Monthly Artist Feature (February 2019) – Zoya Yahya

Artist’s Name: Zoya Yahya

Artist’s Age: 25 Years

Artform: Architecture + Design

Website: www.zoyahya.com

Instagram: @designstudio.zy


Why do you do what you do? When did you realize a passion for what you do?

I grew up in a house with many Architects, Engineers and Artists. This is all I’ve ever known and didn’t realize it was talent until I found the language of architecture and design came considerably easy to me. I realized it was a passion when work stopped feeling like work, when not working on a design project made the day feel useless.


What is your educational background?

Advanced Diploma in Architecture + currently pursuing an Honours Bachelor Degree in Interior Design.


What are some of the challenges that you have faced while trying to pursue your passion?

To be taken seriously as a female in a male dominated profession.


Have you encountered people who have been skeptical about your dreams?

Yes, on a daily basis.


How did you initially react to those people and how do you act towards them now?

The negativity affected me greatly before. It made me doubt myself and abilities. But now, I’ve become so indifferent to people around me. I don’t think about others and their opinions don’t shake my world. I have become very good at differentiating insignificant people from the significant.


What fears do you have & how do you deal with those fears ?

I don’t have a fear of failing. You’re going to fail at one point or another, it’s a law of nature it will catch up with you. What you do after you fail and how quickly you’re able to get back up in full spirit is what matters. Confidence is something I’ve had to teach myself every single day.


Out of all your work, which piece resonates the most with you?

It has yet to materialize.


By what terms do you measure success or perfection? When do you feel like you can say that your work is finished and ready to be experienced by others?

I do not know what enough is nor do I know what would be enough to call myself successful. But what I do know is that if I do what I do with every ounce of me and with everything I’ve got, that, to me, is being successful.


What elements of your career bring you the most stress?

The amount of ill will that comes your way when you start to succeed.  Your co-workers, colleagues, class mates and even professors will be unable to come to terms with the fact that you might actually have a talent and will do anything and everything to sabotage your success. What’s really sad and stressful is that, [even though people need little encouragement] … to do well in life, very few people actually want good for others.


What is some advice that you would give to anyone who is trying to walk the same path as you?

Be the shit without shitting on anyone else.

You’ve got to be very careful with whom you share good news. People around you will not [always] want the best for you, especially if you’re good at what you do. Most people like to succeed while putting others down.

Be the bigger person, be the one with a good character and encourage people to do even better. Truly successful people encourage others and do not put them down just because they’re threatened by their success.


“You’re going to fail at one point or another, it’s a law of nature it will catch up with you. What you do after you fail and how quickly you’re able to get back up in full spirit is what matters. Confidence is something I’ve had to teach myself every single day.”

~ Zoya Yahya

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