Analyzing My Final Cut…

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).
what-to-do
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
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Team Genesis Motion Comic Trailer #1

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

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Team Genesis… The new Animated Novel.

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

A Citizen of The World…

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.creative-ideas-are-all-around-us18

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.

Nimoy tribute

 

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.

sklled sailor

 

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.

سلسلة نور

Short detective series. The first book is called “Suppressed Hatred”

the remnant cover

Renamed it… again 😀

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.

My older brother got promoted to head department at the Australian university of Kuwait... I drew this for him as a gift. He's a big fan of Game of Thrones... I'm not.

My older brother got promoted to head department at the Australian university of Kuwait… I drew this for him as a gift. He’s a big fan of Game of Thrones… I’m not.

 

For my brother in law's  birthday. I had a severe lung infection ad he saved my life. He's a chest radiologist.

For my brother in law’s birthday. I had a severe lung infection ad he saved my life. He’s a chest radiologist.

My oldest two nephews just got accepted into Murdoch university in Australia. I'm sure they'll be better engineers than what I drew.

My oldest two nephews just got accepted into Murdoch university in Australia. I’m sure they’ll be better engineers than what I drew.

See You At The… COOOOOOOOOOONN!!

So we all know now what I have been up to lately with my story telling journey. But to where should my voyage takes me… to what frontier? These are the voyages of my Writing Enterprise… where I get to explore my ideas… and try to bring them to where no one has gone before. But then I realized that I should go to where everyone has gone actually, preferably in a place where they like to go to every year.comic con

Comic Con Dubai will be the birth place of my new comic series, Team Genesis, after settling in the wombs of my thoughts for almost a year, it can finally be delivered to the world.

This year, William Shatner, Karl Urban, Kelly Hu, Caitlin Glass and many other celebrities among great artists like Des Taylor, Tula Lotay, Claudio Castelliniwho together will shine their stars upon the convention, where all dreams are weaved into reality and everyone gets to experience those dreams for a while and become his or her own persona.

So here how things will be, I will be presenting two issues at the Comic Con Dubai convention, along with the first two books of the Psychs series. Also, in appreciation of all the great effort Comic Con Dubai is bringing to us story tellers, and in dedication for the recently departed Leonard Nimoy, I prepared a gift that will only be revealed at the convention when the day comes. So, if you happen to be at Dubai attending one of the biggest conventions in the world, I would love it if you could pass by and see what I got to offer… you can’t miss my booth… trust me on that 😉

~ A. H. Amin

Shall Tease No More…

It is said that there are two ways the universe can really tests you… either through having nothing happening to you, or everything at once. It shows what kind of a person you are, let’s you know what is missing from you, and gives you the option to choose what do about it. I have mentioned lately that I had just recovered from my lung infection, breathing normally had never felt more luxurious to me, but during my days of despair, I worked on preparing a new idea that did not belong to my usual and known medium, which consist of housing those thoughts inside the warmth covers of a novel book. My new idea will not be a tease anymore, and today I will reveal not only what the idea is… but also a big news about that idea…. all that will be revealed in my next post… just kidding… maybe… we’ll see… so, here we go.

I have been working on a new series for a comic book, and as any other work, the logical action taken after having the idea is making the fantasy into reality. I have searched for artists to help me make the day dreams I had on paper to be visible, artistic and… well, comicky (if that’s a real word). I sadly did not find anyone close-by who is willing to do the work. Drawing approximately 180-250 images per issue is something of a bother that many would consider twice before agreeing to make, especially since the author in question is doing a comic book for the first time. I was having two tests at once, fighting an illness, and fighting my way through the comic books’ scene. So, eventually… I decided to do what I will reveal in the next post…. still kidding.

Confined inside my room, I taught myself how to draw, I viewed a lot of tutorial videos on youtube… though they usually confused me, here’s why…

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I eventually learned to some extent how to show a story through drawing. And so, my story telling methods had leveled up, my new upgrade is now realized.

