Greetings from a sunny December winter’s day at home!  After a long crazy residency, a great successful show and a zipping trip to Nagaland’s Hornbill festival, here we are at the end of this year. New love for me this year is murals and ceramics. Also new on the cards is our artists’ collective Intercontinental Rollercoaster Club. A great feeling to have fellow artist friends here from Spain, Austria and Japan. We are now a stronger and a more alert force to apply ourselves to the pursuit of Art collectively. Good times lie ahead. May there be more travel, more good work and hopefully we see the tribe grow and the friendships deepen. My sister also graduates from Srishti School of Art & Design this year as a film maker so that’s another quality addition to the collective right there! Well next on the itinerary is a long drive all the way from Chandigarh to Bangalore! I’ll be posting about that next. Happy Holidays!

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Indoor mural in Chandigarh. Drop in to Sector 9 if you are in town and have a taste of some fresh ice creams frozen right in front of you!

Ceramic people

The ceramic animal people after the first firing. Glazed and ready for the kiln again.

Some of the animals I made before they went into the kiln.

Some of the animal people before they went into the kiln.

Intercontinental club invite

Intercontinental club invite. Photo by A&Y. Logo design by Iria Do Castelo and Samia Singh

Club invite letter

Club Imagen

The entire club. Image by A&Y

Sketching time

Good days spent during our residency at the Uttarayan Art Foundation doing printmaking, sculpture & sketching.

Kohima at 5 pm!

Nagaland. Kohima at 5:15 pm!

Kohima by day

Kohima: blue inspiration.

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The Wallmural_samiasinghfinal bye_samiasinghI can’t explain enough what a great feeling it is to have finished a big piece of work. A part of me lies all the way in Carballo, A Coruña, Spain. I have hope that I will see it again sooner than later. A lot has been learnt painting in this ENORMOUS scale. It’s addictive too! I bring lots of learnings back with me along with a ton of beautiful memories and proof that many many many many wonderful brilliant genius hard working & kind people exist. Here’s a short interview and background about the mural. I’ve been busy sketching and writing songs and keeping up the fitness routine. Here’s some recent sketches I posted on my Instagram. Going to start on a small indoor mural now. Next update about that. October’s here! Winter is the season of my soul! Can’t wait.

Ajibo & Genius Ajibo asleep Flesh and paper

 

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I love storms. I love rain. I think a lot of people sweating it out in 48 degress centigrade in northern India share this love for rain, clouds and stormy weather with me. In my first sketch for the street art wall mural, I drew our dog Ajibo with me and Vaibhav flying out, away from the storm. For me this was an image to communicate how I was feeling with a new addition of this love-crazy puppy to our lives. That’s one layer of content: the personal. Then, this sketch was shown to the head of the city council of Carballo, Spain – who heads the street art project and is responsible for the funding, the production et all. Then the initial sketch was shown to the lady who owns the house whose wall I would be painting.

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The initial sketch, in my delighted escape from the Delhi summer was cloudy, windy and stormy. The mausam of my soul. But the lady found it dark and depressing.

I had other ideas about the mural but I had only mentioned them in text and who can imagine a painting from a few lines of text? I did the second draft using warm colours. I never use warm colours. I don’t know why. I love the mystery of blues and greens. For years these are the only two colours in my wardrobe. Its natural that they are the colours I always pick for the pallete too.sketch2_carballo_samiasingh

But this is not my sketchbook, it is someone’s house and someone’s money and together this wall will become an experience for someone else who walks past it. Here is where it comes in. ¿How can you use your work to make people smile? It’s a naïve question, yes. But it’s also a fundamental one.

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I always find myself between two points. I love realism but I also love surrealism. I love to see the sun break the sky into a hundred shades of orange red pink yellow and purple but I also value the hundred thoughts inside my head. What you see and what you think. Truth and humour. I don’t want to show you a beetle that I drew 20 times and have mastered. I want to show you all my memories. I want to show you all the things that touched me and I want to show you how I feel here. But that’s not it, I want to you feel something too. I want your thought that you carried in your mind to be forgotten when you see this wall. I want you to stop a moment and look a little closer. I want you to smile.

This of course will continue, the communication. Slowly the aesthetic will evolve, maybe it will get more cartoony, maybe it will get more realistic, maybe it will continue to sit right here in the middle.

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o you think you have something – an idea – something to start. You think you have a timeline – you think you know when its going to finish and be ready. Hahaha, always starts the same way. So ready so sure. As one progresses and thinks and makes stuff more ideas start popping up. What if there was a seal? What if the fish are taxis? What if they are metaphors of release from sadness, coming up ? Right. So we add those new details, and more. Slowly things are changing, for the better. More details, more stories. Oh but the deadline. Flight out in 29 days! I want to put everything! Energy levels vary everyday, some days are for giant brushes and painting backgrounds and covering ground. Other days are for tiny details and small point and adding depth. Very exciting very exhausting. I know this feeling from graphic design too, adding flourishes – making things more functional, more memorable, more beautiful. What keeps your brain and body ready to perform well? Exercise, good food, good friends – good breaks make good work. Now I rest, until tomorrow.

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The more I work the more I think. The more I find myself realising reasons and systems within work, and the more I want to write – to make sense of all these mini AHA moments ( as they would say in Srishti, my design school.) Today, for instance – I was drawing grass blowing in the wind. I was thinking how some years ago I would have been very nervous. I would have put more detail and wanted every grass blade to be perfect and in that obsession missed out on the fun. I would have stressed about how the style or treatment of the image was too childish and cartoon- like.

