Now that I’ve created a number of illustrations and designs, I’ve been able to step back and observe the style my work has started to take on. I’ve become really interested in understanding where my style comes from and what it says about me. When I look at my work, I see simplicity, safety, and solitude. 

I see simplicity in the single pair of flowers among the vast green grasses in my Train ride illustration and in the bare walls of Rise and shine. Simplicity expresses a lot and I think this form of visual communication really aligns to the way I express myself in person. Though I’m not someone who shies away from speaking, I don’t like to put many words to my feelings. 

I see safety in the realistic representations and general “prettiness” of my work. People often tell me that my illustrations make them smile (which is a compliment, of course) but I also wonder what other emotions my pieces provoke. And here I think they fall sort of flat. My work is very safe and palatable, it is nice and pretty and doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable or curious. This makes my work feel one-dimensional, and though I don’t think this aspect of my work really resonates with who I am in private, I think it absolutely reflects the person I am in public and online. 

I also see a consistent feeling of solitude across my work. Whether it’s a solitary cabin in a forest, a woman gazing out her window, or a bike ride across an autumn field, there is always a feeling of solitude. Even the colors of each piece somehow communicate the quiet feeling of being alone. This definitely resonates with the way I understand and move through the world. 

A person’s style, in design, clothing, music etc., is their visual journal—it expresses some part of who they are. This form of communication is subtle and often missed, but is authentic and shows itself in ways that the creator may not be aware of and can not plan for. There are aspects of my style that I love and aspects of it that I really want to change. Unsurprisingly, this sounds similar to the relationship I have with myself. As I continue to discover myself, I’m curious to see the form my style will take. I’m trying to push myself to experiment with my style more, and with my move to Japan happening in 2 weeks, I don’t think I’ll have any shortage of inspiration. 

To follow the development of my style and work, follow me on ig: @nhjafari