Sania Siddiqui

Graphic Designer
Montreal, Canada
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My name is Sania Siddiqui, I'm a 21 year-old graphic designer from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I was born into a very traditional family with four other siblings. Growing up, my life and my house have always been hectic, so I guess you could say that I am used to loud and fast environments. Surprisingly, graphic design wasn’t something that I always knew I was going to do. When it came time to start applying to colleges, my parents expected me to enroll in sciences, but I saw graphic design in the college brochure and, encouraged by my friends, decided to apply. I made my portfolio within two weeks and went in for the interview and somehow, I got in. After that, everything just fell into place and felt so right. Having strict and traditional parents did made the process a little di􀃞cult. They never understood what exactly designers do and why it meant so much to me, so I found myself always looking for opportunities to prove myself to them but it also because of my parents that I take pride in my cultural background. It allows me to bring a certain uniqueness to my design. It allows me to see my work from di􀃠erent perspectives. I consider myself to be a bold, curious and devoted designer and am constantly looking to learn and improve my craft. I make sure that when 􀃕rst given a project, I dive into the creative process to try and explore all possible directions and mediums. Design is problem-solving, and trial and error is necessary to ensure that I can present the best possible product to my client. I see design as a very powerful channel; it has the ability to convey moving, meaningful messages through di􀃠erent creative mediums. It’s crazy to think that with the design of one poster, you can leave such an impact in the world. Design is everywhere and is everything. I guess you could say that I’m also a typography geek. I’m currently in the process of creating my very own typeface. My favourite game to play is: “Guess that font” and am constantly annoying my friends with it. I aspire one day to be a creative director (every designer’s dream I know) but more speci􀃕cally, I want to be a leader. I have a lot to learn and am super eager to do so, generally, I want to inspire people through design.

Quick links
Work Experience
Monify Media
Graphic Designer
2019
The Brand Factory
Intern
2018
Renwils
Product Designer + Graphic Designer
2019
University
Dawson College
Skills
Branding, Typography, Page Layout, Packaging, Retouching, Photography, WebDesign, Calligraphy, Color Sense, Motion Graphics
Vouched by
Featured work
You should select me because

I know you will receive thousands of amazing, thoughtful and inspiring answers to this question from all the people who are also hoping for this life changing opportunity. I could just as easily write one and make it ten pages long, but I'll keep it simple and sweet by saying that if I were fortunate enough to have this opportunity, I would give it my all. I’m 21 years old and I’m currently in the process of trying to reinvent myself and my life right now.I am a complete open book and am trying to immerse myself and my work as hard as I possibly can. Life is short, and it's not something you often realize because of how much time we waste constantly stressing and anxious about our future and what/who we are supposed to be. I I have wasted too much time stressing and beating myself up over where I’m supposed to be right now in my career, and my growth in general as person and it has made me more lost. I have interned for two different agencies so far and both have taught me valuable skills about the real design world and the fast-pace of it all, but it did not fill my heart and my passion for design. That’s what I’m looking for. This life is meant to be lived, and lived to the fullest. I want to stop wasting my time and go after life changing experiences and live and learn in the moment. That’s exactly what WGI offers and I want to be apart of it. Through all my experiences, I have learned that if you want something, you have to fight like hell for it. I want this, and this is me fighting like hell.

1. Why are you interested in wgi?

Having grown up in such a traditional family, I’m a person who isn’t used to change. I find myself uncomfortable with it, but that is something that I am hoping to change, and that’s one of the main reasons that I'm interested in WGI. This experience would force me to adapt quickly to my surroundings and get out of my comfort zone. Working with WGI is an opportunity to learn from amazing and creative designers from all over the world and gives me an opportunity to get my hands on some amazing projects and work with clients I never could have imagined working with. Who wouldn’t be interested in that? As someone who aspires to be a leader, I would be honored to have the opportunity to learn from great leaders themselves. I'm eager to discover new things and I know that every day of this internship would be so valuable; I would cherish all the memories and lessons for the rest of my career. WGI would give me access to unlimited wisdom, creative ideas, culture, people and experiences that I could never imagine encountering otherwise. I would approach each project differently with a new set of eyes and give it my all everytime and I would learn so much because I would be working so closely with other creatives. Working with a copywriter and understanding things from their perspective and not only a designers will help me approach each project better. I want to be able to create real, relatable projects that can truly touch and inspire individuals and I want to be surrounded by people that I will remember for the rest of my life. I believe that good design comes not only from inspiration but also from a deep understanding of influence and culture, themes I often try to incorporate into my work. No matter where you are stationed in the world, you will absorb information and knowledge and take them with you when you leave. This experience would allow me to put myself out there and witness all the diverse cultures in the world which will ultimately help me grow as an individual and as a designer.

