Fatima Bocoum is a Brooklyn-based Art Curator and Women’s rights activist with ten years of experience in Client Strategy, Marketing, and Business Development in the New York City tech space. Experimental in nature, she enjoys designing for emotion. She believes in the power of content and the science of art to inform human-centric design. Born in China and raised in Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Mali, she approaches design with an inherent cultural sensibility.
What makes you feel inspired?
I enjoy having a brief and not knowing how the end product will look. In design thinking, I spend lots of time researching because I absolutely adore the strategy side of things. Once I gather enough data, I feel empowered to come up with creative ideas that take into account the market and that can strongly speak to the problem I am solving. I also love the freedom that comes with designing — creating mood boards, choosing color palettes, and working myself up to stop and accept the outcome of my work. Ultimately, I find inspiration in close to everything–from music to food, the everyday things that I do or see others do, what I hear people say, how they make decisions, and the art that I see during gallery visits.
What area or areas of design are you hoping to work in or specialize in?
I would love to work on as many projects as possible in UX/UI, Branding, Packaging, campaign, and editorial. I would love not to limit myself just yet. Design thinking is the same regardless of the specialization, and I think that once you learn to empathize, everything else comes more naturally.
What is one thing that design school has taught you that you did not expect?
I did not expect that level of open-mindedness. I enjoyed working with my teachers, collaborating with classmates, and meeting guest speakers. After close to 10 years in tech and business, I can see a difference in the way creatives process information and are open to others. There is a genuine curiosity that designers have because we have to be divergent thinkers and be open to receiving before making any conclusions. And that’s priceless.
Who is someone you look up to in your field? Either today or historically?
Some historical figures that I look up to are Massimo Vignelli, Jan Tschichold, Wolfgang Weingart, and Jacqueline Casey, among others. I also look up to the aesthetic of fashion. Brands like Chanel have had a great impact on my taste.
What are you reading, listening to, or watching?
I am currently reading Creative Confidence and really enjoying it. Otherwise, I listen to a wide range of genres, from world music and afrobeat to pop and classical. I don’t watch “TV” much anymore, but when I have some downtime, I celebrate my hard work by couch potatoing. The latest was Emily in Paris (of course!) and some French documentaries on Arte.