Haroon Mirza, artist
Haroon Mirza, artist

Viral Careers: Haroon Mirza


13 March 2019

In this series of interviews we’re talking to people about how they got to where they are. Find out about the key moments, and people, in the lives and careers of some of the creative people we most admire.

Name: Haroon Mirza
Job/occupation: Artist
Age: 41

Tell us about the work you do.
I make various types of art works most of which are room scaled installations that are often site specific. Influence come from a range of disciplines such as music, science, design and architecture.

What did you want to do when you were 16?
I wanted a Porsche because my friends and family told me that earning money was the most important thing in life and to do that I would need to be a businessman or a lawyer. The only business I was interested in was making art so I thought graphic design would be the answer. After studying art I discovered there was more to life than money – it was more interesting to do something you love. I also realised that I didn’t love Porsches.

Was there a moment that opened up new possibilities and brought you to where you are today?
Studying a GNVQ in art and design meant that I could pursue something that I was interested in.

Who has influenced your career?
Maybe mentors. Some official and others that are just people I admire. I would say artists Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane (I met them together), musician, theorist and curator David Toop and gallerists Greg Hilty and Nicholas Logsdail have all been important people that have guided me.

What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
Do what you really enjoy doing and do it well enough to earn a living from it. That means a lot of effort and hard work.


Opportunities in the creative industries can be difficult to identify and aren’t always accessible, or visible, to young people from all backgrounds – something that our Viral project aims to change.

Please support our crowdfunding campaign and help make Viral 2019 happen.

Viral is a collaborative learning programme that provides production training, business development, mentoring, showcasing opportunities and peer-to-peer support for a diverse group of 16-25 year olds from Brighton and the surrounding areas.


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