We had the good fortune of connecting with Zain Awais and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Zain, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Originally, from Pakistan, I immigrated to the U.S with my parents and siblings for a chance at pursuing a career in storytelling in the form of Film and Animation. For me, creating story driven content is a powerful asset, a way to engage with communities, educate and spread knowledge and ideas. I have been freelancing for the last decade as a Content Producer, allowing me the opportunity to collaborate with others working in various fields; from Journalists to other Creatives and Performers.
My desire as an artist has been to create work that is positive, educational and allows me to collaborate with others to serve various communities. This has been my main drive to start my own business. I want to create a sustainable way to continue to work on projects and serve the people around me; help convey information and encourage a positive outlook for our future.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My path, like most creatives, has been a winding one. After immigrating to the U.S, I pursued a career in the art of Storytelling; focusing on Film and Animation. Post Graduation, I worked on production sets, making my way into the fine art world and finally settling into my role as a content producer. This allowed me to focus on creating visuals that effectively get ideas across to the desired audience. With my personal work, I like to explore concepts and illustrate ideas in traditional mediums, as well as utilize my background in animation by creating time based loops by compositing visual elements together; collages that are made of images and video elements that I have found or captured myself.
I recently started a company to focus on creating projects that aim at catering to underserved communities. One of my projects aims to highlight Pakistan and South Asian culture while also celebrating the diverse community of Houston Texas. I am very excited to share this with my fellow Houstonians. Your readers can find more details on the website. www.khudisay.com/taj
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Houston has allowed my family and I to be a part of the ever growing diverse demographic of the city. There is plenty to see in and around Houston. The Museum District is one of my go to areas to visit; The Rothko Chapel and The Menil Collection being a staple. A bike ride along the bayou, a visit to Herman Park, or a drive down to Galveston are all fun activities. There are plenty of places around Houston to explore the variety of cuisines the city has to offer. My family and I have a couple of places we like to go; especially places that can accommodate different dietary restrictions. Samurai Noodle, Tacos a Go Go, Brazil cafe, Fadis are a few we enjoy visiting. The Hilcroft area offers a range of South Asian and Middle Eastern restaurants; of which the Afghan village is one of our favourites.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Whatever one creates is because of another, their surroundings, their history, their desire to connect. My family has been a source of motivation and encouragement to create or the inspiration to do so. My parents have worked hard and been active members in their community. Always ready to offer themselves whenever they could. They moved my siblings and I to a different country to provide us with opportunities. My siblings have been my partners in crime. Always there to support and help in any way.
Inspiration comes from many and is ever present.
My aunts, uncles and cousins are all creative in one way or another. From running a textile print shop, organizing cultural events to managing their households and raising families. The stories and experiences they have shared with us have helped me grow and are now a part of my imagination.
It is hard to give credit to just one person but instead I would like to acknowledge all who I have come across, who have willingly given a part of themselves to shape those around them.