We are amidst the times of discussion and debate about art, craft and design. In spite of that, the fact remains that a piece of creation should ultimately let the audience experience a sense of joy and a desire to touch or possess the work, believes designer Pallavi Sen. She reflects how, at the core, the job of a visual is to create an aesthetic tool to create happiness and joy.
Patterns create a visual experience.
Despite all the opinions and arguments about the trend in the art world, pure aesthetics should still be the top priority objective for a visual. To achieve this, patterns play an important role as a tool. It captures the viewer’s attention, providing a space to just gaze and wonder, rather than look for a more complex explanation for why that piece of work exists. When you repeat motifs, you create something beautiful, abstract and unrelated to our everyday life. For instance, a mango stops being what it is when you repeat it a dozen times.
Placement defines the effect.
Things of obvious beauty, when placed against something unusual, take the viewing experience to a different level altogether. The traditional Rangoli at every Indian home is a beautiful work of art in itself. But when placed against an ordinary door, like a grey floor or a dusty sidewalk, the effect is heightened. Or say, an Ikkat piece draped over a record player. If you want to add to the visual effect of the piece, combine repeating motifs and an unusual placement.
Colours help focus on the subject.
Colours act as a tool in any artwork. It becomes a character of the story and stays the same, no matter where it is placed. Some colours have a strong effect on the viewer. They take over what you make and you become an instrument. This happens a lot with high pigment colours. They are so dazzling that any mark looks wonderful. Keeping it all in one bold colour like red helps unify all the different lines and shapes into one image, against a stark background. At its best, a work should be a declaration that the beautiful object is still most important and make you feel the joy when you look at something.
At times, the material decides the design.
Be open to your approach of materials while creating something. The recommended way is to keep adding materials to your work as you find them and then decide if it fits or not. Sometimes, however, you can work the other way round. Make a colour palette, draw the design out and then go shopping for fabrics. But even when it is so planned, you may find something that feels great to the eye, like a fabric that is golden or has wonderful movement. Whenever you see something lovely or interesting, try and incorporate it. You’ll be surprised to know how, at times, the material decides the design.
Stay true to yourself.
Everything you see, hear, feel, experience are sources of inspiration. Look at books on design, a new design in homes, innovative products, designers showcased at fashion weeks and even architecture from the past. Take a stroll in a museum and watch the many different styles and trends across the world and hundreds of years back in time. Keeping your eyes open to all of these keeps you in touch with what is visually attractive. All this while, stay very true to yourself and your idea of beauty & joy and always encourage and allow yourself to change.
Published in Issue 16
We always wish we had someone to show us the right way of doing things when we were starting our professional journey. And that’s why we have based this issue on graduates. The cover feature is an ensemble of advice from top names of the industry. We have also showcased few talented fresh graduates from across the country, keeping with the theme. You’ll find Tom J Manning and Pallavi Sen share their international exposure as well as insights behind their unique approach. Also featuring Shreya Shetty, a prominent concept artist, who shares the secret behind the believable characters she creates. She believes, with practice and patience, anyone can be a good artist.
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