What is the first name that comes to your mind when we talk about desi-super-hero characters? Commander Safeguard? Bingo! Today, I am going to present you the man behind Commander Safeguard: “Babrus Khan”. And yes, he is the same guy who made the illustrations of “Begums and Broomsticks”.
Babrus is a 27 years old visual artist and animator who created Commander Safeguard when he was 19. Winner of the Youngest Art Director of Pakistan Award in 2006, Babrus is also the pioneer of 3D animation in Pakistan.
He started off his career at the age of 17 when he finished college. He could not study more due to some family issues. His life is a living practical example of struggle. For all those who think they can’t achieve their goals due to their financial constraints or because their parents don’t want them to study further but start working, here is a perfect paradigm to follow!
So without any further delay, let us move on to the interview!
Tell us something about yourself?
Babrus Khan: Basically, I am a Visual artist and Animator working as an Art Directer. I was born on October 13, 1985. People call me with different names i.e Babu, Juju, Babs etc. You can also pick one of them or give me a new one, I won’t mind. ^_^
My basic interests are love Comics, mangas, animes, music and drawing. I love Tsutumo Nehei, the Japenese visual artist. I love the music of Tool, A perfect circle, Opeth, Black sabbath, porcupine tree, oceansize. I love games and my favorite games are warcraft, kof, etc. My favorite cartoon character is Gats (berserk) and batman. I have a real crush on Rinoa (virtual character not real).
I think that I am an overrated self proclaimed artist, trying to make a name for myself. I highly appreciate the respect people gave me.
How did you start working in this field?
BK: When I just finished the college at the age of 17, I started working. Due to family issues, I couldn’t study more. I had to earn then. So, a cousin of mine brought me to a small company for internship. I worked there for 3 months and learnt things on my own then I did my first Head n Shoulders Black commercial which got noticed. Then a big company asked me to come and work with them. They trained me very well. When I was 19, I designed Commander Safeguard and by the age of 21 I was an art director.
I worked at Geo as an art director for 2 years then moved to Dubai and worked there for a firm as a Creative Head and then came back to Pakistan after a year to work with h2o productions as an art director for one year.
What is the role of digital art in our media?
BK: Digital art has two purposes; first is to cut down production time efficiently for traditional artists. Secondly, it makes it a bit easier for those who are not artists so, if someone says he is a digital artist it means he is in general an artist or a graphic designer now any form of art is part of entertainment media and digital art is a sub-genre of art. My skills are required in the field of production, broadcast and print production. It means movies, games and songs etc. I have established a good name in the field as not only a digital artist but also as an art director. I handle any form of art in any project that requires an art direction.
For Readers, kindly explain what an Art Director is?
BK: An art director is the person who visualises everything, how the environment of the film will look like? How the characters in a comic or cartoon will look like? How the lights will be? How the clothes will be and how the scenes will be? Everything.
Your contribution for kachee goliyaan?
BK:They use to feature my work as they loved it. Then, I started helping them in developing content of the comics and brainstorming as well.
How was the response of audience to your work?
BK: The response was kind of pleasant, at that time, when I started working I was VERY young; I was around 18-19 and I had no idea about the market and my work was western media influenced and people here at that time knew only about caricatures and political toons etc. They saw potential in my work and motivated me to get better as I worked.
What are the main themes of your work?
BK: As a professional my choice of themes dont have much to say since everything is client driven, but as a person, my personal interest is in macabre, surreal and sci-fi themes.
What or who inspires you the most?
How was your experience as a digital artist in a country like Pakistan?
BK: When you are a professional , part of a industry, specially “digital media industry” then countries don’t play. You then become a part of a global culture and follow global digital trends. When we start working in such a field we do have a giant question mark on our face as we are uncertain about the scope in our country but I assure you we are not less than what the world is doing, don’t let the environment or generation conflict confuse your mind. I started working when there were hardly 3 or 4 firms in Pakistan , it was fun back then and its even better now since its part of our media culture as well.
BK: I was awarded for the Youngest Art Director of Pakistan, when I was 21. Also as a pioneer in 3D animation in Pakistan for being an animator of Commander Safeguard. I have been featured numerous times on tv talk shows, newspapers, blogs and also radio shows.
How do you see yourself in future?
BK: Its been nearly 9-10 years in the field for me so it is the future *laugh*. Well, I still have dreams and visions, for now I wanna keep doing what I do, which is to get better, explore and experience different things in this field then, in the future, I’d like to have a firm of my own but then things change as time goes by.
Any Message for young readers?
BK: I’d like to say that no matter what you are and who you are, do what your heart wants to do and do it with an open mind or you will make yourself a slave to the system, and its really not cool, not for you, your future, your family or for even your country. We all are a part of a world that loads us with responsibilities, we all have our roles to play, we should do it in a way we can be proud of. A person who tries is better than the one who follows someone else’s dream with the fear of failure. Remember, “Your mind is like a parachute, it only functions when it is open”
My Official Site:
Interviewed by: Zunaira Afzal
Interview of: Babrus Khan
Published in: Us Magazine