Drawing. Doodling. Illustrations. Painting.

I love them all. In all colours, or no colours. Thematic or scribbles. They all have a story & character.

My love for drawing began when I was in Year 1 of school, way back. Some of us kids would just draw something with our pencils in our notebooks, or with chalk on our slates. We even watched some wild kid draw on the school walls. But it was only when I started buying comic books in Year 2 and watched American & British animations from Year 3 that I got really interested. Drawing was a big part of my school days. My classmates liked it when I drew. They enjoyed subjects that had drawings. My mom was good at drawing too. Her dad was a professional painter. Maybe that’s why I liked it so much.

But when I got to Year 6-7, I got into sports, especially football/soccer. Then, during Year 10-12, I focused a lot on my studies. My parents and society wanted me to go to a good college and get a good education. They had plans for me – maybe become a doctor or an engineer. Perhaps even work with computers.

But what I really wanted was to be an artist. An illustrator.

I didn’t draw much during the rest of my school years, university life, or my work life that followed. It was only in 2010 that I started thinking about drawing again. By then, I had forgotten most of my skills. But I took small steps. It was irregular, not like a serious commitment. Then, in 2010, Apple launched the iPad and the Pencil. I saw a friend who was an artist use it, and it fascinated me. I also looked at drawings on Instagram and got hooked. Freelance artists were making icons, avatars, logos, and sketches. I wanted to do that too. I started drawing more on my iPad.

Then, in 2020, COVID-19 hit the world. We were all in lockdown. I had time on my hands and a strong urge to draw. I started again, but then I also got into podcasting, vlogging, and blogging. I even started cooking. But finally, in 2022, I decided to focus more on drawing while still juggling everything else. I joined an online course from the UK, though I didn’t get very far. I also took a classroom session in Sydney for beginners. That was fun and that’s how I drew that blub/slob style at the top. I started looking at university courses and schools in Australia and the USA where I could learn formally. The USA seemed great, but it was expensive. Australia had some options, but I’m thinking about part-time studies in the future, if possible.

It’s been a journey.

To keep me motivated, I created an Instagram page (@manojcomics) to share my beginner’s cartoons and doodles.