And so… with no further ado… I present to you… Team Genesis… my new comic book series.

cover post

Humanity’s lives have always been prone to change, and when a powerful being comes into existence, the world order is reformed. Three kinds of divisions have became known.  Some worshiped that being as their new divine king, and he was called by the name he gave for himself; Seth. Others hide and stay out of his and his army’s way, paying for their safety, living in fear from his wrath. But others… fewer as they are becoming, are still leading the fight against him and his D.S. (Devil’s seeds). But whenever the odds shift to their advantage, Seth comes in and brings them to their knees… right before he brings their heads to the ground.

Team Genesis is the story of a team that will try to find out the origin of the being Seth, in hopes of finding a way to stop him. But in order for that to happen, Team Genesis must be formed first. this is the story of the person who made the final cut into that team.

Here are some of my works from Issue 1…

78 80

102

85

137a

Hopefully not :D

Hopefully not 😀

Since you’ve been so kind about it, here’s one from issue 2 😉 ….

sc1

Now, for the big news… I’ll have to postpond that one till tomorrow. I realized that posting everything about what I do will be me talking too much. So this time, I’m not teasing, I’m just giving you some rest. Until next time.

~ A. H. Amin

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Where The Magic Happens…

work placeThis is where the magic happens. This is where I decide who lives and who dies, who gets the girl and who gets a broken heart. This is where I experiment, where I create villains and heroes…. hell, this is what prevents me from becoming a criminal master mind, the place where I lock up all my bright, dark, romantic, and funny ideas.
This is where I inspire, this is where I live in body and spirit.
Never underestimate the power of art, for it is a way to give form to your spirit.
Have a creative year everyone.
A. H. Amin
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2015, Here We Go!

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Happy 2015, a once in a lifetime celebration. Humanity finally made it here and we are still not enslaved by robots (though I must say we are getting there since our hands are glued to our smart phones)
2014 is done; a history for some unlucky kid to read about in school  decades from now. For some, it was a year they will never forget, for others it was a year they wish they can forget. Either way it was a blessing that some of us managed to unravel the disguise it hid itself in. For me it was a full year, full time test of the mind, body, and spirit. It brought me to my yield strength, almost went beyond to break me. But I’ve learned long ago that god does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear.
GOD IS TESTING ME
Well, I finished my intern, officially a doctor now… okay okay, a dentist… you won’t see me do “… CLEAR!!” ZAPP!! Anyhow, I finished my intern, wealth and fame should be right afterward, my new clinic, my new brand clothing, tea with the queen every week… well… surprisingly it didn’t happen… plot twist!! I got sick… severe lung infection that no one yet knows what was the cause. So I stayed in bed, coughed blood once in a while, missed my employment date, and couldn’t do a better release for my novel Iblis. The sickness resolved itself, now I’m much much better than I ever was. I jog without coughing, and can actually breath without feeling ticklish between my ribs (only thing I missed 🙂 ).
I returned to my previous plans, found and regrouped with some of my friends and acquaintances who, not so long ago, decided to make a production company, a place where we can have the seeds of our talents and ideas planted and watch them grow. It turned out that they were not cut off for it, how do I know that? Well… I believe people are much like books, and like any book, there are things between the lines that are not written but can be formed through clues of well or poorly chosen words. They eventually wanted to call the company Q80Can (Kuwaiti can… as in a Kuwaiti can do it) and they wanted to focus on things that only attract Kuwaiti viewers. Now, living in Kuwait, one could understand why they thought that way, but I believe if it’s not meant for all, then it’s not art, Kuwait is a very small country, and plus, out of the twelve, only three were actually Kuwaiti, and an international team that only focuses on one place, one culture and a specific demographic viewers. In other words, the idea I have planned to produce with them was about to be altered so that it can only suit one nation. There are already boarders between countries… no need to place boarders in our minds.
I promote this... I am a citizen of the world.
I promote this… I am a citizen of the world.
So I contemplated, sulky and still ticklish between the ribs. I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t find anyone who can bring the ideas buried deep with to life. That was the second question in the test… how will I answer it. In life you either win or lose… not true, you either win or learn.
 I saddled up and went on the hunt for an artist who may give form to my vision. Some would say eventually I would find one, but I have been severely unlucky, cursed some may think. The harder I tried the stronger was the fall. Living in Kuwait is one of the issues that is causing my writing career to move at a slower pace.
One would abandon such dreams at that point and call it a day. But not me. When you can’t stop thinking about your idea, when you live in two worlds, when it really hurts that you can’t accomplish it, that’s when you realize how important it is to you. But I ask myself, why is it so hard to make such a thing… is there another plan for how it should be done?
The answer came in a dream. I saw one of our generations best story tellers, Hideo Kojima, all I can say that this person makes me jealous. I told that person how much I hated his success… the answer was…” what is stopping you?” I answered by saying “I have no one to help me with it” Then, right before I woke up, that person said “You make it happen, don’t wait for anyone”.
So, following in the footsteps of one of my favorite motion graphic creators, Brooke Burgess, I decided to learn digital drawing and After Effect. But not until two weeks ago I decided to create everything literally by myself, and I mean Literally; drawing using Manga studio and photoshop, music score using FLStudio, editing usind After Effect, and even voice acting using Adop Audition. A full 26 episodes done entirely by yours truly, in hopes not to just inspire through the story I wrote, but also through the way I’m doing it, to prove that nothing is impossible, everything can be done with a little of faith, passion, tickly ribs, and most importantly, YOU.
I’ll talk more about that of course, for now I’ll just let the pictures do the talking for me.
ep 1 sc 35
ep 1 sc 41
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ep 1 sc 25
ep 1 sc 125
ep 1 sc 87
All the pictures seen are done by moi. It is my first time drawing and it took me a while to find a method that suits a beginner artist like me. I am trying my best to see this episodic story to its end. Story wise it is done, drawing wise just finished drawing episode one. Learning through doing is how I plan to do, through trial and error until something makes sense eventually :).
work place
Here’s where the magic happens. I’m using an Alienware laptop, Bamboo drawing pad and a Yamaha keyboard and some figures to cheer for me.
Well, I guess it is obvious what my new year resolution would be, that and publishing Iblis on bookstores where I am, also, I am working on the third book and I still have Kima, my inspirational story set in 1928 South Africa. So, since my hands are starting to cramp, I’ll leave you with my deepest wishes of happiness and health for you and all your beloved ones.
One more new year’s resolution is to learn this 🙂
IMG_0258
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Diving for too long…

