to manage their time by writing things they have to do in a planner or calender. Time management, however, isn’t always a by the hour schedule. Although it may work for some people, for others, time management is more of a feeling.

Life happens when you're busy making other plans. It is important to recognize when one part of your life needs more time. If you haven’t seen your friends in a week, make time to grab lunch. If you feel you have taken too much time off, then it is time to get back to work. Understand that life is not just about work, it is also about relationships with other people and most importantly yourself. So if you feel an area is lacking in your life, then trust that feeling and give your time to it as best you can.

Sara also talks about multitasking, where she fits time in with her family and work. "I was a single mom with eight businesses and writing a book. People used to question why I would bring my son with me to work, as if I wasn’t giving him the time other parents thought he needed. I honestly feel like it is good thing for my son to see how hard his mother works and to see that she is pursuing her dreams. Hopefully, one day he can understand working is a part of life and if his mom can pursue her dreams, so can he. It is a constructive environment for him to be in because I get to teach him and he’s developing healthy social skills. The society we live in today, there are too many parents (mostly stay at home parents) who give 90% of their time to their kids, but during that time the parents and the kids are on their phones, computers, watching television etc. So as a result, these parents are not actually spending real time with their kids." Sara makes a valid point that younger generations are missing out on what it looks like to work. It is so important that parents lead by example so the next generation doesn’t live in a fantasy world, where they don’t understand following your dreams requires being innovative and working hard.


"Remember fear is just a state of mind and it doesn’t actually exist." Fear stops us from unlocking our potential. Many think they can skip the step of failure, but the most successful people know they can not.

There is a really great experiment. Put an ant on a piece of paper, and then take a marker and draw a circle around the ant. The ant will stay in that circle because it is afraid to cross over the line. That is what fear is. It is just an idea that you can’t or shouldn’t. If the ant does cross over the line, it will learn it had nothing to be afraid of the whole time.

Many people are afraid of failure. Just remember, there are a million excuses to do nothing. Then there are those who are actually more afraid of success. Success means more responsibility. This is because after succeeding, the next big question is "What is the next step?" Have I failed enough to understand how to handle the unknown? It can be overwhelming both ways.

At the end of the day, if you want to accomplish a dream, you have to make a decision. Do not be afraid to make the wrong decision because even the wrong decision is better than making NO decision. If you do not decide anything, then you do not make any progress. Remember that the best decision you can possibly make is an informed one. An informed decision starts with inspiration, research, and innovation. That is the art of knowledge.

#saraalmadani #onthecover #theartofknowledge #lifeisartmagazine


Gives us an inside look into the inner circle of stunts.

Belive it or not, the art of stunts is practically separate from the art of acting. Many are under the impression that film actors perform their own stunts. While that maybe true in some cases, it is more common that actor's are given stunt doubles to perform a range of actions that can be as simple as a fall, or as complicated as an entire fight scene. Stunts take planning, choreography, memorization, and hours of practice. Imagine a dance routine, but with flips, kicks, punches, and falling over all day long. One would think there are several bumps and bruises along the way, and there can be, but most of the time, a good stunt actor has perfected what they call, "the art of falling gracefully."

Stunt expert (and some may even say stunt celebrity) Christopher Troy (@christophertroyofficial), took us behind the scenes at the Joining All Movement (JAM)gym located in Reseda, CA. JAM is one of the central training spots for the inner circle of stunt performers in Hollywood. Tucked away in a plaza, JAM offers a realm of space and crash pads/pits for professionals preparing for the next big thing. Christopher, who generally goes by Troy, was already in session when LIA arrived at the scene. Troy has an array of stunt credits for major feature films and television shows including Shameless, S.W.A.T., Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Walking Dead,and even Christopher Nolan's up and coming TENET. Troy's next big project is choreographing a fight sequence with fellow colleagues Michaela Mcallister, Jenn Khoe and Emmy winning director Mickey Finnegan for Mom Fight@momfightmovie.

