Otis College of Art and Design‘s new in-house Creative Director, Sheharazad Fleming, is as passionate about her work as she is her city. We decided to catch up with Sheharazad to learn more about her trajectory as a designer thus far, the kinds of projects she’s most excited about, and the things she does when she’s not busy launching Otis’ new Design Lab, a place where students will be part of an on-campus, in-house design studio.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Tehran. My family fled to the US in the 80s post-revolution and moved to the suburbs of Washington, DC, where I spent my formative years. Growing up, we went to the Smithsonian museums for school field trips. (I thought every kid got to do that and still think they should.) This is where my interest in art culture started. I was equally drawn to the building architecture, museum displays and the visual merchandising in the gift stores, as I was to the exhibits.
I stayed in DC and went to graduate school to study Visual Communication with a focus on advertising. This was just before everything went digital. I moved to LA a few days before 9/11 when the world changed forever, and shortly after I met a Californian (and a brilliant designer), Ron. The next thing I knew, my last name changed to Fleming and LA became home.
I love Los Angeles. Truly and deeply.
What kinds of projects are you working on right now?
We just completed the Admissions viewbook, which has a really neat cover wrap that folds out to a poster illustrated by one of our students, Aaron Gonzalez. Our in-house designer, Sean Yoon, designed the poster to fold so that the inside flaps serve as pockets when the book is covered.
Illustrations by Aaron Gonzalez (BFA ‘19 Communication Arts/Illustration)