“It is not scary to make a living out of drawing”

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Tell us a bit about yourself. How did your journey as a doodling artist start?

I have been drawing since my childhood, a Tyrannosaurus Rex on a dusted windshield when I was 5 being my earliest artwork that I can remember, and innumerable doodles on the back of my school/college notebooks. My relationship with art has been on and off ever since. I did my Bachelors in Automobile Engineering, and started drawing again a year ago. I was caught up in the meaningless race of life where no one knows where they are going, but still want to be on top of others in a field that they do not even like. Like many others, I went to the United States of America after graduating and was involved in a high paying research program, where I was studying something I’m not even remotely passionate about. I felt empty inside and vented out my feelings on my artworks. I didn’t want to fool anyone or waste anyone’s time and came back to this beautiful city in January, and have been practising doodling and detail art ever since. I started traveling a lot, and soon realized how small we are in this world, and decided I will travel and draw a lot. I started doodling then, and mixed my doodles with illustrations, which I would call it my style.

Vader / Pic Courtesy : Karthik Kumar

Vader / Pic Courtesy : Karthik Kumar

How would you describe Doodling as an art. Is there any specific technique you follow?

People say that an art speaks a thousand words. I would say that a doodle art represents a thousand artworks inside them. Each of them will have a memory associated with it. When I take up on projects, I talk to my clients and ask them to give me a list of memories and things they like. I doodle those elements in my drawing. It makes them remember those instances every time they have a look at my artwork. Mixing doodling with my illustrations is the technique that I follow whenever I draw. Many times, the doodles and the bigger illustration will have a close connection.

Heartfelt / Pic Courtesy : Karthik Kumar

Heartfelt / Pic Courtesy : Karthik Kumar

Have you undertaken any formal training for your artwork and from where?

No. I am all about Self-learning. But, I would love to teach kids drawing.

Triceratops / Pic Courtesy : Karthik Kumar

Triceratops / Pic Courtesy : Karthik Kumar

Which has been your most memorable piece of art that you have created? Can you give us a brief description about it and the tools that you used for the same?

My most memorable sketch is the concept art of a steam punk airship that I made for an author from Australia. He was so impressed by the work that he ended up paying me more than what we talked about. He later shared it everywhere, which put me in the spotlight as an Illustrator. It is my most cherished artwork. I call it ‘Starry Sail’.

Starry Sail / Pic Courtesy : Karthik Kumar

Starry Sail / Pic Courtesy : Karthik Kumar

What are the challenges that you face while working on such projects?

Time zone differences and Self-learning associated with Deadlines are the biggest challenges I face as a Freelance Illustrator.

What is your usual workflow pattern?

I usually start working in the night. That time and silence makes me brainstorm better.

Monk / Pic Courtesy : Karthik Kumar

Monk / Pic Courtesy : Karthik Kumar

What are the tools/software that you use regularly as a part of your work?

I use fine liners, non-refillable ink pens with very fine tips that help in my intricate detailing. I use my mobile phone for scanning, and Adobe Photoshop to fix and digitize my drawings before I enhance their image quality and mail it to my clients. I hope to get better and professional equipment to improve the end quality of my products.

Eyes Closed / Pic Courtesy : Karthik Kumar

Eyes Closed / Pic Courtesy : Karthik Kumar

What do you wish to achieve in the future as a doodle artist?

I wish to make a complete self-sustainable living from being a doodle artist. I currently live in my parents’ house and wish to move out soon and be wealthy enough live on my own, giving them a peace of mind.

Wilderness / Pic Courtesy : Karthik Kumar

Wilderness / Pic Courtesy : Karthik Kumar

Any tips for the aspiring artists?

It is my dream as an Illustrator from India to show people here who criticize artists and people who want to make a living as an artist but can’t (and are becoming Engineers instead), that it is not scary to make a living out of drawing.
I would ask kids to start drawing a lot right from a small age and be very stubborn about art, if they really love drawing, and not dismiss it as a ‘hobby’.
I would plead schools in India to hire really passionate art teachers, and make art classes a real deal. Kids need to be inspired from the start instead of losing out and start drawing at the age of 22.

You can follow Karthik on Instagram here

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