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Sink or Swim; Renowned Artist Fatma Al Shebani’s Early Work in Painting




In life, one truly has just two options. Sink or swim. Most would like to think they would swim and yet most end up sinking, stuck in a place they never really intended to be. After being trapped by societal standards and traditions, contemporary artist Fatma Al Shebani chose to swim. With that choice, she placed herself in society’s line of fire and opened herself up to the art world’s criticism. She rebelled, broke barriers, and made a name for herself.  

For over 15 years she has reached people across the world with her art. From Qatar to the Western world and to Palestine, there remains little doubt that she has left a significant impact and solidified her place in the art world. The unique style and voice behind her paintings and sculptures have allowed her to stand out. Every piece she creates retains a piece of herself through the story she aims to construct. Still, much like anything worthwhile, she traveled a long and winding road to accomplish all that she has.

Art always constituted a major part of Shebani’s life. From a young age, she painted and wrote poetry. Her pursuit of higher education at Qatar University also centered around art. Shebani claims that her studying art at university was a pure coincidence, but it nevertheless demonstrates her deep connection with the craft. Art was, perhaps, ingrained in her. The need to create has seemingly always flowed through her veins and intertwined with her soul. Even without consciously deciding to pursue a career as a professional artist, Shebani found herself drawn to the creation of art. 

As time went on, Shebani’s life took slight detours. She married and started a family. Shebani had no intention of becoming an artist, but she still created and joined group exhibitions. Her separation from her husband in 2003 pushed her to rediscover herself and recalibrate her professional goals. After attaining freedom and deciding to pursue this creative passion, in spite of the views of those around her, she began to truly shine and find her voice. She separated herself from the crowd and carved out a space in which she now expresses herself, however she pleases. 

Every artist has a start, Fatma Al Shebani’s journey –  like many– began with painting. Now, she is well known for her metal work and sculptures, pieces that bridge traditional and modern Qatari culture. Her paintings, however, from her own perspective hold equal weight in her portfolio. Shebani’s paintings are often seen as unconventional. She broke the rules of art much like she broke the many conventions placed on her by society. Through painting, she explores the abstract, while also experimenting with color and texture. She allows her free spirit and curiosity to guide her in creating, which results in dynamic pieces that captivate audiences as they carefully explore every inch of the canvas. Her sculptures tell a story, but her paintings reveal layers of her ‘true self’. 

In every one of Shebani’s paintings, it is difficult to know exactly where to look first. The paint itself acts to guide the viewer, drawing their eyes to certain parts as though they move through a world of Shebani’s creation. The broad range of colors used in each piece only adds to the creation. Often, the color schemes she employs consist of gentle hues, both warm and cool, but, on occasion, her work makes use of bright, eye-catching, contrasted colors. Shebani demonstrates breadth solely through the many different color combinations she utilizes. Her experimentation with color reflects her own constant personal evolution and willingness to embrace change. Every piece is different and reflects a different aspect of her identity.

Like color, texture and dimension play a major role in her painting process. When one thinks of paintings on canvas it can be difficult to imagine anything other than a 2D piece of art. Shebani breaks that boundary through exaggerated texture. There is a certain depth and physicality to the art she creates. Once again, she shifts from typical conventions in order to bring something new to her audience. She does not shy away from being different and creating something ‘unusual’. Instead, she embraces her defiant nature, going against the grain and doing so masterfully 

Shebani once floated idly, slowly sinking into a life that never suited her. Eventually, she dived deep into the oceans of the art world and took control of her narrative. Her start was slow, but once she recognized her true calling, her art began to shine in new and exciting ways. At first glance, her abstract art may seem purely aesthetic in value, however, when one takes into consideration the personality behind the work, the disparate dimensions of the artist become apparent. 

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Wisdom and Youthful Energy Combined: Tax Attorney Lance R. Drury




Research done by The American Psychological Association indicates that the average person starts feeling old at the age of 47. This was the most cited age in a survey of 2,000 Americans over 40, with respondents also noting that they begin to worry about age-related bodily changes around the age of 50. Concerns about mental decline and memory loss are prevalent, with a significant percentage of participants expressing fears about their cognitive health deteriorating as they age. Interestingly, fewer people are concerned about losing their youthful looks compared to worries about mental sharpness and staying socially connected.

