The person who draws: the happy “ticket” of Medzhek Charyev

The person who draws: the happy “ticket” of Medzhek Charyev

The name of Medzhek Charyev is closely connected with the Turkmen film studio and animation. An animator, caricaturist, lover of friendly cartoons is an interesting conversationalist with a great sense of humor and a legend.

He talks about his life as an amazing adventure in a world of fantasy and creativity, in which everyday realities sometimes interfere. But Medzhek reacts “artfully.”

– I am already 75, but I have been engaged in all possible sports for ten years and therefore have been well preserved!

He strains his arm and his biceps bulges out from under his sleeve.

“Well, dried Apollo,” Medzhek laughs. – I wanted to become a humorist writer, I like to come up with different stories, although life is already a lot of funny things.

Apparently, a fervent approach to everything, whatever he did, led him to the profession, which he speaks of as a happy “ticket” in his destiny.

Born in wartime in a large family consisting of 6 sisters and a mother with a father, little Medzhek from childhood understood what a father’s house, native land and nature are.

– I was lucky that I was born on a collective farm – we lived in a real wagon and went hunting with my father. It was these trips along the endless steppes that awakened an incredible sense of beauty in me … For some reason, I remembered well the first snow and the black raven on white snow. The blue-and-black birds gave me a graphic “feeling” – a white sheet and black coal, it was absorbed on a subconscious level.

Unfortunately, his mother died when Medzhek was only six years old, and his older sister raised him. Little Medzhek studied at a school in the city of Bayramali. Already then he loved to draw “pictures in motion” – battles, fights … But at the same time he could not do without a drop of humor, irony. So the dream was born to become a cartoonist.

After school, Medzhek Charyev entered the art school in Ashgabat. He studied exceptionally well, although at admission he did not know anything about the skill of the real creators. At the end of the school, it was decided to go to Leningrad, but in the cold lands he caught a cold and could not pass the entrance exams.

Later, he tried again – but already went to Moscow, to the famous VGIK. Among the thousands of applicants whose lists are posted on the stands, he unsuccessfully searched for his name. It turned out that he was not looking there. His name appeared on a short list of applicants, consisting of only seven people.

– I was absolutely happy to learn from famous directors, one of which was Alexander Mitta. He told me about such a concept in directing as suspense – “anxious expectation”, and, of course, he talked about the necessary literature a lot more. With students, we constantly visited the Taganka Theater, where Vladimir Vysotsky played.

Medjek was always interested in how a person creates when his feelings are naked. For him, creativity is like a state of flight. And it was never limited only to drawing for him. “I was always amorous, therefore I always wrote poetry,” Charyev admits.

Upon graduation, Medzhek continued his studies at the two-year Higher Directing Courses.

In 1975, the first hand-drawn Turkmen cartoon “Bovenjik” came out from under Medzhek Charyev’s hands.

– At that time I drew a lot, made illustrations for books, created cartoons. From many hours of painstaking drawing, my eyes started to hurt and I almost lost my sight, ”recalls Mecek.

But nothing happened. Now the national artist of Turkmenistan continues to create in his studio. Many may have seen his drawings in brochures on child health issued by UNICEF with its design. He also, among others, developed the main mascot of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games – the image of Alabay Vepaly still hospitably accompanies all international sports in Turkmenistan.

Medzhek traveled half the world – worked in Holland, Hungary, Iran … But he was always drawn home. And then again on a journey.

“Once my son ran around the room and waved his hands, he asked me: “Dad, if I wave my hands, can I fly?” This question gave me an idea, and I wrote such lines:

“Is it really impossible
To fly away with a gust of wind?
What should I tell the child?
Said that you can,
And suddenly believed in the answer myself.”

The artist’s faith in miracles is shared by entire generations of children who have grown up on the cartoons “The Poor and the Greedy”, “Carpet-plane”, “Bovenjik”. And so many beautiful books for kids are illustrated by Medzhek Charyev!

“I am absolutely happy,” says Medzhek Charyev. – I was lucky that in my life I have met so many smart, beautiful and talented people, realized in my favorite profession and continue to work to this day.

Svetlana MAYAK