I had a 17″ Macbook Pro, a Wacom bamboo, pirated copy of Photoshop CS3 and a whole lot of depression. Six years ago, on this exact day, I released the first chapter of Grey is…
Earlier that year, in spring, I was supposed to be in Japan for an internship with one of the most prestigious animation studios. But for two totally different reasons yet equally and morally important -my mother and my creator self-’, I declined that very tempting offer.
They say when you give up something you want for the greater good, you get your reward sooner or later. Most call it karma, in Islam we call it loyalty and submission to Allah (God). And I sure was rewarded! Sooner, and BIG TIME.
Around the same time I was supposed to be in Tokyo, I was inspired to write a one shot manga about two friends.
For seven months between March and November, I drew them in color, in sketch, in sleep, wake, fight and every daily activity I could think of. The story got bigger and bigger, and I grew attached to the characters with every new drawing. People online who followed my art were excited as well. I gained a lot of new supporters that often asked what story these two boys are from and where they can read it. Unfortunately, I lost a few people too, who back then complained to me -via notes on deviantART- that all I draw is these boys now and that they’re disappointed that I don’t draw random personal illustrations anymore. At that time, I was still a people pleaser and I wanted to justify and defend every action I make, even what I create. So I still recall how those notes pained me deeply.
Yet, my love for this little creation was bigger, so I learned to deny the pain I felt by those people who I know meant well, and I stuck by the boys.
By mid-November, I sat down to draw a few pages to tell the story of the yearly ritual the two friends have. I drew 8 pages, and showed them to my closest online friends; Luci and Amanda. Their enthusiasm motivated me and the sense of accomplishment I had when I finished these few pages was something completely new and refreshing. I felt that it was the feeling I’ve been longing and searching for from the day I hit puberty.
Suddenly, nothing bad mattered, and all that I love was what I saw. It was what people refer to as; falling in love.
I read and reread the seven pages. After two days of admiration, my critical self emerged and she told me that the seven pages are too short and need a few more to make a compelling pilot chapter, and tell more about these two friends. So, I drew 8 pages to go before the seven I drew previously.
And then I waited… I waited eagerly. I waited for the dates of my life, and those in the story to match.
On a Tuesday,November 30th came, and I shared my little creation with the world.
I was 24 then, and since the day I hit 13 I had been in a state of loss, wanting to be found. On November 30th, 2010, that changed and I found a place, not a station, but a home to stay in. Behind the desk, telling this story, I put down my baggage, and I was found.
The one shot was a test of skill, the characters were random and their names was a total lazy joke. Now, with a 27″ iMac, Wacom Cintiq 13HD, licensed Clip Studio Paint and a whole lot of appreciation; it’s my career, my therapy and my life.
It’s where I belong and six year later, today; I feel like I’ve just begun.
My words of gratitude for your support and trust are simply endless!