A kid who never liked to read comics turns into a comic artist at the age of 22 and creates his own merchandising line. Who would have believed that a simple comic event at a cafe in Bandra can turn around the wheels! Mumbai’s Ahmed Sikander has brought the comics out in the light in quite a different way. From sketching books to creative multipurpose stands, the fun merchandising catches attention of all. Bold designs, bright colours and cool caricatures define his art. “Creating comics is a way of expressing your experiences and thoughts on various aspects of life,“ Sikander expressed. 30 year old Sikander decided to turn his passion for comics into a full time career when he was at an eatery with friends where there were few comic artists present as well. An artist, Deepak Sharma opened his portfolio and Sikander marvelled saying to himself, “That’s what I want to do for the rest of my life!” Sikander’s journey into the commercial world began with his first comic for Once Upon A Time in the North, written by Sudeep Mennon and published by Meta Desi Comics in 2013. “Comics could be a funny, sad, bright or horrifying expression of a moment or an event. They are an exaggerated version of life and experiences,” is what Sikander feels and hence keeping his alter ego to play the lead thought, most of the comics created by him are his personal experiences and depict his personal views on them. His visions are broader and artworks move beyond general imagination. The process to create a comic begins with storyboarding giving the writer, publisher or client an idea of how the story is going to flow visually. Once approved, Sikander moves ahead with pencilling or inking the artwork since most work projects digitally, moving forward to colour rendering the comic. The quirky name Monky Ink Blots captures instant attention. When asked about the idea behind it, the comic artist cannot hide his smile, telling us how his pet name Monky has turned into a brand today. So the character’s persona and the love for ink blots created Monky Ink Blots, signifying one’s perspective in life! Merchandise is what mainly sells if it’s relatable, useful and economical. Sikander along with his friend Dhiren Sapru strive to achieve the same with his products like the Sketchink Book and the Monkuppet Stands. Illustrated with the city skyline in the background, his work is appreciated by all generations as it is very relatable. With vivid illustrations already featured in Tinkle, we will soon get to see his comic illustrations in Lawtoons 2, children’s activity book series, Inside India and some mascot designs for a few brands. What more should the audience expect from Monky Ink Blots? And here comes the reply, framed in his quirk, “Nothing less than a bag of brilliance! So Stay Tuned!” Till then… And I couldn’t find a better way to end this article. All smiles!