Updated: Jun 30
Aiman Akhtar (Nickname: Aims)
His official title? CEO, lead 3D artist, character designer, sculptor, animator, developer, producer, writer, we can’t really pin down one title but, let’s just say he wears lots of hats! Aiman can speak 5 different languages, his first language was Urdu, English, then, he picked up some French, Spanish and Japanese (he would make an awesome travel buddy)!
We recently had the opportunity to interview Aiman with a series of questions that will help us get to know him better. Honestly, we just wanted to pick his brain about Fungisaurs, who he is, and his vision for the future. Read along to learn more about Aiman and his exciting self! We promise you at the end of this blog, you’re going to want to hang out with him too.
What do you love about mushrooms and dinosaurs? How did you make the connection between the two?
Aiman: For me, this was a purely artistic decision at first, I've always been into dinos since watching Jurassic Park 200+ times as a child, but as a sculptor, I was fascinated by the shape and forms of Fungi. There're so many different types and they're really unique as life forms, around for 3 billion years, so diverse and filling every possible niche on our planet.
Fall, 2015, It was the rainy season at Yosemite national park and we saw a lot of mushrooms everywhere! We decided to try our hand at identification and purchased an ID guide at the ranger station. On our way back home we stopped at In N Out burger (birthplace of all the best ideas in California) and received some cute dinosaur stickers with our meal. That’s when the connection was made, with the mushroom id guide and dinosaur stickers in front of me the ideas kept flowing as I drew furiously in my sketchbook. Upon returning home I sculpted the characters digitally in Zbrush, 3D printed them, and Faa and I began building the brand.
Do you love mushroom dishes? If so, which?!
Aiman: Heck yea, I love mushroom pizza, mushroom omelets, a lot of Japanese mushroom dishes.
Any cool scientific knowledge of mushrooms or dinosaurs you can share that helped you create the Fungisaurs characters?
Aiman: My favorite subject in high school was Biology, then in college in addition to animation I enjoyed studying anatomy/scientific illustration. Knowing how muscles overlap and connect to tendons and the science of how animals move allows me to create believable hybrid creatures. I also follow paleontology groups and journals to keep up to date with the latest research. I’ve just started foraging a little and scratching the surface of mycology (the study of fungi) and it’s impossible to understate the importance of fungi for life as we know it to exist. They turned solid earth into soil to allow plants to evolve, and have symbiotic relationships with most plants and animals, and they decompose all living matter allowing for nutrients to recycle the old to nurture the new.
Ummm… Can we add ‘Mushroom and Dinosaur Expert’ to his title?
What do you care about? Or what keeps you motivated?
Aiman: The first charity I ever donated to was the World Wildlife Fund when I was 5 or 6 years old. I still care deeply about our planet’s biodiversity and preserving natural wild spaces for future generations to enjoy.
Favorite childhood films that you still love?
Aiman: Jurassic Park, Princess Mononoke, City of God, Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind, Bicentennial Man, Pinocchio, Jungle Book, and Robin Hood.
Why do you enjoy what you do?
Aiman: I have thought about this, I think I spent a lot of time thinking about the past and future, when I’m sculpting or creating I enjoy it because I’m fully in the present.
What is your spirit Fungisaur?
Aiman: Paradots, they are curious, anxious, and determined!
Where is your happy place/dream vacation?
Aiman: Japan, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Florence, and Amsterdam, I’ve also enjoyed traveling to these places.
What do you enjoy doing outside of the office/work?
Aiman: Watching movies, playing games, dance/classical music/theatre shows. Hiking, bouldering and, melting into the moment in nature.
Can you share a quote with us that inspires/motivates you as a creator?
Aiman: “Man cannot achieve greatness without suffering because he is both the marble and the sculptor”
As short as possible, what is your goal with Fungisaurs?
Aiman: Save the world.
Anything else fun to share about yourself? Hidden talents?
Aiman: I’m a better whistler than Faa, I know exactly one breakdance move and I’ve confidently used it at several parties, and I’ve studied 3 different martial arts, Karate, Tai Chi, and Capoeira.
Moderator: You definitely saved the best secrets for last—We’ll have to make a video one day and call it “So You Think You Can Whistle?”! Not only would you be a great travel buddy with all the languages you can speak, but you can also defend us from possible threats with your martial arts skills!
We will be back with more questions and answers to share more about the exciting world of Fungisaurs and its Creators! Stay tuned and of course, stay in touch with us on social media (@Fungisaurs)!