“See beyond the picture to really understand why the artwork is how it is”
Tell us a bit about the beginning of your career as an artist. How did you start? Have you always known this is what you wanted to do?
I have been drawing since I was two years old – it’s the only thing I have ever done and wanted to do. For a bit I wanted to be an actor, but I was/am too short for that so that didn’t pan out hah.
As a professional, I worked with a writer from the United States in 2010 for a comic book that didn’t pan out – I also, never got paid for that. But I evolved from being a comic artist to an illustrator/animator.
What kind of formal training are you undergoing to become a visual artist and what role has it played in your growth?
I am currently in the fourth year in Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore. My majors are animation and illustration but I am more interested in illustration than animation; visual development, iterations and pre-production work.
College has played a very huge role in my life by
1. Setting standards in work quality and work environment.
2. Connecting with like-minded people who are going to be part of this field in years to come.
3. Setting time and organizing work flow.
4. Valuing my work and knowing what I should get for the amount of work done.
What is your workflow pattern right from planning to execution for any assignment?
Most of my work starts with looking at a reference image. I sketch that image, add rough elements to it, play with scale, position, color palettes and once all of that is set – I work on that project till it’s finished. The treatment of the artwork is the main area of experimentation for me, because the treatment says more than any obvious meanings shown in an image.
Your work involves being creative. Where does the inspiration come from?
My inspiration lies in moments of fleeting emotions and feelings. An impulse paints a bigger picture for me than anything in nature or life. I am constantly looking at new works and there are some artists who are my constant inspirations, such as:
1. Sam Spratt
3. Elizabeth Zanzinger
4. Adria Mercuri
5. Brooke DiDonato
6. Patrick Xiong
7. Michael Klien
8. Senior Coconut (I don’t know his real name)
9. Michael Carson
10. Kanye West
11. Kendrick Lamar
Ah, there’s way too many people doing great work and I just hope that I could make it into someone’s list some day.
Typically, what does your day look like?
These days, I wake up around 11 am – 12 pm, have a cup of coffee, waste some time watching dumb videos, then I work – I am working on my college final project that deals with masculinity. I write, listen to music. After about 2 hours of work, I waste some more time doing something completely unproductive and then back to work. In between some of these tasks, I have unflattering food and then I go to bed around 4 – 5 am.
I am a college student in his final year, my days don’t ever look great.
Which has been your most memorable project and why?
I think my last project ‘new gods’ has been the most memorable one. This project marks a certain benchmark for quality and also is the first project where I’ve dealt with personal emotions. I am not someone who gets personal feelings into their art (not directly), but here it was very direct. It also got people to engage with it on a level beyond just the visual, which really made me happy.
What is the most challenging task you face when working on such projects?
Personal projects have always been somewhat of a challenge to me because of the constant fear of being judged and/or being unable to relate. But the more I read and study about art, I realise that all of that doesn’t matter because art is expression. Currently, the project I am working on is a very personal piece of work and dealing with the emotions of opening up to so many people is what I am dealing with and trying to get over.
Any final words of wisdom for the artists to bring their creative best in their work?
Do what you want to do.
That’s all; do what you want to do and do what you feel is right. Don’t copy artists’, rather learn from them and see beyond the picture to really understand why the artwork is how it is.