o artist can predict what kind of work they will be creating in the next year. They can predict some aspects – like skill, colour, tone, quality etc all should improve and generally one’s graph should rise but content is some other game. You will also know what elements you use in your work – they will slowly become your language. You never know what is going to hit you emotionally (or hit you in the face) enough to make you think about it, sketch it over and over again until you fix on the correct way to create a visual representation to that thought.
I just got back from a brief residency at Uttarayan foundation for the arts in Vadodara (Baroda), India and feel absolutely inspired and ready to attack the next work thing. Its a beautiful place with great people and a superb work environment. I managed to create two etchings with ten editions of each but for the next time I’d like to take longer and not get so exhausted. Also one can work more on the final touches when there is a longer timeline.
Special gifts attached are Naveen Kumar Chandea’s sculptures. Aren’t they just genial?
They’re up all night to get some. I’m up all night for good fun.. ok i’ll stop.
Since I have landed in Italy, a variety of things have been happening. We spend our days in the studio – printing and etching and looking at the clock hoping that the acid will not eat away too far into the plates.
In the evenings we walk or bicycle. Sitting in the piazzas/in the train to cities nearby – there are so many chains of thought. So many jokes. So many kinds of conversations. So many mysteries and so many revelations. Its hard to combine these various themes as one. I love to write in my notebook and draw but more and more I feel that each kind of genre requires a different feel.
A serious story might need serious drawings and serious text and serious looking typography. A funny thing might need funny drawings, funny text and yes you get the drift.
So – solution is to have a set of very tiny books. Here is a sneak peek at book number one – Something Changed. Let me know if you’d like one.
Come Find Me, Firenze was great fun. We knew nobody in this city – most of us are from outside of here spending between 5-9 months at our printmaking school. Florence is an ancient city – very inspiring and everything but a bit dead on young art. We wanted to step in and show some of our work and gather some exchange in conversations. Three houses were opened to the public over a weekend and it was very inspiring and energising to meet all these new people!
It also validated something most of us already feel. To go on doing what you love – with a bit of a skeptical eye. Don’t crush the creative process by being overtly controlling/demanding of yourself. Let your mind run around thinking of ideas. Do lots of sketches – come back and collect the valuable ones and do them with discipline. Edit well. Seek quality and humor. Replace this sense of doom with ironic humor – is the only way out and the only way in.
More about the exhibition here
Firenze by night, Aquaforte + aquatint
thunder at cascine, monotype.
Bianca Tschaikner’s work
Ovidiu Batista’s work
Paula Fraile’s work
Eri Mizutani’s work
Paolo D Antonio’s work
Will add a few more photos in a few days.
My group show in Florence! Come! Or keep in touch via our blog and Facebook page.
Come Find Me is an alternative way of exhibiting artworks. 9 artists from 7 different countries will open their current houses to the public. The show is over a weekend. Paintings, art stamps, comics, designs, illustrations and performances will help you Come Find Me!
Come Find Me e’ un modo diverso di mostra d’arte, nove artisti provenienti da sette paesi aprono le loro case al pubblico per un fine settimana per mostrare le proprie opere. ci saranno pitture, stampe d’arte, fumetti, disegni, illustrazioni, e performance!
ne cannot predict what will happen when travelling. Especially travelling to a place that is culturally very different. But professions are a good thing. You meet so many people who are working in similar fields. Its encouraging to know that they are thinking similar thoughts and facing similar problems. I have never felt the need to show my work – as an everyday practice. I see a lot of my friends in Delhi who are musicians and artists as well. We are all quite comfortable doing our thing at home or in our studios or in our offices and having a show once a year or less. But here in Florence I see everyone is putting their work up. As stickers, as one night shows and sometimes on the streets – carrying their amps and just becoming part of the landscape. I am happy to see so many artists and designers and musicians shaping the city – the experience of it at least. And I feel ready to join them, you are what your creative output is. And somebody has got to see/listen to these months and years and hours and thoughts you have been working on!!! Get out there!
Sorry all for the long silence. These things happen sometimes. I’ve been very angry for a while now. And I took the past few weeks trying to get to the bottom of this anger.
Here’s a cycle.You are expected to deliver your best (always). You needn’t get paid the best. Oh now you needn’t give your best (there isn’t enough time). Just do something. Oh good you can be fast. Can you be better? You needn’t…(and no we don’t want to spend on printing.)
Here’s another. You. You are smart and fun and intelligent. Stay. You can be more smart, more fun, more intelligent. Work here. Live here. Please don’t have a life. Stay. Please don’t try and act smart and fun and intelligent. You want to be better? No please. Don’t use that brain. Just stay. Catch.
Oh the last: You are young, we won’t pay much. You getting better. Good. You want to be brilliant? Sorry. We don’t need brilliant.
Is a jobbing person’s work as soulful as a “captain of my soul”?
Can you be a part of the industry and not be a full timer?
Is money more important than work with soul?
