Today’s Spotlight is on the inspiring Graphic Designer and visual creative Subhi Taha from Texas, USA – I came across his Instagram feed randomly one day and it was an instant follow. Both Mun and I loved the mood of Subhi’s minimalist insta visuals, his designs and styling, and of course also his awesome blog.
In Subhi’s words, his blog is: “basically an intersection between design, my life, and my faith. Simply viewing things I encounter and moments I witness in every day life, as design. It’s something I feel gives me a deeper appreciation for God’s creations; in a way, His designs. This only strengthens my connection with Him and my religion of Islam”
…something which resonates with us totally!
Where are you located?
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas—born and raised!
In one sentence, describe your motivation in life:
Pleasing God while embracing every moment He gives me on the journey through donya.
Tell us the story of how you got started with your blog and your design work:
I’ve always known I leaned more to the creative side, since childhood. I ended up studying Graphic Design in university and that’s when I really knew the direction I wanted to take my career.
After I graduated, I (somehow) was offered a graphic design position at Fossil, where I was exposed to the fashion/styling aspect of design. I always wanted to study fashion but I didn’t think it was a sensible career choice until then. At that point, I knew I wanted to eventually venture into fashion, so I started a blog—to have a place where I can share all-things-design.
Since then, I’ve been teaching myself how to concept outfits, work with different fabrics, handle pattern making, and sew garments. All so when the time comes to take that first step into the fashion industry, I’ll be well-prepared.
What is one of your favourite parts of working on your blog and Instagram and why?
Being able to inspire other Muslims to see how one can take their passion in life and connect it back to God. Everyone thinks in order to have a career that deals with our religion, that they have to actually study the religion and become a sheikh.
But a doctor studies the human body… God’s creation. A lawyer fights for justice… God’s commandment to be just and speak for the voiceless. A teacher teaches… God’s commandment to seek knowledge and enlighten one’s self.
I want to help people see that connection with God and their career so when they go to work, they’re constantly reminded of how beautiful our Creator is and hopefully bring them that much closer to the religion.
What has been the highlight or ‘I can’t believe this!’ moment so far on your creative journey?
The time I helped the concept team at Fossil to concept direction for Spring 2016. I developed my own approach and presentation which they ended up loving and sending straight to the VP of the company. That was the first time I was acknowledged for my fashion/styling work. Up to that point, I had no idea whether I was even good enough to work in the fashion field, but finding out they all loved it definitely gave me the confidence to continue building myself within the field.
How does your faith affect your approach to your style, design, and/or aesthetic?
It’s the driving force. Islam is a religion of simplicity. It’s something that the Prophet (pbuh) lived by. He’d sit on the bare ground without hesitation, wore a simple cloth even as the leader of a people, and often spent days living off dates alone. I’m constantly asking myself how I can interpret this concept of simplicity/modesty into my designs. That exact concept plays a large role in the projects I have in the making, where simplicity intersects with men’s fashion. Stay tuned 🙂
What/where/who inspires you?
I view every moment as a creation of God. It could be a glimpse of the sun setting on my drive back home from work, or a kind moment I share with a friend. I automatically feel a connection with Him every time because I know He has blessed me with another beautiful moment in this life to be able to appreciate and praise Him. That sense of purpose is truly what inspires me.
How do you handle the inevitable creative block?
First, prayer. Taking a step back, forgetting what I’m working on and remembering why I’m on this earth in the first place—to make it to heaven. Then, stepping outside and indulging myself in nature. There’s nothing like looking at God’s designs to inspire one’s self.
What 2 pieces of advice, based on your own experience, would you give to a fellow creative wanting to start a style/design blog?
One—be yourself. People follow people, not things/products. Make them fall in love with you as a person and they will stick by your side ‘til the end. If they find you on Instagram, make them want to go follow you on Twitter, and Pinterest, and every other social site you’re on. Make them follow you, not what you do. You want quality followers, not quantity followers.
Two—have a specific demographic that you’re actually a part of, and show it. I’ve been asked if I care that I only have followers that are Muslims living in western countries. I told them no, because that’s who I want to speak to; that’s who I want to inspire. And I know how to speak to them because I’m one of ‘em. To show it, I’m constantly speaking about the religion, as well as posting content related to our community (talking about ramadan, eid, anything going on in Muslim countries, etc…).
Favourite Social Media or Marketing Platform?
Instagram and Twitter. One for sharing my designs, and the other for sharing my (many) opinions.
If you could travel to one place anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
Bidya, Palestine—the village my family is originally from. I’ve never been there and I’d kill to visit the castle my family had been living in for hundreds of years. It still stands there today so ensha’Allah I’ll be able to see in it soon.
Where would you love to see your work in 5 years time?
Worn by Muslim men at the mosque for prayer. (Hint to the projects I’m working on… 😉 )
You can find Subhi Taha here:
Facebook: Subhi Taha
Email Address: email@example.com