But at the young age of 70, Tax Attorney at Law Lance R. Drury embodies the belief that age is just a number — not a measure of one’s capabilities. With a career spanning several decades, the spunky lawyer continues to defy societal expectations, showcasing that one can maintain both wisdom and youthful energy well into their later years. Drury’s happy-go-lucky, quick-witted personality offers a refreshing perspective in a world where age often dictates one’s pursuits and achievements.

Lance R. Drury is the founder of the Law Office of Lance R. Drury, a firm renowned for its exceptional tax resolution services. With over 35 years of legal experience, his practice specializes in tax planning, litigation of tax disputes, and negotiation of settlements with tax authorities. Drury’s personalized approach to each case ensures that clients receive strategies tailored to their unique situations.

His offices are located in Ste. Genevieve and St. Louis in Missouri, Nashville in Tennessee, and most recently, San Antonio in Texas. Drury’s practice emphasizes understanding clients’ specific needs and navigating the complexities of tax law to provide clear, actionable solutions. Through his dedicated work, he built a longstanding reputation for his legal acumen and commitment to upholding the highest standards of the legal profession, ensuring that each client receives attentive and effective representation.

We sat down with Drury to discuss his perspective on age and how it influences his dynamic approach to life and work.

All In Your Head

Drury’s response to the question of retirement was profound.

“People often suggest I should retire,” he shared. “But staying active keeps my mind sharp and my spirit youthful.”

His days are filled with interactions that span generations, which he believes keep his mind young and engaged.

“Age is just a sequence of numbers that has no bearing on what you can achieve. The only limits are the ones you set for yourself,” Drury emphasized.

Maintaining Purpose and Connection

Drury highlighted the importance of maintaining a sense of purpose. While retirement for some means relaxation and leisure, for Drury, it’s about continual engagement and growth.

“You don’t retire from life; you move towards new opportunities,” Drury pointed out. “It’s essential to keep forging connections and pursuing goals that keep you connected to the world around you.”

He actively engages with people daily, from colleagues to younger individuals, enriching his social life and broadening his perspectives. This engagement, he noted, is key to feeling connected and vibrant.

The Psychological and Social Benefits of Staying Active

Staying engaged in work and social activities has profound effects on mental health. Drury observed that his professional engagements keep his mind sharp and give him a sense of purpose every day. This routine, he suggested, can benefit everyone, regardless of age. The social interactions that come with staying active help prevent the loneliness and isolation often associated with aging.

“Staying active is crucial for keeping your mind sharp and your spirit engaged,” Drury noted.

A Rebellious Stance on Aging

Drury’s approach is rebellious. Especially in the field of law, defying societal expectations that dictate slowing down with age is unexpected. He finds liberation in continuing his work and enjoying life on his terms. This rebellious stance is about acknowledging the aging process while embracing it with vigor and a clear sense of purpose.

“Rejecting the typical narrative of aging doesn’t mean denying the process of growing older. It means embracing it with enthusiasm and a resolve to live fully every day,” Drury passionately shared. “I encourage others to live joyfully and defiantly, irrespective of age.”

Drury’s narrative is a powerful reminder that age should not limit our dreams or capabilities. Whether it’s continuing a career, engaging with diverse social groups, or simply finding new reasons to enjoy each day, his life exemplifies the power of living without age boundaries. Drury’s advice encourages us to look beyond societal expectations and craft a life filled with engagement, purpose, and connection, no matter how many years we have lived.

In a world that often equates aging with decline, Lance R. Drury stands out as a beacon of enduring vitality and purpose, inspiring all of us to rethink what it means to grow older!

About The Law Office of Lance R. Drury

The Law Office of Lance R. Drury, founded in 2006, has been a leading legal practice in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri, San Antonio, Texas, and Nashville, Tennessee specializing in tax law matters. With over 35 years of experience, Lance is a nationally-recognized tax resolution attorney providing innovative solutions to IRS tax dilemmas with a team that is dedicated to providing clients personalized and effective solutions for tax planning, dispute litigation, and tax resolutions. For more information, please visit 

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