GASP!!… Now that I’ve regained my breath, let me illustrate for you the true purpose behind my long dive under the blog radar.

Dreams will always be a fantasy, unless we fashion them into reality, and as long as my worst enemy, I’m talking about Mr. Time, keeps pulling me under, they won’t be materialized to something palpable. Now, however, I have managed to emerge from my drowning state, so I can be able to present my most recent news.

I have been away for a while, turning every stone I encounter until I found my precious golden individuals. I have gathered a team of talents who are about to venture with me through our new journey. We are going to start a production company. You heard it correctly.

How did that happen? Well, the story goes with an idea. I approached my new book cover creator (Iblis) with a new story which I wanted to tell in a different manner than I’m known for; through episodic comic motion. Looking at his talent with what he did with my second book‘s cover, I was able to feel confident about the future of that project. But, after discussing it with him and his cousin (who is now our director of photography) they decided to include more talents in our small group. So after meeting with our professional team, we were able to tell that this new conglomeration felt right. So before we move on with our work, we decided to know each other through a small project at first. Short movie will require creating a new story, which I didn’t mind, but another thought shot through our designer’s head, hitting the right target. He suggested that we could start with a small commercial, which could be considered as a Minute Story.

So here’s what happened, we have approached the Kuwaiti American Football Team, who, thank’s to our aligned lucky stars, are on their way to play in the world cup this October. My responsibility is to create the idea of the commercial, to do the musical score and to direct the commercial. This Sunday we will meet to discuss the project with the owner of the team. Hopefully, they will respond positively to what we are bringing to their table.

Now you know the reason why I have been too quiet… because I’ve been too busy using my words elsewhere. Once that works, and after the commercial is out (and shared with you all 😉 ) we will hopefully proceed with the other project. I will only leave you with this… Project “Storm-bound” will be my next big thing.

keep-calm-because-the-best-is-yet-to-come

~ A. H. Amin

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