Naif Faris has written and illustrated two children's books available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. He has also created a product for kids: moodybands.com
Please tell us about your books for children.
My books serve as a tool for younger children to help them understand why certain unfortunate situations happen, and how to deal with them. My first book Byron the Bear and the Balloon was inspired by my 16 year old cousin who battled, and lost her life to cancer. The book tells the story of a bear who finds a balloon in a tree. After befriending the balloon and growing very close, the balloon eventually loses his ?life? and is gone. The bear seeks help from friends and family on how to heal and move on after losing his best friend.
My second book also includes the same character Byron the bear. In this story he faces the challenge of being bullied. Yes, my personal experiences are reflected through the stories of Byron. I have been fortunate enough to have my books available online through major retailers such as amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.
What year did you graduate?
I graduated in 2004 and shortly after I began freelancing. From there I worked as a graphic designer and an advertising manager. I found my true calling while working as a graphic designer for the Learning Palace educational retail stores. Being surrounded by children?s toys, designing toy ads, and catalogs sparked an interest in me to start my own toy company.
What projects are you working on currently?
I am currently promoting my new line of children's toys called Moody Bands. Moody Bands are colorful wristbands that have different moods/emotions on them that help children express themselves. I wanted kids to be able to open up to each other easily and articulate themselves visually. I have had a great response from schools, counselors and parents with stories of how a simple product has improved the way children interact with each other. It has definitely been a humbling experience being able to help others.
In what ways (faculty, program, projects, classes, etc) was PSU-GD successful in preparing you for being a professional designer?
I was blessed and fortunate enough to have had a great college experience with the backing of so many wonderful professors. I can honestly say that without the solid teachings of my professors I would not be in this position today. I learned to push myself when failing was the easy route, to believe in myself as a designer, and most importantly I learned how to capitalize off of criticism.
What recommendations do you have for any current students and/or students graduating?
My recommendations for current students and/or graduating students would be to prepare yourself for this competitive field now. Don't wait until the day after commencement to start the job search. Finding the perfect fit may take time, it may even take a few jobs that you may not necessarily enjoy. Experience is everything, start now and enjoy the ride.