Meena Khalili // Where Are They Now series

We continue with our Where Are They Now series this week with my friend Meena Khalili who is a driven and multi-faceted creative. I first met Meena when she was teaching graphic design and illustration at Virginia State University back in 2013.

Episode 442 LIVE on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 at 11:30am PT / 2:30pm ET / 7:30pm BST / 8:30am in Hawaii

Meena has learned how to stand up for herself and has learned a lot about negotiations and sacrifice. She is a driven, multi-faceted creative who is a mom and works with her spouse. Her story is inspiring and is full of experimentation. She is an artist who pivots, explores, and breaks out of boxes. Meena creates more than collage illustration which she is best known for, we will find out what she has been learning and researching.

Meena shares what how different her life is since we last talked in 2017. I hope you will join us.

You can be part of the conversation live with us. Simply join the Creatives Ignite Family by giving me your email and get a reminder email 30 min before the show: You can also add it to your calendar so you don’t miss it. (Those links are in the emails). See you there, then you can type in the chat and ask questions live.

See you on Wed. June 14, 2023 at 11:30am PT / 2:30pm ET / 7:30pm BST / 8:30am in Hawaii

Or Listen


  1. Meena, can you tell everybody a little background about you, who you are, where you are, and what you do? 
  2. You’ve been on the show three times, first on the show back in 2013 and last time in 2017. How has life and business changed since last time we talked?
  3. What has been the biggest hurdle you’ve faced in regards to your career / business? Did finding your visual style come easily or was it more of a journey?
  4. What is the biggest challenge you have overcome? 
  5. Do you struggle with time management? Marketing yourself? 
  6. How do you get your name out there? Agent? Groups? Conferences?
  7. How do you go about learning new skills? When is it important to sharpen skills you have already and what have you done to do that?
  8. Do you have any systems or processes that has helped you develop new skills? What types of business skills and creative skills have you had to learn? 
  9. Looking back, have you found or realized a new superpower you weren’t aware of before? 
  10. Do you ever deal with being overwhelmed? If so how have you dealt with that?
  11. How do you come up with new ideas? 
  12. Do you have any creative outlets or non creative outlets that you do regularly to keep you balanced?
  13. Have you confronted burning out? And how are you managing it? What are some of the signals for burnout for you?
  14. How do you collaborate with your partner? What elements make up a perfect collaborative project for you?
  15. What have you learned about negotiations?
  16. What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself in the last year, that has been most impactful to your life or freelance business? 
  17. What’s one piece of advice you would tell your past self? 
  18. What is next?

Connect with Meena


Buy prints:

The Great Discontent Article:

Links shared during the episode
Friedl Dicker Brandeis: (affiliate link)

Hugh Weber:

Past Episodes





[00:00:00] diane: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode 

[00:00:06] of, and this is the, 

[00:00:08] I think the last, no, no, it’s not the last. Anyway, we’ll 

[00:00:12] start over. Hey everybody, it’s Diane. 

[00:00:15] I’m the host or whatever. I am of Creatives Ignite, and today we have Meena Khalili on Meena has been on three other times, twice in 2013 

[00:00:27] Meena Khalili: when I first met her.

[00:00:28] diane: So now granted, I [00:00:30] started the podcast in 2012. She was on early on within the first year of the podcast, and then again in December. I have all those links. The, those episodes are kind of in the locked in, but hopefully sometime in this. Year, not calendar year, but sometime within till next July. I will have those really old ones up on the, on the website if they aren’t.

[00:00:55] But the 2017 one is, I will plop them in. But we have [00:01:00] spoken the last most re I mean we’ve spoken more recently than that, just not recorded it for everybody. Um, but these episodes, the last one was, it is able to be watched on YouTube. It’s 2017 and you were in, it was the new in lieu, and you had done a 365 project.

[00:01:19] So if you are taking us from 2017 to today, you are still a professor, you’re still an illustrator, you’re still a designer, you still love [00:01:30] typography. And I do see that your calendar does say June. So since I saw you last week, it’s from April to June Blue by. So tell me what has changed from 2017 to now, and you can show us some 

[00:01:48] Meena Khalili: stuff too, if you, if that makes it easier.

[00:01:52] Oh, 2017 to now, cuz I mean, I can take you all the way back to 2013. Yeah, no pressure. Thanks Brandy. Um, [00:02:00] all right. I, uh, I could, I could probably start to share my screen. That sounds good you guys. So, um, I’ve known Diane for 10 years now, and in 10 years ago, like she said, she, she interviewed me. Um, we’re talking about my illustrations and this was back in the time where I was like, yeah.

[00:02:19] I said, there’s more. Yeah. And, and if you wanna actually see what those look like in real life, they are about this big. And the reason they’re this big, [00:02:30] and I have so many of these and I have to number them, so I remember. Like what series and which, uh, which notebook this is. But like, the reason they’re so small is so that they can travel with me.

[00:02:41] Um, so the interiors, just to give you an idea, let me open these up. They are accordion fold so they, um, can expand thusly. Um, I, I love that format because it allows me to sort of [00:03:00] tell a story about a place. Um, using this linear format gives a little bit of a landscape feel as well as a time feel. Um, I like to archive cities, uh, in this way, but I started doing it back when I was riding vintage motorcycles up and down the east coast, and my buddies and I would all pack in.

[00:03:25] And they’d have their, we were a total motley crew. They’d have their, um, Harleys [00:03:30] and their Suzukis and, you know, all sorts of two-wheeled vehicles, and a lot of them were photographing things. Um, you know, think back to the iPhone of 2013. Um, the canvas were still kind of shoddy, but they were getting a little bit better.

[00:03:46] Um, I liked to draw whenever we’d stop, so I would, we would pause, we would stop. Um, we would, we would eat, we would get something to drink. We would maybe take a shower somewhere, but we would definitely [00:04:00] be setting up camp. Over these week long, um, voyages, um, up and down the East Coast. Um, and I would just draw.

[00:04:08] And so that’s how the conversation between me and Diane started. Um, I just started talking to the, to her as she, she will answer your questions about my process because she knows so much about what I’ve done, um, in that series. Um, it originally was called New In Loop because I had moved so many times [00:04:30] in, um, the course of very few years, and I had moved to many different cities and I sort of had this whiplash.

[00:04:37] I didn’t know really. I was like, where am I? Um, you know, even now with, uh, COVID having happened, uh, having been a part of all of our lives, even today, I was like, wait, what year is it? Is it 2022? I forget often, even though I’ve got this Vignelli Cal calendar behind me, right? I still forget. So, um, I moved to [00:05:00] Louisville, uh, from Nashville, uh, Tennessee.

[00:05:03] Um, just recently having moved there from Richmond, Virginia. And I was like, I need to figure out where I live. So I just started drawing the places that I lived. Um, the, the city that I was living in. Um, the various boroughs, the different places, and that helped me get, get acquainted to the city. And I do that now here in Columbia, South Carolina as well.

[00:05:28] But I’ll talk a little bit more about that [00:05:30] later and how that project has changed. But because I moved, I, I originally was calling this project new in Lie, I moved and I was like, you know what? This needs to be called something else. This is bigger than one city. So I started to call it, um, drawn Daily and the Instagram handle is the drawn daily for that.

