Inside an artist’s studio

Meet Farida Zaman – multi media artist & illustrator, who’s work has appeared at the Latin Grammy Awards, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time Out London.

1) Describe briefly your journey as an artist and illustrator.

My journey as an artist started 30 years ago in England. I graduated from the Wimbledon School of Art as an Illustrator. I have been working as a freelance professional ever since. I started my career in 1987 in London, England, mainly doing editorial work and greeting card design. Some of my clients included the United Nations, Time out London, Swatch and Oxford University. After a few years of working in the UK, I moved to Toronto and then later to New York.  Working freelance is a great advantage for me because I am able to work with clients all over the world. I have been fortunate enough to have agents who represent me, which means they get me all these great assignments and I get to the fun part – the work! I also have an agent for my children’s book work – both education and picture books. During the past 10 years, I’ve also worked in the art licensing market, creating collections for various giftware companies. My patterns and designs are on textiles, home decor, table top, wall art, stationery and more. I share all my expertise and business tips at various courses I teach to adult students at Avenue Road Art School here in Toronto.

2) What is the most fulfilling part of your life as an artist?

I get to do what I love, and I am my own boss!

3) What advice would you give to mid-life women who are looking to change their situation in life?

To figure out what you really want to do, and above all, feel a connection with.

4) How has travel influenced your work?

I love to travel and invariably come back with a ton of inspiration. The locations, culture, colour and nuances add to the depth of my work. Today I am also known for my City map collections that have appeared as jigsaw puzzles, journal covers and wall art.

5) Give us an idea about the current project you are working on.

Currently I am working on a couple of projects, which is typically the norm. I am working on a children’s picture book and licensing collections. However my favourite project is a cookbook of Smoothie recipes I have written and am in the process of illustrating.


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