By Hand From The Heart is a biannual Makers Market held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m 22, and all of these twenty two years I’ve doused myself in some art form or another. I juggle between dance, poetry, music & activism (if I may term it so) but spend most of my time illustrating. Being a proud drop-out from the conventional, formal (education) system and life, I am trying & experimenting with creating a life designed by me. That’s my learning process and makes me stay in Bhopal to understand my roots and construct my identity.
Can you describe your creative process?
I think all artists find their creativity a way to live, it is hard for people to drop a certain frame of mind to jump into another. That makes your routine, and the way we function, our creative process. For me it is never ideation; creation, it somehow always strikes you like a dream.
What is currently inspiring you?
Lots of amazing alternative progressive music, conversations, local issues, psychology, de-evolution of man and my own dreams.
Can you describe your work space?
A well selected playlist drifts by in the background as a messy table awaits me. Lots of paint, coffee, a noisy laptop and an oblivious window.
What is the most rewarding part of all of this for you, as an artist?
The most rewarding part lies in the process of creating something, it is rarely when the artwork is done with or in the appreciation. Nevertheless, if it makes onlookers think, question, or feel, it fills the artist with contentment.
How do you get around creative blocks?
If I understand creative blocks well, they are times you can’t get to make something you want to, or you are made to. Either ways you should let it go & do what you really feel like doing. If you still want to indulge in the creation it is important to keep aside concepts of beauty and perfection. Make ugly things!
Tell us about your recent works and your proposed showcase at the By Hand, From The Heart.
Various organizations working with children, environment, development and philosophy have collaborated with my art & design. I have drawn out music as well and even poetry.
“Eyes Wide Shut” is actually a two year old project & was intended to be an illustrated book, but I have never found the courage to open unpublished pages again to find acceptance in the ignorance of people. How many of us know that the world’s worst industrial disaster hasn’t died with withering textbook pages? Bhopal, was, and is a continuing disaster with too many relentless struggles attached to it. Each frame talks about 100 people, and millions of stories that have written themselves over three decades. All the illustrations pose questions. Can we eliminate the possibility of another Bhopal in the future? Is India, in its N-deal frenzies and malls sprouting up like wild mushrooms is ready to deal with a future crisis? While Chennai deals with remnants of a flood, the Bhopal in all of us strike very similar questions.
What would you say to someone thinking about selling their work?
It’s difficult for artists to attach a label or tag to an artwork. It is natural that the beholder only catches a glimpse of the art, that is why it is important to sell work. However, the ‘art’ in your work cannot be sold, it can only linger about and divide itself into everyone who hears, smells and gets touched by it.
What’s up next for you?
Spontaneity. The plan is not to make one!