Nishat Akhtar


Hi! 👋🏾 I’m Nishat, an illustrator, designer and creative educator. Currently Im working at Instrument as VP of Creative. ✨

I have worked with Nike, Google, The New York Times, ACLU, Adobe and more. Want to work together? I'm always open for collaboration and conversation. Contact me here



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Instrument


A simple line drawing in black of two hands, one light, one dark, draw an eye together from opposite sides on a dusty pink background.

Working as VP of Creative at Instrument is a focus on the people and the craft, a mutual care that is at the center of Instrument’s values. In close partnership with my co-lead Tsilli Pines, we foster consistent touch points of inspiration, education, and coaching for writers and designers at all levels. We run monthly creative workshops, strategize regularly with creative leaders and work closely in key client moments. Last year we piloted programs including seating under-represented design professionals in the college classroom to raise visibility of creative excellence from a diverse lens, as well as Emerging Futures, an internship program built to identify future voices of our industry. It’s an honor to think across so many verticals with such incredible designers, writers, clients and community members. 



Nike


Nike swoosh in white on an orange background

My personal passion for sports, people and storytelling has been the binding agent for many years of work with Nike, most recently as a creative leader. I’ve lead teams on content and storytelling projects for interactive spaces as a Creative Director across North America categories (from Womens,  N7, Kids and Purpose). Previously as a designer I had the dream opportunity to illustrate and design for Global Football. Contact for case studies.



Google


Hand drawn Google "super G" logo with the brand colors (red, yellow, green, blue) in a crayon texture

For multiple years I worked as a Creative Director on a team focused on Google projects at Instrument. I lead work across product areas, overseeing multidisciplinary teams creating marketing websites, animated content, branding, illustration and interactive experiments with Google I/O, Tensor Flow, Google Photos, Google News, Fi, X and more. Every moment on this team was a wonderful opportunity for collaboration to solve our project briefs in the place where accessibility and creativity meet. Contact for case studies.


Creative Education


An illustration of an eye turning into a flower in six phases. The background is orange and the eye and flower are purple and blue. The drawing is simple line work with some crayon texture.

Learning is life long. I care deeply about the joyful experience of creative expression, and unpacking of obstacles that can get in the way of that. I have taught design at Portland State University, as well as pop-up workshops around the globe, from SSHHNYC in New York, Outlet in Portland and RetroJam in Japan. Some most recent talks I’ve given were with Adobe 99u and Creative Mornings. My approach varies in formats from hands-on workshops to lectures and a mix of the two. I love these moments to connect, engage, inspire and learn. 



Illustration


Simple line illustration in white on black of a long haired woman walking, made up of multiple objects. Her parents and a book are what makes up her body, her one leg is a doric column, the other is a boombox. There is a calculator on her arm. She has hoop earrings and is drinking out of a bicycle bottle.

I am an artist at heart and every project starts with a pencil scratch, whether it’s a website, a video or an illustration itself. I’ve made illustrations for The New York Times, ACLU Magazine, Adobe, Nike, Big Cartel and filled up countless sketchbooks in between. Check out more of my illustration work on Instagram. 







©2021. Thanks for visiting, here’s a soundtrack to take with you.