While the field may be at its nascent stage in Bahrain, the talent is definitely available and growing. Meet Khalid Al Muharraqi, the 38-year old animator who left behind a career in advertising and graphic design to immerse himself in 3D art.
Son of Abdulla Al Muharraqi, a renowned artist in the Middle East, Khalid studied photography and interior design at the Art Institute of Houston. It was while working for advertising agencies in the Middle East that he grew disappointed by the level of quality, ideas and design that has been accepted in the market. Recognising an opportunity in 3D as the fine art of the future, Khalid made the switch as the best path for him.
Working from his studio at home, Khalid constantly updates the software and tests the hardware to ensure that operations run smooth. When things get awry like system installation, new hardware, his business partner and a tech engineer pitch in to help. One of the challenges is always safe storage of data and secure back up.
Despite these challenges, he maintains his work as creatively as possible. “We have always resisted corporatising our set up as I feel it would mean losing our edge and would not allow us to be flexible to try new things. This way, we are not restricted by having to carry massive overheads, staff or infrastructure.”
Even though the Gulf market is slowly waking up to the animation industry, the assumption that animation can be done in a jiffy with a few clicks of a mouse, still persists. Khalid finds it a regular task to dispel such notions among his clients.