Animation, Comic Books and Nostalgia; Ali Hyder’s Art in His Own Words

From Ali Hyder's Instagram Profile

Loyal readers will already know this, but we love visual artists. And among our favourites from the local lot is Ali Hyder. One of the early members of the Mano Animation Studios dream team, and a lover of all things fantastical, Ali’s work has been featured by us many times. But we haven’t devoted an entire post to his creative process. That is, before now.

The whole point of this post was to encourage the man behind the artwork to let us into his creative process. And what better way to do that than to ask him to comment on some of his own work? Of course, we couldn’t not talk about some fun tangents he’s gone on along the way. These are his reflections on some milestones that have made up his journey. From a stint as one part of an ambitious animation puzzle to some scuba diving fun, this is his journey in his own words.


  1. You Will Always Be a Boy

“I call this ‘You’ll Always Be a Boy’ because that’s what some people tell me. This was done for a design competition. What I loved about painting this is I got the chance to put in everything I loved about my own childhood. Plus, things I wish I had, like a lava lamp. It’s still unfinished and I might get back to it once my schedule clears up. But it’s one of those pieces that I feel very connected to.”


  1. Mano Animation Studios Presents ‘The Glassworker’

“Back in March 2016, I found out about this new film being made in Pakistan by Mano Animation Studios. They had a Facebook page and were trying to get word out about their Kickstarter campaign. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to be a part of it. ‘The Glassworker’ is an ultra-ambitious attempt to bring the beautiful art of hand-drawn animation to Pakistan. I would go on to start working with them since the first day of the Mano Studios launch in Karachi.

The team back then was five people working from a small office. And now it’s grown to be this gang of creatives all crazy enough to put in the hours and passion into this project. The team is headed by director Usman Riaz, and split into further teams: Animation, Background, Architecture, Sound. The best part about this project is working with a young crowd (some of them haven’t even been to college) who have the most incredible talent as painters, designers and animators. This is really the beginning of something really special. Of an entire industry. I feel Mano Studio is headed towards something really beautiful.”


  1. A Family of Swimmers

“I’ve been to Churna Island so many times it’s almost a second home. The fishes are colorful, the water is cool and the ride there is cheap! Plus, it’s just two hours from Karachi. Go there with Scuba Club and you’ll even get biryani for lunch. Their crew is professional and they go their every Saturday and Sunday.  In my family, we’re all swimmers, my dad being a Sea Scout. So I take every opportunity to get into the deep sea.”


  1. Flying with Dragons


“This painting has been my most ordered print! It was painted in 2016 inspired by Moby Dick, the legend of the white whale. But this is a white dragon.”


  1. Superhero Tales

“It’s weird how some storytelling mediums just touch you so deeply. I’d never been a comic book fan until I was asked to draw one! The Pakistan Girl is an extension of a little known superhero called Pakistan Man. I’m currently the sole artist for the Pakistan Girl titles, created by Hassan Siddique.

While this title may be too on the nose, I’m glad I took the project. Through it I got introduced to the supreme world of comic-book story-telling. And legendary artists like Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson, Bernie Wrightson. The story-boarding, composition, flow and panelling that goes into each page is a subtle science. Which I’m now putting into my own comic-book The Midnight Massacre (coming soon).”


  1. A Collection

“These artworks are from all over the place. The earliest one here is the drawing of Muhammed Ali becoming the then youngest heavyweight champion beating Sonny Liston. I was fifteen when it was drawn on paper of course.

Back then I wouldn’t even know what Photoshop was. Second in line is the portrait of Imran Khan, which was also been featured on PTI’s official Facebook page. The other two are digitally painted, one called Mage where I tried to put together my MMORPG days onto the canvas. The other a study of The Dude which really ties the whole thing together.”

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