“Unleash the artist in you to make a difference in your life”

my picture

Give us an insight into your journey being an Artist.

I’m an Architect by profession and an artist by Soul. Since childhood I had deep love for colours. Anything that is colourful inspires me and evokes an artist in me. From soft grey to intense fuchsia, colour is my passion and allows me to see the most ordinary things as nothing short of spectacular. To me colour is a therapy, to show my happiness, cry out my heart and vent my anger through. Art has the power to make me happy irrespective of the situation I’m in. It has always been an essential part of my life. But it went on the upper hand only when I decided to take architecture as my career. Architecture had not only taught me designing skills, architecture even opened the doors to immense travelling and it was during these travels when I first put my hands to doodling. Everywhere I have travelled, I tried to sketch things that would help me relate to its people, culture, landscapes and of course it’s architecture. This is probably the reason I am currently taking up illustrations and design projects.

Scooting Bunnies / Pic Courtesy : Sushma Keerthi

Scooting Bunnies / Pic Courtesy : Sushma Keerthi

How would you define your personal style? Where do you draw inspiration from?

I don’t know how different my style is than other illustrators of India, in fact I haven’t really thought of my art ‘having a style’. And I sort of like that, because it doesn’t restrict me in doing one kind of an art or doing it in one particular way. But I love doing intricate work. I feel details add a lot of life to any artwork and these details make all the difference on how art is perceived.

Mother Earth / Pic Courtesy : Sushma Keerthi

Mother Earth / Pic Courtesy : Sushma Keerthi

Most of my illustrations are inspired by nature (especially flora and fauna). I’ve always been fascinated by how culturally rich we are as a country. Traditional hand crafts of India influenced me among many other things. What I love in them are the intricate details and motifs. Unlike the recent trends, I enjoy the traditional ways of design. My efforts have always been to try and bridge the gap between the traditional and contemporary, in a way to make design practices that existed more relevant in a context of today.
Emphasis on use of the hand as a medium of expression is the underlying attribute that contributes character to my work

Kalamkaari Parrots / Pic Courtesy : Sushma Keerthi

Kalamkaari Parrots / Pic Courtesy : Sushma Keerthi

Which has been your most memorable piece of work that you have created? Can you give us a brief description about it?

My most memorable piece of work is my mom’s childhood illustration called Innocence. I recreated that picture with her surrounded by a lot of butterflies. This symbolizes a child’s delicacy, innocence, fantasy.
Butterflies bring colour and joy with them. Look at how much or little joy is in your life. Lighten up. From egg to caterpillar and from the cocoon the butterfly emerges in her unfurling glory. Butterflies appear to dance as they flitter among the flowers. They remind us not to take things so seriously within our lives. They awaken a sense of lightness and joy. They remind us to get up and move, for if you do not move, you cannot dance. I’m not very good at making portraits. So that is biggest challenge in bringing the sketch closer to the image. In terms of challenges, I’d say digitalizing the intricate hand drawn doodles is major challenge for me.

Mom's Childhood / Pic Courtesy : Sushma Keerthi

Mom’s Childhood / Pic Courtesy : Sushma Keerthi

What is your usual workflow pattern for any assignment? What are the tools/software that you use regularly as a part of your work?

It depends on the type of assignment. I generally start making basic hand sketches of random thoughts on the given topic, later I fair them up manually using pens, markers and water colours or finish them up in Photoshop.
I’m not really a digital artist. I usually use the old school tools (pens, markers and paints) as a part of my work. Only for post processing I use Photoshop. I’m trying to learn a few softwares on my own. Recently I started doodling digitally using sketchbook pro on my mobile phone. It’s so much fun to use and handy too.

Tea Gardens / Pic Courtesy : Sushma Keerthi

Tea Gardens / Pic Courtesy : Sushma Keerthi

Super Mom / Pic Courtesy : Sushma Keerthi

Super Mom / Pic Courtesy : Sushma Keerthi

Which technical skills or otherwise does the industry look for the most in a fresher?

There are plenty of opportunities for artists these days. Industry is always in hunt of fresh talent. So there is no compulsion that you need to follow the trend. I believe that in this digital world one must be technically sound, but hand drawn art is something you should never give up.

Mandala / Pic Courtesy : Sushma Keerthi

Mandala / Pic Courtesy : Sushma Keerthi

Any message for the aspiring designers?

Art is a best means to express yourself. Every artist is unique in their own way. So never stop being you. Do what makes you happy. Sometimes you need to unleash the artist in you to make a difference in your life.

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