[00:05:49] If you wanna follow it. So I’ll share with you, uh, my screen now, and you guys can just sort of see, I’ll, I’ll share where I’ve been and, and give you just sort of like an idea about, about [00:06:00] sort of, uh, uh, what, where we’re coming from here. Um, and I’ll put my chat over here just so that I can see it. Sorry guys.

[00:06:08] Okay. So, let’s see. I started out in 2011 teaching. That was when I started, um, really in earnest. Um, you see, uh, uh, counterclockwise, um, well, you know what, I shouldn’t even say that it’s a hodgepodge here, but these are all four different universities that I taught at before that I was [00:06:30] teaching at V C U, but I was a, um, I was an adjunct and, um, A G T A and all sorts of things.

[00:06:36] So, um, I didn’t, didn’t even put V C U up here. So we’re starting up here. Um, the very first one, the letterpress studio is at Virginia State University. Um, go Trojans. Um, that is an H B C U in Petersburg, Virginia. And I have plenty of friends who are still there. Um, I do miss that place. Um, and then I moved from there after four years to Middle Tennessee State [00:07:00] University.

[00:07:00] And I was there for just a short while. Um, before I was, uh, really, uh, met with an opportunity from the University of Louisville, which is, uh, this sort of techie, uh, uh, image where I’m standing there in front of a screen and I was at University of Louisville teaching Interaction design, um, typography, print, really everything that I do now, um, for three years before, um, I needed to make a change in my life, and I [00:07:30] can talk about that too.

[00:07:31] Um, I loved Louisville and I loved working there, and I loved my colleagues. I still loved my colleagues. Um, there, but we moved to South Carolina, which are the bottom two images. So, um, and Constance Constance here in the, in the, um, in the audience here. Um, so we moved to South Carolina, um, to better our situation.

[00:07:54] Um, but. I have been teaching for 12 years [00:08:00] now, I think. Uh, uh, yeah, so, gosh, okay. 2023. So I guess it’s been, it’ll be 12 years. Um, and I’ve learned a lot about myself and about how to move from place to place, um, and a lot that goes into all of that. So I’m sure we’ll have some questions and we’ll, we’ll converse about that later.

[00:08:23] Um, but this is sort of the history of where I’ve been as a faculty member. All of these positions were tenure track, [00:08:30] faculty positions, um, all teaching, uh, uh, design. And illustration. So, as I said, we needed to make a change in, uh, when we were in Louisville. My partner, uh, my husband Brent, who smacked dab in the middle of that space, he’s the proud papa there.

[00:08:46] Um, he and I, we got married in 2017 and we had a little one in 2018, and, um, he had a four plus hour commute, and [00:09:00] that was not gonna fly for this mama bear. So I, I went to my dean, I went to my, um, my director, um, there in Louisville, and I just said, Hey, I need some help here. What can we do? Um, well, it became very clear that, uh, in order to better our situation, um, we were gonna have to try to roll the dice and see if we could make a move together.

[00:09:28] And so we did. Um, [00:09:30] and it w it, it went very well. It, it went very well. Um, and we had options. And for that I will forever be grateful. Um, and we chose to come to South Carolina and so we have, um, one little one here. Her name is Lela, and then there’s myself and, and my husband. And that’s, that’s our family.

[00:09:51] And we live here in South Carolina and we work together. So we get to teach together too. So this, um, this picture on the, uh, my, uh, [00:10:00] far right, um, is. Our study abroad course that we just taught in Italy, um, at the Architecture Biennale, um, there. And Constance is also in this photo. That’s funny enough. Oh, hey Doc, I see you in the chat.

[00:10:16] So good to have you here. Um, so yeah, we work together, we teach together. Um, that is a whole other can of worms to talk about what that’s like to be working with your partner, have a studio, [00:10:30] practice with your partner, teaching with your partner, um, all of which I can and will happily talk about, um, if that, if those questions come up.

[00:10:41] So, I wanna take a step back. So I just told you a lot about like, my history here. Um, let me take a step back for a second though. I think it’s really, really important for me to tell y’all the people who inspire me from a studio standpoint. I’m not talking about the people who inspire me on a personal, [00:11:00] um, like relational level.

[00:11:01] I dunno any of these women. Um, but these three women have had some type of profound effect on me. Um, and I wanna make sure that we know their names. Um, I think if we’re gonna talk to me and we’re gonna have a conversation about me, then y’all need to know these people. Um, so the first person to the far left is Sister Corta Hint.

[00:11:25] Um, there is a, uh, organization, um, uh, for [00:11:30] her as well, but you might know her posters, um, sister Corta, uh, is, uh, was a well established, well well-known, um, uh, printmaker. Artist and designer. Um, and a lot of her posters deal with, um, social justice, and they were really well, um, they were really well received, uh, during this civil uprisings [00:12:00] in the late sixties, early seventies in the us.

[00:12:05] Um, speaking from a global standpoint. Um, so I would strongly encourage y’all to yes, Thank you, to take a look at that work. The second person in this, um, series of three is a lesser known probably, but if any of you know her, um, then kudos truly to you. Um, her name is Friel Dicker. [00:12:30] Brandeis Friel.

[00:12:31] Dicker Brandeis, and she was a teacher of the Bauhaus. But, um, she was called to, um, a concentration camp during World War ii, um, to, in what? Uh, there’s, there’s great stories about this. They’re all sad. So if I’m gonna have you in your feelings right now, I just need to let you know, um, a little bit of a warning about that.

[00:12:57] Um, I heard the most wonderful [00:13:00] talk given, um, by, uh, Warren Leer, and he discussed Frito’s history. Um, I. He gives so much more, uh, uh, just a better, uh, um, rundown than I will, because I get really in my feelings about it when I talk about her and her fate. Um, but what it all boils down to, um, in, in, for the purpose of this conversation is that Friol was called to concentration camp and instead of filling her, [00:13:30] um, her, uh, luggage with clothing and things that you might consider, she knew that there were gonna be children there.

[00:13:37] So she filled her suitcase with things to draw with and paper and pens and crayons and paints and all sorts of things. And she brought that with her, um, to the concentration camp where she was teaching children how to express themselves and their feelings. And there is a wonderful book. With a [00:14:00] very sad title called I Never Saw Another Butterfly.

[00:14:04] And if you ever get the chance to take a look at that book again, you’re gonna get in your feelings everybody. So just a warning about that. Um, but it’s truly a remarkable book. Um, you can see in the middle part here, there is work by one of those children. And then there is, um, work by Frito, uh, right here.

[00:14:26] So just to give you an idea that kind of selfless [00:14:30] behavior is, uh, remarkable and it’s something that I think that I know I aspire to it could probably never quite get to. Um, but it’s just such an impactful and wonderful story. I wanna make sure to share that with everybody here. In case you didn’t know about Frito Dicker Brandeis and then the third woman, um, I think representation is just so important.

[00:14:52] Um, the third woman is, uh, Mars trappy. And if I hadn’t seen her, I wouldn’t have thought that it would [00:15:00] be possible for me to do what I do for a living. She is an Iranian, um, she is a, uh, graphic novelist and she’s probably most known for her work, Persepolis, which was or is a graphic novel that comes in two parts, but is also a, a movie.

