En Malek is satisfied with Hikayat and has just finished
his illustration for my next project : NAGA
En Malek Rahim's sketches of Malay dancers and Kadazan warriors are regularly featured at the Butterfly Park souvenir shop at the Lake Gardens. After a long happy but weary day with the girls, I found myself staring at these beautiful black and white illustrations and fell in love with the obvious detail, care and love that went into these drawings.
The shop assistants had the artist's phone number but they warned me that En Malek was a bit shy. They gave me his number as I was insistent. That was seven years ago. Since then, En Malek has illustrated four of my books From The Gathering, SRIKANDI, HIKAYAT and NAGA. Each book had a different style but all unmistakable in their homage to our culture.
ILLUSTRATIONS FROM HIKAYAT
En Malek started out in design work for the textile industry for 15 years and then left to venture into illustrations that portray Malaysian scenes. He is reticent about his art and yet would be fiercely vocal about my work, encouraging me to ensure it becomes accepted and widely read. Our partnership is strengthened by our mutual love for the Hikayat and we would both comment on each other's work without reserve until we get the results we are both satisfied with.
An avid reader and observer of past designs and artwork, En Malek would bring me books to study especially when he finds collections of his father's own Hikayat books. I am blessed to have En Malek as a partner and I hope the rest of the world would also one day appreciate this quiet unassuming man's artwork for the genius that it is.
Thank you En Malek.