Growth of Ambition
By Najib/Art:Tech
At what age did you realise your love for art and what inspired/sparked your interest?
I think I have been drawing since the day I knew how to use a pencil. But the first few things that really sparked my interest were when I discovered Dragon Ball comics, and when I saw my cousin's drawings and designs. I was also pretty much influenced by the movies I watched during my childhood. Back then I couldn’t really understand the movies but I fell in love with the characters in Never Ending Story and the time machine from Back to the Future. As I grew up, I discovered more comics, movies, artists and design influences. Up until today, I am still pretty much inspired by those stuff and currently having interest in artworks and artist from the renaissance era and also modern pop surrealism arts.

When did you realise that art is what you wanted to do in your adult life?
I didn't actually realize that art was what I wanted to do. I never went to any art school, so don't even have any idea on how to become an artist. I just happen to love drawings and creating artworks. I think it all started to get serious during my college days 10 years ago, when the trend of online forums started. I posted my works online and it brought tons of opportunities. I got to show my art online and during exhibitions, and gained interest from the public. It went off without me noticing it. I just went with the flow.

What did your family say to this? (our questions is becos local conventional families usually feel more secure when their children embark on more familiar path eg. further studies or career in business, finance, engineering, doctor etc)
During my childhood, my parents didn't really imagine I could make a living with my drawings. It's a common Malaysian mind-set during that time. And for me myself, I didn't plan to do arts or anything similar. It just came naturally. I didn't even have the idea of entering art school after I was done with secondary school. But in the end, my parents did support me when they saw that I kept on doing arts and managed to get attention and opportunities.

Did you work on your art as a hobby or on part time basis, when you had studies or worked full time?
When I was in college, I was doing art just as a hobby since I was not in an art school. When I was working full time, I would try to spend my free time and holidays doing art for exhibitions or simply because I wanted to create something. It was during my working days that I started to make some money with my artwork, because at that time, I had my own salary so I could produce my art on various mediums and sell them to the public.

When did art become a full time career for you and how did this happen (your success story per se)?
I can't really consider myself a full-time artist yet, as I am also doing graphic design and motion graphics. But art has always been my main interest - I would do it all the time; as hobby or as work. And eventually the opportunities came from my online appearance; I got to show my stuff, got to know people, joined exhibitions, sold my art, and slowly started to receive projects from clients through friends, online portfolio and social media. The internet plays a big role in what I've achieved. People started to share my artwork on their social media pages - that's how I gained interest from the public. Then I slowly received more opportunities to exhibit my works locally and overseas. I think that was how I eventually became an artist.