Rafik El Hariri
Rafik: "I cannot love others if I cannot love myself first. That is something we all fell into its trap at some point in our lives. I went through a lot of self-rediscovery before reaching that conclusion."
Issue XII Art & Artist Feature Empower
Interviewed Adirti Sen
Edited by Hrudhai Chand
25th December, 2021
Rafik El Hariri is a Forbes 30 under 30 recognized Graphic Designer and an Illustrator. He first ventured off into Graphic Design before adding and pursuing his love for illustrations and image creation. He now creates visual imagery for a variety of commercial and commissioned projects.
When did you find your passion for art? What is art for you as a medium of expression?
Rafik: Ever since the age of 9, I’ve been experimenting in so many different mediums, from pencil to ink, paper collage, markers, and finally onto digital illustration.
What was your big break that boosted your career?
Rafik: I think it was the first illustration gig I’ve worked on, which was a lyrics video for a significant records company in the UK. The video is at 22M+ views as of today.
It must have been tough to make it in an unconventional field with so much competition. Did you have complete support from your close ones in this? Where did you find the strength to keep working?
Rafik: I always found support from my family and my two best friends; they always pushed me to achieve my best self, whether in my career or personal life. The field is competitive but focusing on one’s growth is more crucial than competing with others.
In your Ted talk, “narrating pain”, you spoke about mental health and self-revolution. Can you tell us more about it?
Rafik: It was a fantastic experience, going on stage and sharing my journey. I shed light on how the illustration was my healthy coping mechanism for dealing with my eating disorder. Through that particular experience, I realised how important mental health is and how it still needs to be normalised in our day-to-day conversations.
You have achieved so much at just the age of 27, from being a TEDx speaker to feature in the Forbes 30 under 30 lists. Sometimes, it feels overwhelming to achieve so much at such a young age and see your hard work pay off?