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Interview with Najeeb Omar

Home > Designer Interviews > Najeeb Omar

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Najeeb Omar (NO) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Najeeb Omar by clicking here.

Interview with Najeeb Omar at Thursday 7th of May 2020
Najeeb Barbour
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
NO: It all started with a pen, i used to focus on everything around me, and how all elements blended together, from the tiniest of insects to the farthest cloud.. i used to feel everything vibrating like a pulse; like there is a mechanism to every move. I started to copy those views onto my paper; drawing relentlessly. It created an indescribable joy inside me every time i grabbed my pen. I didn’t have the luxury to buy papers every time I wanted, so I started to create my ideas on things like sand & dirt, using whatever resources available around me, from screws, to tree branches, to toys parts. I knew then, i viewed things differently, viewed things in a sharper, more intensive depth. I wanted everyone to see what i do, and most importantly, how i did it. All these things together were my first steps for me to realize that this is me; this is what i love, this is what keeps me alive.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
NO: I don’t own a company; yet. but it’s my own brand design that i use to represent myself.

FS: What is "design" for you?
NO: Design is a short story that takes you on a journey around the world where you can live moments of your childhood in its most beautiful, intimate details. In short, it’s the beautiful cover of a book that makes you pick it from a stack of books, the purple scarf on the white dress. Design is an International language, that everybody can read, but only few can write.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
NO: Identity design is the closest thing to my heart, for an organization or company, printable, or as an animation for a broadcasting channel. Branding is an art by all means. It simplifies the vision of the service, organization, product or even a person.. It collects all aspects and combines them into a balanced design by elements and colors, even if it’s a simple line with a slogan.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
NO: Janan, i can say is one of my favorite. It means “ the heart “ .. the main character is the horse’s head, which represents beauty and glory. The horse has a little lock in the neck with a heart shape, which will never unlock to anyone except the “pure ones”.. I used two techniques in this piece, and loved the result of the blend between them, it gives it a special flow in its final look.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
NO: I’ll have to scratch my head on this one! If I recall, the first design was a Logo for a foundation called “ UAE Travellers “. They used to travel in the region to seek and discover. The logo was a head of a falcon surrounded by two circles. the idea came to me from the falcon, that represents the freedom and endurance of living in the desert. Flying high beside the sun, watching everything from above, away from everything but still seeing all details.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
NO: The Pen & Paper, was and still my favorite material to start a design, write my thoughts or even sketch an idea. For me, nothing is more natural and original. Its the base of my work, and the first step. Then for sure the execution part where i use softwares like adobe illustrator, photoshop and after effects.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
NO: I feel the most creative when I am happy, away from the crowd. Fulfilled with nature and its purity. At that special time, ideas flow without any obstacles.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
NO: I always find myself focusing on the tiniest details of every design, because I really believe when we do things perfectly from the bottom up, it will stand strong and without any flaws. Then every part after that will cone to place and unite with another perfectly.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
NO: The emotions i feel when starting a design, is like falling in love with someone. you start getting closer and closer to know that person more, to talk and find the things he/she likes to share, and things he/she doesn’t. To feel what makes him/her worthy.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
NO: This the most beautiful feeling. when my designs are realized, I feel joy and happiness with every comment I receive. Specially when people get the idea of the design easily and understand what it meant.

FS: What makes a design successful?
NO: A successful design is one that covers the whole desired aspect from its creation; what it means, and why it has been decided to look and be shaped a certain way, as well as colored the way it is, and the message it carries if it has a slogan or so.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
NO: I Judge a design as good or bad, from the way it has been designed, mostly the balance of the shapes or colors and how they are all put together, then if it has been created with care in terms of quality and details from the smallest parts.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
NO: A designer is very responsible for the society and environment. He/she must do the best he/she can on his/her designs, to seek creativity and never copy or steal others’ work, every designer should work hard to be unique. He/she is also responsible for the environment, by using as less as he/she can from it, papers, pens etc...

