The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL -

Abe Taraky lives thou­sands of miles away in Cal­i­for­nia, but his thoughts aren’t far from his Hamil­ton home. His mother, Mar­ufa Shin­wari says iArt, the Im­mi­grant Cul­ture and Art As­so­ci­a­tion’s new gallery/stu­dio that’s about to open ex­ists be­cause Abe bought an old build­ing for the as­so­ci­a­tion, founded by his fa­ther Yar Takary, to sur­vive and thrive. Abe, 26, is a se­nior con­cept artist with Luma Pic­tures. He’s worked mostly on the Marvel-re­lated projects, do­ing a lot of work on “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Ant-man.” Since last Novem­ber, he’s worked on the movies “Dead­pool,” now in theatres, and “Cap­tain America: Civil War” and “Dr. Strange,” both sched­uled for re­lease later this year. He also worked on one a Su­per Bowl com­mer­cial this year. “You’re cre­at­ing the ideas you see on screen,” he says of his work. “I love it. I get to draw for a liv­ing.” His name is in the movie cred­its, “but with these big films, there’s a huge team.” Born in Afghanistan, Abe (he short­ened it from Ab­dul­lah) came to Canada with his fam­ily when he was eight by way of Uzbek­istan, where the fam­ily first fled. Abe says although his dad is a pro­fes­sional artist, “I never took it se­ri­ously un­til my par­ents en­rolled me in a class at ICAA.” He took art classes ev­ery Satur­day af­ter that. Draw­ing be­came his pas­sion, but his par­ents at first in­sisted he pur­sue an en­gi­neer­ing de­gree af­ter high school at West­mount. “My hus­band has al­ways said art will not put food on the ta­ble,” says Shin­wari. Abe agreed to go into en­gi­neer­ing but told her he was still go­ing to Sheridan Col­lege af­ter­ward to take an­i­ma­tion. See­ing his ded­i­ca­tion, she re­lented. Abe went to Sheridan and de­vel­oped an in­ter­est in con­cept art where “you’re work­ing in the con­cep­tual de­vel­op­ment stage. You’re sketch­ing and mak­ing vari­a­tions of your design.” But con­cept art, a form of il­lus­tra­tion used to con­vey an idea be­fore it is put into the fi­nal prod­uct, was rel­a­tively new at the time, so he chose to go into an­i­ma­tion, the next clos­est thing. While at Sheridan, he in­terned at a gaming com­pany called SpinPunch, in Palo Alto, Calif. He started his ca­reer in the gaming in­dus­try af­ter grad­u­at­ing. “I was for­tu­nate to be of­fered a po­si­tion at Gameloft in Toronto as a lead con­cept artist work­ing on video games…,” he says. Af­ter Gameloft, he moved to Que­bec City to be closer to a big­ger gaming hub and worked for Beenox. But he missed liv­ing in a big­ger city and soon moved to Mon­treal to be­come se­nior con­cept artist with Warner Broth­ers there. Then, friends in Cal­i­for­nia told him of an open­ing at Luma Pic­tures, where he is now. He tries to visit Hamil­ton, where the ICAA was so in­flu­en­tial in his life, as of­ten as he can. “It’s a re­ally im­por­tant thing to pre­serve.”

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