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Meet Shesh Kiran – An artist who communicates through art.

Meet Shesh Kiran – An artist who communicates through art.

Interview with Shesh Kiran

Meet Shesh Kiran, who communicates through art

Shesh Kiran, Animator and illustrator

20th May,2019

Shesh kiran is a professional animator and a self-taught caricature artist, from Bangalore, who lost his hearing ability in his early childhood. Over the years, he developed an interest in art. He never saw his disability as a shortcoming, instead focused on what he does the best – Art.

Here is an inspiring snippet about his journey as an artist.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it”.

~Helen Keller

When Shesh Kiran was born, he did not cry. This made the doctors put him in a special care unit. The heavy dose of antibiotics given affected the micro strands of hair in his ears, due to which he lost his hearing ability. This was undetected until they observed that he was not getting terrified by loud noises.

When he turned 2, his family’s attempt to get him to use hearing aids failed as he was reluctant to wear them. But this did not stop him from learning new things. He started comprehending things in his own way.  

He started sketching at a very young age.  Eventually, he also learnt writing from his elder sister. “It was easy to teach him about tangible things, but we didn’t know how to make him understand what intangible things were. For example, he would ask what a ‘week’ is. But, he somehow figured it out”, says his family.

Being a huge fan of comic books such as Tin-Tin; Jughead; Asterix and Archies, he used to imitate the comics in his own drawing style. In his schooldays, the other kids used to ask him to draw for them. Tired of the requests, he started charging five rupees for each. He even conducted drawing classes for few neighbourhood kids.

Drawings done by Shesh in UKG

His family recognized his talent and encouraged him to pursue art seriously after his 12th grade. He joined animation classes and learnt Flash; 2D & 3D animation and specialized in character design. “His animation always stood out from the rest”, says his father. He recalls how his first digital art was executed in MS Paint.

He has worked for various design and animation companies such as Parampadham; Media Genie; Stump Vision; Foresee and ZVKY Design studio until now, on various projects such as children Magazines, animations for live scoreboards, making characters for games such as Farmville, advertisements and so on.

He’s also a freelance caricature artist, on the weekends.

“People get offended when I exaggerate their features, which defeats the whole purpose of caricatures”, he says. He makes caricatures of couples, pets and famous personalities.

His work has been featured in many magazines. He says that he was on cloud nine when his caricature of Bal Thackeray got published in the official magazine of RSS.

“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at”.

Shesh Kiran believes that our brain is wired in such a way that if one of our five senses is weak, the others become stronger. His advice for aspiring artists is to keep sketching; practice drawing imaginary characters and keep it simple.

 

Click on the links below to see more of his artworks

http://sheshkiran.blogspot.com/

https://sheshkiran.tumblr.com/

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Life in a metro – Meet Samar Khan, the guy behind quirky doodles of The Delhi Metro

Life in a metro – Meet Samar Khan, the guy behind quirky doodles of The Delhi Metro

Interview with Samar Khan

Life in a metro – Meet Samar Khan, the guy behind quirky doodles of the Delhi Metro

Samar Khan, Freelance Illustrator

27th May,2019

Commuting through metro has become an indispensable part of our lives. While most of us spend time listening to music, reading books, looking into others’ phones or just fussing about the crowd, Samar Khan, a software developer and a freelance illustrator, is creating insane doodles on his way back from work. He brings life on the tired faces of unsuspecting metro commuters, through his doodles.

Here’s what Samar has to say to Stoned Santa about his journey. (Quite literally)

Tired of spending countless hours on metro trains, everyday for about 6 years, Samar decided to productively utilise the time by capturing pictures and making interesting doodles on them. He says that artists like Subwaydoodles, Lucas Leviton and Donna Adi inspired him to introduce this concept in India.

Started off as  a hobby, today he has 33k followers who adore his doodles. “I’ve always loved drawing since I was a kid. It all started on the last pages of my notebooks. I would scribble to kill my time in classes, but I never knew that this would lead to something this big”, he says.

He views drawing as an escape from the weariness of work life. Never being able to draw well traditionally, he’s ever grateful to his phone, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and his iPad for introducing him to limitless possibilities. Most of his characters are imaginary, while he draws inspiration for few from TV shows and movies.

