OCA Magazine: Since we met, it means you are a member of the guild. Why did you decide to join the Guild?

Timur Akhmedjanov: To share and express my creativity and to work with other creative people in both Eurasia and the world as a whole .  

OCA: I know that you are from Uzbekistan, what are you doing in London?

TA: Currently I am studying at the ‘London Film Academy’ to pursue a career in creative media and film writing in particular.

OCA: Where did you learn to draw in Uzbekistan, who were your drawing teachers?

TA:  During my time in Uzbekistan I drew primarily out of fun and to express the ideas in my head in a visual manner, my family is made up of a number of creative people who have helped me improve my art and motivation to create that art.

OCA: How did you get the idea to write a book for children? 

TA: Since discovering various comic book authors I’ve always been inspired to make my own comic book and after translating Kamran Salayev’s ‘Elish and Wicker Tales’ in 2018, I was captivated by the wondrous story and colourful characters and it became a world that I thought would work really well in comic book form.

OCA: To whom did you address your book? What is the focus age of a children group?  

TA: Whilst I wasn’t aware of it at the time of me starting to make the comic, ‘Elish and Wicker Tales’ was a book made to help and support children that are having difficulty living with autism. This made my drive to create the comic even greater because I knew that what I was doing was going to help a lot of struggling children around the world as well as generally being an enjoyable read for all kinds of children. 

OCA: What is your book about? I know that it’s comics, why did you choose such a manner of telling the story?

TA: The book is about a shy boy going outside of his comfort zone to save the world despite him having nothing to do with the situation, this is the kind of powerful storytelling that I thought was important to tell to the children of today. I personally really enjoy reading comics as well as graphic novel adaptations of various books because it allows the story to be conveyed through a different creative lens and for people to enjoy it in a more expressive and powerful way. 

OCA: Who helped you to publish your book and in what  languages will it be released?

TA: The project began on a crowdfunding website called ‘Indiegogo’ and with the support of over 200 kind-hearted people we were able to make the project into a reality. Hertfordshire Press, the publishing house, has done a tremendous job of promoting the event online as well as helping me work on the comic from behind the scenes. At launch, the book will be published in English, but very soon we are also planning to release the books in: Russian, Kyrgyz, as well many other languages. 

OCA: Will it be released in the state language of Uzbekistan?

TA: Right now we are looking for translators to help us spread the story as much as we can and if the opportunity arises to translate the book into Uzbek, we will certainly take it! 

OCA: Will you continue to write books for children with special needs – autistics?

TA: The ‘Elish and the Wicker Tale’ comic book is one part of a long, probably 10 part/issue series, depending on how things go with this book as well as the time I must dedicate to write the book, I’m hoping I can carry on writing the series until it’s eventual conclusion. 

OCA: Tell us please about your future plans

TA: My field of aspiration is film but I am interested in lots of aspects of creative media which is very flexible and unpredictable. Right now I’m studying and generally just trying to figure things out until I’m comfortable enough to find a specific passion which I hope to follow in my adult life.