Graphic designer Shoja Kamrani says he prefers working with artistes from his home country
He may not be a singer, but ask any Afghan musician and they will tell you Shoja Kamrani’s designs make their albums sing. The multi-talented Afghan graphic designer has worked with most artistes in the Afghan music industry, creating photos, concert posters, music video posters or movie first look posters. He also has produced and directed music videos for both Afghan artistes and non-Afghan artistes. His recent design for Afghan-born Australian actor Fahim Faiz’s movie “Once Upon a Time in Melbourne” went viral, earning Shoja praise for his creative graphics.
But more than fame and name, Shoja says he works primarily with Afghan artistes because he wants to shatter myths surrounding the country and its art. “The world sees Afghanistan as a poor country and maybe a country with no talent. Growing up, I didn’t really see people in my country trying consciously to break that stereotype. Our beloved country has been in a state of war for decades and has taken years to rebuild,” says Shoja. “The country is still developing and I believe my design skills will give music artistes from my country that extra edge,” he adds.
“The best part of my work is that I get to interact and be a part of the Afghan music artist industry and get to know my Afghan music artistes settled around the world,” he says.
Shoja, who is also a book publisher, producer, and director, was born in the beautiful city of Herat, Afghanistan, and raised in Europe. Shoja graduated from college in 2007 and went on to studying graphic design for four years. He has operated his own independent practice since 2012.
Shoja says he chose his path because as a child he always had something to do with designs. “As a child I would always see beyond images, see what I could do with them. I believe strongly the more one can bring personal uniqueness into work, the better the work becomes. You enjoy it more and you also do your best work,” says Shoja.
Shoja says he is at a stage in life now where he is looking to mentor and hopefully motivate some younger designers, while still learning and growing professionally in this field. He now has plans to donate food and resources to children Afghanistan. “With my designs I want to help children and show the world how united we are, because together we could make anything possible and we do care about our children,” says Shoja.
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