Two artistic temperaments have come together in the form of married couple Sara Japanwalla and Salman Qureshi. They’re a talented and popular duo in their own right with very unique occupations. Multi talented Salman is an award winning and critically acclaimed stand-up comedian, improv actor and media personality. Salman has Pakistani roots but has been brought up in the Gulf, so his immersion in the regional culture has given him a unique Expat perspective, enabling him to make a strong connection with audiences around the world.
Salman has been nominated several times as Ahlan’s best male personality of the Year and has worked alongside internationally renowned talents such as Maz Jobrani and Max Amini. With his dynamic and energetic personality, Salman is a popular choice as a digital influencer and has worked with number of brands such as Sacoor Brothers, The Entertainer, Uber and Puma to name a few.
Salman is often asked to MC or perform stand up at corporate events also.
His wife, Sara has an impressive list of her own credentials including being awarded one of Maserati’s 1 of 100 top creatives from around the world. Known as sarajaps on instagram, she is Dubai’s most popular fashion illustrator. Known for her speedy fashion illustrations, she’s often asked to draw live at luxury events, restaurant and fashion launches. Her incredible energy at these events often leave guests awed and inspired as they watch.
Currently she has a collection of illustrated bags at Bloomingdales Dubai. In addition to this she regularly works with brands such as Harvey Nichols, Missoni and Ralph Lauren.
We caught up with the artist power couple to talk about creativity, ideas and inspiration.
What are your strengths and how do you use those to creatively work together?
Salman: Even though Sara and I are experienced in very different art forms, we really can understand each other’s thought process and feed off each other’s creativity. Sara will use her eye for design to help me work on my website or creating an aesthetically pleasing instagram feed – she’s really great at branding!
Sara: Salman is an amazing performer, so he’s wonderful at helping me with my public speaking. He runs courses on this at the Courtyard Playhouse, so I’ve used a few of his clever improv exercises to help me pitch ideas better to clients.
Do you ever get competitive with each other?
Salman: Only in a fun way! Sometimes we tease each other about who has more followers, but I think we both have very different audiences to one another.
Sara: No, I don’t think we are really competitive in nature – at least not with each other.
Does Sara ever make cameos in your comedic videos and do you ever show up in her arty videos?
Salman: We’ve started to do this now and it’s really fun. Sara’s actually quite a natural and I’ve started making funny lighthearted videos about married life so she often appears in those. She’s a good sport and has a great time making fun of herself.
Sara: I really like it because it’s a nice break from art and it’s a fun hobby for me. I’m quite wacky in my sense of humor (obviously…I married a comedian) so this is pretty natural for me.
I’ve sketched Salman a few times for my projects and when we are both covering an event together for our respective social media channels, we do it in a funny ridiculous way. Personally, I find that too many fashion bloggers take themselves too seriously or are too predictable. We really like being zany,offbeat spontaneous and fun about it and I think it resonates with people as they enjoy watching the videos.
How do you get your inspiration and what are your favorite artists?
Sara: I get my artistic inspiration from travel, Pintrest, other artists and just going out and observing things. To make an illustration engaging it has to tell a story, so I go out and try to find these little stories from real life, then I come home and sketch what I saw.
In terms of artists – I love illustrators Megan Hess, Inslee Haynes and Katie Rodgers.
Salman: Comedians that inspire me are Micheal McIntyre – he’s so clever with this observations. I love Dave Chapelle’s writing and Eddie Izzard is my favorite. He’s not only hilarious but so interesting to listen to because he’s witty and intelligent.