News Column

Omani illustrator combines humour with message

June 16, 2014

Hassan Shaban



Muscat: A good sense of humour, eye for colour and vast imagination has won a huge fan following  for young Omani artist cum illustrator Nabhan Abdul Latif.



Thirty-year-old Nabhan's remarkable body of work has earned 975,059 page views with 7,931 comments on deviant art from his followers. Also, his fans from different parts of the world have been sharing his caricatures/cartoons through multiple websites. Some of his best illustrations are featured on the popular 9gag.com social media.



Surprisingly Nabhan never draws any sketches, instead he works directly via Adobe Illustrator. "My concept of art is about relating to daily life situation and my subjects are inanimate objects," he says.



Nabhan, however, brings to life a character.



For every illustration he does, he brings out the character's mood, choices, emotions and feelings.



His work is often described by his fans as "art works with a twist".



"He fuses cute visual characters with literal twists, creating adorable illustrations," describes one of his fans.



The talented artist decided to be an illustrator because that is what he enjoys doing.



"I believe in doing what you are good at," Nabhan explains.



For his work, Nabhan swears by one software  — Adobe Illustrator.



"I work on Adobe Illustrator as it is the most suitable software for my style of work," he says.



Ideas for his illustrations just "strike him". "Sometimes when I have a block, I push myself and am flooded with ideas," he says.



Avoiding politics

If there is something that Nabhan stays away from, it is reference to politics or religion. "Since I want to reach out to everybody, I stick to human interest themes," he says.



Nabhan's aim is to bring joy in the lives of his fans and followers.



"When I receive thank you letters stating "you made my day", it makes mine too. The reason I avoid illustrating political thoughts is because then you end up hurting someone," he says.



Though Nabhan has a huge fan following across the world, he has yet to make a name locally.



"I am happy with the global attention but I would love to have my own art exhibition in Oman. I feel that it's hard to attract local attention because my style of art is not very popular here. About 50 per cent of my followers are from the United States," he says.



Nabhan has launched a lot of humorous conceptual illustrations. Several of them are also available as T-shirts, posters, pillows and can be purchased through http://society6.com/Nabhan



Nabhan started his art career through vector paintings. "My vector paintings were full of drama and romance. After my marriage, I jumped into the world of comedy-themed illustrations. Humour and vector style of paintings don't match," he says.



"Time is also a factor. While vector paintings take three days to finish, illustrations barely take three hours," he adds.



Favourite work

Ask him about his personal favourite art work of all times, he says, "It has to be 'Idol'. The Disney fan that I am, it will always be the closest to my heart. I have structured this illustration in my head since 2009, but I wasn't sure that I was capable of illustrating such a detailed illustration until 2011. 'Idol' was my first step into the world of illustrations and it was featured on several websites gaining huge numbers of 'likes' and 'shares'."



The illustration 'Idol' has mice watching Mickey Mouse with a caption 'everyone has someone to look up to'.



Nabhan has been featured in Adobe Master Class: Illustrator book which features several professional artists who use the programme Adobe Illustrator and you'll find several pieces of his art in it.



To get in touch: hassan@timesofoman.com


For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel



Source: Times of Oman


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