Discover Your Artist Identity

Ilhaam is an Art & Design Application Portfolio Specialist with a 100% success rate.

Whether you want to study Architecture or Fine Art but you feel “put off” by the application portfolio requirements, my course is just for you! You will work closely with me throughout the production of your portfolio in order to achieve a successful entry into the profession and programme of your dreams.

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Student Showcase

Brooke Auchincloss

Fine Artist

Ilhaam is kind, insightful, empowering and eloquently expressive. I have two bits of advice for anyone considering working with Ilhaam…1. Do it. And 2. Fasten your seatbelt.


I always knew I wanted to become an architect and though I was good at maths and science, I hadn’t taken art in high school so was overwhelmed by the prospect of putting together the required portfolio pieces for my Bachelors of Architectural Studies application at UCT. I sought the help of an art teacher and after feverishly scanning the internet for specialists in portfolio development, (a rarity as it happens) I managed to find Ilhaam’s page and, impressed with her qualifications in both fine art and education, I decided to engage her services. Little did I know I’d be embarking on a creative awakening and make a life long friend in the process. Ilhaam skilfully guided me through different thought and art exercises, stimulating my ideas and encouraging originality. She never spoon-fed me but rather taught me how to investigate, research and explore multiple solutions and most importantly, how to trust my creative choices. Liberated from my inhibitions and insecurities, I was able to put together a strong and successful portfolio.

I often reached out to her during my 3 year undergraduate degree in times of uncertainty and she would willingly make herself available be it to give me small snippets of advice, long sessions or much needed honest criticism and encouragement to always aim higher.

Her teaching style is not only effective but speaks to her understanding of the importance of the role of an educator and she is devoted to making a positive impact on all those she works with, helping them to reach their true potential. I am eternally grateful, thank you Ilhaam.

~Keneilwe Ramaphosa

Postgraduate Architecture student at the University of Columbia, New York

I met Ilhaam many years ago when I took her ‘Developing your Artist Identity Class’. At the time I was a successful photographer looking to channel my creativity into more satisfying channels. To say that Ilhaam changed my life would be a gross understatement. Her class made me examine the root causes of my resistance to the idea of being an artist and helped me to find a voice in ways I would never have expected – leading me to pursue my art in a novel way all my own.

Ilhaam is a deeply thoughtful, intelligent person, she has a way of cutting to the source of blockages and gently breaking down barriers. But she is also kind, insightful, empowering and eloquently expressive. I have two bits of advice for anyone considering working with Ilhaam 1. Do it. And 2. Fasten your seatbelt.

~Brooke Auchincloss
Fine Artist

My experience with Ilhaam was extremely positive and productive. She guided me through the UCT architecture portfolio required to apply to their undergraduate program. Applications can be overwhelming and intimidating, but with her help and teaching I created a body of work that I was proud of and that got me accepted into the program. Ilhaam is kind and warm and nurturing, and her creativity and passion for art teaching is clear and inspiring.

~ Katie Thomas
(Postgraduate Architecture Student, UCT)

Ilhaam has been my mentor and dear friend for nine years. She inspired and facilitated my career shift from advertising to peruse my dream of studying Fine Art. I treasure our sessions together because Ilhaam’s unique, personalised methods always bring fresh concepts to the surface. With her support and guidance, I have made important self discoveries which have informed my practice and elevated my craft. Ilhaam’s wealth of experience and extensive knowledge of the creative arts flows effortlessly through her teaching.

~ Jenna Barbe
(Fine Artist)

I love working with Ilhaam. She just has the magic ingredients you need when you are struggling to find your artistic voice. She has great academic command of the subject combined with the experience of many years of teaching tertiary students, however what makes Ilhaam special is her amazing ability to make you feel undaunted and empowered. This is a perfect combination. You simply know her guidance is spot on, but you don’t feel dictated to. She is able to draw out what it is you are trying to express, what it is that makes your art unique, in short, she opens up the box and lets you out. There are a few major art world superstars out there who were ‘let out’ by Ilhaam and never looked back. And I forgot to say she is lots of fun to be with.

~Karen Elkington
(Art student, Ruth Prowse School of Art)

I have been immersed in a world of art and design my entire life but have always battled to identify myself as a true artist, and didn’t know where to start with finding my own personal style.

Ilhaam skillfully tapped into my subconscious artist and guided me through incredible processes that gave me clear direction with regards to what techniques and styles to explore and develop.

Classes with Ilhaam have been a life changing experience and I will be forever grateful to her for her enthusiasm and support of my work.

~Kim Slater
(Fine Artist)

Working with Ilhaam was an extremely enjoyable and seamless process. In just a few sessions of the program we covered all the basic practices and techniques needed to complete a successful portfolio which would secure a place for me in my current degree. Those same practices and techniques still benefit me today in my current degree. Overall, I had a great experience working with Ilhaam. The program was eye-opening, and I am extremely grateful to have had to opportunity to have worked with Ilhaam.

I would highly recommend this program to anyone interested.

~ Isa Ahmed
UCT Architecture Student

Having a helping hand to guide me through and tackle the lengthy process of creating an architecture portfolio provided great structuring and with the right level of guidance helped boost my confidence in my work. Ilhaam pushed me to produce a high standard of work and with her direction, I was successful in my application. I would recommend her to anyone who is serious about studying architecture and is willing to put in the work required. 

~Rachel Herbert
(UCT Architecture student)

Ilhaam and I found each other in 2003.

She has guided me through thick and thin, opening my eyes to the things that previously I would have walked past unobserved, the World Unseen, that inspires you to be creative and makes you want to show others how you see, how you experience the world around you.  Through her patience and guidance, I have been able to allow the things that I see in my mind come to life, from pencil to charcoal, acrylic, oil, mixed media, sculpture, the list goes on.

Thank you Ilhaam for always being there for me and helping me to be the artist that I am today.

~ Anne-Kathrin Scherner
(Fine Artist)

I came to Ilhaam in 2015 with a dream to get accepted into the top Architecture school in South Africa. Within minutes of meeting Ilhaam, I felt instantly at ease and I knew she would be key in helping me achieve this dream. Six years later l, I am completing my masters degree in Architecture at UCT.

I will never forget the care and consideration that Ilhaam paid to every detail in helping me achieve what I set out to do. She helped me develop into more authentic, confident and creative person. I am still very proud of the portfolio I created under her guidance. There is a reason why she has a 100% success rate!

~Greg Alexander
UCT Postgrad Architecture student