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Moustafa Hewidy, månedens illustratør i juni 2024

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Olive land, Ranad Moawad, 2024, illustrasjon: Moustafa Hewidy

På bokmessen i Kairo tidligere i år, knyttet vi kontakt med flere lokale fagutøvere. Blant dem illustratøren og tegensereieskaperen Moustafa Hewidy.

Moustafa Hewidy is an egyptian comic artist, character designer, children’s story illustrator, and author based in Cairo. He teaches character design and drawing children’s stories to fine art and applied arts students, graduates, and professionals.

Hewidy has participated in the 24 Hour Comics Challenge and the Cairo International comics Festival (Cairocomix). He has self-published two comic books, his comic stories have been published locally and internationally and his children’s stories have been published by a variety of publishers. Hewidy has also made an animated short film together with his students, for which they got nominated in the Animatex Festival.

– Why illustration?
– Since I was young, about 3 years old, I used to love drawing so much. So it became a hobby for me. Since then, I loved comics from magazines like Aladdin and Bolbol & Samir (National comic magazines for kids). I used to spend my weekly allowance to buy them all. When I was 10 years old, a friend of my parents from Spain gave me seven Asterix stories. From that time I became obsessed with the European comics. After I graduated college of commerce (due to the universities system in Egypt), I started working freelance while in a fulltime job in a bank, until two and a half years ago when I decided that I would do a shift of career and work as a fulltime artist.

– In short, how are the terms for illustrators and cartoonists in Egypt today?
– It is hard to be an artist in Egypt, especially if you are a freelance artist. This is because we receive no support from any party, neither governmental nor private. Moreover, drawn art is not appreciated by the public (considered to be only for kids), unlike visual or audio art such as films, series, and songs (as Egypt is at the forefront of the genre in the entire Arab world), and just as there is no support, there are no rules or legislation regulating the artist’s copyrights or preserving his material and intellectual rights, and for this reason there are no clear mechanisms for the supply and demand market in the field of illustrations. This is also reflected in the comics market, because it requires a lot of time, dedication, and funding. The definition of artist agents does not exist here, which makes it more difficult. In the end, in order to become a freelance artist, you must do marketing, finance, and production, and you must be up to date with the latest updates in the market.

– Can you say something about what techniques you use?
– I used to draw a lot on paper, then on a graphic tablet, but now I use procreate on an iPad pro, as it is easy to sketch on and it kinda feels like drawing on paper. Sometimes i like to experiment more on different media like watercolor, pastel and so on.

– What is your approach to character design?
– I always focus on the backstory of the character, because that is what shapes and defines the character. The influence of the environment surrounding the character, also affects its appearance and behavior. After all of this is determined, I begin to explore the character’s form, based on the research I have done.

– Can you give us a glimpse into any current projects?
– I am currently working on a self published comic book, which will be available next cairo comix
festival in November 2024. It contains four different comics. I am also working on a
children’s book about an Egyptian family who travel around Egypt.

– What inspires you?
– I usually get inspired by comics that have a good story to tell, 2D animations and art
books. I also like to travel and do different activities from time to time to motivate myself
and to keep me from getting burned out.

Du finner flere av Hewidys illustrasjoner på Instagram: @hewidyart

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