My creative activities embrace three different areas. My priority is to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. As an immigrant artist and educator, I apply my artistic expression to empower my fellow immigrants and give voices to their stories and emotions, particularly those related to the concept of home. My second professional endeavor to explore contemporary social issues, such as environmental justice, the pandemic's impact, and the pursuit of human rights. Finally, I have employed my creative skills and tools in commercial realms. As a graphic designer, I engaged in commercial design projects for an advertisement agency, a technology consulting firm, and an educational institution to help them build visual identity.
I employ various visual mediums—ranging from animation to posters—while staying true to my graphic design approach that requires some specific steps; My approach begins by defining the problem and then diving into extensive research to gain a deep understanding of the context and the target audience. After gaining insights, I start brainstorming sessions to explore potential visual solutions. I often create mind maps to organize my thoughts and ideas, which serve as a blueprint for the project's direction. As a believer in the power of storytelling, I integrate narratives and emotions into my designs, aiming to communicate with the audience on a deeper level. From the initial concept to the final execution, I carefully craft each element, ensuring the message is conveyed with clarity and impact. Throughout this creative journey, I have the user and audience in mind, considering them an integral and active part of my work. 
My design process focuses on problem-solving, innovation, and user-centricity, resulting in visual experiences that leave a lasting impression on the audience.

Empowering immigrants' voices
As an immigrant designer, artist, and educator, in my creative work, I am driven by a passionate mission to amplify the voices of fellow immigrants, giving life to their stories, and reflecting their emotions, with a particular focus on the concept of home. I apply various mediums such as illustration, animation, and installation and explore multiple materials ranging from digital screens to textiles. These different mediums and materials mirror the rich diversity of the immigrants' stories, backgrounds, cultural heritage, and reasons for immigration. Through my work, I aim to celebrate not only the multifaceted experiences of immigrants but also their resilience, adaptability, and shared humanity. My creative works, united by this theme, have won prestigious awards and been featured in prominent news media outlets. Furthermore, my projects were showcased in juried national and international exhibitions, reaching diverse audiences and communicating meaningful messages. In addition, I presented my work at various workshops and events, where I engaged with artists, educators, and students to embrace the power of design and art as a catalyst for social change. 

Winning grants: 
• Grant In Aid, Department of Art & Design, University of Minnesota Duluth, $9497, 2022
• The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, Individual Artist Category, Duluth, MN, $4000, 2023
Presented by:
• Duluth Fiber Guild, Duluth, MN, United States, 2023
• Current New Media 2021, International interactive and video art festival, Santa Fe, New          Mexico, United States, 2022
• Exploration category, the World Illustration Awards, London, United Kingdom, 2021

This is an interactive collection of fabric illustrations that narrate the immigration stories of 24 individuals who have made the United States their home. Created in collaboration with the nonprofit foundation "Newest Americans," the piece combines illustration, sewing, and storytelling. It showcases immigrants' joys, struggles, and aspirations, allowing their voices to be heard through touch-sensitive technology. When audiences touch different parts of this collection, they hear the immigrants’ stories. The project aims to foster understanding, inclusivity, and empathy, celebrating the rich multiculturalism in American society. The juried Individual Artist Grant of Arrowhead Regional Arts Council and Grant in Aid of the University of Minnesota Duluth supported me in creating this collection, and later on, I won a CAHSS Research Award. This piece was exhibited at the Current New Media Festival 2022, and I was invited to talk about it both at an event for the Duluth Fiber Guild (a local nonprofit organization) and as part of an interview-video shooting session conducted by the University of Minnesota Duluth Marketing and Public Relations.

This is a smaller and most recent collection of four captivating digital animations that draw inspiration and celebrate the heartwarming essence of my Persian cultural background. Each animation portrayed delightful moments in motion, evoking a dynamic and lively atmosphere that embodies the cozy charm of a Persian home. Without using any characters, I was able to convey emotional stories of human connection through ambient sounds and voices. 

