Tell us a bit about your background... What made you interested in art? Who were your early influences?
I was always pragmatic about not whiling away 3-5 precious years faffing around in college & wanted to straightaway dive into something skill based.
3d animation was at a nascent stage in India & right outta school I fell in love with it. That's where my journey began at 17.
I worked with Crest Animation Studio in Bombay for about 8 years. That was an incredible time with a fabulous bunch of really cool people. My Animation gig trained my eye the way no art college could have.
A big shout out to John Krikfalusi.
His blog was a turning point for me. I spent hours pouring over his indepth & inexhaustible blog, where he decoded bg cell paintings from Yogi the Bear & the likes.
I could happily spend months in a cave lapping up all the info he has so generously put out there. He was the crossover bridge between Animation and Art for me.
His creation 'Ren & Stimpy' is my favorite cartoon. In my head my personality is a fusion of both Ren and Stimpy. I can be bipolar that way!
How was the transition from animation to art bridged?
There's always been a strong influence of my animation experience in my designs.
During 5 years of running my own design studio - Brio Creationz, I dabbled in digital art, working mostly for cafes. My last endeavor was a 2 storey' high digital print on canvas!
What is your take on Design in India?
Design & Aesthetics are the foundation of good art. One can be taught the skill of draftsmanship. But aesthetic sensibility is an acquired taste. Essential both to the process of creation & consumption (appreciation) of art.
We as a nation are mostly deprived of exposure to good design. Just look around our cities. Everything is exhausting to look at! Its coz of lack of good design.
Design is paramount to the quality of our experiences.
Human existence finds resonance in art. It is our elixir. Yet we in India shortchange ourselves by majorly being limited to Bollywood. We cannot escape Bollywood, it's everywhere. But how many of us make an effort towards looking at painting & sculpture?
Yes a beautiful painting can pull chords of your soul in 3 minutes, that a 3 hour movie might not.
What would be your one change for better Design in India?
In a heartbeat, I would eradicate all Political propaganda posters plastered all over. They are so badly designed & those blown up faces!
What books & movies have had maximum impact on your art journey?
For anyone serious about being an artist. These 2 are pure gold!
Carl King: So, you're a creative genius... NOW WHAT?
Ayn Rand: The Romantic Manifesto
'The Rape of Europa' was an eye opener. This art documentary showed, times of such atrocities and plunder & yet human lives were selflessly put at stake to protect the greatest art works of civilizations. Why?
Coz these masterpieces are a significator of excellence achieved by us mortal humans. Great Art has to be celebrated. Lives perish but such legacies have to be preserved coz they constitute our culture & evolution. Nothing has brought home the relevance of art, in human lives, the way this heartbreaking movie did.
How did you finally venture into Fine Art?I didn't have the audacity to imagine I could practice fine art, as i had this stupid notion in my head that art schools create real artists & I've missed that bus.
That's one self limitation I've had to fight the hardest.
Now that I look back, Art was beckoning me since childhood.
There have been many signs over time. But it became crystal clear to me when I choked up while surfing masters' art works. That emotional tug was too powerful to ignore.
Where has your work been headed more recently?
Portraiture is most fascinating! It is worthy of a lifetime' study of form & light. The scope for mastery is endless, from anatomy to subtext.
Its ironical that I paint portraits, as I hardly crave any human interactions in the real world.
What are you currently working on?
This year is about creating a series of realistic portraits for my 1st solo show.
There is a definite thread of pathos in my paintings.
Am comfortable using charcoal, acrylic and oil mediums so far.
What is CULTFUNK?
So here I am now. Doing what I love most. On my own terms.
Cultfunk is the culmination of my creative journey so far & the stepping stone for the sacred journey ahead.
It caters to a niche market. Nothing out & out commercial about it.
Am simply sharing the joy my designs bring to my life, with people who would feel the same!
Where can one follow your work?
Tell us more about yourself?
Am pretty self sufficient. Mostly a geek. Technology is my best friend. Other than my beagle, he is actually the love of my life.
The greatest joy for any creator is to see people enjoy his creations. Nothing beats that. That's my drug of choice.
I enjoy limited human company with selected few, who exude good energy. I carefully ration my creative energy for art.
I simply 'Follow my Bliss'.
It's very easy for introverts to feel depleted after social interactions. So I choose my crowd very carefully. Am wise enough now to stay away from people who blindly chase materialism & lack any true significant passions. Those relationships are sure-shot dead ends.
Designers are mostly heavily OCD.
I have been self diagnosed with perfectionitis.
Life is a choice between the red/blue pill. Best case scenario we unplug ourselves from the matrix.
Coz then we are truly limitless!