Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Fairy Book that Started It All

When I was still a fledgling art student in college, I chanced upon a book entitled "Faeries" brought by a classmate in school. I was struck by the imagery on the cover and I suddenly realized, like in a dream, I was reminded of what I was really looking for. Immediately, I asked him where he got the book, knowing that the local bookstores don't sell these kind of materials, he said it was given to him by his mom as a present and it was brought from the US.

As my heart sunk straight to my knees - realizing that I will never be able to buy that book, I asked his permission if I could borrow it and he was kind enough to lend it to me for a few days. And with trembling hands, I took that precious tome and carefully laid it in my backpack.

For days I was awed and struck by the illustrations staring back at me. Various faeries, pixies, elves, ugly trolls and mischievous goblins gawked at me as I turned each page. I was tremendously inspired with the art as it spoke with clarity and honesty. The illustrations opened new doors for me - showed me a new path which I would love to take.

After college, I took different jobs neglecting my art thinking that it won't help me earn the millions I am wishing for. I struggled and changed job after job, until I found myself flying to a foreign country to find a better one. But still I remained unsatisfied and unhappy with my job.

Then one Ramadan season came, I decided to revisit my drawing tools and remembered the beautiful book that started it all. I started learning to draw again. I started living again and enjoying what I am doing. The one thing that I have neglected and abandoned for so long , thank God,
was still with me.

"The Wood Fairy" was the first art I did in Dubai.

It took me almost ten years before I started illustrating again, I was 30 when I realized what I really want to do. It's like the beginning of my life and I'm ready take on that leap which I should have taken a long time ago.

Mr. Froud and Mr. Lee, your art have certainly saved mine from the brink of extinction. I should say your art has helped me find my own path to take. Thank you very much.