Saliah is an award-winning creative designer with a mission to highlight the power of design for social change. She has worked with high profile brands across the UK and the Middle East to create impactful solutions. Saliah feels a moral duty to produce work with a purpose and to create social impact. She is also a competition-winning DJ and has performed for the likes of BBC Introducing and MOBO award-winner; Lady Leshurr. Saliah is currently exploring bridging the gap between Service and Graphic Design and hopes to flourish her entrepreneurial flair into socially valuable platforms.
Could you describe your path to becoming a Graphic Designer?
A really surprising one, many unexpected turns and opportunities that I only could have dreamed of have happened, from being on BBC Radio London, to being shortlisted at the Graphic Design Festival back in 2015, and having my work featured in art exhibitions.
How does identity impact our lives as creative people and how does yours impact your creative work?
Identity is so so complex, and it’s definitely a journey...It really is down to the individual, but it’s certainly the make-up of how we display ourselves both inside and out. My personal journey with identity has always influenced my work in one way or another I’ve always put more of a focus on my Middle Eastern heritage whilst trying to maintain the idea that I’m on a journey of creating an identity I can call my own.
What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity is inclusive, of everyone. I hear all too often ‘I’m not a creative’ or ‘oh I wish I was creative like you’ anyone can be creative and it doesn’t mean you have to be capable of drawing or painting, just thinking of a way to interpret something is creative, we all live through various experiences and the way you interpret that is a form of creativity. It’s limitless.
How do you nurture your creativity?
Music, dance. All the time. I know I’m in a bad place when I can’t bring myself to listen to music or dance.
What cultural barriers have you faced and how have you overcome them?
This is a really tough question, I’m half Lebanese and half English, very different cultures, and I was also born and raised in Kuwait before moving to England. I have experienced more than I would have liked to. I was bullied a lot in school for my heritage and religion, and I am still on a journey to find where I fit in, but really It’s about surrounding yourself in an environment where others can accept what you all interpret as the ‘middle ground’ and an environment where you are celebrated, that’s why platforms like 'The Other Box' are so important.
What has been an important lesson you’ve learned so far?
Try not to evaluate your life experiences based on how others live theirs. Love, respect and try to empathise, and know that no matter what you are going through, it will be okay.
How has social media and the internet helped you as a creative?
It’s helped a lot in terms of creating a bigger network and having a presence, I do still love networking in person though, there’s no greater value than human connection.
What kind of projects are you working on now?
A wide variety, brand positioning projects, lots of cultural identity projects and my personal passion projects such as my hand illustrated cushions that are fundraising for Human Care Syria, I’m also exploring how I can expand this further as I’ve had lots of interest from other artists and illustrators who want to get involved.
How would you describe your artistic style in three words?
Empathy, Versatility and Expression