Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Yes I am aware this is a crappy doodle but you get the point.
I believe Israel's foreign minister issued an official statement on why they attacked the aid flotilla. It went some thing like this:

'Well, they had knives and stuff...and they..um...hurt our soldiers' feelings'

I don't think any action is going to be taken against them nor will the be held accountable for anything. Chances are, it will all be turned around and blamed on Al 'qaida. The bananas and wheel chairs they were carrying received military training in Afghanistan.

God help us.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Show And Tell

Yes, i deserve a slap on the wrist for not updating this blog often enough.
There really has been a lot going on though. I launched my own line of graphic t- shirts and that in itself is worth several blog entries :P
I also joined a painting class. To learn to paint. Oil Painting. And have i learned anything? only reluctantly. I never wanted to join, THEY MADE ME! by they i mean my mother! I guess i should be grateful to her for giving me another thing to blame her for when i recount my life several years from now. The past really does make for interesting stories doesn't it? but i digress. My mother, unlike me, has always loved drawing and painting. As she turned 60 this year, she decided she really ought to learn how to paint properly, hence the painting class. Why me though? Cuz i am the one who drives her around from point A to B *sigh*!

The reason i mention all this is because today is the last day of this dreadful experience and even though i did enjoy it (practically fell in love with palette knives) i dont like the idea of being forced to paint. Yes, i have to finish two paintings before 12 and its 10 am already :S

Maybe tomorrow i will upload some pictures of what i painted and then you can all be besides yourselves with glee :P. This particular entry isnt about my paintings or the t-shirts or the brilliant new haircut i got. Its about the new animation show reel i made and really really want to show off. I made the intro in the aforementioned class (really, anything to avoid a brush and that tedious stroke making *blukh*) and used them lovely LOVELY palette knives to animate.

For now i bid you adieu and start painting. My misery ends today. WHEEEEEEEEE! :D

ps i cant seem to attach the video here....just click 'showreel' above or HERE.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My experiment in miniature animation

So i had all these old 8mm negatives lying around. You know, those old charlie chaplin movies and home videos no one watches anymore cuz the 8mm projector is now broken or was sold off to the raddi-paper boy. Anyway, most of them were ruined anyway cuz my mother had decided to put them in the same bag as my father's the paint pigments and 'other junk'. They really were in quite a sad state, so i did what any red blooded pakistani would have done; left them in the sun, thew bleach on them and scratched them with a compass needle. Some where in the middle came in my light box, some markers and a really good hair day :D
I did'nt use the entire roll, just about 150 frames to test it out. The result wasn't all that bad, I'm definitely going to make a longer more thought out version next. So here are a few pictures to walk you through the process and the final result. Enjoy!

i warn you though, it might give you a headache (or an epileptic seizure if you are prone to those)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Whole Lot of Words!

Drawing is scary.

Especially when you havent drawn in ages and are stuck on the notion that each stroke from the tip of your HB should reveal a master piece. Sounds vain and stupid but happens to the best of us (and perhaps THAT is the problem!).  We are never as good as we think we are because for all of us who graduated, joined agencies and got addicted to the sound of ka-ching, drawing is a skills we have lost touch with.  

A documentry on Japanese manga and anime recently inspired me to get back to the drawing board (literally). Being an animator, its a moment of shame when i cant properly translate a posture from my mind onto paper. So i ventured to the park with my trusy 6B and a sketch book. 'Sure, i can do quick stick drawings. Itll be a fun study and ill get back into my groove in no time' i thought to myself.....untill i started drawing!  Yes....im that bad!! Doing quick sketches under a minute (about 20 seconds or so) and capturing the feel and posture of your subject right is HARD!! it used to be fun...what happened? Complacency overcame ambition. i am utterly ashamed of myself and have vowed to draw more. A whole lot more! So now im the creepy woman in the park staring at kids and old men and making notes in my notebook.  But really im just drawing...honestly!

 Anyway, ill make a confession today. I became an animator because i was never good with a camera (and you can just shutup about my drawing skills! :P ) . It was always easier to draw stuff then make sense of angles and lighting and shutter speed and all that nonsense. Yes, the camera is scarier than drawing. So i admire anyone who can take decent pictures and capture moments that move you. Recently i came about a few picture taken by journalist and amateur photographer Salman Siddiqui.  They were beautiful. Not in the sense that they are works of art or are the best photographs anyone has ever taken, but that despite the some what depressing subject matter, the colours and framing and feel takes you right there in the moment. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, these left me somewhat speechless.

