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Careers In The Making

Sameer Ali's Story

At Cannes Lions, everyone is in the making. And for our ‘Careers In The Making’ series, we’re shining the spotlight on some of the Festival’s most inspiring creative journeys.

Sameer Ali took a passion for gaming and design from Karachi to the Creative Academy – forging a career in creativity he uses to make a positive impact in a cause close to his heart. Discover his story.


Interview transcript

“I'm a warlock and I am a void super subclass. I take inspiration from the void and churn it out in the real world.

So warlock comes from the people within known for, you know, listening to the people and getting to know their worries so that he can help them better and connect with them better.

I grew up in Pakistan, Karachi in particular. Karachi is a very chaotic city. It's a melting pot of ethnicities, cultures, because everyone from Pakistan comes to Karachi to look for work. You have to come up with creative thinking and creative actions just to go by your day, because nothing's for granted in the city.

"I take inspiration from the void and churn it out in the real world."

Sameer Ali

Associate Creative Director

Adcom Leo Burnett

In Pakistan, arcades, they're considered a taboo place. But for me, I thought that was the most fun place I've ever been. I remember I couldn't even reach the arcade machine, so I had to reach for the handle, and eventually grew when I played games with much more immersive storytelling. And that really got me because I loved how I could be the part of the story and be in this real world that seemed real to me. So that was something that really inspired me to think of creative stories, make my own stories.

I started off as a colourist in the industry. I used to colour panels for comic books because I was always into art and I went to an art school, I learned how to design and I started off my agency career with designing. Eventually they invited me to be the part of the creative team as well. And I do believe if I put my mind to something, I will eventually learn it and do it.


When I found out I was selected as one of 10 lucky people to be chosen to be part of the Creative Academy on a scholarship, I was over the moon and I was even prouder to be one of the first Pakistanis to be attending the Creative Academy.

I lost my father on the streets as well when I was just four. My father was a cop and eventually it led to him losing his life. So because of that, my mother has raised me and my little sister alone in a household where there were no men around me.

Whenever I work on projects that are about women empowerment and how women are changing, Pakistan in particular, I could really connect to it because I see it day in, day out growing up. So it was really inspirational for me as well because I never saw my mom giving up after my father.”

Check back tomorrow for the next edition of Careers In The Making.

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