What do you need and how do you achieve your goals? Be inspired by her story.
Hella Sketchz is the pseudonym of Halah Ziad, an Iraqi born and raised women who moved to the US at the end of 2016. As an artist, Halah always tries to take simplicity as key for her sketches as simplicity has a powerful message.
Before moving to the US in 2016 Hella was living the life of any other Iraqi women, full of dreams without knowing if they would ever be realised. After moving to the US, her friends suggested that she start posting her drawings on Facebook and to market her art while settling into her new world of living. Hella describes art as her ticket for freedom: ‘With art I can fly without wings , there are no limits on how i can express myself through simple lines’.
She’s also famous for her Instagram presence, seeing the platform as both a visual diary, and a way to connect people from different walks of life. In fact, Hella believes that social media means that we are can reach a bigger audience and it gave herself and her artwork more exposure. Through social media platforms specially on IG, followers started sharing her posts. One share lead to another and Hella started to get attention from a vast number of people, including celebrities, which was a fantastic boost for her.
So, who is multi-talented Hella Sketchz- the woman behind these remarkable sketches?
H: Hella happens to be my nickname and Hella Sketchz is the brand that I use for my artwork and social media platforms. My real name is Halah Ziad, an Iraqi girl born and raised in Baghdad Iraq 1986.
How was your life in Iraq and your life now in the US?
H: Both lives are completely different, from an active life full of social relations (family members and friends) into just a whole new life and system, with zero social life.
What inspires you?
H: Everything around artists can be a source of inspiration, a picture or something at the news, maybe song or simply chatting with a friend or even a stranger. Every time I speak to my best friend over the phone about what’s going around us I get inspired, we just had a chat and I came up with an amazing idea for a sketch! I am amazingly proud of my drawings for the recent events in Iraq. They are my pride and joy and also my work for women empowerment and social awareness.
If you could spend a day with someone, (alive or not) who would it be and why?
H: I would like to spend it with my (late mother) who passed away before I start being an artist, she passed her talent to me, she was an amazing artist…
What are you currently working on?
H: Right now, I’m working on Covid-19 awareness raising campaign for the Health Ministry in Iraq. I work for them through a media production company called pencils agency. I believe it is crucial to raise awareness what the virus can do to us and the entire population. I have collaborated to their campaign providing sketches illustrating how Covid-19 affects us. It is very important that we follow the advice of the Health Ministry. This Covid-19 is dangerous, we have to taje the advice to all stay home. You can read more about the Iraqi Health Ministry on their FB page:
I work as well for Asdikaee magazine, it’s a magazine for kids and I have a few of my drawings on Asdikaee FB page.
Do you also sell work and where can we find it?
H: I use my Facebook page and Instagram account to sell my work. People place an order over these platforms and so far it is doing good plus I sell my art designs printed on t-shirts on an online T-shirt store .
How important is Social Media for you as an artist?
H: Social media is incredibly important to me and always my first choice to get the news updates through trusted sources. On Iraqi updates I stays connected with my friends in Iraq. I’m most active on Instragram, Facebook and Twitter.
Do you want to tell something else to our readers?
H: I would love to say let’s all abandon hatred and bigotry.
As Halah states it, dreaming of a successful career and keeping focus on that vision is essential to achieve it. Dreams can be realised by putting hard work and effort to it. It essential to take part as much as you can while you are out of your direct workplace – attend networking events, online webinars, parents meetings, whatever will put you in touch with the right people – it’s all in your hands to open the door and get out there. Your career and success come because of you and the work you put in – you are the key to your own success.
Would you like to know more about Halah, follow her on IG, FB and/ or Twitter.