Haikal Shariff started off as a teenager with an interest in designing and plenty of time on his hands before he made moves that would lead him to where he is today. Though he spent the majority of his adolescence in Toronto, the young creative moved to Sauga city on the verge of completing high school which only kept him at a distance with those closest to him giving him a reason to find an outlet for entertainment, that’s where he began experimenting with art that summer.

When the school year started and Haikal found himself connecting with new faces who he began showing his designs to which lead to him launching a small business with a small group where they’d eventually go on to sell screen tees. That hobby was short lived but didn’t stifle him from working, just a few months after a heavy Weeknd listening session Shariff found himself creating artwork to fit the mood of the music and decided he wanted to begin partnering up with musicians to bring visuals to their sound the same way the XO camp had for the Weeknd’s trilogy series. Luckily enough Shariff took some time out to let us in on the process of how he found himself being a creative director for one of 2017’s biggest names and what he plans to do for himself in the future.

A RegalChiz Exclusive With Creative Director and Graphic Designer Haikal Shariff

 

RC: Where do you pull your inspiration for your work from when you create pieces?
H.Shariff: Inspiration can honestly come from anywhere at anytime is really hard to narrow it down, but I have a few websites and books I find myself going back to, and also music helps a lot as it can really determine the mood for what I’m about to create.
RC: How did you start doing art direction for Nav?
H.Shariff: I started working for Nav when his music was brought to my attention from a close friend of mine back in 2015, me and him would always go back and forth sending each other music that we found throughout the day. One morning I woke up and he sent me a link to one of his older songs which had no more then 1,000 plays on Soundcloud and he was like “take this guy in he’s from Toronto you should do art for him” so I listen to his music and I messed with it a lot so I hit him up told him I wanted to work, and I’ve been doing work for him ever since.
RC: When you began to work with him, how did you create the face of his work knowing that he wouldn’t be standing at the forefront of it?
H.Shariff: Honestly Nav gave me control over everything creatively, he would send me his music and just tell me to do me, so from the jump I knew I wanted to just create what I felt fit his music without just going out getting pictures taken of him and merely calling that the artwork of the song,. I wanted to take it to a place where people could look at the art and get lost in it while vibing to his music.
RC: Recently he (Nav) tweeted out his next project was complete, should we expect to see some of your input in the visuals there?
H.Shariff: Yes, I’ve had the chance to collaborate with a creative director which I really look up to a legend in the game.
RC: Are there other artists you’d like to collab with or see yourself working with?
H.Shariff: I’m all about collabs, no one really specific, if it happens it happens.
RC: Your interest in clothing before hand, do you ever see yourself designing clothing again? Dope how you flipped the interest for designing into experimenting with cover art.
H.Shariff: Actually currently working on a project with a friend of mine, just trying to make everything right before it drops, and yeah failure can really open new doors for yourself.
RC: Where do you see yourself taking creative direction in the future ?
H.Shariff: I really hope to take my creative abilities to a new level in the future, maybe brand consulting as I don’t see myself only confining myself to the music industry.
Though Haikal finds himself as a creative director for “Biebs in the Trap” feature, Nav, he has shown he’s definitely not restricted to a single sector of his craft. Having now collaborated with several other creative artists such as 24Hrs, Carly Cardellino, Ye Ali and more Shariff is falling into a network of opportunity and is proving consistency and the desire to develop as an artist will always pay off in the long run. Check out Haikal’s website here for a look at his creative portfolio and be sure to keep up with him on Instagram for his latest concepts.