Yusra has been home-schooled ever since she was small. She was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and lived there until the age of five years. Afterwards she moved to Nairobi, Kenya, with her family and spent the rest of her childhood growing up there.
Hibakidz spoke to Yusra, the illustrator of the series of Zayd and Musa books, and here is what she has to say…
When did you discover that you wanted to become an illustrator?
I have always loved drawing! I started off with sketching different pictures on paper and then learnt how to draw on Adobe Photoshop. I dreamed of writing my own book and drawing pictures for it as well. As I got older, I wanted to draw for other people, having watched my elder sisters and father do the same.
What kind of a talent and temperament does it take to become a good illustrator?
Talentwise you do not necessarily need to be great at drawing from the start, because once you keep drawing, then you will naturally improve. However, one’s temperament is a major factor. For example, if you are someone with very little patience, then it will be very difficult for you, as improvement requires a lot of practice.
Who is your favourite illustrator and why?
I have many different favourite illustrators. One of them is an artist by the name of Huta Chan. I love her artwork because it is just very unique and it gives a warm feeling. I think all art styles are special but I personally love hers.
What do you do with the money you earn through your illustrations?
I give a portion for Sadaqah (charity) and I save the rest.
Tell us something about your future projects if any?
I am currently working on a series of colouring sheets that teach the Arabic alphabet. They are posted on my father’s website: islamiccomics.org.
What other hobbies and passions do you have?
I enjoy exercising, baking, reading and writing my own books as well.
How did it feel to see your name printed on your very first book Zayd and Musa’s series book titled “The Trouble with Ice-Cream”?
I felt excited but also a little nervous, but overall, I was grateful that I had just finished my first project.
Any message you wish to share with HibaKidz readers?
I think I just want to tell them that illustrating is something that is needed, and that to become good illustrators you have to practice for a while. Every time I draw something new on Adobe Photoshop, I also learn some new techniques and effects. So, keep drawing and keep in mind that even a simple piece of art can go a long way!