Times of Youth: For those who don’t know about you and your work, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hazique Zaheer: I am Hazique Zaheer, a graduate from the University of Karachi, Department of Visual Studies. Professionally, I have been working on variety of games based on iOS and Android and currently I am working on a sci-fi racing game which we will be releasing by the end of the month for both iOS and Android users. Besides that I enjoy creating sci-fi illustrations and conceptual artwork.
Times of Youth: How would you describe your work to someone who has never known about it?
Hazique Zaheer: I strongly believe in conceptuality of any artwork just like the movies. I was very enthusiastic about movies and even to make some, but didn’t have a camera back then, so the only medium of storytelling I had was illustrations and comics.. There is always a story or an action or a conversation in an idea, a message behind every artwork, and I love to use sarcasm based on real life situation which one can find in my artworks, like I did in “The Adventures of Na maloom afrad- The vigilantes “, and “Attack of the Android”. There are more and still working on them, gets kinda’ hard to manage all the stuff.
Times of Youth: What sparked your initial interest in illustration and animation?
Hazique Zaheer: All thanks to Cartoon network and Disney hour for showing me Swat cats, Johnny Quest, Thunder Cats, Captain Planet and many more. I am a diehard fan of Batman. He is one the coolest superheroes with amazing gadgets and a hot wheel that is the bat mobile, it’s just amazing. I used to draw him and other Marvel & DC characters on my school books, that used to be my homework for school. Then I started reading their comic books whenever I could, and tried to draw them. I am a huge fan of Frank Farzetta, Boris, and Syd-mead who are the legends, the Godfathers of the industry and also Feng Zhu, Khyzl salem, Adrian smith and Dan Lusvi. I can give you a hundred names coz all of them have unique style and designs. One can see how much effort they put into their work and bring out these astonishing artworks.
Times of Youth: What are the biggest challenges of working in Pakistan?
Hazique Zaheer: The biggest challenge for working in Pakistan is technology. Back in the days having a computer was a real big thing, specially having the hardcore processors and graphics. And now having a pen tablet is the next big thing for many artists which are expensive and hard to get. Being a concept artist and working in the market I soon got the idea that not many people know about. The hard work and time required which brings out quality and pure awesomeness in design and illustrations. Eventually if there are tight deadlines, then of course, crappy work will be the outcome- thus lacking originality.
Times of Youth: At what age did you start doing all this work? Has your family always been supportive of this choice of career?
Hazique Zaheer: It’s hard to say. Well let’s put it this way. When I was born I was given a pencil before being given a name. I have three brothers and being the middle one, you must know how much attention I was given. No, really, God bless my family for supporting me in my career and believing in me when many people thought that I am the one kid who just makes pictures. My elder brother Hassam, also a comic freak who used to help me with the dialogues and I would work on the illustration. To be honest I am thankful for my mentor Sir Lal Muhammad Pathan. He is one of those artists who taught me and my cousin when we were young. He charged a fee that was only 10 rupees and wouldn’t bother if we couldn’t pay him. Now I am working with two amazing concept artists- one is my cousin Syed Faizan Ali, and the other my dear friend Syed Muzammil. We spend our time challenging each other and help learn more techniques and software that are used by the pro artists.
Times of Youth: Which of your projects are you most proud of and why?
Hazique Zaheer: I love doing what I do and make my living out of it. It’s not about a project or anything, there is still a lot more to come and learn in life. One thing leads to the other and that’s how I find myself coming up with conceptual artwork. It’s all a process of learning I must say. There is a lot going in my head now a days and hope I find great projects to work on in the future as well.
Times of Youth: Where do you see yourself in next 5 years?
Hazique Zaheer: God knows best where I would stand after five years. As far as I see I would love to be in the gaming industry with more than one responsibility.
Times of Youth: Any message to your fans or followers via TIMES OF YOUTH?
Hazique Zaheer: I would like to thank you all for supporting me and sharing my work with your friends. And for all those aspiring artists, practice practice and patience. The more you practice the better you become. Learn out of curiosity. Believe in yourself and draw. Draw whatever you like. Set your goals and always try to achieve them. Now a days its just so easy to learn whatever you want, all because of the internet and Google. It’s just there. People are very helpful and they will always help if you ask.
Times of Youth: Do tell us how can fans contact you to share their appreciation/feedback/suggestions.
Hazique Zaheer: You can find my page “art of Hazique Zaheer” at Facebook and by Hazique Zaheer at artstation,and drawcrowd. Other than that feel free to contact me anytime through email which is [email protected]