Troy began the interview by making introductions with the talented team members and then took us through his warm up. It is important to get the blood flowing and the muscles flexible when preparing for a sequence that involves a heavy level of kicking, jumping and even fencing. After twenty minutes., everyone was ready to review the choreography with Troy, who oversaw what movements work and what movements needed to be adjusted. The process took hours, but Michaela and Jenn kept at it even after the interview concluded. Another normal day in the stunt world. It is better to be over prepared than under prepared. Communication between the stunt coordinator and director is key in an effort to make the sequence look its best, while watching out for the safety of the performers.

Joining All Movement JAM Gym -Located: 18242 Sherman Way Reseda, CA 91335

Q: We hear getting into the stunt world is tricky. How did you get your big break and how can others learn how to break into the business? A: I started out in the entertainment industry as a professional breakdancer way before I even considered stunts as a career. I had the advantage of already working on film and tv as a dancer so when I made my decision to focus on becoming a stuntman I was lucky enough to know a couple of people in that field of film. I was teaching dance class at Joining All Movement (A training facility owned by top talent stuntmen Travis Wong/Aaron Toney/Jake Huang) When I got my first real stunt job because of Travis Wong (thank you). I was hired to be an actors breakdancing

double, then later in the same episode I was thrown through a table. After that I was hooked on stunts! With that said, stunts is very much about safety first. I was hired because Travis had known me for a few years and trusted me to perform the job without hurting myself or others. When thinking about becoming a stunt performer a few things that could help you get started are training with those already working in the field-Building your skill set up to be good at different types of stunts like rigging, fire and fire safety, water safety, weapons training, and driving. (Just because you can fight and are willing to hit the floor does not make you a stuntman)- Doing freebies. Basically, tell everyone who you admire that you’re free to help them with there projects. It’s the perfect way to show your abilities and to build a trustworthy relationship.

Q: Is it true that it is difficult to be both an actor and do stunts? Why are the two encouraged to be separate fields? A: Yes. From a stuntman’s point of view it’s like this. I need a stunt team that are full of the best performers. There are a ton of people trying to break into the industry by any means necessary and will lie about there skill level to book a job. We can’t have someone lie, mess up and then accidentally kill someone or themselves. So a coordinator can be hesitant about hiring someone who lets them know they are not 100 percent committed to stunts as there career. At the same time, we have really excellent stunt performers who are wonderful actors. They usually have proven themselves competent as a stunt performer outside of the acting world. Q: Do stunts audition for roles? Or is it mostly referral based? Is a stunt reel necessary? If so what do you recommend be included in the reel? A: Stuntmen do audition but it is pretty rare. If the script says Bad guy #2 yells “Don’t move or I’ll shoot!” The coordinator may have you send in a self tape to get you approved through production. Other auditions may be from a stunt team looking to add one more person that fits a certain look to the core team before starting up a show. For the most part it is by referral, again stunts is safety. A stunt reel is a very smart thing to have.

It’s just another tool to use when meeting a new coordinator. seeing you do something as opposed to taking your word usually works best. In your firstreel keep it short and to the point, show what you’re good at, hopefully it’s wrecking, fight choreography, and fire high fall or driving. If not, work at it until you are. End it with your contact info and a picture of yourself. Q: What are your thoughts on those like John Bernecker and Olivia Jackson, who have suffered serious injuries or even death doing stunts?A: It’s heartbreaking. Injury is definitely something that comes with this job and everyone who signs up knows what they’re getting into. Occasionally something will go terribly wrong and the whole community feels it. This is why safety comes first, nobody should lose life or limb for a make believe show. Both of these performers did there job exactly and something was mismanaged on set leading to such a result. Q: Have you ever had any close calls? Any stories you can share?A: Depends what you mean. There are plenty of times right before they yell action I laugh to myself and say “I could probably die right now.” Fortunately that never happens. I have been to the hospital a few times though. I have had cuts bruises, torn muscles and scratched corneas. I received grade three concussions resulting in vomiting from landing too hard from a fall and I put my front teeth through my face getting tripped in a fight. Q: Would you recommend having an agent or manager? Why?/Why Not? A: Within the stunt industry it really isn’t necessary, your coordinator can hire you directly and they usually let you know your rate.

