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Hailing from Manipur, Thokchom Sony celebrates the natural beauty, customs and traditions of his hometown through his work. Inspired by patterns from Indian handloom and textile design, he combines it with his illustrations, which ultimately brings out the unique characters.

Manipur
Wild orchid

The magic of Manipur

“I love nature” says designer, Thokchom Sony, and we don’t doubt it! Nature is celebrated through strong themes and yet he is rooted in his hometown. The beautiful Manipuri fabric patterns weave a story with portraits as he imparts socially relevant messages.

Manipur
Indian Ballerinas.

Drawing major inspiration from Potloi, a cylindrical skirt worn by the brides and dancers in Manipur and the flowers from the state result in unique characteristics or a personality that are detailed extensively. Working in details, especially with hair, eyes and skin textures Thokchom finds natural skin tones with freckles, moles and blush so beautiful. Incorporating traditional elements like chandon on nose, tanakha on cheeks helps in bringing out the originality and ethnicity in the characters.

Lily girl.
client

Published in Issue 37

The issue includes interactions with Preeti Vyas from VGC on ‘How to pitch for clients or retain the existing one’ and Ashish Deshpande from Elephant on ‘Challenges of working with a startup’, along with some best freelancers like Archan Nair, Shreya Shetty and Paul Sandip, sharing their knowledge of working with various clients. Also, Sachin Puthran from Thatzit.com gave a 10-point no-nonsense guide for studios to handle their finances. A must read, if you are planning for the financial year ahead or worried about your handling your money matter, this issue can give you much-needed insight and guide you to a better financial health of your business or freelancing. 

So Order Your Copy Now!

 

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Questioning… is integral to great creativity. It’s only when we brood, wonder and question a scenario, we can showcase a different perspective in a unique way. Illustrator, Ranganath Krishnamani, questioned the indigenous identity of the very Indian local culture. Through this he developed a series of illustrations, each depicting the lives of individuals who still hold on to the threads of culture and tradition, in this age of rapid globalization. Here we see the likes of our chaiwala, dhobiwala, darzi and more, people with professions that are ignored by most, and now hold on tight to the hem of our Indian urban fabric.

 

The art style is truly compelling. The illustrator has made excellent use of a complementary palette that includes brown and deep green. The style by itself has an earthy grounded feel to it. The detail helps make each character come alive, especially in the animation.

 

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Fabric
Chaiwala
Fabric
Hair Dresser
Fabric
Fabric
Darzi (Tailor)
Fabric
Fabric
Dhobiwala
Fabric
Flower Seller
Fabric
Fabric
Beliefs
Fabric

Imagine a rickshaw puller who sits majestically in his vehicle, like a king, murmuring an old song, that’s one of those moments, which brings rural India alive. And that’s exactly what watercolour artist Raj Kumar Sthabathy always tries to capture. His objective is to preserve this raw culture before it gets lost in today’s fast changing world.

RajKumar- watercolour
Folk
RajKumar- watercolour
At Work

Simplicity inspires like nothing else.

The common Indian village folk has a distinct body language, costume and general way of life. The simplicity and rarity that is so engraved is highly appealing for any artist. Even with minimum colours, their lives can beautifully narrate themselves on the canvas. It’s surprising how small things can make them happy. And when this simple life is conveyed through a canvas, it calls for dignity. When people around the world admire a painting, the rickshaw man finds his own space in this huge, complicated world.

RajKumar- watercolour
Milkman
RajKumar- watercolour
Transport

Art captures the moment you missed.

70% of the Indian population still dwells in villages. And it’s surprising how little about them is known. Art is a time machine, taking people to times they’ve not witnessed or experienced. Traditional paintings, featuring rural folk, represent the memorable moment’s city dwellers have missed. Sadly, the rural man’s space is getting minimized by modern, urban expansion. And that’s where an artist must use his most powerful weapon, art, in order to gratefully record the rural commoners. So that those who have missed out understand the underlying intention, appreciate it and perhaps even do something about it.

RajKumar- watercolour
Rickshaw
RajKumar- watercolour
Fruit Seller

Rural is versatile. 

A rickshaw and rickshaw man can be converted into 1000 drawings. But it is very tough to do the same for a BMW or a millionaire. Even if someone is able to do it, there are high chances that it could be confused for an advertisement. That’s why rural subjects transpose into creative expressions more effortlessly, giving an artist a unique edge in his work. Rural India lets open hundreds of such possibilities to create engaging stories that are at the same time melodic, expressive and emotive.

RajKumar- watercolour
Man and Animal
Alley

Watercolour speaks the truth.

It is the only medium that has the ability to capture colours and fragrance of native India. What’s best about this medium is that it seems to have a mind of its own. The space of its spreading and the final result beyond the efforts of the artist make watercolour come alive. During the process of creating, it sometimes flows like water, spreading and selecting its own path to create new colours and images. Sometimes, even white spaces are created as they curve around certain places. When such magical transformations happen, viewers often perceive them as extraordinary talent of the painter.