[00:15:19] It was made into a film, an animated film. Um, and her work, uh, was just extremely formative for me, um, to see that work. At [00:15:30] the end of my undergrad career. I wish it had happened sooner, but I saw it at the end of my undergrad career. And I just remember my jaw dropped. My girlfriend Karen, uh, was like, Hey, you need to come to this comic bookshop.

[00:15:44] I found this woman, she’s Iranian and she’s got this graphic novel. And I looked at it, my jaw dropped, and it was like, she looks like me. Like this is incredible. This is somebody who’s being taken seriously. She’s doing this work. Um, and it was huge. It was hugely formative for me. And so I wanted to [00:16:00] share, uh, these three women with you.

[00:16:02] I 

[00:16:02] diane: love that. Thank you. 

[00:16:04] Meena Khalili: Yeah. Yeah. Um, and of course if there are any questions about any of that stuff, I’m, I’m always happy to take them. Um, you’ll have to stop me, uh, to let me know if there are questions. Um, so I wanna mention another really important person, um, that I got this one I actually got to mean, and I didn’t know any of those other three women.

[00:16:23] Only one of them is still living. Um, but this one I actually got to meet, his name was Hugh Weber. Um, [00:16:30] he, he featured me and one of my friends, my soul sister, Shazad Fleming, um, in the Great Discontent, which is a global periodical magazine, um, with incredible reach. And, um, as you can see, they, they recognize people like Leon Bridges, right?

[00:16:52] I, I. It will always and forever say, this is the coolest thing that I ever got to do, and I will never do anything [00:17:00] cooler than this. But Hugh saw something in me and saw something in my story, um, and he interviewed me for this magazine. Um, and when we discussed this magazine, um, and prior to him interviewing me, um, my buddy, uh, and former co-chair of D e c, um, the A I G A Design educators community, um, Alberta Regal, um, brought up to Hugh.

[00:17:26] Like, if you really wanna be in inclusive with [00:17:30] this, uh, periodical, why not make people? Um, it’s, it’s an English reading magazine. Why not make people work a little harder? Um, So what about doing, what about publishing in different languages? And, you know, it, it would be one thing to publish in, um, in, in Spanish or in French.

[00:17:53] Um, but we said, why not publish in Farsi, which is really [00:18:00] difficult to type set that anyone who has attempted to type set Parsi knows how hard this can be. Um, so Hugh was all in, um, much like everything else in his life and, um, he, he interviewed, uh, Shaher is out of myself and the online version of this interview is, um, Is, uh, is in English.

[00:18:24] Uh, so folks can read it and their, their, um, uh, you, their, their interface can change [00:18:30] the, the, um, text as needed. But the print version is in Farsi. And, uh, Shahara odds father actually hand wrote it out because it was so difficult to get it properly. Uh, types that, yeah, Diana, it’s like a real, it’s a real issue.

[00:18:45] That’s awesome. We need better Farsi fonts, also hashtag Farsi fonts. That’s okay. Um, so, um, q unfortunately, uh, we, we all feel really big, [00:19:00] um, uh, just cavernous hole in our hearts as, um, Hugh passed away this past. March unexpectedly. Um, but I have to give it up to he, he really and truly, um, what he’s done for this publication is huge.

[00:19:14] Um, he worked with the design observer. Um, he, he was just so into what we are all trying to do as designers and visual communicators that, um, uh, I can’t talk again without mentioning him. And this is a great publication [00:19:30] and you should all go buy one. So, um, I, I, now I can, I can show some work examples if you want Diane.

[00:19:38] Sure. You can. So 

[00:19:40] diane: you’re, you have love of type, which you have done for years with just writing out type, and there’s type in, in two, the two that I own, that are pro collaged in. So there was this black and white, there’s this ripped. So I, it, I’d just like to see how you still have some of these [00:20:00] kind of, I like to see the.

[00:20:05] I don’t know how far it’s come where you’re still using these colors, but you’re adding something else. You’re still using Type that’s from other places, like Gateway Art. I love that piece, but it’s like to see where something starts or see what you were so ingrained with, it was just part of your every day.

[00:20:23] And a lot of the, the stuff that you were doing back in 2013 was still maybe [00:20:30] stuff that you’re doing now, but now it’s, you have more of a playground. You have a bigger playground to, that you’re working with, I think. 

[00:20:40] Meena Khalili: Yeah. Um, so to go back to that, I think that’s probably a good segue. So these drawings, um, now I’m on my website guys.

[00:20:48] Um, so these drawings are, uh, there’s, there’s a lot of collage as you can see here. There’s just a lot of collage going on. And I’ve got so many different series. Let’s see, we’ll go [00:21:00] to the drawing and so do the city one cuz it’s, um, just the most, uh, recent. Um, so you can see the collage happening. These are, these are images, um, uh, that use both ink, uh, so Penn and Ink.

[00:21:13] Uh, there’s also, you know, Jess o i I have all of this stuff. It’s like right here. That was really loud. Sorry. But like, here’s my tray of stuff that I use. Um, I’m working on some stuff right now, um, in front of me. But, so you’ve got this, uh, this, this sort of like [00:21:30] brownish paper that’s a love letter that I found at an estate sale.

[00:21:34] So these are images that are being, um, uh, these are, these are works that are actually, um, that they have something, uh, from the geographic region. Um, the estate sale that I found, uh, that love letter at was local. So, Um, and, you know, I like to draw baked goods, you know, things like that. But the, the thing about this is that really, um, I was [00:22:00] doing this, um, sorry about that.

[00:22:02] I was doing this project and thinking, um, more along the lines of I have to do something every day. So no day without a lime. Um, so if I’m doing that, some days are just gonna be like a candle. Some days are gonna be a really, uh, also baked goods are good for Yes, doc. Exactly. Baked goods are also good for your feelings.

[00:22:24] Um, it’s, I I would often find myself with a lack of content, so I [00:22:30] would just, I, I would just, you know, draw what whatever was in front of my face, um, which was often a muffin. Um, but, or it could have been, you know, a, a camera or something like that. But I was always trying to, and this is the new in lie, um, project, I was always trying to, you know, go outside and I always draw what I see in front of my face.

[00:22:51] I do not like, um, I do not like to take pic because what you, what happens is, [00:23:00] um, so this one, uh, from Nords, okay. What happens when you don’t, when you, when you just draw from a picture is your images are gonna be flat cuz you’re drawing from. So I love drawing from life. I love drawing baked goods from life.

[00:23:18] Look at these donuts. I could eat these donuts because I wanted to eat these donuts, and you can tell because that’s how I drew them. Um, but that’s, you know, that’s just [00:23:30] something that I was doing here. And so I’m trying to combine text in the background. Yeah, I did eat them. Alex, yes, thank you. Um, I’m trying to combine text in the background, um, flatter, uh, sort of more graphic shapes, um, in the foreground.

[00:23:46] I’m trying to get my midtones, my highlights, my darkest areas. I’m trying to practice my craft here. And I found that a way that I can do that is through this medium. But all of [00:24:00] this still translates to my graphic design work. So, um, how do, the question doc has is how do you know when you’re done with the drawing, when the baked goods are gone?

[00:24:10] Um, yeah, sometimes. Um, so all of that, uh, that, um, I’ll say, uh, layering of text and shape, um, form over words, all of that goes back to my design [00:24:30] work. So I guess what I’m trying to say is my illustration work informs my graphic design work full stop. Everything that I do, when I practice my daily drawings, 30 minutes a day to warm up for something is taking me to this place where I can practice the same rules, um, and the, the same methods, but with different tools.

