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June 8, 2009
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Interview

Journal Entry: Mon Jun 8, 2009, 7:23 PM
This is an interview for edlalin:



1 How do you spend a typical day or work?

I have my breakfast, usually cereal and then a strong cup of coffee. Since I work at home I also help with my little baby daughter as well in the wake up process (Good mornings, diaper change etc.)

I will start work at about 9:00am and around noon I stop for lunch and midday prayer. If the weather is good, I also go for a walk with the family or solo.

Another strong cup of coffee and then I will work till afternoon prayer. After that short pause I get back at it and work till dinner or evening prayer, whichever comes first.

Usually it totals about 8  – 10 hours a day work.


2 How did you enter this field of employment?

I went to college for animation and by necessity of income I worked in comics. From there, it paid well so I stuck to it. I never planned to be a comic artist much less believed I would ever work in video games.


3 What was your career path to this position?

I worked in a now defunct animation studio, then an Internet company, then Dreamwave comics which is also defunct, then on to Nelvana Studios for a short while in Toronto. After that some of the old crew from Dreamwave amalgamated and formed UDON Entertainment with who I have been since the beginning and am the only remaining original artist.

I have never left UDON and I find this to be the best job.


4 What aspects of your job are most and least satisfying?

Most satisfying:

I get to set my own hours and chose the type of work and subject matter I work on which is impossible in any other job.
I can take off large swaths of time if I can afford it.
I get first picks on all the incoming jobs as a result of seniority.
I have an honest boss who I can trust and keeps me informed of all things as well as helps me whenever I need it.

Least satisfying:

Because I work for a company with a public presence I am limited in what I can say politically or otherwise. But again, I am here for the art not to voice my own opinion or commentary on a set of issues.


5 What are the big responsibilities of your job?

Produce high quality art be it for a comic, video game, cover, package art or whatever else comes down the pipe. I am firm believer in you should do your job and let other people do their jobs. As a result I seldom get involved in management issues, which in many cases have nothing at all to do with art.


6 What types of decisions do you make?

I determine the look of the product where necessary or simply recreate existing properties to client’s specifications.


7 What training/ education background is required?

It’s debateable if there is anything necessary, I can’t remember ever looking at any prospective artists diploma much less have I ever shown mine. School is good for honing your skill, but it is expensive. Many schools are rubber stamp institutions out to make a buck off of gullible hopeful artist who don’t have a chance.

Buyer beware, but drawing in your own time is free and more fun.


8 What are some current issues in your field?

I can’t say what I feel are issues since they are not common ideas or concepts held by UDON. I always have someone over my shoulder watching what I say, and I don’t want the hassle.

There are many things that are very wrong in this industry and the social price is very dear is all I can say.


9 How would you characterize your work environment?

One of the issues I face right now is that I cannot separate my work form home since they are all in one. This is a very irksome thing at times when you are juggling family issues and work issues.

Yes I don’t have to commute, yes I don’t have to lease an office, but the idea that your work is always lurking in your home can be unnerving at times especially when the heat is on with a deadline. Also there is no real transition time that you would get in a drive home for work. It’s fun to a point when you’re single, but get married, have a kid, and stuff changes.


10 What is the mission or thing you try to accomplish with your work?

I am trying to get large enough of a presence by working on commercial things to be able to do my own story and completely set a new standard in story telling.

I am sharpening my teeth in other words for my own thing.


11 What kind of individual would be best suited for this position?

Not a slacker, drunk, party animal, lazy, big spender, slouch for sure. This job demands so many things of you, especially in my situation where I am freelance. I work almost exclusively with UDON, but I have to manage my own finances, business, and public relations.


12 What are the prospects for someone entering this field now?

Despite the economic downturn, my theory has proved true. When I was younger I figured that even if war broke out people would still have a few things that are standard: 1 Food, 2 Shelter, 3 Entertainment. I can cook, I did it as a job through high school, but art was much more fun.

I say all those things to say that it is a stable industry from that angle. On the other hand, getting into it is another matter altogether. Count on there being another million artists out there going for the same thing, and with computers making things so easy, many people are becoming artist earlier.

It’s tough is another way of saying it, you better know how to cook or have another job lined up just in case.

If you’re amazing, then don’t worry.