'A young child finds shelter in a cardboard box near a gutter in Karachi on Saturday afternoon' reads the caption. Now i know how annoying it is to read about how and what makes something good. Ofcourse you can judge for yourself but you have to admire the fact that he crops the head and all of a sudden it becomes a statement. This kid has no face, no name and its not about just one child at all. Its about the millions of people who suffer this fate on a daily basis and yet we still walk past them easily without blinking twice as we go about our business. The high contrast in this picture matches the context so brilliantly. Really like this one.

This other one (or the series) is a true Kodak moment. The child was sleeping when these pictures were taken. The click of the camera woke him up. He stared at the camera with his groggy eyes and went straight back to sleep. 


I havent seen much of Salman's photography but from what little i have seen, his eye for innocence and innate ability to capture it beautifully shines through. And even though it terrifies me, he makes me want to pick up my dusty SLR and go on a shooting spree of my own. Not the bloody kind tough :P

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Never underetimate the power of a good 6B. What with everyone wanting the latest graphics tablet (me included :D)
the simplest, most efficient tool is often not given its due credit. Enter Maliha Rohail - a third year student of Architecture at the Department of Visual Studies (Karachi University). A simple graphite pencil is her weapon of choice as she lets her feelings and stress flow through the nib.

'Pencils are great for me as i feel no restriction or inhibitions with it', says Maliha. Her inspirations are varied but mostly she looks to nature and her surroundings for her sketches. Darkness seems to be a recurring theme in her work.

Simply titled 'Turnips', this sketch was an assignment done in charcoal.  This might not be a regular masterpiece but the bold contrast and graininess makes it a striking image.

"The 'guy in the cap' reflects a darker person in me. Hidden, yet smiling", explains Maliha. 

This was drawn while she waited on the side of the super high way while her tyre was punctured.  Lesson: Never leave home without your pencil and sketch book. 

I really like Maliha's work for the simple reason that shes basic.  No fuss, no complicated theories, just her hand conveying what she sees and feels. You simply cant deny the magic that comes from bold sure lines scrawled across a page with purpose and determination.

There is something very inviting about a dark well sharpened pencil that makes you want to draw. Now where did i put my trusty 6B? 


So my friend Raazia told me not to write about her but just put her work up.  Here it is for your viewing pleasure....alright maybe ill write just a little bit. Raazia Zehra is a graphic designer working with IAL Saatchi & Saatchi Pakistan. Besides her uncanny knack for cracking corny jokes and pointing out the obvious, she is also a gifted illustrator. There is inherent simplicity and honesty in her work and her use of bold colours and free flowing lines has a childish appeal to it. 

Here are a few snippets from her sketch book. Enjoy!



Thursday, January 24, 2008


Starry Night by Shafaq Zehra

I always thought there are only so many things one can do with pocket fluff until i met Shafaq Zehra. She is a bit of McGuiver when it comes to creating art from unusual materials. Give her a papaya, a screw driver and a needle and she will probably come up with a glistening 7 foot sculpture. A recently graduated textile designer from Karachi University, Shafaq's last exhibition was a sight to behold.

It was a series of wall hangings inspired by Van Gogh's paintings. Her interpretation using bright colours was a treat but the unusual thing was her choice of material. She used 'Namda' and 'Putsun'. Namda is actually a form of felt-making where a fabric is contructed using sheep's wool. Putsun is the raw form of jute. All the definition and adornment was embroidered with woolen threads. Sure sounds like a lot of work, but in the end her 'textile paintings' were truly unique and original.

Thatched Cottages in Auvers by Shafaq Zehra

Sun Flowers by Shafaq Zehra

In the future, Shafaq plans on experimenting with different techniques and natural materials like coconut hair, namda, paper making, fiber glass, etc. As if her ingenuity wasn't impressive enough, she is not a big fan of high art and believes in producing work that would hold interest for a layman as well.

Whatever the future holds for her, one thing is for sure, if you are planning to get lost on a deserted island, Shafaq is the person to take with you.

Gypsy Camp With Horse And Carriage by Shafaq Zehra