By Michael Mander
Yasir Akhtar is rapidly gaining a reputation for his incredible Towers-inspired artworks: depicting the roller-coasters, rides and scenery of the park.
In his position as a ride attendant at the resort, he is surrounded by the landscapes and scenery, which he captures in his mind to illustrate in his unique style when he gets home.
It’s easy to see why his work is appreciated by both the enthusiast community and the art community alike.
Yasir spoke to Airgates about his inspiration, his methods and what’s next for his art.
“Alton Towers is an awesome place.” he says, ” I am currently ride staff there, and I’m surrounded by all the beautiful scenery of the park.”
“From an artistic point of view, the rides are very interesting because they all do different things, and they all look different. One single ride can be photographed in so many different ways, and I can illustrate them in various angles.”
“Battle Galleons is so heavily detailed, and I have produced art pieces of that particular ride twice. However, I could keep going and create more just of that ride if I set my mind to it.”
“Initially, I drew it from the point of view of looking down at it from the queue line, and the second time was from the angle of standing right in front of one single boat on the on-load position.”
“The illustration that I like the most has to be the very first one that I did, which is the drawing of the Skyride with the purple Gondola in the foreground.”
“I drew that image out of impulse. There was very little planning that when with it. I just had a gut feeling that if I drew that piece, it would turn out very detailed.”
“I certainly had no idea that when I would post the end result on social media that I would have such a positive response.”
“The materials I use are your everyday ballpoint biro’s mixed in with traditional pencils. Sometimes the work I add with the pen is greater than the pencil’s, or vice versa, but I try to be different with every single drawing that I do.”
“Producing drawings for me is an incredible joy to have, so whenever I am engaged in a new piece of art, I don’t worry about the outcome much at all. I don’t lose sleep if the end result doesn’t look photo-real or if it naturally starts to look cartoon-like, or something completely different.”
“I treat every single drawing as an experimental piece, and that always keeps the act of drawing afresh in my mind.”
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“Nemesis is a great ride, and I had it in the back of my head that I would draw it at some point during my Alton Towers art project. By the time I finished that piece, it was great to get it out of my system and put it out for everyone to see.”
“Duel is also a great attraction, and I remember the first time I drew it was when I was around 13 years old, when it was just the Haunted House ride. Doing an art piece of it now was very personal for me. ”
“My Alton Towers art project was started just for fun, and I never really intended to produce them for the sake of selling them. But now I have a lot of people who have seen my work and they like what I am doing, and I am beginning to take commissions from private collectors.”
“My drawing of Rita – Queen of Speed is the first major roller-coaster I have drawn because a collector specifically asked me to produce it for them. ”
“I like to explore as many different things as I possibly can through my art, so when people started asking me to create other themed art pieces, including other scenery’s, and pets and portraits, I have started to have a go at doing all these other different things.”
“I am also looking into creating a website dedicated to my art, where they can be showcased under different categories of art. I don’t know where this will all take me, but right now I am enjoying what I am doing, and I will continue to explore more creative ideas and hope to get more of my work seen by a larger audience. ”
To contact Yasir, or see more of his work, check out his Facebook page.