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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.

watercolour
watercolour
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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Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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Mimicking nature is no small task, especially when it involves a moody and constantly swinging factor such as the weather. Yet, watercolour artist from Pondicherry, Nadeesh Prabou, attempts to bring to life nature’s aspects in the most realistic representations possible, through his watercolour paintings of different weather situations

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Rainy Day. A typical scenario of a small town going about on a rainy day, achieved by using the ‘Spreading’ method
Summer Street. Warm colours used to highlight the hot summer effect, in effort to portray a sunny day in a small town

Inspiration Shapes Gives Flow to One’s Work.

Inspiration is important, and being inspired is what gives direction to not only your chosen style of art but also the way you actually conceive it during execution; unfold it on the canvas, and finally manifest it as a whole.

 

Likewise, the weather has always inspired Nadees Prabou, ever since his childhood. He’s always admired the varying force and power of nature, and the impact it has on the surroundings, including the lives of beings (be it trees, animals or people) that are subject to it. An example of this being evident would be factors such as the strong force of the wind, and the dampness everywhere around, portrayed in his paintings that depict the monsoon time.

Bullock Cart. A bullock cart amidst a city-like scenario – a phenomenon that is exclusive and common to India

Summer Street. Various street scenarios on a summer day in the town or city, as people go about with their daily lives

The Artist’s Fluctuating Mood, Just Like The Weather, Affects The Larger Picture.

To depict weather means to mimic its aliveness, and that is something not easy to do. Yet, it is something that can be seen in his paintings through the blending of contrasting shades, monotones used to depict a typical form of different weather conditions, and techniques he seemingly applies, such as those of spreading or smudging, loose and irregular forms, the characteristic or typical watercolour effects and the likes.

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weather
Kasi

weather

This effective use of colours to achieve the depth in portraying the right atmosphere ican’t be explained in words, as he feels that it’s something to be observed practically only and feel it. This is probably because the moods he starts out depicting at the beginning of the painting process, might end up differently towards the end, and could be completely different in the final output, constantly fluctuating, as does his mood like the very weather.

Gandhi statue. A popular runs along a notable beach of Pondicherry, bearing a large statue of the nation’s icon, Gandhi

Rushing cattle. The fury of bulls as they make their way across the ground, splashing and thudding through their path

Following Trends or not is a Personal Choice One has to Make.

Each artist has an individual and respective view or opinion about going by creative trends that might be in vogue at the time, and so also about either accepting or defying them to various personally defined extents. In Nadees’s case, he feels that it is effective to be a “Contemporary Artist” rather than being a realistic artist, which might generally translate to producing whatever catches an audience’s attention at that point in time. As a result, he admits to including creative practices that may be in trend at the time, into his paintings.

Rushing cattle. The fury of bulls as they make their way across the ground, splashing and thudding through their path
weather
weather
business

Published in Issue 36

Every year brings a lot of hope and promises. With a New Year resolutions list (which might be lost by now) and hope of everything will change for good we all welcomed 2017. This issue explored, how these changes will affect our businesses and how we can be prepared for the growth predicted by the experts. The Wise Advice section includes pieces of advice on the web, mobile apps, user interface and user experience from well-known industry experts. This issue gives you hint about tends to keep an eye on and how to be ready for it! So not just for the business owners but also for upcoming creative entrepreneurs this one is a must read!

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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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