[00:24:54] Different visual tools. Um, I’ll also mention [00:25:00] that when it comes to seeing all of these. Overlapping, um, forms and texts and things like that. What I’m trying to do is convey life. I’m trying to convey what I experience as life, whether it’s, I like to say imagery with a pulse, but whether it’s, um, imagery that conveys people talking over each other, um, or imagery that conveys multiple [00:25:30] shadows, like the Gateway, arch project here, um, or if it’s more complex, um, like the, uh, the vote poster, um, on the far right, um, that includes a lot of things that has, that has, um, baby footprints, that has, um, you know, p sticks that has a lot of things going on with it that has birth birthing like information and charts in it.

[00:25:57] And, um, I’m layering all of [00:26:00] these things. To convey, uh, a more dynamic perspective. Um, the Jenny Wiley State Park is a different type of thing. I’m hoping that it comes across with energy and I’m using line to do that. Um, but it’s a lot more simple. It’s a lot more flat than some of my other work. I’ve done a, a lot of.

[00:26:23] But I love that you’re 

[00:26:23] diane: exploring, like there is typography in all this. There is type exploration, there is value [00:26:30] exploration, there’s layering in all of these. But I love that you, I, I think that’s what inspires me a lot about what your work is, is it’s, it’s not just the same thing repeated. It’s that you’re continually growing and it is informing.

[00:26:47] I love that you say your illustration, your design is informed by your illustration, so you have to keep illustrating so that you can continue to 

[00:26:56] Meena Khalili: be informed in your design work. Yeah. [00:27:00] And, and I also am very inspired when I have a good client to work for. I mean, and that, that’s another part of it. I do a lot of work for state parks or national parks.

[00:27:09] Um, I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited into some really cool projects, um, type hike being one of them. Um, and, uh, uh, I think that having, having clients like that, that really make me, uh, want to do something for something bigger and better than myself, um, that’s, that’s another big part of it. I, I [00:27:30] want the work to be bigger than me.

[00:27:31] I want it to feel, um, uh, larger. So a lot of that also has moved into motion for me. Um, this, this is a bunch of stills cuz it’s at A P D F. Um, but this is a project that works with projection mapping and projections sort of hop from a surface, from surface to surface. Um, these are. Three dimensional, um, canvases that I built, um, through an [00:28:00] algorithm and cut with a C N C router.

[00:28:02] This project is so cool. Thanks. Um, and the, uh, the canvases are, they are not flat, right? So they’re gonna distort the images that are projected upon it. Um, so these are just three stills from the three different videos, um, that are in that project. And I’ll, I’ll go back and, and go ahead and find that project so that you guys can see it.

[00:28:25] Um, oh, here, it’s, it’s called Typo topo, typography, [00:28:30] topography. Um, and you can sort of see how the images, how the videos, um, ex um, I, okay, sorry, I’m looking at the chat. You can see how the, uh, how the videos exist altogether. So, Um, and they’re a little outta sync here, but they hop from, from surface to surface.

[00:28:49] And the idea behind that was an homage to Hedy Lamar, who developed a signal hopping device to thwart Nazi control of Austria [00:29:00] during World War ii. Um, and that’s the same, um, that’s the basis for what we use for our wifi today, for how we all utilize wifi. It was developed by a beautiful actress, he Lamar.

[00:29:15] Um, and I’ll also note that these videos there, they’re, all, these are hand done. There’s nothing in here that is digital. These are letter pressed letter forms that I pressed at the Tippo Teca, um, [00:29:30] in Corna, um, Italy. Um, and, uh, animated in, um, uh, in, uh, after Effects. Um, these, let’s see. We’ll go over here.

[00:29:40] Yeah. This project, this, I’m sorry, this video. These are sculptures, these are paper sculptures. Um, and, uh, they were, I’ve filmed them in real life. Um, and you can sort of see a little bit of tape back there. Um, but these are all, these [00:30:00] are all paper sculpture. This is, uh, shadow, and this is me looking up, you can see the wires.

[00:30:06] Um, so this isn’t digitally, digitally developed. This is developed by hand, um, and created, um, and then set in this context, um, altogether. So, um, you know, if you really wanted to read more about it, you could, my website. Um, but this is just one event that I had, um, with this project, and it’s [00:30:30] gone around, um, a few times.

[00:30:32] Um, so that’s one way that this, that my lettering and typography has evolved. Um, another way is through augmented reality. One project that I’ve worked on, and I don’t know that I have a video of this, um, but one project that I’ve worked on is called Hubby and it means, uh, well it’s, it’s usually like, um, how you might say like, I’m Well or, uh, who, um, like thing it’s [00:31:00] good, um, in Farsi.

[00:31:02] And this whole book is, um, has various triggers throughout it, but it is a book, um, that details what it feels like to have your cultural heritage sort of weaned out of you because you live in a place that’s not like maybe where your parents are from. Um, any diasporic pe people out there? What up? That’s [00:31:30] us.

[00:31:31] We have a specific feeling that I, I’m trying to talk about. Um, I really want to dive. Further into this. And so I use, um, both printed and thank you Lisa, both printed and um, uh, uh, video works. Um, I bridge printed works with video, [00:32:00] um, to, uh, sort of, uh, you know, encourage people to dive more into certain things.

[00:32:06] I feel like we have so many dimensions to us as humans. I can’t even imagine that an artist book for me would ever just be one thing anymore. Um, with the ability to, um, explore both, uh, print and, uh, multimedia. Um, all of the work that I develop now is multimodal. And that might not just be for myself. It [00:32:30] might be for a client.

[00:32:31] So, um, if a client has something that they want and they want this, like, a client came to me, the women and gender studies, um, here at University of South Carolina came to me and they were like, we want, um, posters in our new space and we want them to be artistic and beautiful. And I said, cool, can I make them move?

[00:32:50] And they were like, I don’t know what that means, but go for it. Let’s see what that, what what, what we can do. Um, so the, uh, the two posters, there’s a, it’s a diptic [00:33:00] and a as stills, they sort of look like what’s at the bottom, right? But then when you hover over them, um, they become something else, right? So again, we’re using AR technology to extend the conversation and, um, They have a cool talking point for, you know, anybody who just walks into their space too.

[00:33:20] And I think I’ve got, yeah, so there’s some little stills here. Uh, not stills, sorry. Um, little ways that I think this does move. Yeah. Some triggers that you can [00:33:30] see on my website just to sort of see me testing this out. You can see the flat too. Yeah. Uh, the most conventional. Yeah. So even though that’s in my, like, I have a, I have like a little patio.

[00:33:42] I, I’m in like a tree house. Like my studio is like high up and all I’ve got is crepe myrtles around me, but that’s like in the, in the back part of my studio. And I know it’s cool, uh, and I’m very, very grateful. Um, but that sort of just gives you an [00:34:00] idea. I usually like to take things outside to photograph them because I think natural light has the best.

[00:34:05] Um, you know, it was just the best light. Was it the 

[00:34:07] diane: tower? Was it like it was part of your phone and the phone was showing, but it wasn’t. Right. It, I don’t know how, this just looks like 

[00:34:16] Meena Khalili: magic. Uh, yeah. I, I brought it down and I have my partner take a look at that. Look at it and, um, I think his brain exploded a little bit.

