Moin Azeem is one of the famous comic artists of Pakistan, At the age of 26, he has created a platform, where tons of Pakistanis look up to his work.He was determined to create a platform from which would make people come to me rather than chasing them.We invited him to a Pakistan Journal Talk session where we host people of inspiration and vision.
How did you get started as an illustrator?
I was not so vocal in the earlier days of my life, so drawing kind of became that voice, drawing on notebooks and desks grabbed attention immediately. So picture this, I’m an undergraduate and in the middle of the bachelor’s program (5th semester) and my friend suggests that you should take your skills to digital platforms and use tools like Photoshop and illustrator and maybe you’ll earn some money too. Just a couple of months later a computer science graduate is winning art competitions and fast forward to 3 years after that is kind of known by almost every designer and artist in the industry, sometimes appreciated sometimes hated. I’m a designer which means clients pay me to express them and I’m an artist which means I get to express myself too. And by both of these, I’m getting fame and fortune more than I could’ve expected.
5 facts about you that no one knows.
- I’m not an introvert, but I’m not a fan of meeting people.
- I have no degree and diploma in art or graphics, that’s why I’m kind of unliked by trained artists and designers, they think I lack the knowledge of basics, but I guess basics improve your work but they certainly don’t define you as an artist, artists create worlds of their own.
- I was beyond arrogant in my starting days but got sense knocked in me, so now I’m pretty humble and really easy going.
- I don’t drink chai at all, even though the best comics are based on the love of chai. Hypocrisy.
- I love the hip-hop/rap genre it’s very relevant to the work we do, every rapper has his own flow and lyrical ability likewise every designer has his own concepts and execution.
Is your personality reflected in your work?
Most of the time no, I’m from Karachi so it kind of makes me have a sharpened personality in real but my comics are generally are on the softer side. I’m not that soft if you know me personally. A kid at heart but I have a gameplan of a 40-year-old on how to carry my life.
Is there anyone from Pakistan who has inspired you personally?
Every artist that you’ve heard of I’ve already studied and almost all of them are inspirational. But I should definitely mention Ramish bhai as the prime source of inspiration because due to his work I was convinced that okay I can draw and make people smile as well if I work really hard.
What is the best thing about Pakistan?
The versatile nature of Pakistan, it’s evolving and it’s so much adaptive.People have become more curious towards knowing the people who are talented.
Do you think that a positive change can be achieved in Pakistan?
It’s already happening I guess, raise one issue on social media and see how it shakes up the whole nation. So much power has been claimed by the youth that after a decade or so things will be completely the opposite of what they were today and in good nature.
What future do you think Pakistan’s illustration industry holds for us?
It’s a portal for the rest of the world to see our culture upclose, it will help us create more platforms to create an image that would represent Pakistan as a country that loves exhibiting its culture through a pen.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I’m 26 so at 31 I would be picture myself not so different to what I’m today. I don’t even know if I’ll be posting on my page anymore, because priorities change with time. Right now I’m just focusing on getting my name heard before I retire.
What has been your most successful project? Why?
None of the projects I would say made it to the stage that I can rank as successful enough to make noise nationally. Working with Pepsi was a good experience. Did a doodle campaign with Lays in 2017 which turned out to be decent. Dropped an art series for “ainak wala jin” that turned some heads too. Got featured on buzzfeed too for a series. My idea of a successful project Is getting featured everywhere, sadly that hasn’t happened yet.
For all of the dreamers out there, the fresh-out-of-college future entrepreneurs, what advice would you give them?
Play safe, I know how easy it is to be inspired by motivational quotes but work hard staying in the real world. Do not get cocky once you get a taste of appreciation, I’ve been there and I lost a solid chunk of time being arrogant.
What thing do you think Pakistani media lacks?
What’s on your horizon? Any current/future projects and plans/dreams you can share with us?
I plan to retire at the age of 40, I don’t want to work for anyone when I’m 40. Just need to relax at home and create art for myself.
5 things inspiring you/your work right now:
- Making people smile
- Making a good earning, since I’m a graphics designer.
- The pride my loved ones have In me
- Become a better version of myself
- Becoming a living statement that being humble is the best thing that you can do for others.
How did you find your style? Has it changed since you started?
I have many techniques, but the most well known is the solid black outlined comic style which is actually pretty mainstream if you look at the work of many artists out there however it still feels fresh.I’ve been a fan of the pen so outlined work is my favourite It has become more consistent than before like people recognize that it’s my work without even seeing my name.
How do you come up with new ideas? Do you have a process?
I feed my brain with witty stuff, creative ad campaigns, local trends and relative day to day life stuff, it kind of mixes up there and what comes out is what you see as my work.
What brands do you most admire and how do they influence your work?
I love how beats by dre markets itself, every athlete, artist and well-known celeb wears it around like it’s a statement, I would like to be pictured that way as well, I want people to walk around with their head high saying that I got my stuff designed by Moin Nazim how cool is that?
Tell me about the goals for ‘’moinazim graphics’’.
Moinazim graphics’ goal is to be relatable and laugh along with people and to amaze them with unseen concepts and become a household name. Its goal is to be never to be forgotten, I work hard on original concepts because I want to cement my work but I know that isn’t possible because people will eventually forget me.
Do you think media plays an important role in bringing forward artists? Or it depends on the person, that if you have skills you will be known for your work automatically?
Media welcomes young talent a lot, I’ve turned down many interviews myself because I’m not that type of person who would like to bore the viewers on television with the story of my life, its pretty boring. But if you’re outspoken, you love creating a buzz physically then media is very supportive these days.