Inspiration Overdose

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I was living in Amman, Jordan, for a year without as much as touching a paint brush or sketchbook. I couldn’t find any inspiration, and any one who loved art and design as much as I did. Then, I met Ahmad. This isn’t only a blog entry about him, but also about how without him, I truly wouldn’t be where I am today.

I went to take a short course at SAE Institute, Amman and asked to speak with the head of the department to see what sort of short course I was getting myself into. Along walked in Ahmad, and you could see the excitement that I had for the creative world on his face. Everything was history by then.

Ahmad Qatato is a Jordanian graphic artist  who has worked in different fields in Jordan, UAE, ad Oman for the past 11 years. He graduated from Yarmouk University with a Bachelors in accounting but sought a career in 2D animation as a part time job while in college. By then, he was hooked and moved on and launched himself into other prospects: multimedia, advertising, publishing and teaching. At the moment, Ahmad is the Art Director at Beladcom Gaming Studio in Amman, where he oversees the development of the first MMO game to be produced in the region on an international scale.

Qatato is also a published cartoonist, his mini series “Mission:Moon” besides other panels, were published in an independent Lebanese comic magazine “Samandal”. He was also awarded for his work with a community web TV portal, Ikbis, and Deutsche Welle TV.

“Every moving force is inspiring by itself, any media is a force, so to speak”. When you put Qatato and I together there is never a dull moment. We speak about music, films, art work, or anything we observe around us. He finds inspiration from the simple things in life, from watching the expressions on peoples faces in a crowded cafe, to a graphic novel he had just found. His main source of inspiration comes from the underground subculture, such as European films, underground music, comic books and graphic novels.

When you look at his work, and then ask him what his message is, its clear. He’s trying to keep the innocence within each one of us alive. We tend to get boggled down with everyday stresses that we forget to see the simple, beautiful things in life, and that is where Ahmad comes in. He finds his medium to be powerful. People tend to relate and attach instantly to a “picture” than written words. He tries to challenge the viewer for an emotional and intellectual response, and communicates a certain style that not only challenges an audience but himself in the process.

Ahmad has always preached what he practices. Don’t make what others say who you are. Find your own character, personality and individuality. Keep the child within always alive, and never become that bitter cynical version of yourself. Ive always asked him how he keeps doing what he does, how he constantly has a pen and sketchbook in hand, and is constantly generating work like he never sleeps. He always smiles at me and says “keep learning, constantly generate work, even if you don’t think its good, and stay humble”.

Through the years, Ahmad has not only been my teacher, but a very close friend, an inspiration, a confidant, and someone I respect dearly for his professional and personal opinion. I thank you Ahmad, for keeping me moving throughout the years, and always encouraging me to keep moving on, when all I wanted to do was give up. You are a true inspiration and one of a kind, and I adore you for it.

A few of his incredible works are posted below, but to be completely and utterly amazed at the capacity of his talent, go to  http://ahmadqatato.com/ , trust me.

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