2. What are you looking to gain from an experience such as WGI?

I want this experience to teach me to just go with the flow and battle things head on. I never know where life will take me, so learning to think on my feet is something I aspire to do. I know that a skill like that will help me anywhere I go. Whitney, the designer who got selected last year, said something in one her posts that stuck out to me: “The kind where you can feel yourself growing while it’s happening.” I think that is the ultimate goal: to grow. I’ve struggled for a long time with my confidence as a designer because I’ve faced a lot of disapproval and rejection, but I know that this experience will help me come out tougher and sharper. I’ve been going from job to job trying out different things to try to find my passion for graphic design again, but I seem to have drifted away from my original intention and I feel a bit lost. I want to be reminded of what I am capable of producing and what brings me joy, rather than what I need to do to get paid. I'm hoping to grow as a creator, a designer and as a person. I know each new city will bring about opportunity and challenges. I have so many questions -- about myself, about my strengths, about my weaknesses, about design and about this world. Being chosen to work with WGI will help answer these questions, and give me a story to tell. I have a lot to prove to myself and to my family, and this would be a great opportunity to do so. I’m also hoping to make connections in the design industry and work with real-life clients that I can foreseeably bring with me afterwards.

3. What would be your goals after completing WGI if you were selected?

I want to come back from WGI and be able to say: “ I had the honour to travel around the world for 6 months and work at different companies and have met incredible people.” That is something that I never would have believed I would ever say in my life, but I want to make it happen. I want to see life in a different way, and change my perspective on how I view myself and the world. I want to be proud of the person I will have become because I know she will be someone who has pushed and worked hard and has gone into each city knowing that there was a high chance of failure. I want to come back more creative, my eyes wider to the opportunities in this world and my and thirst for design even deeper. My goal is to one day be a leader, and open up my own studio. I know this opportunity will allow me to be lead by some inspiring and talented creative director who I can learn so much from. Not only from the creative directors themselves, but also the different work environments, observing the culture, the dynamic,the creative process are all things that I want to be better at. Aside from that, I’m hoping to meet people that I will remember for the rest of my life. I followed Whitney and Maddy’s journey in the first edition and watched their friendship blossom into something so beautiful. For two complete strangers to have just met and be thrown into a crazy yet exciting journey sounds so thrilling. I want to be able to watch the people around me grow and watch them help me grow. After I would complete WGI, I would stay in touch with the contacts I have made and with take all my new found energy and creativity and start spending more time working on personal projects for myself.

4. How did you hear about wgi?

I've been following Whitney, the designer who won last year’s WGI because I randomly found her on instagram and fell in love with her aesthetic. I then learned that she was apart of the WGI and followed her journey though her posts and snaps and literally could not believe it. I kept thinking: “wow, this girl is lucky” and thought that WGI was so incredible for offering that to individuals. Then when the WGI instagram posted saying there's a second round, and this time it's even more interns and more places, I thought this has to be my shot. I have to at least try, so I can say that I did. So, this is me trying.

5. Share an example of a time you were most motivated and a time you were most demotivated.

I think I was most motivated when I worked on a specific poster during school. The assignment was to represent a social issue and I chose islamophobia. It's a very sensitive and personal issue for me, having been a victim of it for my entire life. I wanted to really push myself and create something that was at once inspiring and powerful. I wanted everyone to be able to see the poster and recognize what it is, and its impact. I think I used up two entire sketchbooks just drawing and making brain maps with ideas. I worked very hard on the poster and the design until I got a result that I was happy with. I was most motivated working on a project that I knew would have an impact on people who were like me. What I love about graphic design is how it allows us to have the power to change so much with just type, or by using a certain color. Every click and every paste represents something significant and always has a hidden meaning. Working on this poster made me feel powerful because of what it represented, both explicitly and implicitly: my own strength. An instant where I was the most demovated was my first internship. After I had graduated from college, I was applying everywhere. Being so young and so freshly out of school, I thought I was ready for the real world. I was fortunate enough to get an internship in Toronto at an advertising agency and jumped at the opportunity to move out of my house and into a new city. I felt confident and wanted to really feel independent to prove to myself and my family that I’m capable. The internship was not at all what I had expected. From day one, I was criticized and publically humiliated by the creative director and the project manager when I would make small mistakes. I had no help and was expected to know everything beforehand. There was no room for mistakes. I worked extremely hard and pushed myself to finish the internship even though I felt my confidence as a designer slowly fading away. For a while it made me question my worth as a designer and if this was the field I was supposed to be. I choose to leave the agency when they offered to extend my contract because I was left broken and insecure. I'll be honest and say it took me a while to get back into design. I ket blaming myself for not being strong enough and was so dissapointed in how I didn't follow the plan of me staying in the city and working but I’m someone who truly believes that everything happens for a reason. That experience helped me become stronger with time and made me realize that I cannot let anyone else tell me my worth. I have to believe in myself and fight. I'm a graphic designer, and that's who I’m going to be for the rest of my life. No one can take that from me. I learned to fight like hell for the work you believe in and not give up.