13 Are their any tips that you could give for a soon to be illustrator?

If you have faith in God and a purpose to your art, you really have just about everything you need. In my mind everything from my talent, to my opportunity and experience is from Him, the rest is ambition and determination.

I am saying these things because it was only when I embraced these ideas that my career actually took off, before that point no amount of effort and trial availed me success.

But again, that worked for me, there are many ways up in this industry, but I feel that the best one for sure.


14 What kind of company or place do you work for?

I work for UDON Entertainment, and I am one of the lead artists and founding members.

CSS Journal Coded by FleX177

  • Mood: Welcoming
  • Listening to: DJ Hazard
Add a Comment:
 
:iconengraver78:
Engraver78 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Asalaamu alaikum Mr. Omar.

Firstly i would like to say that i admire your work and way of life you're leading. Being a true muslim and an illustrator was goal of mine to strive. I want to be a great illustrator but i fear that i will stray away from path of muslim. After reading some of the journal you had, being in minority where most people are non muslim are tough.

So, i you dont mind i would like to ask a few. What's keeping your faith towards the religion stand strong whilst your job as an Illustrator? Have a strong faith towards god when you have this job? I am a muslim and i feared of forgetting my religion as ive getting myself a great job such as yours. Concerning my interest in art will dissolve my faith is something i want to avoid.

I would like to thank if you had time to read this. I like to draw and intent to go on pro but perhaps guidance is most likely i need to move forward. I really appreciated if you got some advice to give. Till then, keep doin your best and ill support you all the way.
Reply
:iconphoenixroy:
PhoenixRoy Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm about to go to college and take a leap into animation. Would you say it's important to have animating skills as well as illustrative ones? Or should I just focus on the animation aspect first?

Hopefully this isn't too personal, but I have to know your experience with this. Has working on site at a job or at home these long hours effected a relationship with a woman in a past or your wife now? Because I'm just leaving high school and I fear I won;t be able to date or commit to dating if I give 110% into this industry.
Reply
:iconluisarafidi:
LuisaRafidi Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2009
My dream job is the one that would let me work at home and set my own hours. That way, I wouldn't have to move to another country to get a job.

About choosing my career, I'm between Law and graphic design. Of course I prefer drawing as a job, but the problem is...you know, the money. As a prossecutor I'd get a pretty good payment. Is it possible to be payed as much in the art industry?

Oh, so you're working on something of your own? What would that be? A book?
Reply
:icontatsujinedge:
TatsujinEdge Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009
Very cool, a lot good insight here into what it takes to be an artist. Thank you for sharing :)
Reply
:icondaredevil840:
daredevil840 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009
i had no idea you were part of dreamwave comics (alvin lee started or worked a lot for it, right?). or that you wanted to make your own. i'm a big fan of your art and would like to see your storytelling, as you are well spoken and intelligent, so i will definatly be hoping for news on that.
i'm sure this is a pretty routine question, but how important is it to go digital? i'm pretty old school, and still work with paper, pen, pencil and prisma color... i know you mentioned before that tools aren't that important, but it seems everyone works on a computer nowdays, how bad would this affect a portfolio presented to a company like udon?
Reply
:iconkuroichoucho:
KuroiChoucho Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
You write very inspirational words Omar :) Thanks again
Reply
:iconthezaxi:
Thezaxi Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2009
thanks omar aside from being one of my fave artist you have a nice phillosophy and mind set
Reply
:iconpumpkid:
Pumpkid Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009
Amen. :3

This was really good!
Reply
:iconandreatamme:
AndreaTamme Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for posting the interview :)

"School is good for honing your skill, but it is expensive. Many schools are rubber stamp institutions out to make a buck off of gullible hopeful artist who don’t have a chance. Buyer beware, but drawing in your own time is free and more fun."

I agree. Sometimes I wish I could have afforded going to Sheridan in Ontario... but I think ACAD is the next best thing (in Canada). I was very critical when looking through potential art schools, because I had the feeling a lot of them might care more about your money and less about your growth. IE: Those tv commercials you see...

I'm glad I went, though. If I hadn enver entered the Design department I would probably still procrastinate like crazy. It's really helped me develop time management + the habit to practice. And I think those are two very important aspects of the job :)
Reply
:iconrobaato:
Robaato Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Wicked cool interview, Omar.

