CG. How have you handled the lockdown? How you managed to stay inspired despite being forced to stay at home?
Uday. Since I am a freelance illustrator, my workspace is at home. I stopped working full-time around five to six months ago and decided to freelance full-time. Due to this, the lockdown did not hurt my work. An artist can work for hours irrespective of location.
CG. What are the struggles you’ve faced in maintaining your livelihood as an artist due to this lockdown?
Uday. The lockdown did not affect me initially since I had a few ongoing assignments. But as the pandemic intensified and only the essentials were delivered, I started witnessing a slowdown in my work. I seldom remember a day in the last 10-15 years that I did not have work at hand, but during the lockdown, the amount of work has gone down.
CG. As an artist, how do you manage your workspace at home? Has this reflected in your productivity?
Uday. Working from home does have its drawbacks, and it can sometimes affect productivity. The internet might be slow, and getting in touch with the clients might be di cult; these are the everyday adversities I face. During such instances, one cannot help but think that things might go a lot smoother if we could just meet our clients. I work meticulously to avoid such problems.
CG. It is evident now that people seek solace through various forms of art when combating stressful times. Can we expect any long-lasting impact in this eld?
Uday. The current technological advancement has resulted in the evolution of art, as well. Earlier, the artists had to exhibit their works in galleries, but now with the advent of smartphones, we can showcase our works instantly to a broader audience. Hence, I believe that illustrators can have a long-term career in this eld.
CG. Has the art community organised any fundraising activities for combating this pandemic?
Uday. The art community always contributes in times of crisis. In general, an art community appeals to fellow artists to o er discounts of 50% to 70% on their works and donate the 100% of the sale amounts to the affected population. A lot of communities have extended their hand during this pandemic, as well.
CG. How did your journey as an artist and as a caricaturist begin?
Uday. I visited Khalil Khan, a renowned artist’s exhibition in my village, Barshi, Solapur, when I was studying in class eight. I loved the artworks immensely. That’s when I began drawing caricatures every day; this was the beginning of my art journey. I later learnt the proper techniques, such as sketching life portraits, anatomy and then specialised in caricatures. I took up several freelance jobs as a caricaturist while I was studying in Mumbai; this allowed me to study faces and earn a little.
CG. What is your message to aspiring artists and cartoonists?
Uday. Beginners must focus on basic sketching, at least ten to fifteen sketches daily. Mastering figure drawing and anatomy is a must, and the ability to handle various colours is essential. To become a good cartoonist, you must become a good artist first. It is rare to come across cartoonists who are great at drawing and possess a great sense of humour. Late Shri. R K Laxman, Late Shri. Balasaheb Thackeray, Late Shri. Mario Miranda are a few of these rare gems.
Published in Issue 50
We all started this year anticipating many things, but nobody thought of life coming to a complete halt. The Coronavirus pandemic has forced every human to re-evaluate their attitude towards nature and life. We also have been forced to lock down in our houses. Though we are no more in the lockdown, still many unfortunate ones continue to lose their lives and livelihoods. This isolation has given many of us the time we needed to finish our long pending tasks. Some have turned to art and craft for peace and solace. While most got relaxed and enjoyed their time with family, others used the focussed time to prepare themselves for the life post lockdown. On the other hand, creative freelancers found it helpful for them to focus and produce more as their work setup usually is within their homes. So, to understand how all the creatives have handled the lockdown, we reached many who have been creating and sharing inspirational artworks during this time. So order your copy if you are looking for inspirational COVID lockdown artworks and some advice on how to handle the current slowdown more creatively!
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