From Left - Stunt Colleagues Jenn Khoe, Michaela Mcallister, Stunt Coordinator Christopher Troy, and Director Mickey Finnegan Mickey reviews how the stunt sequence looks on his phone. The team breaks down areas that work and areas of improvement.

Q: What project(s) are you working on currently? What can you share with us about them? Who is involved? A: I was fortunate enough to just finish up on a Christopher Nolan film with Robert Pattinson. I am currently Action Designing a feature film that will be going into production by the end of the year. Along with that I will continue to fill my time with shooting short films and working on TV shows. Q: What has been the most rewarding thing about stunts? What is the most challenging?A: The most rewarding thing about stunts to me is the amount of creative control you receive when working on a project. We get to build all the action which is usually the fun stuff. The most challenging is the vast amounts of time spent working and training. If you aren’t obsessed with action or filmmaking then I don’t think this job is for you. I spend almost everyday that I’m not getting paid to do stunts training stunts at the gym or filming my own projects. Q: If you could change or add anything to the industry, what would you change or do Why?A: I would change the notoriety of the stunt team. most of the time the most memorable part of the movie was an action scene. People can name the actor and director but not the stunt double and stunt coordinator who built and executed your favorite part of the movie. Q: Are there stunt awards like there are Oscars for actors? A: There are, its called the Taurus Awards and the winners get a giant winged statue much bigger than an Oscar.Q: Any closing thoughts for aspiring talent?A: If you have a passion for stunts, work hard, work hard, work hard. It’s a marathon not a sprint. See you at the movies!

#stunts #christophertroy #themarvelofstunts #behindthescenes

By: Vik Pisipati

Vik Pisipati is the founder of Ink & Opium, an interior design firm based in Los Angeles that specializes in creating ‘well-traveled’ interiors. Ink & Opium offers full service interior design, e-design packages, design consultations, and fine art consulting.

IG: @VikMilan


Photo Courtesy by Teri Bocko IG: @teribocko www.teribphotography.com

When I decided to finally pull the trigger on moving to LA to build my interior design business, Ink & Opium,I faced a new design challenge in the form of a Koreatown rental apartment with no respect for my need for symmetry and proportion.

The design concept I landed on was “Dandy Hunting Lodge.” Just the simple “hunting lodge” theme would be a stretch, considering I’m the type to show up to a hike in Mongolian cashmere and Paul Smith loafers and wonder why I’m unable to make it more than a quarter mile before giving up and calling an Uber. But I couldn’t forget the style of the mountain stations in the Himalayas and stretches throughout India I’d fallen in love with during my travels there. So I took the aged metals, patinas, and nods to natural elements and gave them a shellac of my personal flamboyance to create what felt like an appropriate home base for the person behind my brand.

The one piece I insisted on bringing with me on the move to LA was also the most ridiculous to maneuver – a bar made from the front of an auto- rickshaw that originally met its demise in India’s desert kingdom of Rajasthan. I’ve moved so many times over the past ten years, from Philadelphia to Mexico City then on to Buenos Aires, Paris, Shanghai, Seattle, and finally Los Angeles, so I’ve only been able to keep my very favorite things. So besides the auto-rickshaw, I had with me only two suitcases and a few other pieces small enough to fit the average cardboard box when sand and sun called me here.

With antique, vintage, and refinished pieces, creating the right backdrop is essential to tie everything together. For example, the apartment’s ‘80s-era office canola oil beige walls were not doing it for me, so I began the long and unglamorous re-painting process, running a roller of pure white on every plane to maximize the light and make the artwork pop. I also added two accent walls, one in Baby Seal Black by Benjamin Moore, the other a custom nautical blue for a calming pacific vibe in the bedroom.

