Have you listened to Stonebwoy’s “Anloga Junction” album? Mr Eazi’s EP, “One Day You Will Understand”? Okay, what about Wizkid’s “Ghetto Love.” I’m not just mentioning random music titles but all of these have one thing in common: Fawaz Ibrahim. He is the mastermind behind the music artworks for each of these and many more. This interview affords us to get up-close-and-personal with this highly talented creative director, graphic designer and photographer.
Photo of Fawaz Ibrahim
Ayeyi: Hi Fawaz. How are things going on your end?
Fawaz: Given these trying times, things could be better, but we thank the Almighty for the gift of life.
Ayeyi: Yup, thankful despite these trying times. Let me begin by asking you, how did you get into graphic design?
Fawaz: This question is always the hardest to answer, but I got into graphic designing because I loved art very much . In high school, I used to design flyers for parties and all, so it became almost like a habit for me. I will just take my laptop and try to create something and post it.
Ayeyi: Interesting. So, how would you describe your approach to designing?
Fawaz: Usually if the work has to do with a music cover, I ask the artist what the song is about and try to work around that. Basically it’s always vibes because I hardly listen to songs; For me, I just go with vibes. Also, I didn’t go to school to learn graphic design; everything just comes naturally. I don’t go through the ‘process’, thinking about it, etc.
Artwork for Omar Sterling’s “Winners” done by Fawaz Ibrahim.
Ayeyi: You have produced numerous artworks but what has been the best project you have worked on and why?
Fawaz: The Anloga Junction Album artwork by Stonebwoy. I have worked on a lot of artworks but this was by far my fav project. Went back and forth on so many things till we finalized on the art. Thanks to Korkorte though, he helped me achieve the work.
Stonebwoy’s “Anloga” album artwork done by Fawaz Ibrahim
Ayeyi: Fawaz, what would you identify as the most challenging aspect of your work?
Fawaz: When doing something I love, I don’t see anything as a challenge. I believe at this point, it’s more of an opportunity to better myself.
Ayeyi: Alright. In your line of work, you have worked with Wizkid on several occasions. How did this collaboration begin?
Fawaz: I met Wiz in Ghana at an event. He came to perform, and at the time, I was not designing for him or anything like that. I just got the chance to meet him, took some pictures, and said to myself that I would definitely work for him sometime in the future. So, I was at Omar Sterling’s house one day, and they showed me an artwork that someone had done for one of his songs, and I said to myself, “I could do better.” So, I got home, worked on something and posted it on Twitter and went offline. By the time I came back online, it had received so much talk, and Wizkid was expressing interest in working with me.
Ayeyi: I love the confidence you had in your artistic abilities and it has clearly paid off!
Wizkid’s “Ghetto Love” artwork done by Fawaz Ibrahim
Ayeyi: So, apart from Wizkid, you have worked with other artistes such as Mr Eazi, Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy, Omar Sterling, Sarkodie and others. Is there any collaboration you have not yet done but would like to see happen in the future?
Fawaz: The names you just mentioned were my former goals but now, I want to establish my career internationally. Like I look forward to working with Drake, DaBaby and Swae Lee. This goal might be too big, but I believe if you trust yourself enough with huge goals, you should be able to achieve it…
Ayeyi: I sure can’t wait to see these collaborations happen.
Artwork for Mr Eazi’s EP, “One Day You Will Understand,” done by Fawaz Ibrahim
Ayeyi: What would you say is your personal motto for life?
Fawaz: Until your story makes sense, no one would believe in it. Until you work hard, nobody will give you room to keep growing. Until you step up for yourself, nobody will help you grow. You don’t need anyone to tell you you can achieve the impossible before you start working hard.
Ayeyi: Hmmm…I like that, especially that last line. Would keep it in mind. So, aside from the artworks you create, you are also into photography and short film. Can you please tell us how you became interested in these?
Fawaz: As a creative director, storytelling has always been a big part of my daily life. I feel the need to tell an artistic story the way I perceive life and the things around me. I enjoy the concept of letting my lens guide me from making things look basic into something exceptional. From basic Snapchat stories, to actually carrying my equipment to tell a story, is just a beautiful thing.
Keri Hilson photographed by Fawaz Ibrahim
Ayeyi: As we near the end of this interview, can you tell us what’s next for Fawaz?
Fawaz: Right now I’m trying to finish college. I major in software engineering but after, I will establish a company for creative directors and grow with them. Teamwork is very important.
Ayeyi: Ouu, all the best on finishing college and big ups on building the company. Lastly, to enable our readers to follow you, can you please drop your social media handles?
Fawaz: Twitter: fawaz_ig
Ayeyi: Fawaz, thank you so much for having this conversation with me. You have already achieved so much, and the only way is up. God bless.
Photo of Fawaz Ibrahim