REYA AHMED download  résumé APPLICATION FOR ART & GRAFT  - Illustrator & Art Director

The following portfolio is a combination of my professional, academic and personal projects. 
I recommend a desktop for the best viewing experience. 


MA Graphic Communication Design / Final Studio Project (2023)
Central Saint Martins

The illustration series revolves around the cultural anecdotes of the Bengali diaspora in East London. Through a non-linear narrative,  a utopian childhood memory is depicted and surrounded by familiar  objects and rituals in the community. The memory grows into rituals of adulthood. The themes explored are school, grocery shopping, the London rental market, etc. The project creates a set of characters, motifs, and dialogues and places them within frames that resemble South-Asian miniature paintings.  These narratives are further explored through two final products: (1) A triptych of large prints inset with mirrors, so that the stories can be situated in the real world and (2) An animated short film, with each frame printed on risograph.


Screened at the following places:

Whitechapel Gallery [ ‘Elo Melo’ Festival ]
Hypha Studios [ I Said Fruit Salad - group show ]


Graduate Consultancy Project (2023)
Central Saint Martins 

The Brief:  WPP’s annual reflexive publication, Atticus Journal is exploring the conversation around generative image-making in advertising. The objective was to create a cover that depicts the interface of human and ‘machine’, of real and artificial + to think of AI as an ‘ideation tool’. Keeping in mind the debate about the subject in the design and art industry, we decided to explore the idea that generative AI is essentially powered by the vast data of images that have been human-made. The illustrations celebrate workers and professionals, whose skills ranging from sculpting to playing music powers the ‘generator’. It imagines what a potential screen workspace may look, if A! was just another tool in our digital catalogue. 

The moodboard for this project consisted of digital screen layering, catalogues, lots of characters using tools and a super-being looking assistant A! The colours are kept very minimal to invoke a retro-futuristic visual.  


Agenda Section of Businessweek magazine (2023)

Illustrations for Businessweek’s agenda section. From LR: an article about the costs of Christmas travel and political reactions to inflation rates in the US. The images included below are an evolution from initial thoughts, WIP drawings to the final versions.  The colour palette is full of sharp contrasts that provided a lot of flexibility to include a lot of characters and also depict political affiliations through colour. Art direction: Somnath Bhatt


with / Michael Fedeli & Solène Pauly of Kiblind Agence (2022)

Snapchat commissioned a series of Mass Snap packages for local festivals in India, through the creative direction of France-based studio Kiblind Agence. I was involved in the project to conceptualise, illustrate, storyboard and animate the opening video greetings. 


The Natural History Museum (2023)

The Explorers Family Festival is an initiative by The Natural History Museum to highlight  the relationship that different cultures and communities have with the natural world. It supports practitioners from Black, Asian, Arab and other racially marginalised communities to pursue careers in the natural history sector. The event’s identity was designed around Sultana’s Dream; a feminist science-fiction by Rokeya Begum written in the 1900s that imagines a futuristic society where women have made great scientific advancements to utilize renewable energy and co-exist with the natural world. I was involved in the project with the in-house NHM design team to research the story, conceptualise and design the identity for the programme, and illustrate the various offline and online collaterals.


Dream interpretations (2022)

(1) I drew a set of investigative drawings of a cemetery next to my first flat in London that gave me bad dreams. The illustrations are a form of note-taking that documents my engagement with the cemetery through sketches of its road signages, statues, mailboxes, epitaphs, trees, etc. It was a way of making myself familiar with the details of the place to reduce my discomfort of it.

(2) I made an animation out of the only things I could remember from an absurd dream. The frames were printed on risograph in three colours, then scanned and rejoined to form the final animation. 

 The Queen’s Gambit (2021)

I made a colour and composition study of multiple scenes in the Netflix drama starring Anya Taylor-Joy. It was an exercise in storyboarding from observation. The illustrations were drawn on Procreate. 

Animated Music Video (2018)

I included this personal project for a friend who makes independent music. This was my first experience in animating something and I actually made the entire thing on Photoshop using frame animation, as is evident by its choppy style and limited movements. However, my reason to include it in this portfolio is to highlight an evolution in style and more importantly, to showcase how I interpreted the song in my storytelling. This was very much a character-driven narrative where I invented one scenario to next for the protagonist to get to.