The award winning Pakistani artist, born in Peshawar on 23 August 1989, Sara Shakeel spent most of her life in the capital city of Pakistan, Islamabad. Sara commenced her education as a business student. She left business school to pursue her life-long dream of becoming a dentist. Little did she know that God had different plans for her. Though she completed her three years at dental school, it was her final year that proved to be immensely challenging. Shakeel decided to part ways with her dream of one day becoming a dentist, and set out to find herself elsewhere. Left with nothing but her creativity and Instagram as a platform, Sara started making art. Her unique and highly recognizable style of constructing digital collages caught the eyes of thousands of Instagrammers, and both her community and following grew day by day.
Sara Shakeel may not have any formal training in the Arts but then again, she truly believes she didn’t have to. The kind of diverse yet simple pieces that she has made over a short span of only four years have earned her a number of accolades from brands, critics, and most importantly her community of fans and followers. Maybe, it’s because of the nuanced perspective that she brings to the table which she believes couldn’t be taught in Art school formally. Shakeel is a new wave artist, one of the Insta-age, which continues to conquer the digital space.
For a Pakistani dental student-turned- digital artist, she is all about conveying emotions with the use of shiny, bright and alluring crystals. While Sara Shakeel is a self-taught photoshop wizard, her work doesn’t simply stop with a stylus or on a screen. It is the hand-embellishing of real Swarovski glass crystals which add that extra sparkle and ornate touch to her bespoke pieces of artworks. When expressing the roots of her imagination and creativity, Sara credits, “God and the memories of whatever I lay my eyes on. My art is either a story I want to live for myself, something I have witnessed, or a life I want to live. Emotions too are a key facet of my work and how I choose to express. I have made a habit of leaving behind a small piece of my heart and soul in everything I create. And its sole purpose is to spark joy and heal.”
Amongst her accolades, Shakeel has been recognized as Best Visual Artist by Glamour Magazine Italy in 2018. She has also been nominated as “Best Instagrammer of the Year “ by Shorty Awards, and “Best Visual Artist of the Year by Influencer Awards Monaco. For her very first exhibition which took place in Los Angeles entitled “She Loves Collective” in 2017, Sara’s concept of “Glitter Stretch Marks” had and continues to be been celebrated by women and men from every corner of the world. Featured and Interviewed by all leading news channels and magazine (i.e. Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Vogue Italia, PlayBoy, Peoples) Sara has been a viral sensation, recurrently breaking the internet with her Crystal collages. From a digital crystalized Emirates plane to crystal french fries.
Amongst her long list of collaborators, Sara Shakeel has partnered with industry giants such as Barneys New York, Huda Beauty, Amazon, BMW, Mercedes Benz, La Mer, Lancome, Lay’s, Coach, 21st Centuary Fox, Billboard Design for Manhattan Heights MIMA for their upcoming Luxury Condos in NewYork, L’oreal, Front Cover Art for Architectural Digest Middle East, and Glamour Magazine Italia, Nails Inc London, Universal Music USA, Universal Music Poland, Sony Music Norway, Interscope Records, ES Magazine, Elle Magazine Germany, Moen Faucets, Reebok, Nike, Frankbod, Missguided, Swarovski, HD brows, Bally, Galia Lahav, album artwork for Axwell & Ingrosso, Album cover for 3 times Grammy Award winner “Chance The Rapper “, and also creatively directed his pop-up store in Chicago in collaboration with Swarovski. The list goes on and on, and so does Sara’s journey.
As far as commissions go, Sara has also created a sparkling exhibit entitled the “The Great Supper “ commissioned by NOW gallery London. The piece continues to catch eyes of icons, celebrities, and institutes like the Victoria & Albert Museum.
She has also been featured on Forbes magazine as one of the only “Original Crystal Artist” in the world.
Follow Sara Shakeel on Instagram@Sarah Shakeel