6. In your opinion, what creates a great culture at a company?

I think the people create a great culture at a company. The people that you will be working and strategizing with for 8 hours, 5 days a week have an immense impact on your well-being and sense of self. Everyone should be friendly and welcoming and always open to new ideas. Every individual is unique in their own way, and it is important to respect that and also create a dynamic where everyone fits in together. Everyone brings their own uniqueness to the group and that's what makes the company better. The people create the atmosphere at the company and its important to have a good dynamic. Because of my past experiences, I’ve learned that respect and inclusivity is not always a given, though it should be. It’s important that the creative directors and bosses are always fair to their employes and treat everyone equally.

7. What brands and companies do you admire and why?

Most of the companies that I love have a very strong typographic sense. I love companies from all around the world. The first one is Hardal studio situated in Istanbul, which mainly focuses on typography research and design. I love how crazy and unique all their poster designs are, and their use of typography is always very sharp and creative. The second company I admire is Quimmarun Studio, located in Barcelona. The design is so refreshing and the bold colors against the type in all their projects always leaves me amazed. I love this company in particular because they work on so many different mediums, from logo to complete rebranding. They are extremely skilled at what they do. I’ve been following the teams from both agencies and they all seem like very nice and open people. The environment seems really fun and inspiring. Typography and branding are the two main things that I absolutely love about graphic design. Something that I always noticed is that I’m not someone who illustrates while doodling. Whenever I doodle or am trying to draw, I always end up sketching some kind of letter. I have a big place in my heart for calligraphy, arabic calligraphy in particular. I love the elegance, the contrast between thick and thin and the overall beauty of the lettering. And then there’s Branding. I always say that Branding is everything that is Graphic Design. There is logo design, web-design, poster design, animation (if needed), page layout design, it’s everything you have ever learned in school mashed into one project and its so much fun. With branding, you are creating a completely new identity, the foundation of the company/organization. It’s so incredible powerful and it connects individuals since it gives a social identity and a sense of community to the people who share the same brand.A company’s branding that I love has to be the Spotify’s. I’m always so impressed with all the album and playlist covers. The colors are used really well to demonstrate the mood that's associated with the song. The clean font against the fun colors and illustrations make me want to get lost in the website more. I have scrolled through the website many times to find inspiration for certain poster ideas.

8. What do you do to stay sharp and improve your craft?

With working full time and freelancing, it can get a little tricky to do creative projects for myself to keep my creative juices flowing, but In order to stay sharp and to improve my craft I like to find creative challenges online that I can easily follow. One of my favourites is this website called blankposter.com. Every week, they give a random word and it’s open to all creatives to create posters using that word. This allows me to explore my style, try out other mediums, and get out of my comfort zone. The days that I’m not feeling too motivated I still try my best to create something just so that my brain is always thinking creatively. There is also a Twitter account called “One Minute Briefs” that give out random briefs to the public and you have the chance to create a whole logo for the concept. Other than those two, I’m constantly lost in Pinterest and find myself scrolling for hours and making boards for inspiration.

9. What’s your favorite quote?

I have two actually, and not to brag but I did come up with them myself. The first one goes *"I live my life in italics." *This one is a big head scratcher for many. Its original story is quite funny. I noticed that everything I did was slanted, not walking or anything (thank god) but design-wise. I write in an angle, I always cut at an angle, I'm always folding things at an angle. I can't do anything that's straight and I would get teased about it a lot. I used that insecurity and tried to make it into something beautiful. I think that serif typefaces that are italicized are elegant and bold. There's something entransing about them. I wanted to see myself that way, to see that this flaw is not a mistake, but something that makes me stand out. The dictionary describes italics as : the state of being strikingly different from something else in juxtaposition or close association." That's who I want to be as a person and as a designer. My second quote is: "It's only awkward if you make it awkward" and trust me this saying has saved me in countless situations. Being able to go up to a random person and casually strike up on a conversation takes a lot and can be very scary. We tend to never go for things because the situation might make us a little uncomfortable or it seems scary, but I want to be someone who isn't afraid of that and who is known to be super comfortable with my environment and the people around me. When I say this quote, it forces me to get out of my comfort zone and just put myself out there. I don't want to stop myself from having fun or meeting new people because it might be awkward. I want to live life to the fullest.

10. If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

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