(Absorbing all the things I need to know about making it in the biz.)
Reply
:icondazedgumball:
dazedgumball Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009
This really helps. Very informative and gave the facts straight up. Thank you, Omar-sama!
Reply
:iconkaze26:
kaze26 Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009
awesome man do you ever ger anything free from capcom or your company?
Reply
:iconomar-dogan:
Omar-Dogan Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Professional General Artist
Of course, all sorts of stuff if i want.
Reply
:iconkaze26:
kaze26 Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009
cool
Reply
:iconkeikuina:
Keikuina Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009   Digital Artist
Gotta work on myself a little oO
Gotta stop being a slacker and lazy :/
Just gotta find a way, like taking a break from video games and going out more oo"

I'm happy I was able to read this :D
Reply
:iconchinky-chan:
Chinky-chan Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your words are really inspiring and I know where it comes from =D. I'm really happy that people like you, no matter how far they have come, still has their feet on the ground. God bless =D
Reply
:iconkingsoul:
kingsoul Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009
very interesting and strong point of views. the way you described the industry is thorough and how to tackle it. mashallah great set of mind you have there bro. respect from saudi. i live here but there are no opportunities for artists here that's why am not putting much effort into it. being in the IT field really sucks so now am having a change of heart am gone go and try to make a difference and try to introduce this section of entertainment and make people acknowledge it around this end with a strong belief and faith. safe bro.
Reply
:iconw-e-z:
W-E-Z Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
im gonna become a professional artist no matter what :(. Art school is at least working as something to make sure I keep focusing on art. Good luck out there Omar.
Reply
:iconomar-dogan:
Omar-Dogan Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Professional General Artist
Art school is great for that, my years at Sheridan helped me tremendously, and if people can afford it it is the right way to go.
Reply
:iconw-e-z:
W-E-Z Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah its expensive but not nearly as expensive as going to art school in say America. Also introduced me to other peer artists that I found inspiring and I started working harder in my free time on my own stuff which I think these peers helped me more than the actual classes so far lol.
Reply
:iconyellowpixel:
YellowPixel Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Professional General Artist
MashaAllah i love that without making it an overpowering thing, your deen is always apparent in your speech when you talk about your work, obviously always in the back of your mind with your work too.

"but the idea that your work is always lurking in your home can be unnerving at times especially when the heat is on with a deadline"
That's it EXACTLY. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but there it is.
Reply
:iconomar-dogan:
Omar-Dogan Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Professional General Artist
Many people including myself would have skipped out on mentioning that, but I have to tell the truth of what I feel. If people ask me i should say the truth.

Besides, you look on the net and in the world at all the crazy, perverse, irrational things that are shamelessly being said and done, why on earth should I be embarassed of believing in Allah right?
Reply
:iconyellowpixel:
YellowPixel Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Professional General Artist
Exactly, that's why i had to mention it, because unfortunately it is rare to see that degree of truth. MashaAllah.
Reply
:iconfromart-toart:
FromArt-ToArt Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i give you credit omar, i cant imagine the kinds of distractions that i would go though if i worked out of home. what kind of worker are you, procrastinator or workaholic? me being a procrastinator myself, i always seem to get side tracked :( it also must be hard as a parent especially, since it is hard to keep commitments to your work if you need to take care of your family. despite all that, you seem to manage yourself quite well. you truly are an inspiration to artists everywhere.
Reply
:iconomar-dogan:
Omar-Dogan Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Professional General Artist
I am a workalholic, but having a kid makes me take it easy, without her i get immersed which isnt healthy either.
Reply
:iconcinsatalxenomaker:
CinsaTalXenoMaker Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009
I have to thank you for taking the time to post this, you have no idea how the professionals like you on this site help me gain some understanding of what it's like in the business.

I'm a future cartoonist, At this point it's inevitable and imperative that I become a part of the entertainment field. So through this I can hope to better prepare myself for whatever career I wind up in, whether it be animation or comics or otherwise. And I'm very grateful for this ^^

And I respect your style, as a person. Very inspiring. :)
Reply
:iconmredison:
MrEdison Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009
Hi.

Do u know that ur amazing? Cuz u r.
Reply
:iconkonjur:
Konjur Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009
cool man...this just inspires me to work even harder...cool interview
Reply
:icontorutheangel:
TorutheAngel Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009
I love your insights, and want to thank you for them. I'm looking into the field of graphic design at the moment, but want to get into a similar place where you are, so actually hearing about the experiences, the limitations and benefits, all of it is so helpful.

