Artist - Naseer Pasha

Nas "The Black Fish" Pasha is an animator and comicker from Toronto's Jane and Finch community.  Animation was the plan, ever since age five, and today the 26 year old is proud to say that he can make ideas move on paper.

Naseer Pasha
Being a writer who draws his material, Nas finally launched his film on paper series in 2012, entitled, "Two Mistakes Two Many," and is in production for his third and final instalment in the fictitious auto-biography trilogy.  Free time and work mean the same thing to him, so don't be surprised when you see him animating on the subway.  Eat.  Sleep.  Pray.  Draw.

What part of Canada are you from Naseer?

I grew up in Toronto, Ontario, and was raised in the Jane and Finch area of North York.

What inspired you to create animation?

I'm obsessed with drawing.  Ever since I had a VCR, I would tape cartoons on Saturday mornings and just pause them the whole day to draw what I saw.  I did my first animated "masterpiece" when I was 12 years old.  After I used my low-tech methods to produce a 3 minute short out of 87 drawings (shot on something like 15s), I knew animation was what I had to do.  That, or become an inventor.

In the Dungeon

How would you describe your artistic style?

It may seem like an odd way to describe an artist's work, but "speed" is the word that comes to mind.  I think when you look at my anime/graffiti-influenced works, you can sometimes almost feel the speed at which I jotted the idea on to the paper, and really understand what was going on in my head.

Eye of Mubala - Chase Scene - Key Frame

What roles do you play in the creation of animation?

I'm a one man team when no one's around or free.  I storyboard, Leica time, classically animate, clean up, colour, do layout, and compositing.  In dire times, I even voice act.  But please, don't remind.

Return of the Beggar King

What is one project that you are proud to have been involved in?

My buddies and I are working on something from the ground up.  It's called "Eye of Mubala."  It's a Indiana/grave robber type short animated film, and it's really just raw work.  Everything except the colouring and compositing is traditional, and speaks to all our deepest most deprived animation needs!  It's close to us all because we are doing it out of our love for animation, and nothing else.  Hence, I am left to animate during my one and a half hour ride to work on the train.

What projects are you working on now?

My two passion projects right now are my graphic novel trilogy, "Two Mistakes Two Many," of which I'm writing and boarding the final instalment, and "Return of the Beggar King," a not-so-classical tale of the Journey of the Monkey King after he reached India.  Weird wild stories, the both of them, so stay tuned.  And I encourage anyone who has a Friday night to spare, to check out the first two volumes of "Two Mistakes Two Many" on my website, in the "Publications" section.  If you like stories about Buddhist monsters, martial arts masters, and wandering warriors, it may just be the story for you.

Two Mistakes Two Many - The Film on Paper

Who is one of your favourite Canadian animators?

Richard Williams.  What a fellow.  Working on 1s!  Please come back to us, we patiently await your return.

What is one of your favourite animation books?

It's not directly an animation book, but I'd have to say "Studio Ghibli Book 11: The Complete Storyboards of Princess Mononoke" by Hayao Miyazaki.  What a goldmine of drawings.  I haven't even finished looking through it because I always find myself falling on the same set of sequences and just losing my mind.  Very tastefully, however.

Amazon Link - Princess Mononoke Storyboard Art Book

Who is an up-and-coming or relatively unknown Canadian animator that everyone should check out?

To me, she must be a superstar in the underground animation community, but this Japanese-Canadian animator Ami Thompson is a force!  She came out with this film called, "Basilisk" two years back. Put us all in our place.

Basilisk by Ami Thompson from Ami Thompson on Vimeo.

Are you involved with any animation organizations in Canada?

Nope.  I'm a fraud.  I claim to be an animator, but I've been cooped away in my universe just drawing, and know next to nothing about the Canadian animation scene.  I'm always open to suggestions!

Have your films won any animation awards?

The only milestone I ever reached was to get my drawings to move.  It's the only one that's ever counted to me, so everything else is just icing on the cake.

Do you have other interviews online that I can link to?

Here is a link to a small interview an attendee at TAAFI did for me and the Eye of Mubala film, on his blog: