@MalihaZart really does seem to do it all. From studying full-time for a Neuroscience degree to being an artist, author and activist, we're completely in awe of her talents!
If that wasn't enough, she's built a following of over 90k users on TikTok through sharing her incredible art as well as inspiring story-telling.
Maliha uses her illustrations and stories to raise awareness of important causes and provide a voice to marginalised communities. Just take a look at her series drawing 100 iconic women in the lead up to International Women's Day. With each drawing she shares the story of a women that inspires her as a person of colour or a woman in STEM, and hopes that by sharing these inspirational women on TikTok, girls everywhere feel inspired and represented.
A proud feminist Maliha's content includes videos on women activists in the field, women's history, as well as women who are saving the planet that we should all know about. Her TikTok serves to celebrate women on and educate her followers on the incredible achievements of women both now and in the past.
Her activism even extends to promoting open discussions of mental health on TikTok. As part of this, she has created an organisation named 'Story of Mental Health' to help marginalized communities open up and get mental health support.
In our latest TikTok Creator Spotlight, we sat down with Maliha to get to know how she does it all and what inspires her.
What do you love most about TikTok and the community?
I love how there is room for every and any sort of person to exist. I also love that you can truly experiment on TikTok in terms of your content and you never know where it will take you or what you will wake up to. I love the unpredictability of the platform, how people share their stories and how it gives so many people a voice.
In the past, there was a hierarchy on Social Media. If you have a big following, you have a voice or a platform. With TikTok, anyone’s video can perform well and that can be a defining moment for them. I love that people know this and this motivates them to voice their concerns and share their stories. It means that people have this sense on the platform that if they have something important to say, the TikTok community will have their back and will support them.
Why is TikTok right for your content?
On other platforms, my creativity didn't find the reach that is possible through TikTok. TikTok is great for my content because I see myself as a storyteller and through my art, I do exactly that. With TikTok, I am not just able to share my final art piece, but I am able to share the process and the details through voice over and captions on the video.
What is your goal on TikTok?
To build a community that bonds over the love of art and how powerful art can be. Over time, I’d like to have a bigger community that understands activism through art. One of my ultimate goals is to discuss mental health and also to create a safe space for mental health. I would like a part of my platform to be dedicated to that as well. I created an organization last year that I am working on constantly. It is called 'Story of Mental Health' and it is for the marginalized communities who have limited resources for their mental health.
What is your favourite TikTok you have made to date and why?
It is a series of TikToks I created titled '100 Iconic Women'. I have been sharing stories of inspirational women for many years now but this was a series I especially designed for TikTok and I know this format wouldn’t work on any other platform, except for TikTok. I enjoyed creating those quick videos highlighting the story of an inspirational woman and I loved the comments where people said that they had no idea about some of the stories. That was the goal: to share something that could educate others and also celebrate an amazing woman.
Why has TikTok been beneficial for your business?
I think it has allowed people to connect more with my work and what it represents. It also gives people a behind the scenes view into the process of creating art and art prints. Lots of people like this transparency, liked the work they saw and wanted to support it.
How do you juggle your business, your organisation, your studies, your writing and being an inspiring creator too?
It's not easy and on most days, I don’t always know how to keep everything going at once but on the days things look clear, I work really hard and get things done. For me, I have so many different things going on that aren’t necessarily connected and all of them are important in their own right so I try to be as organised as possible. I have a super supportive partner, Askari, so I am really grateful for that. I do make sure that I get most of my work done or most of my projects done during the weekends when I don’t have classes and also during school breaks etc.
Planning is key and so my calendar is planned and full 6 months in advance sometimes. I do think that being at home has given some extra minutes here and there because I no longer need to travel to university for class or go outside that much in general. I do miss the outside but it has allowed me some more room to focus on my art, business and also continue my education.
What else or who else is on your TikTok For You feed?!
A lot of BTS, some amazing artists, food TikTok and some Marvel videos because I LOVE MCU. It is amazing to see that so many different disciplines, interests and fields co-exist on TikTok.