Our team interviewed the man behind ‘Why Not, Meri Jaan?’, graphic designer Sarmad Hashmi!
1. When did you learn that you wanted to be a digital artist? That this would be your line of work?
SH: I started my graphic design journey back in 2011 after stumbling upon Deviantart, at that time, there was no instagram nor its audience, but there were facebook groups and deviantart where Pakistani artists who used to work in the field used to upload their work. That made me want to learn more about graphic design. Mostly because I wanted to design video games but then I learnt that for games you need to be good at both maths AND art, haha! In the end, I chose art!
2. Apart from graphic design, what other mediums did you explore or would want to explore?
SH: Graphic design is a very broad term, and I honestly haven’t explored all of it. I have always enjoyed working in the digital realm and before that I did learn the basics of drawing, sketching and character design as well but the digital medium just kinda stuck. I do want to explore the NFT space in the future though.
3. What inspires you? What is your process? Is it an epiphany or do you research your current project?
SH: Inspiration is all around you. If you open Instagram or Pinterest and Behance, there are tons of things that help you get inspired. and when you are researching for the client, those images and ideas are always in your subconsciousness and you read the brief and come up with 20 ideas and then the process of refining those 20 ideas happens.
4. What do you want your audience to take away from your work?
SH: To enjoy the little things in life that they often ignore.
5. Who is the one artist you would want to collaborate with?
SH: would love to collaborate with Pakistani brand Rastah and Cord, a clothing brand in India.
6. A word of advice to budding young artists/graphic designers?
SH: Keep creating and stay original.
7. Of course, this interview would be incomplete with your Pepsi project. What was the inspiration behind ‘Why Not, Meri Jaan?’, and what were your initial reactions to seeing your work across ads and billboards across the entire country?
SH: The inspiration behind WNMJ was the old Pepsi Cola logo. The design was inspired by the nostalgia of the old logo and was made into a new thought.
The reaction was totally overwhelming for me, to see your artwork on the biggest billboard of Pakistan and then all over Pakistan is a huge deal. A proud moment for me indeed.
Follow Sarmad on Instagram (@kr8v) for his amazing illustrations and extensive practice of Urdu typology!