Saleha Qureshi (21) from Srinagar was just 19 years old when she started working as a storyboard artist in various production houses thus making her the youngest to venture into this field.
Saleha, who presently works as art director in films, started her journey in films by preparing storyboards.
Coming from an artistic background, Saleha was always fascinated by art works of different artists including Di Vinci, Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, M.F Hussain and others.
“I started working at a young age,” said Saleha.
“Nothing can be achieved overnight,” Saleha said, adding there will always be different kinds of hurdles, and believes one must overcome every hurdle to be successful in life.
She said “There are numerous factors that make a film great and one of them is the artwork.”
In the beginning of her career, she worked as a storyboard artist with multiple production houses and then she gradually moved into the direction side of it and started working as Assistant Art Director. Currently she works as an art director.
Her work as an art director is to oversee and execute the details on set.
“We have to determine which artistic elements to use in what scene. Different scenes need different setup, and it varies from comedy to horror to romance to thrill or action,” she said.
Saleha has a long way to go and has confidence in achieving greater things in life.
“I haven't achieved much yet. There is more in my bucket list, and I need to achieve all those things,” said Saleha.
Saleha is the youngest and the only art director in the valley and is working in Kashmir as of now.
“I am working only in the valley. But I am working hard to get recognition outside the valley and also outside the country as well.”
“I think the biggest challenge in my career has been lack of opportunities. We do not get a fair chance here and that is what lags us behind,” she said.
Saleha has done six music videos till now which include Rang lagaye under the banner of Sa re ga ma music, Jhoome, Daniposh, Reham karai, Gardish and Baalyaro.
Her parents have been supportive throughout her journey.
“We live in a patriarchal society where our parents think a lot about what other people will say but fortunately my parents never gave a single thought to it. They encouraged me and helped me in chasing my dreams,” she said.
Saleha believes we need to be passionate when it comes to our work, and nothing can be achieved without hard work and dedication.