Experiments with Art

Art, for me, is an attempt to capture the beauty for perpetual reference and archival purposes. It is also a form of problem-solving -- which stroke would capture and convey a better understanding of my interpretation of the subject at hand? But most importantly, I do art for the satisfaction of being able to express myself beyond words.

My experiments with art began in kindergarten, drawing simple art with crayons. My first experiment was an exciting assignment where I captured my interpretation of a school trip -- a horizon view with the palm trees. My art teachers greatly appreciated my work and encouraged me to draw more. This was perhaps the first milestone of drawing my own interpretation. My mother was a casual artist in her college days and encouraged me to pursue art from an early age. She still fancies seeing me do art, and I love showing it off to her.

Later, I moved on to learn the basics of art from my teachers at school. I never really dreaded drawing, unlike a lot of my peers. I participated in multiple art competitions in middle school, creating awareness posters for wildlife conservation or green energy. I went ahead to win a couple of district-level contests. During classes, I used to draw comic panels and futuristic vehicles and weapons. Being strongly leaned towards academics at the time, I never considered art something I would have to learn but more of an escape from everything else.

I made friends with a couple of like-minded people on the way during these competitions, especially this one close childhood friend AR who always pushed me to try out various art mediums. I remember picking up oil pastels, trying out watercolours, acrylic paints, and shading pencils, and even appreciating their charcoal paintings. More often than not, I was stealing away (borrowing) their colours during competitions to ultimately beat them at it, a nice little running joke we had at the time. Thank you so much, AR; you'll always inspire me with the fantastic pieces of art you could do back in the day.

During high school, I had mostly given up on any art. I often did some back-of-the-notebook casual art. These were appreciated by some friends who promised to fund me later in life if I chose to pursue this art style.

The abundance of time in college led me to explore multiple art forms I always wished to do in life. I continued to pursue art at my leisure -- usually trying out doodle art. This, in retrospect, is what perhaps lead me to further appreciate abstract art. I started creating art more often and after I lost a couple of art pieces dear to me, I realised that all those hours I was putting into it were going to a waste. I then invested in sketchbooks and started with a small, bad-quality sketchbook to capture my punny comics and doodles. This was perhaps the turning point for my artistic career, where on I invested in improving my tools and art style. This was made possible by the ready reference of my past work -- now captured in these sketchbooks.

I started drawing with regular pens from Sketchbook 2019, mostly capturing objects, imaginary landscapes, anime references, feelings (see "void" and "rain"), abstract ideas, other artists' work references (see "conradroset"), and doodles. The art style converges into a more monochrome line art form through pencils and ball pens. During the year, I picked up fine-tip and bold-tip pens to add more details and layers to my drawing.

Sketchbook 2022-23 sticks to the line art form using brush pens. I've been drawing primarily from image references and some abstract concepts like "vitality", "existence", "personality", "event horizon", "windows to the other worlds", and my personal favourite ", what transcends distance". The sketchbook archives my experiences during my master's degree, trips to Uttarakhand and the grad trip to the North East (Shillong, Cherrapunji, Guwahati). Sketchbook 2022-23 is a work in progress and would be uploaded by 2023.

The sketchbook has been my playground for experimenting with lines, dots, dashes, and hatching techniques. I've also been less stringent about drawing the perfect art, an exact replica of the reference. Surprisingly, this newer breathing room allowed me to infuse my own flavour (art style) into my work. This helped me better capture the essence of the subject I'd like to focus on. Trying to capture every detail is a monumental task. It exerts a lot of pressure on the artist to balance everything equally. I believe it is something I would learn over time.

"Everything, in time"
[This article is a WIP]