Friday, October 19, 2012

Back to the Book

It was around three years back when I started working on a graphic novel for my final graduation project. I managed to finish only a small part of the section as final pages from the script. Then, I graduated, changed cities, switched jobs, travelled a bit, did freelance work in between but there was one thought that never left me at rest. I was losing time for my book. I knew that I would get back to it eventually but never affixed a date for it. To look back, three years of wait did me good. I was naive as a storyteller and draftsman. But, in the last three months I felt that I have become good enough, good enough to tell a story. And then there was no point waiting to become better. 

Yesterday was my last day of work at Brainwave. I had a good run of working on seventeen prints for the magazine. It made me inventive and playful with my drawing skills. Thanks to Brainwave, I feel ready to take this leap and I am very sure that it will take me somewhere good. At least, I won't have a regret to harbour my days with. 

To talk of my plans with this book, I am giving myself 400 days with it. I have the script, the sequences are etched in my head, all I am doing now is picking each small section, story boarding it quickly, then pencilling, inking and finally the colouring. The text editing and typography are left for the last lap of my run. 

It's funny how making a book can make you pop inspirational quotes ever so often. I believe I do it just to encourage myself. I will share one here - 
'Make a good book, not a great one.'
When you intend to make a great book, it's easy to lose the honesty of your voice. You will look for things that made other books great and in the process may replicate it in your work. You will borrow so much that your own truth would lose its shine. Do what your book demands and don't give into gimmicks. Trust me, it's easier said than done. 

To reveal a bit of the work already done, I am attaching old pages along with the reworked ones. Although, there are some pages which were never pictured in the first draft of my book, but I will save it for the next round of shows. 
First draft, 2009

New version, 2012

First draft, 2009

New version, 2012

I will also continue to do small freelance work alongside my book, if any of you have something suitable for me, then do write to me -

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

English Breakfast

Morning doodle done on tea bag packaging while waiting for the office internet to work.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sketchcrawl 8, Lalbagh and Commercial Street

Thursday, 11th October
Nimmy and Sana hatched a plan to visit Lalbagh early in the morning at 6 o'clock to shoot a video for their travel scholarship and in this sweet little plan I was given a piece to chew on. I joined them early in the morning to draw the elders and the young ones jogging, meditating, laughing and gossiping for their healthy life. Although, my usual sketching areas have been crowded city market areas but denying the charm of twilit Lalbagh wouldn't have been fair. Covering our yawns and keeping our hopes alive we reached and soon got busy to our respective tasks. I climbed straight up a small hill to nestle myself on a stone to draw the huffing and puffing of the Bangalore crowd. Being a Thursday (office day), I knew that I didn't have much time to spend on elaborate sketches. Hence, swooshing around the photo inks was the best option for me and I didn't waste any time to get on to that. People are restless and when they have gathered with a purpose to be acrobatic in a park, then sketchers can throw of the luxury of neat sketches and better embrace the squiggly lines. I did quite a few quick sketches and spent a little more time on a couple of views. Here are the sketches of Lalbagh morning - 

Pigeons and pigeons.

A montage created out of composing quick sketches.
The moment before Sana dropped the ink on the stone.
We were there at Lalbagh for two hours and those were probably the best mornings I have spent in Bangalore so far and the blue colour stained hands were a proof. Yes, we spilled paint (honest mistake as Sana said) and while trying to clean it left it for the better or worse. Thanks to Sana and Nimmy for sharing this trip with me. 
photo credits: Nimmy Chacko

Saturday, 13th October
I remember when I had first joined Srishti, we were taken around on a small tour of the city where stationery, papers and other art materials are easily available. Commercial street was one of the places we visited and since then I have made numerous rounds of the commercial street and the neighbouring Ebrahim Sahib Street. Today, the roles were reversed and I was showing Commercial street to my colleague Kashmira. The clocks had turned back seven years when I was unravelling all the small branches and hidden shops on the street today. The whole street is a mix of old architecture dangling with billboards and giant store name boards. And this patchy amalgamation of old and new never ceases to fascinate me. Unlike the Lalbagh day, I spent good time on one drawing. I started pretty early on the sketch and by the time I was filling in details the landscape had changed drastically, the shop shutters had opened and a car got parked right in front of me to tinge the view. Here's a photo of the time I started drawing and the final sketch - 

And what better place to end the sketchcrawl other than Koshy's.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Brainwave. Issue 23. Big Bang

The new October Issue of Brainwave is about explosion, having a blast and making a big bang. This issue is done in a bit of hurry because of my Gujrat trip and then Design Yatra. The tight work schedule of putting a magazine together gets a bit unforgiving but at the same time it takes your thought process and idea generation skill a notch higher with each production deadline. This kind of work schedule has made me impatient with long projects but I just keep telling myself - Good things take time and my current project (details of which will follow soon in the month end blog post) is going to take a real good time. Getting back to the new issue, this one has a splash page, a comic strip and one spot illustration from me. I wish I could spend a lot more time with the splash page but one has to let go of things when the to-do-list is long. 

The illustration above has some hand drawn text embedded in it. If one can figure out what it is, then please do let me know. On a general consensus, I have failed to make it readable.