Skip to main content
Work by Walaa Fadul Image courtesy of Walaa Fadul
After graduating, Graphic Design - MA alumna Walaa, decided to pursue a career in teaching but soon realised that this was not the profession for them. With thanks to their acclaimed degree from ECA Walaa was able to secure a job in graphic design amid a global pandemic.

Now Walaa works as a Graphic Designer for the Saudi Tourism Authority and since graduating has entered their work in a number of competitions. Walaa was the only Saudi artist to participate in the King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture (Ithra) contemporary exhibition “Seeing and Perceiving.”

Why I chose to study Graphic Design - MA

I chose to study at ECA because of the diversity of opportunities available. The school's large size allowed me the chance to find hobbies that interested me and participate in various activities and projects. I wanted to meet a variety of people and encounter a range of practices to broaden my knowledge and perspective and become a more well-rounded person and designer.

It was also important to me to develop relationships with the faculty at my school. Thus, I was interested in the quality of professors available at ECA. I met some interesting subject experts through participating in courses, attending seminars and networking through the department. This allowed me to develop genuine relationships with my professors and learn from mentors. I know that these connections and relationships are valuable as their advice has continued even years after my graduation and has helped me in my career.

My time at ECA

Every individual project, while still adhering to the standard expected in the professional world, encouraged and challenged me to step out of my comfort zone. At ECA I got the opportunity to become more and more open-minded. I become accepting of the diversity around me, while constantly asking questions and searching for ways to create impact.

One of the most valuable attributes of a design degree is the collaboration between artists and designers studying alongside you, you can always learn from the experiences of others.  

I grew up in a society where ideas and beliefs were conformed to fixed guidelines; and only when I started my MA degree at ECA did I discover that ‘crazy’ ideas are no longer crazy, but even respected and supported.

Being in Edinburgh was a huge turning point in my life. During my studies, I experienced criticism, depression, anxiety, and grief. My experience of getting my masters degree was one of the most challenging and demanding experiences I have faced, especially whilst being abroad and taking care of a child by myself. I persevered through the challenging times with thanks to ECA for providing all the help and support I needed at the time.

"One of the most valuable attributes of a design degree is the collaboration between artists and designers studying alongside you, you can always learn from the experiences of others."

Walaa Fadul

Graphic Design - MA alumnus

My experiences since graduating

I graduated from ECA and a couple of months later the pandemic (Covid-19) happened. Lots of people lost their jobs, however, I was lucky enough to have the chance to participate in a couple of competitions as well as finding a great job. Aside from luck, graduating from a prestigious university like The University of Edinburgh has played a major role in my ability to find a job.

I initially decided to study at ECA with the intent of becoming a lecturer, and this is what happened. After a year and a half I discovered that teaching was not the right career for me. Nevertheless, it was not difficult for me to have a career change because I was well taught. Now I work as a Graphic Designer for the Saudi Tourism Authority.

One of my proudest achievements since graduating has been being the only Saudi artist to participate in the King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture (Ithra) contemporary exhibition “Seeing and Perceiving”. Having my first artwork exhibited alongside top artists such as Carsten Höller, Robert Lazzarini, Do Ho Suh, Gabriel de la Mora and Robert Irwin - who have been in the field for decades - is really an honour.

Also, I have been selected as one of the 9 designers among more than 400 participants to design the "Made in Saudi" identity, under the Saudi Exports Development Authority.

My advice to new and graduating students

Your tutors are there to help you succeed. Ask, ask, ask lots of question. And ask one more! Also do not be afraid to make mistakes because university is the ideal place for that. The more you make mistakes the more you learn.

When graduating think about what it is you really like and make it your focus.

Related people

Associated programmes