MEGALOPOLIS, BEIRUT: SARA LTEIF, DESIGN AS A WAY TO EXPRESS MYSELF

Sara Lteif is a young digital designer who studied art at the “Academie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts” in Beirut. She grew up with a passion for art, and with her works she wants to feel free and express herself fully.



Selfportrait


Hello Sara, tell me something about yourself. What is your background? How did you understand that design was your path?


I’ve always loved art and travelling, discovering new places and cultures. All this prompted me to go to the Beirut art school, “Academie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts” or ALBA, and continue my studies in Creative Advertising in Milan where I lived for a year.


“To me design is a lifestyle, a way to find beauty in everything, a way to be free and express myself”


How does your way of working work? I mean, when you have an idea are you more schematic, so do you follow precise passages to develop it, or do you work immediately on it, “without thinking of a precise way to follow”?


In a perfect world where we can go out freely, my best ideas arise while I’m out drinking with friends or in nature, basically doing anything I enjoy during which my mind is calm and at peace. Before this situation I used to write down everything that came to my mind and start working on it as soon as I could.


What is your idea of design? What does it represent to you?


To me design is a lifestyle, a way to find beauty in everything, a way to be free and express myself.









What is one of the projects you have realized that you like the most and why?


For me, the best projects I’ve worked on are the personal ones. So, not the ones made for work or clients, but those that have become a present to a friend or that I created just for myself. Some examples are the filters I do on Instagram, each based on a close friend’s personality, or the illustrated posters, calendars... I like to personalize and enjoy what I do with the people I love, and for me that’s the best feeling there is.


“Honestly, being Lebanese at the moment means fighting for what you stand for, your basic rights”


Regarding being an artist in Beirut, what do you think are the biggest difficulties?


I think the biggest difficulty in Beirut for artists is earning a living and finding a way to support themselves, in a country that is suffering in so many ways right now.





Everyone has the right to dream, but sometimes there are circumstances greater than dreams. In your opinion, how can young artists find the strength to fight for their aspirations?


Honestly, being Lebanese at the moment means fighting for what you stand for, your basic rights, and everything in between. I feel that what is happening around us right now is what is fuelling everyone’s desire to be the best they can be and to express themselves to either have that satisfaction and sadly to be able to leave the country and start somewhere new.


What do you think of the condition of women in Lebanon? I know that few of them have an occupation, only 26,3%.


Some progress is being made, but we still have a long way to go in order to see real change and equality.


Do you think art and everything related to it is influenced by all the things that are happening in Beirut?


Yes! So many artists did amazing things when the October 2019 revolution started, and it was beautiful!

And I feel it’s such an important part of it all.



Sara told us that being a young creator in a city like Beirut is not that easy, but if you have a dream or a purpose you have to fight for it.


“Beirut is the Elizabeth Taylor of cities: insane, beautiful, falling apart, aging, and forever drama laden. She'll also marry any infatuated suitor who promises to make her life more comfortable, no matter how inappropriate he is” Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman



Follow Sara and her journey on Instagram.





Interview & Article by

Sara Orlandini


Image Credits

Sara Lteif


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