Creative Conversations : Omar Momani, Cartoonist
Creative Conversations is a new feature series focused on shining a light on creatives under the radar. We aim to have 'creative conversations' with some of the most innovative creatives in the world today. Next up on the series is Animator, Omar Momani from Jordan
What inspired you most to become an Animator/Cartoonist?
Mickey Mouse, Popeye, Tom & Jerry were my best friends during my early childhood, I used to watch their cartoons and thought that they were real until my parents informed me that they were just cartoons which were the inspiration to draw cartoons as I was fascinated by the idea of giving a life, soul and characters to cartoons.
You have worked for big names such as Goal international, How has that been like, is there a lot of pressure involved with big brands?
I am a MAD magazine fan and football fan at the same time and working for Goal provided me with the best opportunity to combine my love for both things (cartoons and football). At the beginning, the idea of working for an international website such as Goal was definitely intimidating given its broad and international audience. Clearly, the pressure was high as the audience's reaction to football cartoons was unpredictable and I was not accustomed with reading and receiving criticism and negative feedback.
Since your time creating, what has been the best and worst thing about it?
The best thing about drawing football cartoons is the fact that I get to draw about something that I am passionate about and that is very dynamic and challenging. However, one of its drawbacks is the footballers continuous change of hair styles which forces me to constantly alter their image.
Where or how do you find inspiration for your work? Is there a process you go through beforehand?
Clearly I get the cartoon's idea from football's trending news and are inspired and influenced by current affairs, historical events, music, movies, fiction and so on. It is important to note that the development of the cartoon's idea is done in collaboration with Goal colleagues.
There is stigma that designers, animators, painters, illustrators etc don't get enough credit for their craft and are sometimes 'forgotten' about. Do you agree and why?
Yes, I agree that designers, animators, painters, illustrators, creators, do not get enough credit for their work. However, I wouldn't go as far as saying that they are forgotten about. In my opinion, people love cartoons but most of them do not pay much attention to their creator. In the cartoon industry, the cartoon is more famous than the cartoonist.
Give us one interesting fact about yourself away from your profession, are you a sports man?
I try to be a sports man but it is not working well with me. Maybe because I do not have enough free time. I like music, specially classic Rock. I am a big fan of Frank Zappa, David Bowie and Lou Reed. Sadly they all passed away.
What is your favourite Illustration or design from a purely creative point of view you've come across and why?
Popeye characters are always a favorite - They are creative and unique to me
What advice do you have for young illustrators growing up today?
For those of you who want to be good illustrators it is important that you draw and practice and improve your skills on a daily basis. Equally beneficial is reading about the history of the cartoons in order to get acquainted with how the cartoon industry developed over time.
If you could pick one iconic design or Illustration from sport, music, movies or Television you wish you created yourself, which one would it be?
Popeye; The most magnificent “superhero”. I cherish him and all the other characters in the cartoon.
And finally, What have you got planned for the future?
I am planning to make a short animated movie and a comic book. Something aside from sports.