I’m all interested in things like these all of a sudden. I guess it’s a mid- twenties thing. The gypsy comes calling. I’m taking time off thought and doing some simple studies these days.
Also in the exciting cards is the next exhibition and you will hear more about that soon.
My crazy single trap shooter friend Zoravar is getting married! Yay. He wanted a very quick thing done and emailed so people could block the dates. He wanted himself, his gun, and rainbow trout which he catches when he’s fishing. Then he wanted his wife and it looked too feudal, so we put in some flowers and then he wanted some crazy birds. Well cant say no to friends. And it IS his wedding so can’t not put what he wants. Here’s the two in progression. I don’t particularly feel proud of the lack of finish but it’ll do for now. The official invite will follow some elements from these in a more intricate fashion and foil printing will be used to its bestest advantage and maybe a photo.
Last weekend’s sketch in the car.size 20×60 cm pen and watercolour pencils
Nice song, you can hear it here
Perhaps its time to consider castration as a punishment for rape in India. Thanks to Nishita for the discussion before her write up.
I have loved this song for 6 years now, enough time to dedicate a poster. You can hear it here
ho can deny feeling the unbreakable pull of existentialism? I like to keep it at a low flame. And as we all know, the final answer is 42. But we try. Here is my humourless ode to today’s work blues. Evenings can never nearly be as good as mornings, when it comes to keeping your chin up. On a positive note, absolutely loving early morning running and sweating it out.
If you lie awake late into the night, early morning. If you suffer from a mind full of questions. Every night. Remember. You must get out of that bed, as near as sunrise as you can and go outside and not come back into the house for at least 2 hours. Okay one and a half – because you are new. Get out and exercise. Run, cycle, swim, walk, dance, skate, row, yoga – even a gym. Just get out early and life will get much better. But you have to keep at it. Don’t stop. Ever. If you can manage that – you will be what you have always wanted to be. Promise.
Love to sing? Love to listen to music? Love to figure out songs on the guitar? Cant tune your guitar yet? Tried but didn’t quite get the tuning right? Love Bob Dylan? Fighting a deep sense of lull by singing? Like to do things away from the computer? Want to go for a run? Can’t find time this week? Did you find time last week? Do you want to find time? Are you saving any money? I hope you are not spending it all. Are you? Want to bake a cake? Or shall we roast some pork? Do you want to go to the mountains for the weekend? Wont it be too short? Cant you take some days off? Of you just had a holiday? How long?
Music breaks time into segments, memories. Went to listen to Lou Majaw on sunday. A tribute to Dylan. Very nice to hear some quiet some rough songs in a small gathering. He even asked me to join him for some songs on the mike! What gates of wonder music opens. The best thing to do in your free time. Or for a living. Or for pure joy.
Todays trial and error has resulted in this. Vectors can be fun. I’m learning how.
Day two at Comic Con India. Gary Groth, editor in chief of The Comics Journal and co-founder of Fantagraphics books spoke at length today about his journey through comics and publishing.I loved being flooded with names and given an inkling of what all has been happening in the American comics scene. A brief mention of work worth living for versus shit that doesn’t matter was interesting. Lifetimes worth of social comment, satire and humour today revealed exposure & inspiration. A precious saturday afternoon.
Robert Crumb looks on as Gary Groth talks about his work.
All the biggies are here. The lights are set. The table is laid. Settle those creases on your suits gentlemen, ladies avoid heels. Comic Con India kicked off yesterday with their 2012 Awards at India International Centre. Was interesting to see the makings of a strong high impact powerhouse. Presentation format, the hostess etc reflected something from a school annual day auditorium. You could feel the newness of the concept in India. As Aline K Crumb mentioned, she just came from an event in France where she was surrounded by twenty five thousand people to IIC here, modest but touching. RK Lakshman was presented the lifetime achievement award.
The Crumbs were especially amused by a notorious print of Need More Love, a graphic memoir that my colleague Shone bought the same day from Lajpat Nagar in order to own a signed copy. Apparently, and Shone did not notice, the size of the book along with the length of the stories has been cut. They have never seen that copy. They did not know it existed. Is it home made? We will find out.
The person you are looking at is Rakesh from Blaft Publications. What a surprise to see that hairdo at India International Centre. Fifty points to Blaft. Seated next to him is Yukichi Yamamatsu from Japan who’s launching his book Stupid Guy Goes to India. He doesn’t speak English but will answer questions in Hindi if put across delicately.
And man to look out for, Author and illustrator of Satya Police who won the category for Best Unpublished Work and a grant and a publishing deal. Wow. And he’s got a good sense of humour because he was the only one to point out that the music played before the announcements could have been responsible for him having a heart attack!
More from Comic Con India on this weekend. I’d like to thank my genius Art Director for sending me out of office. What a treat.
