Sfdoubletake's Blog

Zain, Surfing Artist

Zain Ali

Zain Ali

Zain Ali, a 21 year old from Southern California must have saltwater in his veins. How else could one explain the tremendous passion that drives Zain to thrive as a full-time student majoring in advertising and his passion for surfing. Before coming to San Francisco to become a student at the Art Institute of California, Ali moved in with his father to Orange County and eventually to Yuba City, California which separated him from many things.

On the sand or off, he is always finding inspiration such as his sister Zainab Ali, 24, who works and lives in the Los Angeles area as a communications and marketing director for L.A’s BEST, a government non-profit agency that assist kids who face socio-economic problems by providing after school programs. When Ali was in high school his parents divorced, Zain and Zainab were separated for three years. Zain moved in with his father to Yuba City and Zainab moved in with their mother; even so for a typical California kid born in Monterey, Yuba City seemed really desolate of opportunities with its farmland and lack of beaches, but Ali remained in constant touch with his sister and they remained close. Zain was determined to thrive in a foreign place.

“My sister has been the most influential person to me,” says Zain. Zainab, has always been present to give Zain support, guidance, and encouragement him through a scholarship process that landed him at The Art Institute where he pursues his passion for art.

“We have always been a supportive family together,” says Zainab about their family.

Zain was raised in a traditional Pakistani family who persuaded him to adopt the Muslim faith early but, Zain eventually stopped practicing Islam and continued to exercise his faith and interests for in surfing and other sports. Zain has always had a deep connection to his Pakistani roots and has learned a lot from both parents.

Zain’s personal style is inspired by brands such as Volcom, Turkey USA, and RVCA. Eventually his experience landed him other positions at local skate shops in the Bay Area.

“I’m a sucker for cardigans, windbreakers, and sweaters. Usually I’m rocking a hat… yes a trucker hat. I like wearing slip on Vans and Chucks but right now I’ve been wearing in my Adidas Sambas, they’re really good for riding,” says Zain.

Zain is just getting started so on his free time he loves to enjoy a warm crisp taco or a juicy burger in San Francisco hole in the wall restaurants. Zain has reached a few milestones such as getting an internship at Got Game a gaming company that built third party programs for gamers to interact while in game. Zain became a full time hire within a week and he knew then that advertising in the game industry might be fun. Meanwhile the scene in San Francisco is anything other than beach like so he hopes to continue to gain knowledge about his career, keep his toes in the sand, and rises towards graduation that will hopefully carry him into a position in interactive media ads, or ad sales for the web.

“I’d probably say a surfer only knows the feeling of what serendipity is really like,” Zain says about his life at the moment. “ I always have a desire for that feeling no matter how busy I am, it is very satisfying,” ~Fiona


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