Everything has an Alpha that eventually leads to an Omega, but you have to go through all the Greek alphabet to realize that final goal. Elements need to be forged before it can be assembled. So.. yes.. one must become a chemist in a sense to tell a story in a modern method; to present the work in a rare manner. So my words that I chose to post today will be about the elements of my new story, which I will reveal next Friday. The elements that made my new Animated novel. Before I go any further I’d like to mention that each element will be explained in details later on. Today’s class is actually an orientation.. so take a seat kiddos… the orientation is about to start.
The first Element: Drawing.
You can’t spell painting without pain.. and what a pain it was to learn how to draw. The idea that I had to tell the story that I wrote, is to be shown through imagery, music (composed by yours truly), and sound effects; some made by me and other SFX from here and there. The first element was the hardest to get. I tried to have an artist on board, but no one wants to do the hard work around here, especially since it takes around an average of 200-250 paintings, and sometimes even more… plus I couldn’t pay for a project that big every time I release a chapter on youtube. It is a story I want to share for free, a contribution I wish everyone would share with me and the world. Abandoning the project was never an option. So eventually… I made it happen. I taught myself how to draw. I bought a digital drawing pad, and watched some frustrating youtube tutorials which were hard to follow, but I managed eventually. This element will be further mentioned with better details from my personal experiences. Plus I will share some of my digital drawings too.
The second Element: Music.
In books, you get to know what the characters feel; what they are thinking. This, however, needs instruments other than words to show to your readers when the story you are telling is merged with imagery. My second element is, for me, the most important. Because I want to reach through readers senses in every way possible. This is the second element that I will be discussing later, with imagery and a taste of what you’ll hear this Friday.
The third part: Sound effect.
I always thought that what the old silent movies missed was not the voices.. not the music obviously, because there was music in old Silent movies. What it missed was sound effects. Anyone who saw Charlie Chaplin (my all time favorite by the way) would know that this guy makes a lot of rackets, especially his chase scenes from his performance as The Tramp. But it is a racket that I wish to know how it sounds. For me adding that dimension to the story gives a further stretch for the viewer’s imagination. That would be the third topic I would show you how I preformed and managed.
The fourth Element: Story… obviously.
So what am I trying to do… what is it that drove me through all these hardships to make this story come to life. This topic will be mentioned a day before the big premier. Which will be this Friday.
Dear WordPressers (That’s how I’ll be referring to you all from now on),
I have been known to blog and write a lot of inspiring, fun, and funny posts, with a side of announcements from time to time. But At the end of the last year and this year (Which is approaching to its end apparently) I have been absent from the blog scene. I showed myself from time to time just to remind the digital world and their wordpressers inhabitants that I am still alive, well, and kicking a bit higher than the average kicker; not just because I have a black belt in taekwondo, but also because my excitement threshold is off the roof.
I am a story teller, and until now, I used books.. two to be exact so far.. to conjure the spirit of my writing; which keeps growing and growing with time. And throughout the time where I appeared as I was slacking off, I was in fact busy; for my writing beast isn’t just growing anymore, it kind of mutated. I came to a vision that I wanted to share with the world; an idea I wanted to weave but I couldn’t find a tailor for it. So what choice did I have? The beast was growing inside and the idea needs to be conjured… So ‘I’ became the tailor.
I want to present a different nature of storytelling. I’m not sure how many people have came across great writers who write their stories on their blogs, chapter after chapter posted in tandem to each other. What I am planning to create is an animated novel, one chapter at a time, one episode at a time. A series where I can use more than one vessel for my talents, in music, story, sound effect, illustration and directing. I was planning to make all the voices using Adobe Audition to change my voice. It was a fine idea but it is time consuming, plus I need a full studio and all I had was a foam sheet lined box; good enough for video blogs, but for voice-overs, it will sounds like I am talking inside… well, a box. So I either have a full voice-over recording studio (Expensive$$$) or I abandon the idea (More precious to lose).
So as I reviewed my final cut without the voice over to see how the music and the sound effect sounds, I couldn’t believe myself… because I found it to be more enjoyable than having voices for my characters. It was like reading a book, and instead of reading how the scene and the character feels, you actually feel it through the SFX and the composition. And the voice-over is in your head, you give them the voice that you imagine… and nothing is better than your imagination.
Finally, and after so much work that I had to do by myself. The first episode of my animated story is done. A mixture of storytelling, wrapped with music, spiced by sound effects, presented in a plate of imagery with a dash of surrealism.
~ A. H. Amin
A motion comic with an audio book narration fashion. The story is about the appearance of a single supernatural being who changed the world and governments.
The full project is done by me, because I couldn’t find someone who is willing to present this story with me without being paid, and it’s a lot of work since each chapter ranges from 200-300 painting at least. Since I have a story to tell and everything is more possible today… but not easy… I decided to make the whole project by myself.
Now before you go judging; know these little facts:-
1- I’m a writer and a musician… so those are two things I’m good at in this project and I hope I won’t disappoint in those areas.
2- English is not my native language. I chose it though to get a wider audience; since it takes a lot of effort to do it by myself in more than one language… and I’m already doing the whole project by myself.
3- I have Rhotacism… no it’s not something fatal in case you were wondering… but it is a big obstacle. I pronounce the “Rs” “Ws”. I trained myself a lot and searched for ways around it… but it will show from time to time.. I’ll even add a character who has Rhotacism just to show you how I really sound.
