Animator, professor, nerd-who-likes-to-learn-about-anything.
I was a happy nerd in school, accepted by my peers, active in drama, debate, art contests, student government and (for a short time) track and field. I loved art, I loved physics, and I loved math.
As a teenager planning my college applications, I agonized over which route to take: science, or art. Having Pakistani parents, I faced the usual pressure to either follow in my parents’ footsteps (engineer or teacher) OR I could become a doctor, because medicine is the most important field!
Anyway, long story short, my parents dealt with the disappointment of my rejecting a “respectable” career in favor of following my instincts. In fact, they soon became my biggest fans and bragged about their animator daughter every chance they got.
I discovered animation at the end of my schooling at NCA, mostly because I felt constrained by single images. I wanted to create motion, and stories, and worlds. I imagined making the Pakistani version of Disney, and building a library of the amazing stories that represented me, and people like me.
Strangely enough, I feel like I have been working toward that goal for the past 20 years, despite having moved to the US, shifting into an academic career and building a whole new life in my adopted country.
And this, this is my sabbatical, where I think I am going to learn a lot, but I think I will finally get to build a story that shows the quirky, happy side of where I came from.