My age old housemate and friend Aashim Raj is the first of a series. I like to sketch people. I like to sketch them doing boring ordinary things. I’m trying to think of one line per person. What they are to me. Whats their signal quality or strongest character trait. So here we go.
ketching wasn’t always a part of me. I started doodling behind pages of my math book in school because I hated math and scribbling random things was a great way to drown out my math anxiety. Then the next thing I remember enjoying drawing was diagrams in biology. I rendered them when I couldn’t remember answers in my exams. I started keeping a journal in Kodaikanal when I went there to study in class eleven. I wrote everything- lyrics of nice songs ,birds on the school campus, lists of things to do, habits to grow into, recipes, angst ridden notes, sorted advice to me straight from my heart, versions of my future, drawings. At Srishti, (College of Art & Design) we were encouraged to keep a logbook. Assignments, more angst, autobiographical delvings, romantic anguish followed. So did the discovery of many kinds of books. Nice ones to buy, hand made ones using only select paper for all mediums. Various sizes. All these books have different personalities. It’s interesting to find how I have changed and remained the same. My views of the world. Its a special place a sketchbook is. I think very differently when i”m working on a book than a computer. So it’s a good place for ideas to begin and sometimes get carried into my work. I’m never proud of any sketchbook. One always begins with a very high goal and its a quiet ceremony beginning a book. Sometimes pages can dissapoint and even after trying they do not rise up to the level one wanted. But here is my latest one, almost near its end. Thought I’d share it with you.
ver feel like all your nerve endings have begun to fray? I tend to forget to take that occasional walk you are supposed to take away from the computer when at work. And if you have had one of those days when you begin to see two pencils where there is one. ( Nothing to do with beer.) Your eyes cannot come to terms with the computer stare. Thats when you go for a run or go and eat a bun or just put off your computer and make space for some fun.
and meeting courage instead.
For all the things one wishes to do there are double the number of things that don’t allow that (or pretend they have the power). Here’s something i’d like to remember.
Somebody had the brain to leave a spot of nature in the middle of this cement landscape. Open. Completely transforming the thoughts in my mind. Why am I pacing it? Why stick to a safer speed. A downhill slope and your legs go faster than your mind would permit. In this rigid lined defined lifestyle – im not complaining i just miss the outdoors. You’d never feel this way in a gym. I imagine all the places i’ve run at – would like to run at. Mountains, lakes, beaches, small villages, urban compounds where you go round and round, fake gardens, real forests, fake forests. Plugging in. Its priceless. Makes me want to make a film about running. Nothing can take away what you get from it. It adds to all you do otherwise. Beautiful sunday. If you haven’t got it in you, you cant hope to find it when you need it. Photo: Nike Running
I present Tehelka’s new year special fiction issue dedicated to Romance. Fog has delayed many trains in the country. While I wait for my train to move, I find the best thing on the bookstore’s stands. My first ever issue design. My art director asked me to design it as a whole package to get a feel of things. Doing a few inputs here and there vs looking after the whole issue has made me quite confident and curious about techniques, time, finish and quality. Short fictions written by AMITAVA KUMAR • SOURABH RATNU • KALKI KOECHLIN • MUSHARRAF ALI FAROOQI • NABARUN BHATTACHARYA • SUNITI NAMJOSHI • SR FARUQI • RAHUL SONI • JUGAL MODY • KR MEERA • SIDDHARTH CHOWDHURY • PRASHANT MIRANDA • AKSHAT VERMA • SNEHA RAJARAM Featuring illustrations by Anand Naorem, Pia Alize Hazarika, Somesh Kumar, Ashish Naorem, Aastha Mittal (work featured on cover), Prashant Miranda, Smruthi Gargi Eshwar, Devashish Guruji and me.
My special thankyou to Rishabh Arora for the magnificient menu he has designed for the issue and most of all to Sudeep Chaudhuri, my art director – who’s work and spirit are inspiring.
a constant question for most, in her true style.
My grandmum, nani – Sheila Didi passed away this this morning. You could feel the gods through her love for music. She was a perfect mix of gentle funloving and crazy. Below is a beautiful song she loved to sing. Don’t miss it.
Here’s something I wrote when my nana, when he passed away
I fly to you
I fly straight
in a calm line.
change my line.
This big cloud-
this soft hard cloud,
My only curve
in this straight
journey to you I fly.
The meandering silver
moves so slow.
The meandering lights
clover shaped cement strings
they move so slow.
The stars above look at these stars below.
I fly to you
I am here now
Your love by my side
She looks at you
and tinkling years
in her tears
look at you
and their thoughts
float in sad clouds;
to you they fly.
Your friends touch you,
they talk of you-
when you were young
they talk of your spirit
The red flags fly.
They talk of your bravado-
of will and grounding.
my dispirited heart flies.
I touch you,
eyes half open.
I talk to you
my words to you
Yes, they fly.
They take you
they set alight
their last physical
contact with History.
Up and up these
mountains which you so adore
We touch the ice cold water
flowers and ash
ash and water
ashes to ashes
dust to dust
Just back from Tehelka’s Think fest, wow, at Goa. My mind is on fire. If you were to open up my brain and look at how it worked, it would look something like this. More posts on think fest coming up, as thoughts crystallise. Amazing work this, by Guided Collective.