Imagine art that you have never seen but feels familiar. It looks like you. It represents you; it feels like family and friends. Saba Akram’s of Lovely Boy Designs is art that gives you the feels. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself. Originally from Northern Ireland, but based in London, Saba is an FT Fashion Designer with an extensive art background. Although Saba only started illustrating professionally just two years ago, you could not tell just by looking. Working in the Fashion industry for ten years now, it is no wonder; her illustrations are well informed. Her professional experience includes working for Dunnes Stores, Mothercare, Jojo Maman Bebe, and River Island, to name a few.
“I started this a few years ago, I love drawing in my spare time, and I was very artistic at school, loved fashion design. I made a card for my sister and posted it on my social media. A few of my friends commented on it and asked me to make customized cards for them, and it all started from there. There was a bit of a demand for it on my Facebook, so I opened an Esty store in 2018”. And boom just like that, she was on the road to entrepreneurship. Not a realm unfamiliar; however, coming from an entrepreneurial background, the idea of business is not unusual. Nor is it unusual for Saba to have the drive, foresight, and support to run one. Although supported for many years, entrepreneurship was not always Saba’s first choice. Not due to a lack of talent, but a realization that running a business takes more than idea and talent. Like many of us, she has taken advantage of quarantine season to advance her skills. She has learned the business’s back end, money management, marketing, and other courses to promote her success. “The more I do that, the more advice that I get from other people, the more confident I feel in doing this”.
“I knew that I always wanted to do something creative. In the back of my mind, ultimately, I did not want to work for anyone else. I love being part of a team, but at the minute, I feel like why I would want to make money for someone else when I could be doing it for myself. I have enough experience under my belt to do that”—a sentiment that many of us understand, especially during such uncertain times. “The goal is to get my work into big retailers, cards, wall art, prints, stationery, everything! And ultimately to start working for myself, making a full-time salary”.
While Saba’s art feels familiar, it also impacts “I’ve changed the direction of my work. Lately, it has become a bit more political and meaningful, uplifting and empowering for women”. “I want to use my platform as an artist to represent women of color. I just want to tell people, if I’m honest, I want people to look at it and be inspired, especially women, if you’re going through a tough time, have low confidence or an over-thinker or you’re not represented, I want them to feel happier when they see my work, I want them to share it and feel uplifted”.
Agreed! Now more than ever, the world needs it.
To learn more about Saba and her art, please check her out on Instagram
@lovelyboydesigns and purchase everything she has in her Etsy Store and commission her for work! Promise you’re gonna love it. Did I mention she did the artwork for my site? I didn’t… check that out too!