Featured Designer

Mostafa Abdelmawla

April 2018

Mostafa Abdelmawla knew he was destined for a creative career! Challenging himself at the young age of 8—drawing comics, creating cards and testing out new techniques he discovered. After graduating and armed with just his grad project—Mostafa went out on a limb (no folio yet!) and went along to a Behance portfolio review and managed to score a job! Sometimes you just need to—as Mostafa says—'believe in yourself and just give it a try.'

What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design?

Well, for starters, I come from an art based family, my parents met at the Fine Arts University in Cairo, nearly 30 years ago. My father always supported my artistic instinct, for that I’ll forever be grateful.



As far as I remember, I used to create stuff out of paper like colorful greeting cards with doodles on it, when I was under 8 years old, I also used to copy cartoon characters from comics and coloring books—I remember that I used to challenge myself a lot when I was young and see if I could pull it off (and that paid off a lot later on). Watching, copying and trying lots of new techniques and different directions without the fear of failure in your early years, will help you discover your true self sooner than expected, know the things that you can do and embrace it. It helped me build confidence in my work through the years. Then design just came along.

What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened?

I believe by graduation I already knew what I want/want to become, or at least I had a rough idea about it. After graduation I thought I should aim for the best agency out there, and give it a try. After searching and asking around I found that FP7, JWT and Leo Burnett are the best advertising agencies in the country. However, I didn’t have a portfolio to send or even work experience at another agency to back me up, I only had my graduation project GAMRY. Luckily, there was an event (Behance portfolio reviews) and it was held by some of the best in the field at that time, two of them were creatives at FP7, Ayman Anwar/Art Director and Akram William/Sr. Graphic Designer (back then). So I went and showcased my work, they were impressed, I got one of the six of Behance Appreciation Coins that were given away that day along with a voucher from Adobe Creative Cloud Suite. One month later, I got myself an interview at FP7 and was hired.



Even without a portfolio or work experience, sometimes you need to make your own opportunities, believe in yourself and just give it a try.

Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

Serag Mounir, is a 2D animator, a miniature artist and also one of my best friends. Serag is my example for the young passionate artist, he’ll do great stuff in the near future. Serag and I did a couple of projects together just for fun, the first one is called “My Territory” and the second is called “Paradiso Pensione”. They’re both miniature art, sculpting by Serag, light setup and Photography by me. Check’em on Behance.



Also, Fatma El Armany, she is a contemporary artist/ makeup artist/ photographer and also my lovely wife. We did together a couple of cosplay art projects where I was the model in, “Joke Is On You!” and “Winter Is Here”, check’em out too.

"

know the things that you can do and embrace it. It helped me build confidence in my work through the years

"

What are your three must-read design books/blogs/podcasts and why?

Some of my favorite books are “Steal like an Artist”, “It’s Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be” and “Imaginative Realism”.

What career advice would you give your 16yr old self?

Work hard, play harder.

2018 for you in a sentence.

A challenging year for design and creativity.

Facebook: /Mostafa.Abdelmwla

Instagram: @mostafa_abdelmawla

Behance: /Mostafa-Abdelmawla

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