This illustration + story is dear to this heart of mine, and I was so excited to work with a talented guy named Russell Kabir for merchandising of his music. If you already follow me on Twitter, you got to see a little sneak peek of the progress of this illustration. Without a doubt, R Kabir has easily joined the list of one of the most fascinating people I know.
The first time I met him was during the set up of our dear friends’ wedding comprised of the groom, my husband’s American best friend from childhood alongside his Chinese bride-to-be who grew up in Hong Kong, now a dear friend of mine. You can imagine how excited I was for this wedding, being that my own family is a multicultural fuse of America mixed with a dash of the Philippines.
The bride, quite fashionable and talkative, had an amazing amount of friends, as one might imagine. A large number of her bridesmaids flew all the way from across the ocean to be part of this cherished event. This is the point where Russell Kabir comes into the scene.
How would a bilingual boy from Oklahoma, versed in the American and Japanese culture and language fit into this story? Well, sometimes things fall into a complicated heap of explanations, but to put it quite short, he was a good friend of one of the bride’s similarly fashionable bridesmaids, also from the city of Hong Kong.
Let’s get back to the point. Seeing that the females bunched together like a tight bouquet pink roses, we decided it might be best if Russell joined the much less feminine crew of boys at the tiny brick townhouse situated in the small cluster of homes on Teakwood Street.
“Do you need a ride?” I asked Russell, whipping around in his direction. He acknowledged, enthusiastic and without any ounce of awkwardness, despite knowing no one other than the beautiful bridesmaid in the crowd.
The few minutes it took to drive the sun-drenched roads from the church setup to our tiny home, I excitedly realized that Russell is one of those gems…the type of person that is naturally at ease, humorous, and intelligent. He tells stories in the most hilarious recollections possible, refers to me as “madame, m’dear, and the greatest among greats,” soaks up his surroundings, and relishes in the countless opportunities life has to offer.
“You’ll be like, BEST friends,” I squawked, referring to the everlasting friendship I could picture between my husband and R Kabir unfolding in my wandering mind.
Who would know that almost two years later, Russell would indeed stay in touch, despite the fact that he moved across the world to Japan to teach, sing, and persevere while we nestled in the Texas heat to learn and grow as well.
I’m excited to see what becomes of Russell in the unpredictable future. Will he leave his mark in this busy world? Ah, you see, but he already has.