Archives for category: thoughts

Living Room ReadyWhat an absolute delight to make fun things for people when there are very few limitations! Priya got in touch with me after being recommended by one of my friends. She’s got a tiny daughter and has just moved to Gurgaon from Bangalore with her husband. She wanted to commission artworks on themes and poems and text that she has been thinking about and wanted the artworks to be based around these ideas. At first, I went ahead and did iterations for each idea and while some were approved – others took a while getting there as it soon became clear that while she was open to some ideas from my end, she had thought about some images herself and wanted to work those out. So here we are after couple of iterations and to and fros and some artworks are what I like and some are in the middle and some are what she wanted – but all in all they make a happy bunch!

Here’s my favourite from the bunch and some test colour sketches for it. I am happy making comissioned artworks from time to time as I like the dialogue – the encounter of two or more minds and how that changes what the output is. In a way it’s a good collaboration tool to keep the mind open besides the methods we already use for our work to grow. Next up is a website I just made and sketches from the amazing monsoon drenched GOA! Everyone loves a summer break – especially if it features some of the monsoon!

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I can’t seem to get my head around this issue. The answer for me is a clear no. Why? You chose to look into the arts/design and offer an assignment or a project or a frog. You are looking for a logo. You are looking for something to come up on that wall over there. Yes. I am looking for a good butcher -I’m dying to make an excellent stew. I want good quality meat which I trust. Do I now go ahead and tell the butcher, “Hey you know, there’s a hundred meat shops in this city – if you want me to buy your meat you will have to make it cheaper and better than the rest!”(?) Please if you come to me for work that you need, understand your ethical position and don’t behave like a moron! Surprise me! I have been fortunate enough to receive a few grants and scholarships but none of the people who gave me those behaved condescendingly. So dear Indian clients, grow a little gentlemanly or gentlewomanly else walk back slowly (f*** off). Conditionally yours, Samia.

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Can’t say what it is about old school frame by frame 2d animation. These days all I need is some empty time, a glass table, a clip-on lamp, tons of A4 sheets, a fine nib and ink. I remember enjoying this throughly in college and now here we go! As things are progressing now – all personal projects will be done with slow time and good quality. Will be back with more soon!

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Hey all! A&Y made this incredible video in the Uttarayan Art Foundation in Baroda where we spent close to a month in an artist residency in October 2014. Enjoy!

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Really happy to have attended the India Design ID in Delhi last week. Though every collection/company doesn’t wow you – there is plenty of good work there. Here are a few glimpses of things I loved.

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The Wallmural_samiasinghfinal bye_samiasinghI can’t explain enough what a great feeling it is to have finished a big piece of work. A part of me lies all the way in Carballo, A Coruña, Spain. I have hope that I will see it again sooner than later. A lot has been learnt painting in this ENORMOUS scale. It’s addictive too! I bring lots of learnings back with me along with a ton of beautiful memories and proof that many many many many wonderful brilliant genius hard working & kind people exist. Here’s a short interview and background about the mural. I’ve been busy sketching and writing songs and keeping up the fitness routine. Here’s some recent sketches I posted on my Instagram. Going to start on a small indoor mural now. Next update about that. October’s here! Winter is the season of my soul! Can’t wait.

Ajibo & Genius Ajibo asleep Flesh and paper

 

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I love storms. I love rain. I think a lot of people sweating it out in 48 degress centigrade in northern India share this love for rain, clouds and stormy weather with me. In my first sketch for the street art wall mural, I drew our dog Ajibo with me and Vaibhav flying out, away from the storm. For me this was an image to communicate how I was feeling with a new addition of this love-crazy puppy to our lives. That’s one layer of content: the personal. Then, this sketch was shown to the head of the city council of Carballo, Spain – who heads the street art project and is responsible for the funding, the production et all. Then the initial sketch was shown to the lady who owns the house whose wall I would be painting.

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The initial sketch, in my delighted escape from the Delhi summer was cloudy, windy and stormy. The mausam of my soul. But the lady found it dark and depressing.

I had other ideas about the mural but I had only mentioned them in text and who can imagine a painting from a few lines of text? I did the second draft using warm colours. I never use warm colours. I don’t know why. I love the mystery of blues and greens. For years these are the only two colours in my wardrobe. Its natural that they are the colours I always pick for the pallete too.sketch2_carballo_samiasingh

But this is not my sketchbook, it is someone’s house and someone’s money and together this wall will become an experience for someone else who walks past it. Here is where it comes in. ¿How can you use your work to make people smile? It’s a naïve question, yes. But it’s also a fundamental one.