[00:34:26] He was like, wait, what? And this was like LA two [00:34:30] years ago or something like that, um, when I had him try it. But yeah, it’s just when your phone hovers over it, um, it pulls, it’s essentially like a thumbprint and your image has to be unique enough for it to, for it to trigger what it is that you’re working, what you want it to trigger.

[00:34:47] Um, it can’t just be anything. Um, but, but yeah. So, um, that’s another way that my work has extended now from the past 10 years that, you know, we’ve been talking like, so [00:35:00] you’re seeing the overlap of text. It’s just in a different sort of format. Um, I’m using different tools. Yeah. That’s so cool. Yeah. So this, this is just sort of, uh, where my, um, my illustration practice is gone, um, for this project, uh, the Drawn daily.

[00:35:20] Um, and, well, I’ll go back to this for a second. Um, so this project has been really cool. I get to draw, um, small [00:35:30] businesses, um, oh, Rhonda, that one is Arti. Ive, that one was Arti. Ive, uh, Rhonda. Um, so I get to draw these small businesses and I didn’t realize how important this project was gonna be. Um, when I finished this 100 day project at the end of 2019, uh, we all know what happened next.

[00:35:55] A lot of these, uh, small businesses, [00:36:00] um, Had a really difficult road ahead of them, and a lot of them did not, um, survive it. So, um, I started selling prints of these drawings, um, and then started cutting checks, um, to small businesses. So I’d sell a print for, you know, 20 bucks. I think. I just was like, how much would people, would people pay for a print, you know?

[00:36:28] So I started selling these prints for like [00:36:30] 20 bucks or just whatever people would donate, and then I would just take that money and give it to the, um, the small business, um, if, if there was somebody who could receive it, right. And, uh, the warm mouth, uh, down the street from me was just one of those people.

[00:36:47] They, they put out the bat signal, um, I think December of 2020, and they were like, guys, we’re gonna have to close. We cannot do this anymore. Something does not change. We can’t do this. We love you guys, but we can’t. [00:37:00] So I should tell you guys, my father owned a barbecue restaurant for like 35 years. So if your parents own a restaurant or, or, or own a small business, okay?

[00:37:12] If your parents own a small business, you have another 12 siblings. That’s what that feels like. There is another 12 siblings and they, they don’t ever sleep. And your parents are constantly working with that. That’s how it feels. And I saw [00:37:30] how much work my dad put into his business and the ups and downs of that don’t even get me started.

[00:37:35] Um, and I felt for these businesses and I realized I’d been, I’d been supporting myself, making a name for my practice, drawing these businesses. I owed them something. I, I wanted to give them something back so that December, 2020. I just started sending out prints. I think the [00:38:00] farthest I sent one out was Australia.

[00:38:02] Wow. Um, which was super cool. But places people wanna own a little bit of the places that they love or loved. Um, maybe they have memories of those places, but I found that that was the most fulfilling part of this project that, and I could never have imagined that, that having happened. Um, and so I started, I, I applied for a grant and I, um, I’ve started this, um, very small [00:38:30] project, um, to tell the story of some of the small businesses here in South Carolina, um, and how Covid impacted them, um, and how they have, uh, been coming through, um, on, uh, what feels like the other side of Covid, although I don’t know that we’re supposed to say that, uh, or not.

[00:38:50] Um, but, um, It’s, it’s been a really interesting project. So that’s coming out in September. So [00:39:00] another project, and another way that I’ve sort of, uh, been working through these illustrations, but more on a digital side is through these sort of funny, uh, ways to describe pregnancy. Um, I have yet to go. To the motherhood side of things cuz I just, you know, when you’re inside the tornado, it’s just hard to, like, hard to see, well, maybe it’s really easy, easier to see in the middle, but, um, I don’t quite have that [00:39:30] clarity right now.

[00:39:31] When I was pregnant, I decided I would start a hundred day project of, um, yeah, it is Brandy. I know. Um, when I was pregnant I decided I would start a hundred day project of what I called honest pregnancy. Um, and so, uh, I have this project that’s, and I’ll just sort of show you all, um, let’s see, 100 days of honest pregnancy.

[00:39:55] Um, the l o l might be my favorite because it’s [00:40:00] like, how could I ever shave? Yeah. Brandy, mine is gonna be four, gonna be five next month and it’s. It’s, yeah, it’s hard to process. So, you know, here I, I’m just trying to like, I’m just, these are cathartic. These are nothing but cathartic. Now, the other projects, the other illustrations that I do, they’re like homage to a place and a geography and a city, and it’s, it’s much more serious.

[00:40:28] These are just, for me, these [00:40:30] are completely cathartic. Um, trying to be some kind of tongue in cheek about the fact that all of the weight of the world feels like it’s resting on your shoulders. Whether that’s, you know, feeding the thing or, or making sure the thing is educated and can read or do math, um, and making sure the thing doesn’t go around, hitting people all the time, you know, the little things, right.

[00:40:56] Um, just trying to like laugh about some of [00:41:00] it. People take swaddling very seriously before a baby is born. All sorts of books and special swaddles that have directions on them. Yes. We don’t have time to do everybody swaddle my child properly because I have a career and I’m trying to live a life. It’s hard.

[00:41:20] It is hard. So these are supposed to be sort of tongue in cheek to that. Like, yes, I wanna do it right. I want so badly, so earnestly to do this [00:41:30] perfectly, but the reality of that weight is too much and we have got to laugh about it or it’s just gonna overcome us. So you know, the stranger things upside down makes me laugh because this is actually a position one of my girlfriends posted her child’s proceeding like, um, Yeah.

[00:41:51] Yeah. Uh, I, I, I was, I was due in the middle of July, so it was really fun. Yay. [00:42:00] Catherine, you’re here right on time. Um, I’ve had a lot of these, but July, 2018, that was my, that was when my due date was. So I, I was like, look at this. I’m gonna make, I’m gonna draw my calendar. Right. This is sort of what we’re talking about, though.

[00:42:14] I didn’t know. Um, I didn’t, I didn’t think I wanted to have a baby for sure. I was like, no, I’m, I’m good. And then I met my husband and I was like, no, I a hundred percent wanna have a baby, and I wanted to do it with this man. And that was my story. And I, but I always [00:42:30] thought I was supposed to do, I was supposed to hit my checklist of all of these things before I could even think about becoming a mother or having a family.

[00:42:39] Um, and I was wrong. I was wrong about that. And, um, and I, I really just sort of needed to write about that. Um, Yeah, trying to get up is really hard when you’re, when you don’t have abs, when you don’t have abdominal muscles is really hard. Um, all of the images back [00:43:00] here, so this is a sonogram in the background, but most of the other backgrounds are all from the, uh, the, the paper, the wrapping paper from, um, my shower.

[00:43:12] Oh, fun. Yeah. I missed wine a lot. Um, whenever I was, you know, rounding corners. Anyhow, a lot of band-aids cuz I kept hurting myself. I could go through this. I, I, you know, I have fun looking through these because [00:43:30] they’re cathartic for me, but I’ll stop. Um, um, the last image that I have here is just a fun one cuz it’s got puppies on it and I love to show this image.