Why only metro?  “I spend most of my time commuting in it, and I think people can relate to it better because of the familiarity. Nonetheless, I would love to experiment on different places”, says Samar who has posted over 150 doodles on his page.

He has worked for many major clients, which includes Adidas, and hopes to work for some super cool clients.

Metro Doodles by Samar Khan

When asked if he would like to travel to the future or past, “Future, for sure. I am always curious about the mankind’s future”, he says. He jokes that delay in payments is his biggest pet peeve.

The famous saying, “Journey is often more beautiful than the destination”, is indeed true for Samar Khan.

Next time, when you’re on a metro aimlessly staring into the oblivion, grab your phone and check out Samar Khan’s mind-blowing doodles on his Instagram page @metrodoodle.

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Whatever it takes – Yadvender Singh on Digital Illustrations and Superheroes

Whatever it takes – Yadvender Singh on Digital Illustrations and Superheroes

Interview with Yadvender Singh Rana

Whatever it takes! – Yadvender Singh on Digital illustrations and Superheroes

Yadvender Singh Rana, Illustrator

24th May,2019

Don’t you often marvel as to what is the one thing that makes people successful? There may be some stark changes that you might want to bring about in your life. Read on to find out how the very talented Yadvender Singh Rana, an illustrator from Punjab achieved success through his brilliant renditions of DC and Marvel characters. He has done it all, and whatever it takes.

What made you to start drawing superheroes?

When I was about five years old, Shaktimaan was aired on Doordarshan. My mother used to draw Shaktimaan in her own style and show them to me. I was fascinated by this and started tracing comics using carbon sheets.

DC and Marvel comics were not being sold in Punjab as they thought it had inappropriate content for kids. So, I used to save up money in order to google these images, in an internet café and draw them at home. This was the start and I haven’t stopped drawing ever since.

When did you get your first big break? How was the journey Until then?

In 2018, three days after ‘The Infinity War’ was released, the Spidey-Iron man scene was so heart touching that I posted an art work on it. This post broke the internet. That was my first big break!

“I was so overwhelmed by it that I could hardly feel my body”.

JOSH BROLIN (Thanos) shared your art work. What was your reaction to that?

On the night of May 26th, I was sleeplessly working to complete an art work.  I posted it at 2 am and went to sleep. I woke up, disturbed by the incessant buzzing of my phone. I had over a hundred messages and notifications on Instagram, congratulating me.Coincidentally, it was my birthday and I thought that my inbox was being flooded with wishes.

I opened Instagram and saw that Josh had shared my post. I was so overwhelmed by it that I could hardly feel my body. Anyway, I didn’t let success get into my head because the show must go on. After all, with great power comes great responsibility.

 

Coincidence or spoilers?

I hadn’t watched the Endgame until a week after it released. I started to gain a lot of followers suddenly, and many started accused me of posting the spoilers. I had no idea what they were talking about.

After I watched the movie, I realized that three of the drawings that I had done over a year ago came to life in the movie. 

I had made paintings of hypothetical situations, like – Thor holding pieces of Thanos’ head; Cap holding Thor’s Hammer, and Iron man wearing the Infinity Gauntlet. It’s so astonishing that these actually came true.

Marvel or DC?

I’m a fan of both. I started off by drawing DC characters. I was so excited for “Justice League”, but when the movie came out, it broke my heart. As an artist, I should be unbiased and work on whatever is trending. Marvel has been in the trend lately, that’s why I post about them.

 DC movies are for a much more mature audience, but the current generation is young, they want optimism, punch lines and sarcasm. Marvel has all of these and they have executed their universe so well. I could say that when it comes to comics, DC is better and when it comes to movies, Marvel is better.

If you could be a superhero for one day, who would you be?

Superman, anyday! That guy has got it all- speed, flight and he’s not vulnerable to anything.

 Do you wish to diversify your artwork?

I want to work on whatever is trending in the pop culture. I plan on getting into games, TV shows and music bands.

Is there any dream project that you’d like to talk about?

I want to officially work for Marvel. Currently, the same pattern is being used for all Marvel posters. I wish to break that rhythm and make interesting posters.