Living Room - The sofa is embellished with cushions from CB2 and flanked by a vintage art deco lamp and Jonathan Adler mirrored table. A vintage French poster and silkscreen panels from an old LA textile factory add a pop of color to the room. The room is anchored by a high-pile silk rug and a dresser from the Pebble Beach Ritz Carlton, refinished in grey.

Getting the rest right took an entire year. I’ve realized that in the same way writers have to have drafts before the final, so do designers. Only they get to use the delete key. We have to spackle, touch-up, or return. I’m very picky with furniture (as it is my literal job), and ended up refinishing four dressers that I bought second-hand, including an old castaway from the Pebble Beach Ritz-Carlton.

Due to tiny apartment syndrome, I’d had to keep some of my favorite pieces stored away until I moved to LA but they finally got to see the light of my living room window. I gave a signed Dr. Seuss lithograph front row in the bedroom. Original paintings from Mexican artist and close friend Liliana Ang demanded the length of the hallway as well as the bedroom gallery wall. After this project’s literal blood (splinters, splinters, splinters), sweat (I don’t recommend moving a sofa on your own), and tears (crying in the Taco Bell parking lot after three 20-hour work days in a row), I also gave myself as a housewarming present a Kaws “Companion” statue. He now lives happily on a plinth in my living room.

When renting apartments, we have no choice but to wholeheartedly embrace imperfection, work within limits, and learn to coexist with the questionable design decisions made by builders, lest we want to kiss our security deposit goodbye with each move. As the incomparable Judge Judy says, “Don’t try to teach a pig to sing. It doesn’t work, and it annoys the pig.”

I realized that when designing in a rental apartment, there are going to be things that I can’t change. It’s useless to waste time agonizing over them, so I just put on my big boy pants and work around them. In my apartment, the pendant light that was already installed in the dining area without any regard to centering kept me wondering if it was the installer who was drunk or me. I had to resist the urge to get out the sledgehammer. But, like always, I ultimately learned to live with it. When it’s your own home, eventually you forget it’s there, especially if you design a beautiful room around it. And as long as you keep your guests’ drinks topped up, they will eventually cease to notice it, too.

As I do with my Ink & Opium design brand, I aimed to create a meaningful space that feels like an extension of a life well-lived and well-traveled. My clients come to me looking for something truly unique that expresses where they came from and where they’re going. It isn’t enough to create pretty rooms with sensible furniture – you have to infuse a deeper message into both the overall design concept and minute details to design a home that is going to be the place that puts a smile on someone’s face at the end of a long day. I use my own home as my laboratory, to test all of my ideas, and I’m happy with how beautifully this particular experiment has turned out.

#VikPisipati #artistscorner #ImperfectInteriors #ReflectionsonanLAApartment #interiordesigner

Dining Area - The dining area features a steel and bronze dining table and a vintage marquee light. The white hutch is accented by custom made brass hardware from India. Antique blackamoor statues and an indian brass vase sit in front of a cowhide mirror from CB2.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram

© 2019





When using our Digital Services we may ask you to subscribe to one of our newsletters which requires personal information including an email address or phone number. We also may ask for payment information for purchases made for digital services (card number, expiration date, billing information and more). You may not be able to use certain features if you choose not to submit the requested information. For social media pages (Youtube, Instagram, Facebook) any comments, photos, or videos may also be published when contributing to our published content for polls, feedback, contests and more. 

Any information we receive from you may include third party websites, apps, or public platforms. Public social media, published articles and videos also contribute to information we receive from you when submitting to our magazine. Platforms we share information include our digital website, published print magazine, social media pages, advertising, email marketing, print marketing, social events, and with parties pertaining to legal Protection of Our Privacy Rights.

Life is Art does include material not intended for use by children. We require any student work or work done by persons under the age of 18 be submitted by a legal guardian with a letter of consent for publication use.