[00:43:43] Um, The thing about posting drawings daily is that people noticed and people would call me and they would hire me for various projects. And so I got to, um, you know, draw and design murals for like bank headquarters or [00:44:00] potentially selfie stations for dogs. Oh, you know, I got to work with Nature’s Recipe on that project and it was at Dog Menta la That’s right.

[00:44:08] Dog Menta, not Documenta. Menta. Um, and, uh, and yeah, so you just never really know where all of this stuff is gonna take you and, um, I’ve been really fortunate and I’m extremely grateful to, um, to be doing the work that I do. And I have the time to, um, to research and, uh, and I’m hoping that I can [00:44:30] benefit really, um, anyone with, with any of the, the work that I, I do now.

[00:44:35] So I’m gonna stop sharing my screen if that’s okay. Yeah, I am. Yeah. Yeah. That’s great. Anyway, 

[00:44:41] diane: these are, so this is what I wanted to, I think the last in, maybe it was 2017, we really just looked at the new and Lu and we talked about this. But even that project has expanded it. It has continued. N it had a role in c o after Covid, during Covid [00:45:00] it, you know, and it became more because we couldn’t get out as much, you know?

[00:45:05] Yeah. So I think that that, but there’s still something really important about drawing from life, and I think it that you really embody that. So in, since we’ve spoken, so maybe since 2017, when did you go to South Carolina? What year? 2019. 

[00:45:22] Meena Khalili: Uh, August of 2019. Okay. Yeah. 

[00:45:25] diane: Right before, that’s what I, that’s what I was thinking.

[00:45:27] Um, at least. Hey, that’s better. It [00:45:30] was better to be there. Than not at, you know, anyway. Um, so what’s the biggest hurdle that you’ve faced in regards to your career? And it could be, um, or, or getting business as you’ve moved from place to place, what has been, uh, one of the biggest hurdles 

[00:45:49] Meena Khalili: for you? Um, if, okay, let me see how I can say this.

[00:45:55] Uh, being a woman, you feel like you’re [00:46:00] supposed to make people feel comfortable. Um, and, and, and, and that’s just something that we’re, we’re like ingrained to, to do. Um, you know, I, I, I’m sorry, I hate to bring that gender stuff into it, but here we are. Um, and moving from university to university, um, and negotiating and speaking up for yourself, um, that has been something that I ha that has been extremely challenging, um, for me to [00:46:30] meet head on.

[00:46:31] Um, from a professional standpoint, um, making sure that you’re the one doing the talking and, uh, that other people aren’t talking for you, um, is a really, really important thing that I’ve learned. Um, negotiations, uh, also are, uh, ra dance and, um, um, are, can be difficult. And so I, I think that the biggest hurdle for [00:47:00] me, um, was learning to realize when it was time to move on and when the conversation had changed from, um, what can we do for you and what can you do for us to, what can they do for you, um, over there at the other place And being able to realize that there’s a lot of power in negotiations and there’s a lot of [00:47:30] power in the.

[00:47:31] The, um, and the fact that you might have a choice of, of where you go and where you, where you work. 

[00:47:38] diane: So in negotiations, just through learning or did you read anything? Was it just talking to people? Was it, um, practicing what, what helped you the most? Cuz I think even, even like that bank mural, which I don’t know if that was the bank mural, the Tennessee one, the cow’s hat is beautiful.

[00:47:56] But there are things that, even something like that, if you [00:48:00] hadn’t done 

[00:48:00] Meena Khalili: a mural 

[00:48:01] diane: before, you know, it’s like, I don’t know, I work at, you know, four inch by six inch. You know, like, okay, I can do it. But again, when it’s something that you’re not as familiar with, how, if somebody else isn’t a professor trying to go to other, how, what have you done to help you improve those negotiation skills?

[00:48:24] Uh, 

[00:48:25] Meena Khalili: um, I have learned that I need to hear what the [00:48:30] other person wants to communicate to me and if they’re telling me something I need to listen, not project. Um, so, uh, for that mural, let me think back. That was in 2019. Um, and I, uh, that was a really great project, uh, that, that one was just so, that was smooth sailing.

[00:48:50] Um, but, uh, but yeah, also making sure that I am very clear and communicating what I’m gonna deliver. [00:49:00] Um, you know, if, if we’re not talking, uh, universities, academia, and we’re not talking the politics that go along with that, and we’re talking strictly from a business standpoint, um, I love starting with an mou, making sure that everybody is on the same page, a memorandum of understanding.

[00:49:19] That this is what we’ve discussed, that I’ll deliver. This is how I will deliver that when, and this is how you’ll pay me. And when, um, and if all of that looks great to you, [00:49:30] then I’m gonna go ahead and make up my contract. But I don’t like to put the cart before the horse and do too much work prior to that moment.

[00:49:38] Um, if we have a conversation, you and I, um, I’m gonna go back to my, uh, my MOU template, um, and just write something up and send it to you and be like, okay, is this, is this accurate? 

[00:49:48] diane: I, I love this one because sometimes a project has a lot of concepting in it and you have to do that concept before you can write your contract or, [00:50:00] so I love this M O U, 

[00:50:03] Meena Khalili: is that what you say?

[00:50:03] Memorandum of understanding, yes. Okay. M O U I 

[00:50:05] diane: love this idea. So it’s just kind of like a synopsis before you really do a lot of some of the brain work. Cuz sometimes the contracts take a while. 

[00:50:15] Meena Khalili: They do, and I thank you. Yeah. So I’ll, I’ll say, uh, so Catherine, I wouldn’t call it a pre-contract just because I wouldn’t want that language to muddy, um, uh, anything between a [00:50:30] client and me, but between you and me, sure.

[00:50:31] It is pretty much a pre-contract, you know? Um, I just wanna make sure that the client and I are on that same page, that we understand each other. And so with that, um, it opens me up to, uh, to, to feel more confident in building that contract. I do not want draft contracts. I, I just can’t stand them. It’s, it’s work.

[00:50:53] I have to keep going over and over and over again. It’s ridiculous. And so it’s, it’s about scope 

[00:50:57] diane: in there a lot. Like, here’s what I’m gonna deliver. [00:51:00] If they go past this, this is, you reiterate it in the contract, but this is kind of like a scope. This is what I’m gonna cover. I’m gonna make you a contract 

[00:51:07] Meena Khalili: for this.

[00:51:09] And in that moment it should be a conversation. If the, if your conversation didn’t cover something in the mou, that’s the time for them to say, actually, we feel more comfortable with three rounds of revisions than your basic two. I give two rounds of revisions. Um, it standard. Um, but you know, if somebody feels more comfortable with three [00:51:30] fine, you know, um, that’s the moment that they can, we can have a conversation about it.

[00:51:35] Again, if it leads to more communication, great. But keeping people in the dark is a recipe for disaster. Um, my very first gig, I think I was, I think it was in 2000 actually. I was just, I was fresh. I was fresh outta college. It was like 2005 and I was a consultant and I was doing a project for a [00:52:00] very well known insurance company.

[00:52:03] I’ll just do this, I’ll 

[00:52:04] diane: do that. And. 

[00:52:07] Meena Khalili: I totally tanked it because I didn’t, I was so worried that I wouldn’t do a good enough job, that I didn’t communicate enough with my art and creative directors to tell them when I needed help. That was the, it was the first [00:52:30] huge project that I’d ever been given as a big kid designer.