Do you have any advice for budding artists?

I have one advice – PLEASE SKETCH EVERYDAY.  I think it is extremely important for an artist to sketch everyday. It need not be perfect, it can be a rough outline. One must practise sketching the complete human anatomy, I cannot stress enough on this point. You should give your brain a rough idea before starting any drawing.

Famous artists like M F Hussain, Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci made abstract paintings. Many of them take that as an inspiration and forget that they need to master shapes and patterns before getting to the stage where you’ve moved past them.

Nobody is born with talent. No one is born with anything except flesh and blood. We are what we choose to do, and do repeatedly. Or, as Bruce Wayne says, “It’s not who we are underneath, but what we do that defines us”.

 

 

 

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Putting the ‘aw’ in drawings

Putting the ‘aw’ in drawings

Interview with Alicia Souza

Putting the ‘aw’ in drawings: Alica Souza on illustrations, moving countries and more.

Alicia Souza, Illustrator

20th May,2019

Alicia Souza is a successful entrepreneur, freelance illustrator and a loving pet mommy. Her deep rooted passion towards art made her move from Melbourne to Bangalore, to start a career as a freelance illustrator and eventually start her own store that sells over a hundred varieties of happy products that can make your day. She started off as a shy girl and today, “Alicia Souza” is a well established brand and she has over 219k followers on Instagram who adore her illustrations.

She believes that hard work and a cup of coffee can take you a long way. Here are excerpts from when we caught up with Alicia for a quick chat and many giggles.

Art is perceived differently by everyone. What does “Art” mean to you personally?

Art is an expression of how someone feels, in any form of creative output. Art becomes more meaningful when there’s some sort of emotion attached to it.

What are your earliest memories of drawing? Did you always enjoy drawing as a kid?

When I was 4 or 5 years old, I remember waking my mom up to show the scooter I drew with chalk, on the wall. I’m not sure if it looked like one, but in my head it was the most marvellous thing I had ever seen. 

Every kid loves drawing, some more than the other. Surprisingly, I didn’t draw much as a kid.

“Being a freelancer was my worst nightmare. But turns out, it was the best thing that happened to me.”

Being a freelancer has it’s ups and downs. What are your thoughts on the same?

When I started off as an illustrator, I struggled a lot as I was not familiar with any other illustartors in Bangalore. I was literally shooting in the dark. For someone like me, who’s very shy, being a freelancer was my worst nightmare. But turns out, it was the best thing that happened to me.

Just like any field, it has it’s pros and cons. I get to choose what I can work on. I can plan a sudden vacation, and not have to beg for leaves. At the same time, others’ holiday season is my busy season. Despite that, I still love what I do.

How do you think technology has changed the dynamics of art? 

Technology has changed everything. It helps to reach out to a huge audience soon. Digital softwares have introduced us to endless possibilities. I’m a hard core user of Photoshop and it’s biggest admirer. Even though the joy that comes out of drawing traditionally is more, mixed media has made everything much simpler. 

Few creative gifts from Alicia’s store.

Your career demands you to have a constant social media presence. Do you ever get frustrated with it?

 Funnily, many people have asked me this. I don’t get frustrated with social media at all. Maybe it’s because I don’t have to pretend to have fun, or look like a goddess all the time. I just post about my everyday life and nothing out of the ordinary, so I don’t feel pressurized.

Any current projects you’d like to talk about, and any dream project you’d like to be a part of?

I’m a freelancer and I have a merchandise store. Currently, I’m looking forward to improve my brand by designing new products. Everything is a bit of experimentation, so I hope it works out.

I do have a couple of dream projects, but I can’t talk about them yet.

 

“I believe that ultimately, everything works out for the best”

If you were to give up on either Chips or coffee, what would it be?

That’s a hard question to answer. I would never be able to give up on coffee or chips. This is sad, but I’d say ‘Chips’ as it’s something I should give up.

If you could travel back in time and talk to your former self, what would the conversation sound like?

