Ahmed Sikander can often be found watching documentaries on serial killers while sketching out his own killer stuff. A Mumbai based Cartoonist, Illustrator, Graphic Designer and Musician; some say it's this juggling of many hats that has resulted in the bald spot that covers his entire head.
From teaching guitar to working at Ping Digital and then Ting, rhythm and rhyme have always been in the palm of his hairy hands. Those same hairy hands today lead the design department of Mool Content Solutions. His belief that messy, exaggerated lines can still create meaningful artwork has been influenced by his love for Punk Rock, while he still manages to keep the final artwork as classy as The Ramones.
To ensure his earning was more than his earrings, Ahmed started designing and selling T-shirts, Mugs, Calendars and framed Illustrations during his college days. The self-proclaimed animal lover was influenced by the work of Skottie Young and John Derf BackDerf at a very young age. He has also taught cartooning to kids through the Writers Bug. But surprisingly, his first professional job was as a Sales Intern at Lawrence and Mayo. Since then, the certified open water diver has dived into the world of creativity, and visualized, sketched and drawn his way to his childhood dream of becoming an Illustrator.
At this point of time, your probably wondering, "How Does He Do It??" Well its simple.
This is where it all starts! A rough sketch is mainly done for logo, branding, character design, to generate an idea on paper &apm; storyboarding a comic to create a rough visual of how the story will flow as per the script.
This is the second step of my process. Here I pencil out a fair version of the artwork on paper. In this part, the client gets a fair understanding of the artwork required & alows me to make chanages easly before we move forward. This is stricly for character designing, comics and illustrations for novels.
Once the pencil sketch is finalised, I ink it. In this step I define the artwork and give it a tittle 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.
This is the final step where I finaly render the artwork by digitaly painting it. Here the artwork is given a base of colour, high light & shade to define it & give it more depth.
I first collaborated with Ahmed in 2013 when I launched my eMagazine for the social sector. Since then if I need an illustrator he is my first call.
Ahmed creates awesome illustrations that are as per the brief and then some more. He takes an idea and turns them into fun visuals. He always has useful recommendations and is willing to work around the piece to create it as close to your imagination as possible.
Even today as an Alternative Healing Practitioner, when I need a quirky way to depict a serious issue, Ahmed is the one I rely on.
I came across Ahmed Sikander when I was in process of completing my book and was looking for an illustrator. Meeting him indicated a person keen to give his best not only to give suggestions but carefully listening to the suggestions made by us. Although at times it must have been very tiring for him to often redo what would be otherwise very good but was not accepted as it did not match the sensitivity of the sexual matters discussed in the book. His patient efforts ultimately helped us to produce the best as his illustrations have been appreciated, as can been seen in “It’s Normal”. I came across Ahmed Sikander when I was in process of completing my book and was looking for an illustrator. Meeting him indicated a person keen to give his best not only to give suggestions but carefully listening to the suggestions made by us. Although at times it must have been very tiring for him to often redo what would be otherwise very good but was not accepted as it did not match the sensitivity of the sexual matters discussed in the book. His patient efforts ultimately helped us to produce the best as his illustrations have been appreciated, as can been seen in “It’s Normal”.
It was a pleasure working with Ahmed on our Ajeebloka series of books for children. We felt he captured the personality of our characters and stories beautifully through his work. An excellent illustrator, but more than that, a good human being.
The comic-project that Ahmed worked on for me came together purely by chance or fate as both writer and artist were recommended to me by acquaintances. Though the styles of both were vastly different, my interactions with Ahmed somehow made me feel that his style, with a little guidance, could bring a whole new dimension to the project than the norm and indeed it did.
It took us a little while to find a groove, but once we reached an understanding, the work moved at a very brisk pace compared to his peers in similar projects that I had seen - and on top of that, you could see the improvement and comfort with both the look, feel and style of everything with every successive page as we went along.
As a writer myself and more so as an editor/supervisor, what I found I appreciated more and more as we worked was that Ahmed did not approach the work with ego or stubbornness but in fact was open-minded and more than willing to work in concert and even on occassion scrap his own in favour of another if it seemed to achieve the common goal. An artist who is both true to his style and vision and able to adapt to the needs of the work is a rarity and he definitely has that, which is a big part of why I look forward to more projects with him in the future.
I was recommended by a good friend, to check out the work of an illustrator they had recently worked with and that's when I contacted Ahmed. All I had was a rough draft of my book and some visions in my head, which he very astutely gave form to, giving me a quick idea of what to come. Ahmed is sharp, a thorough gentleman and very talented. My experience was extremely professional at one level and very stress-free at another.
He was very easy to work with, in spite of many changes, as well as grasping of the work as it evolved.
I am thankful that he chose to do the illustrations for my picture book, "The Secret of Toya's Garden." and wish him much success.
Ahmed is a remarkable artist with wide experience of creating illustrations from a client's perspective as well as adding his own creative input. His biggest strength is his ability to experiment and continuously improvise on his techniques. Ahmed has worked as faculty with us and excelled at not just exposing the kids to wide creative world of Art but in also helping each child feel confident of their creative expression. He is a great asset to any project that requires an artists mind!