Back years ago after the Malaysia Comic Carnival 2002, I got freaked out with this job so called 'comic artist', especially with GEMPAK STARZ™. Who didn't if there were hundreds of people lined up for you autograph? (unless you like being famous coz' I'm not, that was why I gave up modelling in just a month 'tasted' it!). But, for the sake of my job & also those people who like my talent in drawing & writing... I steadily moved on with it.
Seriously... it's not easy being famous & at the same time you still have to work on your talent. Until at one point I got tired of it.
After my mother passed away last end of August 2009, I had been away from my work for almost 4 months. For me, that was the most peaceful period of my adulthood. Yeap! No need to give orders, no need making decisions for other people or even rushing jobs for deadlines. The period where I felt I am being important for being a responsible son for my sick mother. Also being important just because I am a science graduate who was not a fool in medical science & anytime strongly ready to face my mother's death when considered her health condition (doctors kept asking if I am a medical student... d'oh! Didn't they know I can be as knowledgeable as them by just doing research from the internet?! Plus being an editor for GEMPAK™ magazine, wisely doing a proper research always my thang! So don't simply quote comic-goers are brainless!).
Compare to my work, facing my mother's death was the hardest moment but at least worth my effort. But working in this line, facing lots of demands but yet less time for yourself by giving the extra miles efforts (when unsure of how much penny you gonna gain beside fame!), really make me feel exhausted. It got worst when this work exactly bit by bit taking the price of my own privacy.
I am not sure is it about me or this is how a comic artist's lifestyle going to be in Malaysia sooner or later. But for me, it is stressful. Who knows one day going through grooming session is a necessary for comic artist, so you won't smell like a skunk during autograph session (unless you're representing your own label who don't mind being under label of SMELLY-MESSY SKUNK). In GEMPAK STARZ™, I have to groom because beside as a comic artist, I also represent the company in their official events. I have to be 101% presentable to the people especially among VIPs.
After a month back to the office since my mother's funeral, I don't care if I am famous or not. I don't care if I have to speak on limit or off limit in certain situations! I don't care because I know where or when to be in certain manners. I don't need to control my manner if I don't feel appreciated enough, either I will just speak back or just walk away. Yeap, life is all about do & don't! I don't care because I know when is the right time for me to CARE!
9 years in this industry & even representing Malaysia in a few Asian cultural meetings, I have done far than what I had imagines of being a comic artist. June next year (2010) means 10 years I deliver myself unselfishly for this industry. During my teenage years I took a vow for myself... if I am nobody after 10 years working my ass to success, I should just leave it & do something else by starting again from scratch. Looks like I don't have to worry much then, I've made myself clear before I even reach 10 years.
Worth my efforts! But yet not worth my energy. Today as I speak to my audience, my first warning will be...
"If you want to become a comic artist, don't do it for fame coz it ain't worth nothing for yourself. Work for the best of your talent & soul. It's easy to become famous but will it be easy to draw & write while maintaining your fame? None of it is true."
As far as I am concern, fame happens naturally. I don't have to work on it. I am not sure how FAKHRUL ANOUR has become the talk of the town. I am not even sure how AYOUR became one of the '50 Most Influential Youths 2007' by Juice Magazine. I am not sure why I keep recieving official e-mails from UNICEF every now & then. Also why am I being invited to these international meetings as a VIP when I still have debts to pay every months?! Sincerely, now is my time to just say NO to such... I so call 'praises'. It does make me proud but you know what... not at the right time.
So when is the right time? When I feel belong & somebody knows I don't have 8 hands, 2 brains & 9 lives to be who I am today for the past almost 9 years. For every others who think you deserve what you have, same goes to me because I also have... EGO.