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I always find myself between two points. I love realism but I also love surrealism. I love to see the sun break the sky into a hundred shades of orange red pink yellow and purple but I also value the hundred thoughts inside my head. What you see and what you think. Truth and humour. I don’t want to show you a beetle that I drew 20 times and have mastered. I want to show you all my memories. I want to show you all the things that touched me and I want to show you how I feel here. But that’s not it, I want to you feel something too. I want your thought that you carried in your mind to be forgotten when you see this wall. I want you to stop a moment and look a little closer. I want you to smile.

This of course will continue, the communication. Slowly the aesthetic will evolve, maybe it will get more cartoony, maybe it will get more realistic, maybe it will continue to sit right here in the middle.

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o you think you have something – an idea – something to start. You think you have a timeline – you think you know when its going to finish and be ready. Hahaha, always starts the same way. So ready so sure. As one progresses and thinks and makes stuff more ideas start popping up. What if there was a seal? What if the fish are taxis? What if they are metaphors of release from sadness, coming up ? Right. So we add those new details, and more. Slowly things are changing, for the better. More details, more stories. Oh but the deadline. Flight out in 29 days! I want to put everything! Energy levels vary everyday, some days are for giant brushes and painting backgrounds and covering ground. Other days are for tiny details and small point and adding depth. Very exciting very exhausting. I know this feeling from graphic design too, adding flourishes – making things more functional, more memorable, more beautiful. What keeps your brain and body ready to perform well? Exercise, good food, good friends – good breaks make good work. Now I rest, until tomorrow.

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The more I work the more I think. The more I find myself realising reasons and systems within work, and the more I want to write – to make sense of all these mini AHA moments ( as they would say in Srishti, my design school.) Today, for instance – I was drawing grass blowing in the wind. I was thinking how some years ago I would have been very nervous. I would have put more detail and wanted every grass blade to be perfect and in that obsession missed out on the fun. I would have stressed about how the style or treatment of the image was too childish and cartoon- like.

But, today I felt so free, just letting my hand do some shit and following it with my mind – as opposed to the other way round. Another point was decisions. Small things like how many shades of green to use and how many types of grass to include into the drawing. Researching photographs, trying to copy photographs in an exact manner – all this is good of course but one misses out all the fun while stressing on details. Sometimes ending up in an over detailed thing at the end.

Sketching frees you from seeking reference and continuously cross-checking your drawings. Of course this doesn’t mean I think I draw very well or that I know everything about light and shade, line, colour or perspective. It only means that when it’s time to create you have some sort of a bank of information in your head which you can draw from, (pun intended) uninterrrupted.

A liberating thought was a quote I read somewhere which had the gist of “to paint is to look at the world with the inside of the eye.” I know it sounds floozy but to me could be a meditation almost. Styles within painting are many and from medium to medium they vary within a single person as well – but the tone, the voice is what now interests me. What are you trying to say? Doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, as people back home keep repeating – everyone goes through the same things, you end up at the end of life in the same place, it’s just about time and the sequence of events! So I feel like my mind is growing more painting cells and that can’t be a bad thing!

It’s so good to be in a different country on an assignment – so far i’ve worked with the best of work environments – the idea of a design or art brief in Europe is how it should be. Much to my liking, you are left alone after you have convinced the client that you are capable of delivering. You don’t have stage-wise approval of every detail, your knowledge base is respected and most importantly commisioning a design/an artwork does not mean the client directing it!

Freedom goes a long way and so does fair pay – one can truly push one’s limits when you know quality is all that matters. Blissful work conditions, except the wind!

Hieronymus_Bosch_003Wat was it? What hit you? The light? The angels? The painstaking effort gone into making the perspective right? The fact that unicorns were mistakenly included in art inspired by the Bible because someone mistranslated a kind of a bull as a unicorn? That unicorns were being so fussy on Noah’s Arc that he chucked them out letting them drown instead – and that’s why they are extinct now? So many stories and reasons for happenings. I think it’s all cooked up anyway (no offense to believers) but one comes across many valuable life-lessons in art and in religious writing, which can be as informative and enjoyable as poetry and literature. Interesting metaphors and imagery articulate the goings on within our insides. Hieronymus Bosch’s work can pull out the rug from beneath your feet. If there was a rug at all or if you were standing in flesh next to a painting , it will probably make a bit of a difference (but not much). Netherlands in the 1500’s were under the Spanish crown – an answer I found after being surprised by the number of artists from the Netherlands in the national museum of Spain. Strange creatures, futuristic and contemporary images drawn at the same time Guru Nanak in Punjab, India was coming up with Sikhism! What a world of differences and what a variety of ways to address similar concerns! Between heaven and hell, good and evil lies in all of us and art has the electric magnetic power to arrest you and educate you, your soul – in a moment you can be transported to the depths of an emotion. El Bosco does that repeatedly all on the same canvas as hundreds of images form a whole. I can only sigh and smile and sleep dreaming sweet crazy dreams.