[00:52:34] And I bombed it, uh, because I didn’t tell people that I needed help and I didn’t talk to enough people. So that was a quick early learning experience that I have never since duplicated. And if you can learn from me on that. Good. 

[00:52:51] diane: That, that is good to know. Okay, so I’m gonna, um, we got four minutes left.

[00:52:55] I’m gonna, um, I, there were a couple things that I wanted to make [00:53:00] sure Yeah. That we covered. Um, I, I have to ask this about, I. The learning new things. So as you’re drawing this’s a continual practice, but then you’re using After Effects or Art of V or 

[00:53:14] Meena Khalili: R I don’t know how to say that. Art of, I, art. Art 

[00:53:17] diane: of, well, in Alabama we say Art of V Anyway, I’m just kidding.

[00:53:22] Um, art of I, art of I, anyway, doesn’t R vi Vive. Oh, v i, I’m, I don’t have it spelled correctly. [00:53:30] Okay. Rive. So when do you take time and how do you incorporate that into your busy 

[00:53:37] Meena Khalili: life? It, there’s only one way that I can do that. Um, and that’s dovetailing it with other projects that I’m currently doing. So initially, um, I wrote a grant cuz I wanted to explore various AR platforms.

[00:53:55] Um, and so I’ve been doing work and exploring those platforms, like [00:54:00] that’s time that I had earmarked for that grant. And if I don’t deliver on that grant, then I get in trouble. Right? Right. So I, I have to do that work. Um, the other answer to that is, uh, every time you see me without, every time you see me with my partner without our child, it’s costing me money.

[00:54:19] So I pay for somebody to look after my child while I am, uh, working. So anything, I’ll, I’ll tell you anything in terms of my [00:54:30] billable hours, anything that I am asking for money for, for my services. Include some of that. I have to, is this the only way that I’m going to continue to be in the black with my, with my, uh, my bottom line?

[00:54:44] Um, these again, you know, if we’re talking about things that are hard, that, that are hurdles for us, um, knowing what you’re worth, saying, what you’re worth asking for, what you’re worth, um, and then, [00:55:00] and then making, making sure people are accountable for delivering that. Those are difficult things for us, generally speaking, no matter if you’re female or male, that that does not matter.

[00:55:10] It, it is, it is very difficult for creative people to see that. Um, and again, I think that is a cultural thing. Yes. Um, but it is something that the sooner we can do that, um, the better, the, the happier we’ll be better. Better for us. Oh, for sure. 

[00:55:24] diane: Okay. So I wanna ask you about burning out. How have you confronted, burning out and.[00:55:30] 

[00:55:30] How are you managing it? What are some of the signals of burnout for you? Because everybody may have 

[00:55:35] Meena Khalili: different signals. See this poster behind me, practice rest, and I can’t read the rest as the form of resistance. Megan d printed this and gave it to me. Um, and that’s true. Uh, so I need to heed that warning.

[00:55:49] That’s why I put it behind me. So I see it during Zooms. Um, but it’s, it’s something that I need to keep in mind because I am really, really bad at getting to a place of [00:56:00] burnout. Um, it is, it, it’s something that I’m personally working on. Um, relying on other people, delegating if you have to, but relying on other people to do a really, really good job, because that’s what they do, um, is one way to get across, uh, get, get, get away from that, um, from burnout.

[00:56:22] Um, if you’re working on a team, Like, let your team do the work. You know, I, I have like, I, I’ve had to learn [00:56:30] that, um, for a long time I felt like I was carrying, um, for, in, in various institutions, I felt like I was carrying a lot of the weight. And when you’re on a good team, like everybody should be lifting up together.

[00:56:46] Um, and whatever team that looks like, if it’s an organization, um, that you’re, you’re serving on a board or if you know, if it’s, uh, if it’s a, you know, a design team and you’re all working together, um, whatever that [00:57:00] looks like for you. Um, but being able to rely on those teammates is a big deal. Like trusting other people is a big, big deal.

[00:57:08] Um, and that helped with burnout. I served on a, a board for four years, and I think I was telling you this the other day when I rolled off of the board, I found that it was the first time that I’d ever given my daughter a bath without Slack on. That was a really big awakening moment for me that I had been, I had been working too much [00:57:30] and it was, it had infiltrated the most personal parts of my life.

[00:57:34] Yeah. 

[00:57:35] diane: Okay. So last, maybe the last second, the last question. So how do you go from, you don’t have, I mean, maybe you have time in the bathroom alone, but you work with your 

[00:57:46] Meena Khalili: partner. You 

[00:57:48] diane: do have an art studio with Brent. You there and you have a kid. You have ha you know how, um, I said, how do [00:58:00] you collaborate?

[00:58:00] Because I do think that you have to be in the collaboration, but you have space for yourself and what elements make up this per perfect partnership? I mean, every nothing’s perfect, but I know, I know both of you. It’s, it’s, um, 

[00:58:16] Meena Khalili: yeah, it’s definitely not perfect. It works for us though. So, uh, he, the, the magic ingredient for us is alternating days.

[00:58:26] I do not ever see my partner, um, [00:58:30] he works on days that I don’t work on. Um, and I work on days that he doesn’t work on. Um, for us, logistically, it’s so that we can take care of our kid if she’s sick, um, and then, you know, during the day. But, um, for, but additionally, it serves that additional purpose, right?

[00:58:45] That we really, we go to work and we don’t see the other person. Um, in terms of studio time, um, I have my studio here, and again, I’m very fortunate for that. He has a studio out there. Um, and [00:59:00] that’s, that’s out there. And I, and again, you know, we, we have our own separate spaces. Where we do meet to collaborate is often on presentations or writing or, or teaching.

[00:59:13] Um, and that has to be done during the daytime, during work hours and cannot infiltrate. So that’s another, like, it is just a hard line, um, cannot come into dinnertime, um, into, [00:59:30] you know, I dunno, date nights that you cannot do it or else you’re constantly working. Constantly working, can’t do it. We’ve already talked about the, the burnout that leads, uh, that leads to burnout.

[00:59:42] Well, boundaries, I think for, yes. 

[00:59:44] diane: For Brent not to have four hours to commute, I think that’s great. 

[00:59:49] Meena Khalili: Yeah. He’ll, he’ll paint a rosy picture and say, oh my, my podcast game was strong. He knew everything about everything cuz he was just learning [01:00:00] constantly. Right. But um, He, it was hard for everybody. Yeah. So I’m super 

[01:00:06] diane: glad that you both are there.

[01:00:08] So what piece of advice would you tell your past self, maybe back from 

[01:00:12] Meena Khalili: 2013? Oh, it’s gonna be okay. Girl. 2013 was a rough year. Um, yeah. I, I think, um, oh, actually I would tell myself, you don’t have to stay. That’s [01:00:30] what I, that’s what I would tell myself. Mm. It’s okay to leave. That’s what I would tell myself.

[01:00:34] It’s gonna be okay. Um, I, we get this sense of loyalty like we’re supposed to be. Um, you know, in some ways we have to have that loyalty and some, for some things you need to have loyalty. Y’all, I’m not, I’m not talking about like not being loyal, but I think, um, For other things, like, you know, maybe career-wise, maybe you’ve been working with a company for a really long time and you feel this sense of loyalty and you’re like, oh man, I, I, I should, I can’t [01:01:00] believe them.