I wouldn’t say anything. If I said that everything would be okay, my former self would’ve gotten lazy. I believe that ultimately, everything works out for the best. So, I’d let her deal with it. Although I doubt if I’ll take my own advice, in hindsight, I’d ask my younger self to sign all the important documents and maintain good paperwork.

Chips don’t lie.

Being an artist in India takes a lot of courage and determination. Who has been the greatest support throughout your journey?

It’s going to sound like an Oscar speech, but there are so many people who’ve supported me throughout the journey. My parents were extremely supportive when I came to Bangalore to do something outrageous; My friend, Bill wood was my mentor; My husband George, being a practical person gives me realistic advices; I can never forget the times when my brother’s wife sat in the stalls I put up to; My partner, Sourabh and the entire team are my biggest support and I can’t thank them enough.

Many budding illustrators look up to your work. What advice would you like to give them?

Stay diligent, be kind and do your work well.

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Keeping It Real! – Interview with Pawan Natekar

Keeping It Real! – Interview with Pawan Natekar

Interview with Pawan Natekar

Keeping it real !

Pawan Nathekar, Hyper Realistic Artist.

17th May, 2019

“Art is perfection. Like God made humans to his level of perfection, humans make art to their level of perfection”.

Pawan Natekar likes to experiment with various shades of charcoal that bring out hyper-realism in his work making his art one-of-a-kind.  His story holds many pieces of advice and inspiration to more than his 10K followers on Instagram.

All thanks to Pawan Natekar, he helped us look at art in a different and more realistic manner. He is selected for the Survival Art Festival in Italy in October wherein he will explore contemporary art survival in today’s society.

When asked about his definition of art, Pawan Natekar responded with a simple yet profound comment- ‘Art is perfection.’ Like God made humans to His level of perfection, humans make art to their level of perfection.

Although Pawan knew that he wanted to be an artist in his childhood, he was coerced into engineering- a field that he had no interest in. After completing his Bachelors and Master of Engineering, he considered taking up a job. But, later on he realized that he wouldn’t be happy and decided to become a full-time artist.

Mastering charcoal…

Pawan enjoys working with charcoal the most, despite of the difficulties associated with it.

Initially , Pawan wasn’t sure about working on charcoal style portraits as they didn’t work for him. But over time, we can confidently say that he has mastered charcoal art. Generally, he takes a couple of days to complete a charcoal portrait and about a week for an oil pastel portrait.

“Art is not an escape, rather a way to embrace reality”.

Many people view art as an escape from reality, but Pawan Natekar views art as a way to embrace reality. On asking how he manages to obtain such accuracy in his pieces, he explains that he observes the little intricacies including the shine of hair, the eyes, the nose, and brings all these features together to make realistic portraits.

Workshops and Festivals!

Pawan started hosting artistic workshops in Pune to promote art as a means of therapy and personal exploration. He now plans on conducting workshops all across Maharashtra. These workshops are seven-day sessions focusing on aspects of drawing portraits with charcoal and colour pencils like anatomical structure, shading, and lighting.

Pawan Natekar believes that getting selected to the Survival Art Festival in Italy was a miracle. On the final submission day, one of his friends recommended Pawan to submit his artwork. So, he submitted an abstract piece, and within few days he received an email congratulating him on getting selected. Pawan tells us that he was stunned that his work got selected!

“Nindak niyare rakhiye aangan kuti chhawaye;
Bin sabun pani bina nirmal karat subhaye.”

In his journey being a successful artist, Pawan received criticisms too. He talks about the overnight viral post of a painting regarding the Delhi rape case, which was misinterpretad.

In the beginning of his career, he received some positive and negative comments which deeply impacted him. Over time, critics have improved him as an artist, as a person and taught him how to look out for the underlying suggestions. 

Sacrifice is crucial to achieve success. The question is, whether it is worth it?

Pawan explains that he has hit the rock-bottom a couple of times, but persistence helped him create moments that are now defining his successful career.

When we asked Pawan to give his former self some advice, he replies by saying, “I would tell him to leave engineering and become an artist. I would have been more skilled had I started earlier”.

Pawan Natekar’s story tells us the perks of following your dream, by making sacrifices. It was worth it for Pawan Natekar. Is it worth it for you?

Edited by – Shivani Jayant

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