Body-Positive Artist Glamming Up Everyday Life With Dazzling Crystals

Sara Shakeel is a stellar advocate for the healing power of art.



(Alena Root /

Imagine a world blanketed in bright, dazzling crystals. Every building, person, even fast food shining brightly due to sparkly diamonds. This is Sara Shakeel’s universe and fans are (happily) just living in it.

In an interview with Forbes, this Pakistani dental-student-turned-artist said she creates her stunning art from “God, memories and whatever [she] lays her eyes on.”

Shakeel’s journey as an award-winning artist with over 908k Instagram followers began when the then 27-year-old dental student realized she was feeling uninspired by her chosen profession, and started creating her now-famous glitzy art. 

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She started out by uploading her creations on Instagram using the hashtag, #glitterstretchmarks, to celebrate women’s bodies. Soon, Shakeel’s body-positive collages caught the eye of more and more fans until 23 likes on a post turned into hundreds and eventually, thousands of virtual praises. 

Whether she’s working on a piece that features crystal vitiligo or turning stretch marks into glittery ravines, Shakeel told Architectural Digest that working with human bodies allows her to feel more in tune with her own emotions. 

“Creating artwork is a form of meditation. The whole process is so therapeutic that I really don’t need a reason to create – it’s for self-healing.”

As for her liking for crystals, the artist said that she’s long felt fascinated by how the color changes in the light, making for a truly beautiful moment. Part of the beauty in her art is her ability to turn everyday objects into shiny masterpieces. Shakeel’s ability to feel inspired by her surroundings even led to a major international airline asking to share one of her images.

As she told the publication, before boarding a plane to Milan (where she would receive an award for her work), she decided to take a picture of the plane and cover it in crystals. 

“I posted the picture before flying and went to sleep. When I woke up, I saw Emirates’ official page had contacted me and wanted to share the artwork. It literally blew up the Internet. Later on, I collaborated with them for another project, which had a great response as well.”

Shakeel’s whimsical art doesn’t just allow herself to experience her emotions in a new way, she also hopes it helps others draw their attention to feelings they might not take seriously as well. “Every picture heals a part of me and I hope it heals a part of you too,” she writes on her website

As Shakeel demonstrates, it’s never too late to follow your passion, especially when that means making the world a more dazzling place. 

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