[01:01:00] I can’t. They’ve given me so much and we have such a rich history. I just would ask, you know, I would ask you, what if, what if you did, you know, where else could you go? Who else is looking for you and, and the, and values you and wants to tell you how much they value you? Um, I, I had to do that a lot of times.

[01:01:23] The first time was the roughest time. Yeah. 

[01:01:27] diane: Well, and I think you can also change your mind. I [01:01:30] think that in saying goodbye to a client, You may not be able to give them what they need. And I think stuff like that, personal stuff, it’s, you need to be able to change certain things and I love that as it’s okay to leave.

[01:01:46] It is, it’s always hard for people to leave their first job. I get a lot of calls from alumni and they’re like, well, I really wanna leave and I have another job, but I don’t know how many weeks should I give them a month? And I’m like, no, it’s two weeks. Then they’ll say, [01:02:00] I have this project though. And I’m like, I understand.

[01:02:03] I know. It’s just really hard. You just have to be, you have to have organized things really well so that somebody can take your spot and do this. It’s, and it is hard, but you have to do what’s right for you. And I think that that is, yeah, 18 years, Hannah. I remember. Um, okay, so, um, what is next? What can we expect from you?

[01:02:26] You talked about another project. And I’m [01:02:30] gonna, and I’m gonna share, I’m like looking for my walk and pin, uh, to get all your links, but what, what could we expect from we, and I have a whole, all these links that you’ve seen, you haven’t seen them if you’re watching on YouTube, but all the links that we’ve shared that 

[01:02:45] Meena Khalili: Doc has 

[01:02:46] diane: gotten from me in the chat are all underneath.

[01:02:49] So if you are watching on YouTube, Meena’s links are first. The show notes are next, which the show notes have all these links. 

[01:02:57] Meena Khalili: Go ahead. Uh, next for me. Um, [01:03:00] well, I am trying really hard to practice to rest. Uh, I’m gonna be completely, is that difficult? Yes, it’s hard. Yes. Yeah, I don’t like to rest either. I constantly wanna be doing things.

[01:03:14] Um, so. Uh, I’ve got a grant project coming out in September. Um, my, uh, my team at, uh, U U S C, graphic design and illustration is building, uh, we’re just building, we’re building so much [01:03:30] more. Uh, we’re, we’ve got a, the student led design studio that we’re, we’re starting up. We have two positions opening up in the fall for professional track instructors.

[01:03:42] Um, we’re really excited about those, but for me personally, this will be the longest I’ve ever stayed at a university. I know. Tenure. Woo woo, baby. Oh yeah, I got tenure. Um, so that, that for me means that maybe I need to look [01:04:00] at where I am and look at, look at the program and look at, you know, physically where I am and, um, and take stock of it and, um, and either, you know, and, and support it.

[01:04:12] Um, and see how, how I can support it, um, and to look at myself and say, okay, well what is, what is the next thing for me? Um, I feel like I’m at a pivotal point right now, so we’ll see. I I, yeah. We’ll see. There’s [01:04:30] a lot of stuff. We’ll see how it goes. 

[01:04:32] diane: Yeah. Well, and there’s more to exploring to do, and the career path is, um, you’re guiding people.

[01:04:39] You’re leading, you’re also in a way leading, um, there’s lots of things culturally that I think you’re in, in as a leader. It’s sometimes it is hard to be like, well, when do I rest? And I, I, I think that, I always look at Robin Linda, I think she’s just amazing. And she’s just been [01:05:00] doing so much for so long and she’s just so chill.

[01:05:03] She’s like, well, I just have a really, you know, she goes to watch a show and she does other things. She has a life. And I think that then she really, she just loves teaching and she loves what she’s able to do and to, to give to the industry. And I think that having, in this pivotal part, I think it is, um, just critical that you do some of that deep digging [01:05:30] and that we all do when we’re at that pivotal.

[01:05:32] But it’s hard because we’re like, but I gotta get this thing done. So 

[01:05:36] Meena Khalili: mean. I, yeah. I mean, I think, I think it’s refreshing to hear somebody say, Hey, like, I’m, I’m still figuring it out too. Yeah. Yeah. 

[01:05:46] diane: Yeah, yeah. Anyway, so if you guys wanna follow Meena on, and I’m gonna spell this out for you for if you’re listening.

[01:05:54] If you want it really good, you can just go to the links down below. Um, but it’s on [01:06:00] Khalili, m e e n a k h a l i l i, same thing. Um, so that, uh, well that’s a L you’re on that on LinkedIn as well. So the LinkedIn link and then the drawn daily T H E D R A W N Daily. I’m not gonna spell daily.

[01:06:21] If you don’t know how to spell daily, call me. Um, and then her website, If you wanna buy print. Meena k I’m sure there’s a [01:06:30] way from the website to go to shop. Yeah. But and then the Great Discontent article is there, as well as all the other stuff that we have shared will be on that.

[01:06:42] I have taken them. As we’ve, as doc put them in. So I, I’m just, uh, thank you so much for coming and Meena, thank you so much for being here. Um, I will, next week I am gonna be at my dad’s. Um, and I, [01:07:00] we, I had to reschedule, not anyway, we reschedule for next week. I may do a quick thing, but I don’t think I’m gonna, it’s not gonna be a standard, uh, rapid recharge or, or anything like that.

[01:07:12] I may just produce a video. I’ve been working on some things behind the scenes, so I, and John says he loved your talk at Creative South, which I wish I could have seen it, but had other things. Um, and I appreciate that you gave me a pass. Um, [01:07:30] But I am excited to see where you are next. I’m just excited to have you back on.

[01:07:35] Hopefully it won’t be 10 years and, uh, or seven or however many it almost has been, but you have been very inspiring to me. And again, I look at this piece every day because it’s right in back of my computer. So I always see that. And this one I see as I walk out of my room, but it is set kind of high. So my line of vision, I have to look up a little bit.

[01:07:57] Um, but guys, I hope that you [01:08:00] guys enjoyed it. It seemed like it was really cool. Uh, a lot of people in, um, and she’ll be president, um, says, um, I just think, uh, it’s really nice to do these. Uh, and I’m, we’re taking, we, me and the mouse in my pocket are taking July off, but we have one more. Jason Karin will be the last Wednesday in June.

[01:08:22] So next Wednesday. Is off. Um, we’ll look for something in your email that shows you about, uh, a, [01:08:30] another video, another series that I’m working on. And it’s more on the art side or more on the, my creative. There, there’s other pieces. So I hope that you guys are gracious with me on my editing and things like that and the end.

[01:08:47] And I just can’t wait to see guys back in August. I’m already planning August. August is almost full. I will get the rest of it, um, in there. And I just, it’s nice to see y’all and have such [01:09:00] a, uh, uh, busy chat. I don’t know. My brain’s gone. I had a lot, you had a lot of things. I loved all the visuals. 

[01:09:09] Meena Khalili: Diane, thank you so much for having me on again.

[01:09:12] diane: Always. Anytime you got something girl, just tell me. Be like, I need to, I got something to share 

[01:09:18] Meena Khalili: because I’ll, it’ll be what’s next. 

[01:09:21] diane: Yeah. I love it. Okay. Thank you guys and I’m gonna hit 

[01:09:25] stop.[01:09:30] 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.