4- I was never a painter.. I had to teach myself how to draw digitally and it was difficult. I’m doing a speed drawing, add music, then words, and then my voice. It’s in a sense an audio book with more visuals.
I will discuss more about it in my next video and I will even show you how I did the whole project by myself.
So.. Until next time.
~ A. H. Amin
When you have a story to tell and you really wish to show it, but you have no one to help you.. remember that your characters are with you. This is a full one-man show to prove that anything is possible. A full episodic motion comic; written, illustrated, directed, composed and acted by… yours truly.
Looking forward to share my tale with the world, and I hope you will help me too.
~ A. H. Amin
I was born on July 1985, so when my brothers asked me today what do I want for my birthday, my mind splat into two… a part ran on auto pilot and went with the conversation, while the other half screamed at the realization that this is the year where I turn 30. Now I know what most of you think… 30 is not that bad, it’s not 60 or 50. Well, here’s where you are wrong.
The reason why I started to view my coming decade in a darker scope is because I no longer have the energy I had when I was 20… and I lack the wisdom I should acquire at the age of 40. So this is the decade I am bound to face my obstacles, my trials and right of passage. I already miss the days where my biggest problems was this picture right here, where a simple solution would be a stick or a taller hand of an older brother.
The two parts of my brain merged back together and reason was born from both the optimist and the cynical. My mind reminded me of the many hardship I won against. My record is relatively good. So for now… I guess I’m going to ask for something expensive from my siblings… I guess some things won’t change… my family will be there to make things easier for me.
Here’s a song that I heard recently I’d like to share. How can a song about a negative future be so positive? I’ll never know… I guess I can relate… or maybe I will on my 40th birthday.
This post was originally intended to be titled “Being Iraqi”. But since I was born as an expatriate, and the only connections I have to that place are the relatives that I love and a piece of paper that says I am originally from there. I wouldn’t be the best man to know what it’s really like to be a real Iraqi. I honestly used to have days where I didn’t know what to be and from where I should pretend I am.
I don’t know how many of you recognizes from where I am. Some of my old readers have seen my older posts when I was visiting Ur ruins, among other places too in Iraq. I have been raised abroad, although I lived in many places. I have almost spent half of my life away from loved ones. I started this blog, and my writing quest, with the policy to never mention from where I was, unless someone asked me of course. Even my author name is an abbreviation from my true birth and family name. But, and due to recent events that have happened, I decided to share my story, and I hope everyone will listen. So… gather around this shimmering screen, join me in a tale of sadness, laughter, hardship and naughtiness. This is the story of a citizen of the world.
I was born as an expatriate, with no real country, but I was never homeless. The home my parents have come from was suffering from a dictatorship. The last straw was the time in jail my mother had to spend because they suspected her being from a rival political party. She was a math teacher, and she made me fall in love with numbers. She told me “To understand the universe, learn physics, to understand the soul of the universe, learn math.” I nodded like an idiot at the time, thinking. “Gosh, lady! just let me get back to playing football.”
For those hailing from the American continents… football = soccer.
It is a hard thing being a kid from another country… but it was twice, even thrice as much difficult to be from a country and studying in a country yours just came out from a war against only months ago… needless to say, kids were tough on me and I had little friends. This, however, forced my imagination to go through a spurt growth, and I managed to forge portals to new worlds. I’ve never been alone; in my yard, I would be the only one using the slides and swings in a way they were not made for, to try and find a way through the walls and pretend to be escaping, and trying not to fall on the lava below me that I imagined from grass and sand, I remembered my walks back home from school; I pretend to be following someone… I was six and probably never watched or understood a thing named a spy… but I was doing it, hiding from one tree to another… gosh I was a dork.
I grew up, and my talents grew with me, separately… I became somewhat a musician… even though everyone I know listens to music; most of them frown at the knowledge that I play the piano as if I am committing a sin. My writing burst out of its shell one day when I was in Emirates, after I mentioned ideas that I have in my head. And recently, I started to use a different form of story-telling, drawing.
I mentioned something about Comic Con Dubai and how I am a guest artist. Well, I’ve never written about it here because it never happened… the thing is, they refused to let me in because of my passport. They said I need a whole month before I can issue a new visa. I don’t know in what world we live in, but when you are invited to be a guest artist and you get an official invitation, you should be able to go… but then again… being Iraqi is something out of this world.
At the time, it hurt… it was a thing I was working for for almost three months, issuing two comic books… a combination of 430 colored drawings I might add, and I have only learned how to draw digitally recently… oh… plus I was studying for my MFDS exam and I drew this as a gift for Comic Con, as a tribute to the recently demised Leonard Nimoy.
Life took all the lemons and I had nothing to squeeze. But… my art… writing, drawing and music… are my passion… They are the only thing I have in me that worth to fight for. I never stopped, I moved on, spread my words around locally.
It is said that when you really want something the universe conspire in your favor… and the universe did. I landed a publisher. Yes… I no longer pay to publish anymore. I got lucky and met a person who was looking for a new publisher to publish in more than one language. I got accepted. And ever since, I promised to never question anything that happens to me… because it is all part of the creator’s plan.
Here are the books I am going to publish with them by the coming months… one in my native language, and the other is in English… Don’t worry, I’ll translate it one day.
Goodbyes are the worst part when I write to you all… so instead… I’ll leave you with my recent drawings that I made for four special people for me… Cheers everyone.