She likes open space, areas where there are lots of light for her to see the details of what she’s working on. She meticulously put little elements together and sometimes, she’s huddled in front of her laptop for hours drawing inspiration from different things that happen in real life.
Hanan al Mamari is one of the young artists in Oman who recently got obsessed with vector and cartoon making finding joy in the fact that many animators who are now working in movies have gotten their start through this technique.
At the age of nine, Hanan has already been prolific in computer software. She got her start with Paint trying her best to come up with vector and cartoon art for her digital paintings. Using the simple pen tool and brush, she’s able to refine her skills and although have a tough painful beginning of learning on her own, she has since moved on from Paint.
As computer programmes and software has gotten smarter, so did Hanan. Her laptop is on its own, a complex ecosystem. She has Adobe Photoshop sitting right beside Sketch Book, Medibang PaintPro and Mischief.
“Being a digital artist is the same as any artist. You explore whatever tools you have at your disposal. For painters, they have to study paints. As a digital artist, I have to study software and explore the length of what they can do so I achieve the effect I wanted,” she shared.
Many of Hanan’s work is of cartoon characters as she grew up watching many of them on television.
“Cartoon is the most inspiring element for me to draw. I used to listen to cartoon songs when I’m drawing because it inspires me and gives me the confidence to draw in a creative style,” she shared.
Many of her creations reflect what she feels at a given time. When she’s happy, she tends to use bright colours, and when she feels sad or morose, the drawings appear dark.
“My drawings reflect different human situations and conditions. Because every person faces different situations in a given day, what I create also varies to reflect these. In a day, a person goes through joy, anger, and madness and these feelings affect the characters I male,” she said.
“I also like to paint people,” she added.
Most of Hanan’s work find their way to social media and exhibit is something she plans for the future.
One of the important figures that Hanan painted is His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. She also used to draw celebrities and social media influencers. Fatema Sana Shaikh is one of movies stars she painted.
“Art is not just a talent, anyone can become an artist through practice. For me, however, paintings should not be perfect to satisfy the taste of people but they should just be perfect for the artist,” she said.
Hanan thinks that in recent years, there has been an increase in the number of Omanis who are venturing into digital painting and drawing. She also believed that it will become its own industry in the future.
“My dream is to become successful and work with a well-known cartoon company. While I strive to do this, I wanted to create work where people will be able to recognise my work as truly my own. Think of it as branding in some way. I also hope to produce animation of the characters I drew,” she said.
MAZOUN AL GHAILANI & TITASH CHAKRABORTY