If you’re both a Thief fan and a Tumblr user, there is a very good chance that you’ll already be familiar with the work of Madeeha Ahmed – aka Garrett’s Apprentice – and her fan blogs Thief Confessions and Thief Imagines. Holding the dual titles of being both the first exclusively dedicated Eidos-Montreal Thief fan blogger ever, and also one of the biggest and most active Thief fans we’ve ever met, Madeeha’s passion and commitment to the universe of Garrett shines brightly against his world typically steeped in shadows.
So, in today’s community spotlight feature, we’re taking you behind the scenes to meet the woman behind the screen, and give you a closer look at Madeeha’s work in the world of Thief fandom!
Hi Madeeha! Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi! Yes of course! My name is Madeeha Ahmed (a.k.a. Garrett’s Apprentice), I am 26 years old, from Western Canada and currently a graduate student working on my Masters degree. I love playing video games, writing stories, and doing digital art – my three major passions in life. I also enjoy making costumes for cosplay (something new for me), and of course blogging. My ultimate goal in life is to become a video game designer, but these days it seems like I’m doomed to be a perpetual student.
How long have you been a blogger?
I started blogging in 2010, so for about three years now. The idea came to me when I first moved to Australia for a job. I figured it would be neat to keep track of my adventures, and make them accessible to my friends and family, some how, so they could keep up with me. And that was the start of my blogging days!
Very cool – So what inspired you to start not 1, but 2 different THIEF fan blogs?
Well, Thief has always been near and dear to my heart (if you’re curious to know why, see the story here). It is by far my favourite game series and it has done so much for me in my life. I really wanted to do something for my favourite games, kind of give back to it somehow.
I was on Tumblr one day when I noticed a blog where people posted personal anonymous thoughts. I explored it a bit and thought to myself, “Hey! Why don’t I start a confessions blog for Thief? I’m sure there are fans out there that have personal thoughts about the game they would like to share, but may want to do so anonymously.” That’s pretty much how Thief Confessions began.
For Thief Imagines, I was working on one of my stories I’ve written for the series and was thinking to myself, “How cool would it be to actually work with Garrett?” I pictured it in my mind for a bit and then placed it into my story. Then I realized that the image I had conceptualized in my mind was something I wanted to share with others, but without having to share the whole novel. That’s when the idea of “imagines” came to me. I started up a blog for Thief fans who may want to share little thoughts that involve them and anything in the game.
What has the experience of operating your fan blogs been like so far?
It’s incredibly awesome! I love managing my Thief blogs :) It’s interactive and I’ve gained a lot of useful knowledge and experience from doing this. I’ve learned so many things about web design, blogging, graphic art, web management, etc. It also gives me something creative to do, challenges my artistic abilities, and really cheers me up after a long day at the office working on my boring thesis.
What’s your favorite thing about operating your blogs?
Quite honestly, it’s reading the submissions before I proceed to do the art edit for them and then publish them. It’s really amazing to see that there are other fans out there that love the game so much and also have been affected by the game in a positive emotional way. I feel more connected with other fans through these amazing submissions. I’ve listed some of my favourite ones from each blog below (click on the pics to go to the posts):
What’s been the hardest or most challenging thing about operating your blogs?
Keeping them active is definitely the most difficult part about running my blogs. The blogs remain active because fans submit their confessions and imagines to each blog and I then post them. I suppose I could contribute to it more often myself, but I like to give the fans the opportunity.
Absolutely. What are you most proud of about your blogs?
The fact that I’ve gained so many followers in such little time and that I’ve got the official Thief Game Tumblr following both blogs! That was a big moment for me :) I never thought the blogs would be this popular. I’m also quite proud of the new revamped layout I recently made for each of the blogs!
Have you been pleased with the fan reaction so far?
Yes, most definitely! I always receive little messages that tell me how awesome the blog is or what a great job I’m doing, and it just makes me beam with joy. It’s truly wonderful!
I can relate to that – getting kind words from fans is the best part of the job! Tell us, do you have any tips or advice for other Thief fans thinking of starting their own fan sites or blogs?
If you have an idea, go for it! Don’t be afraid to try anything new and/or different. Also, don’t worry about web development technicalities. If you sit down and give it some thought, it’s really easy to understand. Be creative and keep in mind that you don’t need to be an expert to make a fan site or blog
Great tips! How long do you plan to keep your blogs active, and what’s the next big project you have planned?
I will continue to keep the blogs running for as long as I can, but what really keeps them alive and active are the fans! It is because of these awesome taffers, as well as the official Thief Game Tumblr that my blogs have grown so much and come so far, and I am very grateful to all of you for it!
As for my next big project, I’m currently working on a fem-Garrett cosplay, which I hope to reveal on Halloween, so keep an eye out for that! Pictures to come soon!
A huge thanks to Madeeha for taking the time to chat with us today, and for her awesome dedication to the Thief community. For more from Mahdeeha, make sure you’re following Thief Confessions and Thief Imagines on Tumblr. Got a fan site or blog of your own? Make sure you drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!