An illustrator and cartoonist, Charbak Dipta gives us a peek into his world of inspiration and then how he transforms his ideas into mesmerising artworks.
CG. What inspired you take up art/illustration as your profession?
Charbak. I believe one should always listen to his/her inner calling. Since childhood I enjoyed doodling on paper and walls. However, my parents wanted me to be a lecturer and singer. I stopped my art and earned a MA degree. I also pursued music. But destiny is such that I inevitably landed a job as an intern cartoonist in the ‘The Time of India’. There was no looking back from there.
CG. How would you like to define your style of art? Is there a specific name that you like to call your style by?
Charbak. My style is an amalgamation of the various schools of art which I have been inspired from. As a kid I used to copy whatever comics or cartoons I liked, for example, Phantom comics, Marvel, Tintin and Asterix. Later, with exposure to wider art styles, my style began to develop and take shape.
CG. There seems to be a use of Bengali alphabets and words in a few of your creations. Is there a specific reason for it? Is culture an influence for your creations?
Charbak. I am a Bengali, thus Bangla culture is a big influence in art as well as the person I am. I grew up soaked in Bengali culture, literature, tradition, music and language. It reflects on my art and is an extension of my psyche. Bengali culture, attire and food keep appearing repeatedly in my art.
CG. Are your characters purely fictional? Or are they drawn from certain realities? And what is the intention of using of these characters together?
Charbak. The characters are used to depict the idea behind visible pictures. The Indian Alien series is an exception where the alien characters are purely imaginary. The other works show realistic humans too. I like layered art instead of direct communication. So my settings and characters too have different facets in their appearance that incorporate different social, historical or political references as well.
CG. Your artwork varies from showcasing realistic scenes to visualisations of imaginary concepts, covering an indefinite spectrum of situations. Yet there is uniformity all across your work. How do you maintain this universal language in your work?
Charbak. Uniformity is my style. Every individual has a way of thinking. My glass is tinted with a uniformity screen that filters my ideas and gives them a unique shape. For example, if you wore red spectacles, all objects would appear with a red tint, yet retain their original shape and function. Similarly I see objects through a this screen.
CG. What are the mediums that you use to create your artwork? Is it hand-drawn, digital or a mix of both the mediums?
Charbak. The medium varies, some are hand drawn, others are digital. Often the best comes in a mix of both. For manual drawing I use Clutch and Pigma pencils. For digital, I use a range of software. I sometimes experiment with the drawing on different surface too, for example, paper, canvas, flex or plastic.
CG. Change is inevitable. So, 10 years down the line, what is the kind of art creations that world would be exposed to from your end? We would also like to know about your future endeavours in brief.
Charbak. I have moved from single artwork to writing full length books, art anthologies, illustrated books and graphic novels.
I have released 3 books so far. The first one was ‘The Art of Charbak Dipta’, an anthology of over 100 selected artworks of mine created between 2014 and 2017. The second is ‘Zero: An Indian Aliens Adventure’, which was a spin off from my earlier Indian Alien series of artworks. It throws light on India’s contributions to the world of science and invention. The third one is ‘Apes: An Indian Aliens Adventure’, a sequel to Zero.
My fourth book is in production currently and will be out this year. In the coming 10 years I wish to write at least 10 more books. I have so much autobiographical and conceptual content, the challenge though is to put them on paper within limited time. I am also interested in web-comics. Hopefully sometime soon that takes off as well.
Published in Issue 48
A Freelancer’s Life in India! Every day, with a dream of ‘Being Your Boss,’ many creative professionals jump into the pool of freelancing. But many are not well prepared for the life of the freelancer, which brings many challenges along with benefits. So to explore further, we interviewed many freelance illustrators and designers to get answers to the question you should ask before taking the final call of becoming your boss! So, if you are planning to or have already become a freelancer then this issue is a must-read for you.
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