Meet The Lebanese Illustrator Who’s Rising To Stardom

@starchfoundation | @rafikelhariri

Tripoli-based illustrator Rafik El-Hariri has bewitched the creative world with his magical artwork. Born and raised in the Lebanese city of Tripoli, Rafik dedicates a lot of his work to his city.

He has been illustrating for nearly six years now, without mentioning the times before he started professionally. 

Rafik has illustrated six children’s books, including Indigo, the first story to be both authored and illustrated by him.

In one project, he collaborated with multi-award winning Asala Publishers to re-work Mohamad Darwich’s famous story Wael’s Toys.

Along his journey, Rafik received an unexpected amount of recognition. His art made several TV and web appearances, such as Adobe, BBC Arabia, MTV Lebanon, Future TV, Dubai TV, and more.

Magazines such as L’Orient Le Jour, Elle Arabia, Femme Magazine, and Noun Magazine also featured Rafik’s special art.

Rafik is recognized by his unique art style because it so flawlessly expresses genuine human emotion and holds the essence of nostalgia.

In fact, Rafik was selected among 50 artists globally to be featured in WACOM’s “Next Level” exhibition that took place in both Sydney and Melbourne. 

Rafik told The961, “My work is highly inspired by the occult, Mother Nature, and the human experience. Everything that is hidden within our daily lives inspires me, like the little things we take for granted due to our fast-paced lifestyle.”

While he was previously working on children’s books illustrations, he told us that he’s currently making a shift in his career.

Since the beginning of the year, he has been working with musicians on cover art for their songs. So far, he has worked with VERIDIA, Mayssa Karaa, and Vladimir Kurumilian.

Besides children’s books and cover art, Rafik has also worked with Tarboosh Lebanon for a commercial, with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to create a symbol reflecting their humanitarian mission, and with VICE Arabia where he created illustrations symbolizing the conspiracy theories going on about the Covid-19 virus.

Currently, he is a full-time freelancer and design instructor at the Lebanese International University, where he had studied graphic design.

Aiming to raise awareness on the importance of mental health, Rafik has been working on a picture book that will be published this summer. 

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