RajKumar- watercolour
Going to Work
RajKumar- watercolour
Family

The more you experiment, the better the medium becomes.

Working with watercolour is also about making conscious efforts. Regardless of the independent nature of the medium, an artist can take it nonetheless, wherever required. Like using dark to light technique instead of the other way round gives the painting an intense definition. The way one creates strokes with the brush and colour also adds character to the painting. Working with modern and attractive strokes helps create unique artwork to startle the audience.

RajKumar- watercolour
Amma
RajKumar- watercolour

Passion can become a cause.

Modernism is what dominates the times of today. And everything around us is changing without an announcement. In today’s fast changing times, there are some things that remain the same. Like the rickshaw man who waits in the street for his pick up or the Kuthoo performer who practices the role of Draupadi with his long hair or those cow dung pasted walls. Before rural India flows away in the changes and loses itself to the pace, it’s imperative to capture it. For an artist, drawing inspiration from the rich experiences of rural life can turn into a mission to preserve the real and simple living and showcase it to the world.

RajKumar- watercolour
RajKumar- watercolour

Published in Issue 09

This issue focuses on strengths and weakness of Indian creative business with cover from Archan Nair. Also, include some of the fearless creatives who had made their mark in the industry without compromising on the quality of the output and many more interesting reads.

 

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Studio ABD introduces and takes us into the idea and approach behind a range of luxury watches thoroughly inspired by Indian royalty (read kings, queens, palaces and the likes).

The Nebula Palace Collection: The essential idea

One of the legacies of India’s rich and varied history, which goes far back into early antiquity, is the numerous forts and palaces that dot the landscape through the length and breadth of the country. In the popular imagination, forts and palaces are redolent of mystique, romance, pleasure and intrigue. Above all the beauty, grace, strength and substance, though these proud sentinels are living reminders of India’s breathtakingly rich civilisation and culture.

 

The Nebula Palace Collection of watches was thus an attempt to celebrate this very spirit of splendour, romance, history, stories, and royalties with unique and contemporary forms; to find harmony between its graceful past and contemporary present, and to bring a fresh look in the world of watches.

Rambagh Palace, Jaipur: The focal point

The moment you step in Rambagh Palace, you inhale the warmth of the royal energy. The Nebula collection of watches hence revolves around and stems from this space, where each room is carefully detailed; from the architectural, upholstery and furniture to even bathrooms, they all have a unique style. The overall architecture of the palace, the beautiful courtyards; the fountains, paintings, jali-work, everything building up the unique experience of Rambagh is graceful and warm, thus also finding expression in The Nebula Collection.

Palace
Illustration: Studio ABD

King-spired for the Masculine

One of the main attractions of Rambagh Palace is the Polo Bar; it displays the glamour and pride of the Royal Polo. The main feature is the characteristic fountain inside the room, with Jaipur tiles creating a mosaic artwork. It radiates the equestrian prowess and style of royal men. The fountain is a circulating royal energy for decades, and this ever-moving energy is what attracts us to its masculine form.

Palace
Illustration: Studio ABD

Inspired by the iconic fountain form in the centre of the room, RPK combines elements of the palace to create a very elegant yet iconic timepiece. It has meticulous details on the side with royal horns and a dial layered with enamel, giving the watch a highly refined look. The hand-stitched leather strap integrates with the watch as beautifully as it articulates on the wrist.

 

The solid gold case is inspired by the iconic form of a fountain in the Polo club. The case adorns the polygonal shape of the fountain and captures the essence of the story of Polo Club.

Image: Titan Company
Image: Titan Company

The back cover is also in a polygonal shape to make the entire watch-story complete from front to back. Through sapphire glass, one can see layers of amazing Swiss movement which make the experience of owning a royal story complete with best of the world elements. A true royal lifestyle. Every element is refined, with attention given to each minute detail, so that every reflection of light creates a royal aura around the wrist…

 

Welcome to the Royal Club, gentlemen.


The ‘Queen’ like elegance of the Lotus

The lotus fountain is one of the iconic forms of royal architecture. It has intrigued visitors with its beautiful arrangement of petals and water pouring onto each layer. One can find the influence of peacock motif all across the Rambagh exteriors and interiors, but the most beautiful one is in the courtyard water body with mosaic tiles.

Illustration: Studio ABD

A symbol of royalty and grace, ‘Rambagh Queen’ unfolds its graceful corolla of petals. Inspired by the lotus fountain, the iconic symbol of Rambagh Palace, this ultra feminine watch shimmers with elegantly placed stones and layers of MOP petals placed on each layer of the case. The mother of the pearl dial with peacock motif adds a further touch of charm.

Image: Titan Company

The petit and beautiful queen’s watch is an epitome of a queen’s true character. The solid gold case revels in layers of beautiful and dreamy pearl petals.

 

The stones are hand-picked and set carefully to create an unmatched experience of luxury. A royal treat, indeed.

Image: Titan Company
Image: Titan Company