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
NO: Design field is evolving too fast, softwares help a lot by shortening the time of the process, but on the other hand, it shows a lot of unprofessional work from some designers. It takes away the feeling from some designs. Design field is the future, and it will remain that way till the end of time.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
NO: I always think that doing an exhibition must be done perfectly, well prepared and carefully chosen in the right time. Having said that, I still didn’t do it, but highly considering it after finishing some of my paintings.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
NO: At first, it is so important to get the most of the client’s thoughts and aspirations as well as his/her desires, coz at the end, the design should fulfill his/her vision. This information will help me start imagining how to put together my vision of the design. Mostly, my inspiration comes from nature, when we talk about balance of weights to Elements, colors, and forms. I do think of it as an expression made from lines and shapes, and how it is going to deliver the idea, and attract the eye.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
NO: If i want to give it a name, i would call it " The Transition In Details ", i always wanted to leave a place for others to find themselves in my designs, to find an area in it, where they can feel it belongs to them, and to have the complete freedom to place their thoughts and imaginations. That place is the transition between what they can see, and what i want to communicate to them. i always find myself dive into every element details, and how to connect it to the one beside it, as if am translating an aliens language into a slightly understandable language to add a bit of mystery to it. I tend in my designs to be impressionable, in a very meticulous details.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
NO: I live in Dubai, one of the seven states in UAE, and culture plays a big part of effecting my designs for sure, the great thing is, Dubai is one of the greatest cities in the world, because its wide open and embraces all nationalities of different cultures & beliefs. This gave me a wide range of positivities, and greater ease of engagement with all Cultures.

FS: How do you work with companies?
NO: Most of the time, through my acquaintance and connections.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
NO: If you care about your job, and want it to look great, you should never ask a designer to do it in short time, or think about how much its going to coast. choose the designer who loves the design, not the one who wants to show off, pick the enthusiastic and passionate for it, the one who starts giving you thoughts energetically as soon as you sit down with him. The one who will never make payment his first priority.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
NO: As simple as, receiving the requirements and thoughts from the client after the first meeting, then start sketching the first ideas. the second meeting will determine whether or not the client is satisfied with the results. Then the joy begins, and i start the design journey. From sketch using the pen & paper, to illustration, coloring, creating shapes, animation, etc. using adobe softwares.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
NO: My favorite design items, are the Figures of my cartoon SuperHeroes, miniature concept Cars, Lion, Horse and Gladiator Sculptures, and my own Paintings.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
NO: I believe that every day is a new chance. That is why i start my day with a look at everything around me, and how nature is breathing and ready to be discovered.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
NO: First, you need to love what you do, because when it comes from you heart, you will handle it with care, it will end up a masterpiece. If you believe you are an artist, then you are an artist, start looking at everything around you in depth, and choose the right tools to express the world, no one can teach you how to become an artist, but they can teach you how to use the right tools to make your creation visible for everyone to see & feel.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
NO: For me there are no negatives of being a designer, except how others look at the designers and how they treat them. being a designer is the thing that makes me touch and feel the beauty of everything around me.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
NO: My golden rule always is details and balance of all aspects in design and photography. Light and shadow, colors and objects, and how to combine all that on my frame or sheet.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
NO: Sketching is a really important skill because it will let the designer draw the idea and explain it to the client, also it is a great brainstorming area before starting any design, knowing the balance of the design, and how to use it. understanding colors and how to blend them the right way, knowing how to use design applications and switch between them.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
NO: My toolbox contains lots of pencils, charcoal pens, ruler, erasers and sharpener, as well as my sketch books that i carry with me all the time. on the other hand, my Apple Mac that contains my adobe softwares, such as Illustrator, Photoshop & After Effects.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
NO: True, but sometimes i wish my day is longer, so i can work more. Sometimes i hope i don't get tired, because i live deep in design moments, but this is life. I take a break sometimes, and stay away just to clear my mind, and receive some positive energy from other things, like music, books, or even watch a movie, or have a cup or two of espresso.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
NO: It depends on the required object, the size, elements to be added, and if its just a concept mock-up. I did a concept of a Sofa for a Morning Show in MBC Group, and as i recall, and i finished it in two days, with a maximum of 12 hours. The Great thing is, it's been accepted, manufactured, and used in the studio every morning for years.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
NO: it’s always a question of surprise and curiosity, like, how did you do it? How long does it take from you to do all those details? Can you please teach me how to do it?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
NO: Branding, is the most wonderful experience I've ever had.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
NO: MBC Group, Reporters Training & Production, Wael Habbal, Rexana, Sulaimani Cafe, Tales n Frames Media And More.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
NO: I really enjoy working on TV Promotions, where i can animate my designs and go through every frame to make it as a stand alone artistic frame.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
NO: My plan for the future is to have my own company, working with amazing selective designers, and to open a gallery of my paintings and photography.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
NO: The best way to create magnificent work, is to do it as a team. To give every part its own area of creativity, all that depends on the project needs, but i do projects myself from time to time.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
NO: I have three designs in progress, but the most exciting one i called “At 1st Sight “. Its about a panther, and how it’s attracted by a butterfly, although it is a wild, magnificent and powerful beast. But the beauty and definitions of the butterfly takes away the panther’s wildness and turns it into kindness.

FS: How can people contact you?
NO: Any one can contact me through my social media accounts & friends.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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