• Award of Excellence in Communication Arts (Ca) competition, CA, United States, 2022
• Award of The Professional Exploration category, the World Illustration Awards, London, United        Kingdom, 2021 
Presented by

This is a short digital animation portrays an immigrant woman's journey by expressing her deep emotional connection to family through a mystical shadow box. This animation received the prestigious Award of Excellence in the Communication Arts (Ca), competition for its celebration of immigrants' resilience and the universal bond among people, regardless of their location. This achievement validated my artistic talent and vision and granted me additional international exposure. The animation's credit extended further with winning the Award of The Professional Exploration Category at the World Illustration Awards, where it stood out among other 5000 entries from 82 countries worldwide. Featured in prominent news media like The Guardian and the Washington Post, this artwork's acclaim has brought exposure, professional endorsement, and prospects for my artistic growth. It was also exhibited at VisArts Gallery, an arts organization in Rockville, Maryland.

Presented by:
• Utopia, Tapirulan Illustrators Contest, Cremona, Italy, 2021

This is an illustration representing my old home in Iran and my new home in the US. "Utopia" features a small table in my American apartment with lovely plants symbolizing cherished memories of Iran, which morph into human figures, representing my dear family and friends. Through this piece, I express my desire for a utopia where both cultures merge and coexist in harmony. The illustration was selected to be exhibited in the Tapirulan Illustrators Contest, a professional competition in Cremona, Italy, known for showcasing the creativity and talent of illustrators worldwide. 

Presented by
• Jump, Kaunas International Illustration, Kaunas, Lithuania, 2021

This is a dynamic illustration that explores my feelings and emotions about immigration. This illustration shows immigration as leaping into an enigmatic void suspended in an unknown space and captures the sense of both excitement and uncertainty that accompany such a profound journey. Through "Jump," I want to evoke wonder and introspection, inviting others to connect with the deep experiences and feelings that immigration involves. This illustration was featured by Collective Arts Brewing and the juried Kaunas International Illustration exhibition.

Featured by 
• The Washington Post, “In the galleries: Sculptures take us beyond the conventional,” 2022

Presented by 
• We Create, Art and Design Faculty Exhibition, University of Minnesota Duluth, MN,      United States, 2021
• Current New Media 2021, International interactive and video art festival, Santa Fe,        New Mexico, United States, 2021
• Living in Between, CICA Contemporary User Experience Art Solo Show Series, CICA        Museum, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, 2021
• Living in Between-Future, The Pearl Conard Art Gallery, Ohio State University, Mansfield,      Ohio, United States, 2020

This is an interactive installation that portrays immigrants' uncertain and vulnerable future through 20 scenarios depicted through a sizeable, animated projection crafted with over 120 meticulously illustrated frames. The artwork raises awareness and understanding of immigrants' experiences, especially in the context of changing political and social parameters. This piece engaged viewers through interactivity, allowing them to empathize and imagine themselves as immigrants. The Washington Post and Digital America—an online journal supported by the Department of Art and History at the University of Richmond—featured "Living in Between." It was exhibited at Current New Media 2021, a premier new media art event. Being selected to display my project at such a prestigious event confirmed my creative vision and direction. This installation was also chosen by national galleries (VisArts Gallery and the Pearl Conard Art Gallery) and the international CICA Museum in South Korea. This worldwide showing reinforced my work's effectiveness in communicating with audiences from various backgrounds.

In addition to my creative projects focused on the concept of immigration and home, I prepared and conducted several workshops and presentations dedicated to the same theme.