If I may ask, would you know where I could find insights from other pros too? I'd like to see just the range of things across the board so I can develop a clear picture of the industry I'm working towards being a part of. Thank you whether or not you do though, like I said, this is a great help just seeing yours.
Reply
:iconomar-dogan:
Omar-Dogan Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Professional General Artist
I find many of the pro don't talk about stuff like this, the big pros that is.

Maybe they're scared you might one day take their job?
Reply
:icontorutheangel:
TorutheAngel Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009
Actually that's a pretty good point, and I could see why that might amount up to silence there. Sorry about that.
Reply
:icont-blan:
T-blan Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
I'm sure I'm not the only one who ask you this question , have you ever think about making drawings tutorials,videos, Like the people from "Digital tutors" [link] , because i saw a tutorial you made it was awesome, and maybe with some help form the people of Udon entertainment you could take your job to an other level, I'm just saying.(I check the website really nice [link])
Reply
:iconomar-dogan:
Omar-Dogan Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Professional General Artist
Tutorials take time and a lot of effort to put together properly. Also I never had any tutorials when I was starting out as an artist, so I would say they are like a very once in a while thing.

If its demanded of me for a book we release thats a different thing, but normally I don't.

Many times i am not sure I can explain my thought process througout the piece consistantly.
Reply
:icont-blan:
T-blan Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
Ok i see , but it would have been really nice
Reply
:iconsirmeierlink:
SirMeierlink Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009
I am glad to have read this; very informative. I don't leave comments on a person's journal but just wanted you to know that people like me are reading it. :D
Reply
:iconsketchproof:
SketchProof Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Breaking in the industry is going to be a pain in the ass for me :doh:

No offense to future artist breaking in, but I find it now to be the time for all artist to be a little selfish and go after your dreams. Forget stopping and helping others, especially ones you don't know because the more you help them, the greater the chance they can out do you and you'll be left trying to still make it in. This is a very competitive field to get into. Now I know why some artist don't share their secrets of how they draw or paint.

Just speaking the truth, so please no bashing what I've said. Thank you :)
Reply
:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I think you're right. I spend a great deal of time giving advice to others, and they seem to find it very helpful, but I'm not doing myself a whole lot of good.
Reply
:iconsketchproof:
SketchProof Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I mean. I think it's okay to give a little advice, but just don't show all the secrets.

I actually just started posting a few guides how I go about drawing the human figure, but I'm not showing how I go about the details and the style I use. Unless I was getting paid to do this then I'd show almost everything I do, but I'm only showing a limited amount of steps I take.

In the long run. Do what you feel is right for you first then share your teachings to others when you feel confident enough that you won't get out did by someone who used your methods and become better than you with your own technique. That's a sucky feeling lol
Reply
:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
See now I'm tempted to take my couple of tutorials out of my gallery. :lol:
Reply
:iconmyselfsama:
Myselfsama Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Student Digital Artist
Meh, I dont particularly like hearing the idea of community resources going down. Specially for the reasons stated. You gotta realize that the people competing against you for professional jobs aren't going to be reading your Tut to "copy your style" or learn something new. If they learn something from your tut then your probably 100 steps ahead of them experience wise and that wont get him very far. The world is evolving into a more diverse place, art is now being taken a bit more serious, and people are spending a bit more time discovering the joys of doodling and drawing. But that wont ever make them competitors for jobs, instead you might hear a long time down the road "it was because of this (insert picture or tut here) that inspired me to be an artist". Sorry for long post xD.
Reply
:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I'm sorry, but I guess you missed the :lol: in my post.
Reply
:iconmyselfsama:
Myselfsama Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2009  Student Digital Artist
n_n; sarcasm over the net, hard to detect. Sorry :)
Reply
:iconsketchproof:
SketchProof Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
lol. Do what you gotta do :p
Reply
:iconthe-kid36:
the-kid36 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009  Hobbyist
pretty awesome man :)
Reply
:iconedlalin:
edlalin Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009
wow thank you very much, this really really helps, I have been thinking very critically about what I am going to do. This is very informative and nice thank you
Reply
:iconomar-dogan:
Omar-Dogan Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009  Professional General Artist
NP man.
Reply
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