We had the good fortune of connecting with Anna Rizkalla and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anna, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I pursued creativity because it was something I couldn’t avoid if I tried (and Lord knows I did try). I don’t come from a family of creatives so I didn’t grow up seeing graphic design or DJing as viable careers for my future. I even started out in a business degree but that was short-lived as I left class feeling bored and uninspired. I believe that if creativity is built into the wiring of your brain as I feel it is with mine, you can try to avoid pursuing it but you will be left with a void. If creativity is a big part of the way you think and you choose to not exercise that part of your brain, you might find yourself in a mid-life crisis one day. So I’m thankful that this is something I learned in my early twenties instead of further along down the road.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
In my full time career (graphic design and art direction), 2020 is the year that I leveled up to a point where I’m truly being challenged and changing the way I think about what I’m creating. I’m so thankful for my new job working as an art director at a local agency called RBA where I get to work on a variety of clients in a broad range of industries. I’m thinking much more conceptually in my design work and putting more meaning behind things. I didn’t get many opportunities to create this type of work in previous roles so it’s been a challenge and an adventure. It took me 4 years to get to a full time role that is truly good for my career. I’m so thankful that in the midst of the hardest year of my life came such a good thing for me and my creativity.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a creature of habit so I would take my friend to Wabi House to get their spicy miso because I’ve never tasted better ramen in my life. We’d go to Merit Coffee in Deep Ellum because they always play good music and their coffee is perfect. We would go to different sneaker stores and also vintage stores likes Vagabond. We’d also go to the cocktail bar Tiny Victories in Oak Cliff because they also play great music and the vibe is great.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The first person I want to recognize for contributing to where I am today is my mother. She was the one who planted the seed for me to change my major to graphic design. She’s not someone who would identify as creative herself but she somehow saw those abilities in me and knew that I would be crazy not to pursue it. So thank you, mom, for seeing something in me that I didn’t see in myself at the time. I wouldn’t be where I am without your push and I will be thankful to you for the rest of my life. As for my DJ career, I wanna shoutout my mentor Christy Ray. She was the person who made me realize that this was something I could pursue and pursue it well. She taught me not to take B.S. from any man in the industry and how to get paid what you deserve. Thank you, Christy, for welcoming me into this career and helping me learn how to carry myself in the industry.
DJ Photo shot by Karlo X. (@kx0101) Designs by me