Workshops and presentations about immigration and multiculturalism 
I gave a talk and offered a two-week workshop at the California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, CA in October of 2022. The workshop focused on visualizing the experience of immigrants through Augmented Reality illustration. I taught graphic design graduate and undergraduate students how to explore the complexities of conveying the emotional journey of immigrants and demonstrated how to visualize their stories through illustration, animation, and AR. For their final project, inspired by vintage poster, they installed their illustrations in wheat paste on the wall. In this workshop, the students gained valuable insights and skills in creating immersive and meaningful illustrations that resonated with the powerful narratives of immigrants.
Another amazing teaching experience was presenting a typography workshop, "A Drop of Ink, a Drop of Persian Culture," at two design conferences, "TypeCon", Minneapolis, MN (2019) and "Typewknd,"online (2021). Although the workshop's theme was not directly connected to immigration, it contributed to the broader theme of multiculturalism and promoted the diversity and beauty of different writing systems and cultures in the design world. It also served as an introductory platform to introduce the principles of Arabic typography to those unfamiliar with this intricate writing system. Furthermore, I presented a talk, "Methodologies of Arabic Type Design," at the "Typewknd" conference, an international online event (2020), I shared my insights and knowledge to inspire typographers to embrace and celebrate cultural diversity within the creative sphere.

Addressing social issues through design projects
My other passion is exploring and confronting social issues through graphic design. I employ design and illustration to examine critical social justice themes in contemporary society. Through my work, I aim to start meaningful conversations, evoke empathy in audiences, raise awareness, and advocate for positive changes. In this way, my creative expression becomes a powerful conduit for fostering a more compassionate and equitable world.

I designed a comprehensive identity system I designed for Avae-Mohit-Zist, an Iranian nonprofit working to promote environmental education and awareness. When creating the logo reflecting Iran's ecological heritage, I was inspired by the Iranian oak tree leaf. With modern typefaces and green hues symbolizing growth and sustainability, the branding effectively conveys the organization's values. I designed engaging social media templates and impactful merchandise to further amplify their cause. My final product, this identity system, reinforces the organization's mission of promoting environmental justice, equity, and environmental rights.

Series of posters about COVID, 2020
Presented by:
• Physically Distant, Socially Connected, WHY Graphic Festival, Florence, Italy, 2020

I created four posters representing my vision of the post-COVID world, addressing changes in education, social relations, and the environment. The first two posters, "Stay Online," portray a sudden shift from in-person education to online; the third poster, "Stay Private," explores the restrictive nature of lockdown, and the fourth poster, "Stay Away," highlights the impact of COVID on the natural environment. "Stay Online" was selected for the digital showcase and exhibition in "The World After" poster call, a global platform for graphic designers to share their perspectives through posters in the United States. It was also published in the official exhibition book. Later, this poster was exhibited at the WHY Graphic Festival in Florence, Italy. Through creative symbolism and bold design, I aimed to inspire positive change and foster meaningful conversations about the future, transcending borders and connecting with diverse audiences.

Series of posters about saving the environment, 2020 - 2022
• "Let Nature Speak," Distinguished as The Top 10 Wining Work: Let nature Speak, The 5th PlakatFest,      Chorzow, Poland, 2020
Presented by
• "A Global Citizen Welcomes Biodiversity," The Lahti International Poster Triennial, Lahti,        Finland, 2022
• "Respect for Biodiversity,"The 16th CSO International Poster Biennial, San Luis Potosí, Mexico, 2020

I designed a series of three environment-themed posters that gained international recognition and were exhibited in prestigious juried shows. The first poster, "A Global Citizen Welcomes Biodiversity," conveying harmony between humans and nature, was showcased at the Lahti Poster Triennial in Finland, which is a prestigious international graphic design triennial. It is one of the oldest and most significant poster exhibitions globally, with a rich history dating back to 1975. Another poster, "Respect for Biodiversity," was exhibited at "The 16th CSO International Poster Biennial" in Mexico, challenging the notion of human superiority over other beings. This biennial aimed to promote and celebrate poster design by showcasing innovative and impactful works from designers around the world. The third poster, "Let Nature Speak," recognized at the 5th PlakatFest in Poland, emphasizes giving nature more space and responsibility for shaping our planet's future. The PlakatFest was a vibrant gathering for the global design community, fostering cultural exchange and inspiring creativity. Through these three posters, I aimed to promote coexistence, biodiversity, and respect for the environment.

