My name is Munira Yussuf and I’m a 23-year-old artist and illustrator from Stockholm, Sweden. I love art and have drawn since I was a child. My love for graphic design and illustration started when I got my first computer at 12 years old, designing my offline websites using programs like Microsoft FrontPage and Adobe DreamWeaver. I started taking my love for the arts to the next level in 2012 – and I’ve only been growing ever since.

What’s so different about me is that I have no real academic background when it comes to my artistry. Believe me, I did apply to many art schools but was never accepted. After many years of trying, I ended up deciding to study Social Work – and it’s probably one of the best decisions I’ve made so far in my life. I learnt that I didn’t have to go to the best school to become an artist. It was enough for me being at home, in my comfort zone, and just draw my heart out. In fact have never actually taken a single class in graphic design and illustration in my life. My secret lays in being truly in love with the art that I create as well as watching tons and tons of tutorials. Today I can proudly say that I’m up there with the many talented ones.

What really inspired me to go to such lengths was the lack of art that represented me and all the categorisations that society decides to put me in. In my country Sweden, I had no one who looked like me to look up to – as a muslim woman of east African descent there was not a lot of art speaking to me, telling my story or even highlighting my existence. I wanted to create a world for people like me, for muslim girls who wear headscarves or black girls who don’t see themselves looking into arts due to a lack of representation of people of color in the mainstream media.

To me it is important to show my identity through my artwork, I want to show that I can – we can – all of us who are many times limited, reduced and put into very square boxes. I want to break the stereotypes, and I want to inspire many who are afraid of taking on their dreams. I never thought that I would be able to make a living through my art; today I am proud to say that I still made it without an academic background and that I will continue to grow.

More info:

There are no Ugly Ducklings in a Beautiful World

Falling. Picking myself up. Making mistakes. Learning. Crying. Smiling. Never giving up, even if I’m drowning.

Gold and Melanin

Abstract Stockholm

The Mosque of Solidarity in Mogadishu, Somalia

African Empress, Somali Araweela, Nubian Princess, Habesha Queen.


Unapologetically Muslim

Somali Girl Shine