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Meet Mary (Mehrnoosh) Kian

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary (Mehrnoosh) Kian.

Mary (Mehrnoosh), let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a multifaceted artist with an academic background in graphic design, illustration, and painting. My artworks have been published in forms of product packaging, tabletop products, children’s books, and magazines. I have more than a decade of experience in the above-mentioned areas as well as typography, photography, toy design, jewelry design, apparel design, and digital media.

I have been very fortunate in my life to be surrounded by supportive family and friends who always bring joy to my life and help me achieve my goals and dreams.

I come from a long line of a creative family. I vividly remember sleeping on my grandma’s colorful hand-Sewn Quilted bedding, under the open sky with my grandparents, watching stars, and making imaginary shapes in the night in my motherland.

My mother was mostly busy creating unique clothing with handmade embroidery for us and decorating cake and sweets for our birthdays. I was only five when I sketched my first dress and supervised my mother to make it for me. It was a puffy dress with different color sleeves and full of colorful buttons.

My father was a creative mechanical engineer who would constantly come up with creative product ideas.

Painting on walls was my greatest childhood hobby but it made my mom unhappy! Anyway, we finally agreed to do it only on my room’s wall and not anywhere else.

The first time I believed in my creativity was when I drew a painting and left it on my desk in school to go and drink water outside the class, when I came back I saw two girls fighting over it. To stop their fight, I promised them to draw one more for them.

I was almost six years, in my first grade of school when the government sent my father to jail for political reasons. It was the worst memory of my childhood to visit my lovely dad just once a week in jail for almost five years.

As a kid, the only thing I could do to make my father happy was to paint and I tried to be as creative as possible every week. I got my bachelor’s in painting and held several exhibitions but felt like I needed more skills so, I went back to school and got a master’s degree in the illustration which I believed allowed me to express my art better.

Soon I was hired as a lecturer and the chairperson of the art department in my university and started teaching graphic design and illustration. In my classes, I always focused on creativity and encouraged my students to explore their surroundings.

Has it been a smooth road?
Connections were the hardest challenge I faced when I first moved to the U.S. Through working with several charities, I was able to find some friends. I love animals and I contribute my time and art to anything related to them.

When I immigrated to the U.S I attended to SMC to develop the cultural intelligence in art I also took some jewelry class courses then I create a unique style jewelry combination of knotting recycled T-shirts, mixing with buttons, beads, and handmade charms mostly in blue and turquoise which I believe is my color! I also designed several pendants with Farsi calligraphy which you can see on my Etsy shop and my website. I am open to being part of an interesting project.

I would tell all people to follow their true passions to be happier in life! And be open to learning new ideas. For me, working is rather a calling than just a means of earning a living.

Please tell us more about your art.
I never limited myself to painting and illustration and I tried a different range of arts like photography, food style, toy making, sculpture, jewelry design, handcraft things and etc.

There is a wide variety of materials and techniques that I use such as, oil color, watercolor, handprint, collage, marker, and ….The characters I design mostly have smiles and full of color and I call them my imaginary friends!

I published six books in Iran but the first one, A Memoir filed with dad, is my favorite one as an author and illustrator. I am proud to announce it reprinted three times.

Currently, I work for a great company where I create original patterns and illustrations for children’s water bottles.

I would appreciate any children’s authors reaching out to me and gives me an opportunity to work in a cool project for kids.

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