Series of posters about social issues, 2021
Presented by
• "Spot the Fake News," Fake News Campaign, Poster for Tomorrow, Paris, France, 2021
• "The Magic of Fake News," Fake News Campaign, Poster for Tomorrow, Paris, France, 2021

I designed a series of socially impactful posters that address human rights issues. One of my posters, "A Global Citizen Believes in My Power," was featured by The Greats, an online platform focused on human rights. This poster celebrates black African women's strength and ability to inspire the world. Another poster, "Spot the Fake News," was featured in the Fake News Campaign by Poster for Tomorrow, Paris, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting social justice and human rights through poster design. My poster emphasizes the importance of verifying information using credible sources. My third poster, "The Magic of Fake News," also a part of the same campaign, illustrates how fake news can captivate and manipulate our minds. These three posters aim to raise awareness, promote empathy, and inspire positive social change. I used symbolism, colors, and composition to create visually engaging and thought-provoking designs and communicate with the audience. Displaying my work in well-known and reliable platforms allows for my work to reach a broader audience and advocate more effectively for social justice.

Series of editorial illustrations for AARP, 2022-2023
I collaborated with AARP, the nation's largest nonprofit organization empowering Americans 50 and older to live fulfilling lives, creating two editorial illustrations for their online newsletter, "The Girlfriend." The first illustration focuses on how to prepare things for donations, portraying diverse female hands carefully packaging donation items with love and dignity. The second illustration explores AI's impact on employment, using a 3D design to depict the dangers of technology on humans' jobs. Collaborating with "The Girlfriend" gave me an opportunity to showcase my creativity while raising awareness on important social topics. 

Designing commercial projects 
My third major area of creative activity extends to the commercial realm. As a graphic designer, I collaborated on multiple projects with industrial clients and organizations, helping them build impactful graphics and increase their visibility. I bring my design mind and user-centered problem-solving approach to deliver solutions that meet the client's objectives and effectively communicate with their target audience.

Currently, I am partnering with Innovation Scientists, a consulting and software firm dedicated to facilitating the rapid assessment and delivery of transformative research and technology for public and private entities in Huston, TX. In this collaboration, my role is to enhance their brand identity and design various graphics for presentations and their website. I have created their website from scratch, ensuring a seamless user experience and increasing their reachability. Now, I am working on a UX project, creating an innovative platform that helps Innovation Scientists collect, analyze, and visualize data for their clients more effectively. 

I have been working with Southern California University in Los Angeles, CA, where I design graphics and icons for two independent websites to showcase California's rich classical music heritage. I have created a series of illustrations and icons to serve as UI assets for these websites and their corresponding social media platforms. My graphics, inspired by the Bauhaus design style, perfectly captures the unique vibe of modern California.

I have been collaborating with Vert Digital Agency, a full-service marketing and advertisement company in Atlanta, GAI designed multiple social media assets and graphics that effectively promote their clients' businesses. Through my advertisement designs, I have employed my illustration, typography, image, and video-making skills to effectively communicate with social media users and ensure they get commercial messages.

Future Plans
My creative activities have been developing in three major directions: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), social justice initiatives, and commercial projects. As I move forward, I intend to enhance and expand these areas, contributing to positive changes in society while also pursuing academic growth and becoming a full professor. I would like to start this long-term journey with completing the following steps:
• Exploring and developing on-going innovative projects with the focus on DEI and social justice issues.
• Working on commercial projects to expand my multifaceted creative portfolio.
• Collaborating in the group research project with Dr. David Beard, Department of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies and Dr. Adam Pine former Director of the URS Program at the department of Geography and Lecturer, Department of Geography, San Diego State University to address the housing and food crisis issues in Duluth. I plan to create a compelling collection of graphics, illustrations, and interactive murals that visually depict the results of their research to the public. Through this collaboration, we aim to raise awareness about these critical challenges and foster community engagement.
• Examining the integration of art and environmental science by applying and participating in The  Artist-in-Residence program of the University of Minnesota and collaborating with a faculty at      Department of Biology, University of Minnesota Duluth. By combining design, interactive art,          and science, I aim to create an impactful project resonating with a broader audience and stimulating conversations about critical environmental issues.

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