Mary Michel Rizk

What if I had told that I never spent more than a decade in one continent? As a child, traveling was part of my upbringing. Originating from Lebanese roots, I made my way to Australia at a very young age. By the time I was 20 I had moved countries four times and became aware of my diverse background. Although diversity exposed me to different cultures, it helped build a unique identity. That is what I find incredible because it separates that person from others and celebrates diversity.

You will often see me talking passionately about how design can change people’s views on today’s world issues. My passion for data visualization grew when I was working for a non-profit organization. Afterward, once I acquired my Master studies in Integrated Design, I reached a stage where I knew who I decided to be and how to do it. When you are aware of your focus, you can practice and deliver your best in those areas.

Research plays a vital role in my process because it is the foundation of creating something worth reading. When you have a strong research foundation, you can develop a brand not only based on visual references but also on reliable insights. I am specifically interested in Information design as it brings out my passion and creativity to investigate different social issues in today’s world.

"It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences."

— Audre Lorde —

Passion for the Creative Community

When I graduated in 2012 from my B.A. Visual Communications degree, I saw the need of bringing our creative design community in contact with each other and help strengthen the power of making ideas happen. For the next three years, I dedicated my energy and passion for initiating the 'BehanceBeirut' community and host 'Behance Portfolio Reviews' and 'Behance Beirut Salons'.

Behance wanted to develop an offline program so that members could meet in real life and connect with other Behancers from their community. The critique is fundamental to the success of each event. Behance believes that Portfolio Reviews will help creatives improve by getting feedback and advice while allowing audience members to discover new work and meet other creatives.

A Learning Experience

BehanceBeirut has taught me how to lead, facilitate, and organise workshops and events for the creative community. The initiative started out small but with consistent determination and iterations helped me develop abilities to enhance it. The most beautiful part about working within a team is when you celebrate diversity and sharing the bigger picture. I give special dedication to Nicolas Maalouf, Mayssa Geahchan, Ghaleb Hawila, Lorena Saade, and Rassil Haidar for being part of the Behance Beirut team and sharing this experience together.

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