Karim is a busy designer who has his own 07 media company. He has designed album artwork, flyers and avertising campaigns as well as working for some magazines. Our reporter Danielle caught up with him to find out his background and what working as a designer is like. Read on to find out more…
Give us some background info on o7 media?
Karim: o7media is a full service graphic design company that specializes in print media. we do everything from CD covers to flyers to corporate identity.
When did you decide Graphic design was what you wanted to do in life?
Karim: I've always been into art, I used to draw all the time. But graphic design, probably around the 9th grade at about the age of 13.
You design for a lot of artists within the world of Hip Hop music. Do you manage to get a nice selection of artists to design for? I imagine if they were all the same it would get monotonous?
Karim: Well I've had the opportunity to be in contact with some major artists and DJ's like C-Murder, 8 Ball & MJG, DJ Khaled, DJ Smallz, and many more. And sometimes the deal goes through, and sometimes it doesn't. It is what it is. But I don't mind designing for the same clientele over and over, it doesn't get tiring to me. I enjoy what I do!
You also design for companies like Verizon wireless and LG yeah? How did these links come about?
Karim: Yeah I designed some magazine ads for these companies along with some others. This happened through the magazine, Hard Hitters Illustrated, that I design for down here in Houston.
What music do you listen to while you work and why?
Karim: I used to only listen to rap while I design, but to be honest. I'm tired of rap, lol. Not Hip Hop though, I can't get enough of that. Lately I've been listening to Jay-Z's Black Album, Common, and Kanye. Other than that, I also listen to rock mash ups/blends like the Grey Album. And I need my music to work, without it I won't even start, lol.
What has been your most challenging piece of work to date?
Karim: Umm I'm not really sure about that. I try to be different with all my designs, I don't like having my work look like another designers' work or even too close to my own previous pieces.
What do you design besides Mix-tape covers?
Karim: Pretty much everything, lol. I do flyers, posters, banners, if you name it, I can probably do it.
How do you plan to push your business forward?
Karim: Mostly by just promoting myself and working hard. I also get a lot of help from my clients that spread the word about me as well, and I appreciate all you for that!
Tell us about the Houston based Magazine you work with, what do you do for them?
Karim: Usually I design advertisements and articles for them. Just whatever needs to be done for that issue. I did design the cover of July's '07 issue with 8 Ball & MJG on it. It just depends on what they need done…
Like a lot of the artists I interview everyone has someone they admire and look up to, where do you get your inspiration from?
Karim: Well usually I get my inspiration from my music. I mean they're a lot of amazing designers out there that I look up to, but I try not to be like them. I want my own style, my own thing.
Where can we view your portfolio?
Karim: Yeah I just want to say thanks to everyone who has helped me out along the way, my family, friends, clients, everyone out there… There are too many to name, lol. Oh and of course my PR's, Underground Promotions! 😉 I appreciate it y'all!!
Interview for British Hip Hop courtesy of Underground Promotion UK.