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Rising Stars: Meet Christina Naguib

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christina Naguib.

Hi Christina, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
My journey as a creative started at an early age. I imagine most kids during their high school years spend their free time playing sports, engaging in performing arts or hanging with friends. As a teen, most of my free time was spent learning how to retouch photos and use a camera. My father worked as a photographer in Egypt and in the early 80s he made the decision to immigrate to America and start his own business. As computers and digital editing became more mainstream, my father looked to me to learn Photoshop and help his business grow. I’d spend hours every night fiddling around in Photoshop 2.0 (back when there were no layers and you could only undo one step back) teaching myself how to retouch. I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back it makes sense that all that time spent playing with the clone tool and loading film into cameras inevitably lead me to become the graphic designer and photographer I am today.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The road to embracing my current line of work definitely wasn’t a smooth one. While a lot of my time involved working in photography and design, theater was my primary passion. In high school, I spent a lot of time on stage and developed a determination to one day become an actress or comedian. However, as the product of two immigrant parents (my father being from Egypt and my mother from Armenia,) the household I grew up in didn’t view acting as a secure and lucrative career path that justified their struggle to come to this country. My father’s reasoning was that because I had already accumulated years of experience in retouching and photoshop, it only made sense for me to attend design school. Of course at the time, I wasn’t happy about it, but he’d always say “you’ll thank me later.” He is no longer alive, but I’m thankful that his insistence set me on a career path that continually allows me to imagine, create, inspire, and grow.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I like to jokingly say I’m a graphic designer by day and a photographer by night. Over the past ten years, I’ve been lucky enough to work as a full-time graphic designer for some wonderful organizations while also freelancing for clients along the way. When I’m not designing, you can find me taking portraits and being inspired by the people in front of my lens. My proudest accomplishment is the creation of my photo series called Beauty is Bare. This was a project I conceptualized and executed after a personal experience I had while being in public without makeup. After posting a photo of myself with a bare face on social media, I put a call out asking other women to join me in this movement and allow me to photograph them close up and raw, stripped of all makeup. Over the span of one month, I managed to photograph and interview 50 women in my small apartment, all while working a full-time job. I loved every aspect of this project — from bringing groups of women together and creating friendships to hearing everyone’s individual stories — it was an experience I’ll never forget.

How do you think about happiness?
What makes me happiest is creating with purpose. Whether it’s design or photography, I love the idea of taking something that’s relevant and/or thought-provoking and constructing a piece of art that evokes an emotional response. Human connection is such an essential part of life, and having the ability to connect with people through my work brings me so much joy.

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