Tell us about your journey about becoming a professional Artist.

I have been drawing / sketching ever since I was a child. I really got into the field at the age of 22 – 23. At that time, I did want to pursue the career of an Illustrator but felt that financially I would not have been able to sustain myself. Then in 2011, came an event held at Moca Mojo in Bandra, where the people from Level 10 comics spoke about the project they were working on. The event was going pretty well until the artist stood in front of the audience to talk about his work for the project. The second he opened his portfolio was a surreal and amazing moment where the arrow in my mind just pointed at his portfolio and I said to myself, “THAT’S WHAT I WANT TO DO FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!” So I really have to thank my sister’s friend who was working for Moca at the time for inviting me for the event & the artist of Level 10 at the time, Deepak Sharma for this epiphany that really changed my life and put me on a path. From then on I strived to look out for illustration and design based creating jobs, projects, opportunities, etc.

What is Monky Ink Blots all about? Why the quirky name?

Monky Ink Blots is a name I came up with when I had planned to create my first comic book, then I ultimately used it as the name of my brand. It was derived from the nickname “Monky” that a friend of mine calls me by. I liked the quirky and witty nature of the name so I used the name for my mascot / alter ego. It suited the characters persona.

I have always been captivated by the sheer beauty in messiness of ink blots and felt that they were so much more than stains that many people consider them. For me, ink blots signify an experience. It makes you question a situation. It may be a mistake to people, so what do you do? Do you create things around it to see where that journey takes you? Or do you cover it up? Or do you just leave it as it is? Thus, the name “Monky Ink Blots” signifies a / your perspective in life.

What type of projects have you worked on? Which was your favorite? 

I have worked on a large number of illustration projects ranging from Children’s Books, Comics, Novels, News Article Artworks (Politics, Society, Pop Culture, Sports, etc.), Merchandise, Branding, Mascot / Character Designs, Websites, Storyboarding, Toy Design (Packaging and Instructions), Social Media and the list goes on.

What’s the one thing an illustrator must keep in mind when creating illustrations for a comic or children’s book? 

There’s a lot to keep in mind while illustrating for stories, may it be for children’s books or comics. But what I find to be the most crucial is, “visual story telling flow”, one must be able to communicate the story to the readers visually.

What’s the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a child/parent who has seen your work? 

The reaction I got from the kids of the Nyishi tribe when I drew a little cartoon for them. This was during my trip to Arunachal Pradesh in 2017. We had stayed with one of their tribes. They were so excited to see what I came up with. Such reactions make me realize the sheer significance of what I do and to keep moving forward.

What’s your process flow for any project that you undertake?

Its honestly pretty straightforward.

PENCIL:

This is the first step of my process. Here I pencil out a rough version of the artwork on paper. In this part, the client gets a fair understanding of the artwork required & allows me to make changes easily before we move forward. This is strictly for character designing, comics and illustrations for novels. 

INK:

Once the pencil sketch is finalised, I ink it. In this step I define the artwork and give it a title more depth by outlining, texturing and filing solid blacks with markers, ink brushing or doing it digitally on the computer. This is an optional process that depends on the style of the artwork. 

COLOUR:

This is the final step where I finally render the artwork by digitally painting it. Here the artwork is given a base of colour, high light & shade to define it & give it more depth. 

Online Platforms:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/monky_inkstagram/

Behance: https://www.behance.net/Ahmed_Sikander

Website: https://www.monkyinkblots.in/

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