But, today I felt so free, just letting my hand do some shit and following it with my mind – as opposed to the other way round. Another point was decisions. Small things like how many shades of green to use and how many types of grass to include into the drawing. Researching photographs, trying to copy photographs in an exact manner – all this is good of course but one misses out all the fun while stressing on details. Sometimes ending up in an over detailed thing at the end.

Sketching frees you from seeking reference and continuously cross-checking your drawings. Of course this doesn’t mean I think I draw very well or that I know everything about light and shade, line, colour or perspective. It only means that when it’s time to create you have some sort of a bank of information in your head which you can draw from, (pun intended) uninterrrupted.

A liberating thought was a quote I read somewhere which had the gist of “to paint is to look at the world with the inside of the eye.” I know it sounds floozy but to me could be a meditation almost. Styles within painting are many and from medium to medium they vary within a single person as well – but the tone, the voice is what now interests me. What are you trying to say? Doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, as people back home keep repeating – everyone goes through the same things, you end up at the end of life in the same place, it’s just about time and the sequence of events! So I feel like my mind is growing more painting cells and that can’t be a bad thing!

It’s so good to be in a different country on an assignment – so far i’ve worked with the best of work environments – the idea of a design or art brief in Europe is how it should be. Much to my liking, you are left alone after you have convinced the client that you are capable of delivering. You don’t have stage-wise approval of every detail, your knowledge base is respected and most importantly commisioning a design/an artwork does not mean the client directing it!

Freedom goes a long way and so does fair pay – one can truly push one’s limits when you know quality is all that matters. Blissful work conditions, except the wind!

Hieronymus_Bosch_003Wat was it? What hit you? The light? The angels? The painstaking effort gone into making the perspective right? The fact that unicorns were mistakenly included in art inspired by the Bible because someone mistranslated a kind of a bull as a unicorn? That unicorns were being so fussy on Noah’s Arc that he chucked them out letting them drown instead – and that’s why they are extinct now? So many stories and reasons for happenings. I think it’s all cooked up anyway (no offense to believers) but one comes across many valuable life-lessons in art and in religious writing, which can be as informative and enjoyable as poetry and literature. Interesting metaphors and imagery articulate the goings on within our insides. Hieronymus Bosch’s work can pull out the rug from beneath your feet. If there was a rug at all or if you were standing in flesh next to a painting , it will probably make a bit of a difference (but not much). Netherlands in the 1500’s were under the Spanish crown – an answer I found after being surprised by the number of artists from the Netherlands in the national museum of Spain. Strange creatures, futuristic and contemporary images drawn at the same time Guru Nanak in Punjab, India was coming up with Sikhism! What a world of differences and what a variety of ways to address similar concerns! Between heaven and hell, good and evil lies in all of us and art has the electric magnetic power to arrest you and educate you, your soul – in a moment you can be transported to the depths of an emotion. El Bosco does that repeatedly all on the same canvas as hundreds of images form a whole. I can only sigh and smile and sleep dreaming sweet crazy dreams.

Museo Del Prado ticketThe brain can only take in so much. After some of the previous summer spent soaking in the Louvre and the Musée D’Orsay in Paris & the Uffizi gallery in Firenze it takes courage to step into a museum again. There is endless beauty; the light, the perspective, details , ideas, symbols and stories all demand intense attention. It’s interesting for me to observe my lack of knowledge about Western art growing up in the Indian art curriculum. We had a little book with about 30 tiny images of art from prominent Indian artists that we had to know about along with the styles and content of Indian miniature schools. But we never went to the museum as part of the course. If we wanted to find out more, we’d have to go on our own accord. Like all things good, information that is important for you will find you at the right time. Chiaroscuro was a word I heard in 11th standard in Kodaikanal from Mr. Adam Kahn our German art teacher at Sholai School who we shared with kids from Kodaikanal International School. I remember him showing us Lust for Life, Vincent Van Gogh’s story. I also remember an elderly Indian couple who visited our school and as a parting gift gave me a beautiful 1940’s booklet in French about exercises to practise light in drawing. I spent days making sketches of trees at night in the moonlight, in the misty mornings and in the sunny/cloudy afternoons. I was lucky to have all that time in a forest at the age of 16/17 because ten years later it’s hard to find time that stretches across the mountains till the horizon. One doesn’t really come across that feeling so often now, that time is as infinite as a single moment and you can stretch it as you wish. That’s the sort of mental state one needs to be in at a museum to truly benefit. Your life can be changed so you must open all the windows and dust that old brain as you doddle into the museum. Hieronymus Bosch was this visit’s discovery and I am pretty sure he’s started to change my brain cells themselves. I think I will write about him and a few more things next time around.

On route to Spain via Helsinki

There wasn’t enough time to pack well or atleast pretend to. The visa takes forever and this time it came a few hours before the flight. The truth is one can never mentally prepare to go to a new place. Somewhere over the snow covered mountains in Afghanistan and the lake swamped forest covered Helsinki a smile was spreading across my face and has been more or less there for the last 3 weeks. The first thing that hits you is the light. Yes the fact that its sun up till 11:30 at night but also the angle the sun is at and the warmth of the colours, perhaps its the cleanliness in the air – I don’t know exactly what it is but the light is very distinct. The second thing is the language. It’s a peculiar feeling, realising the moment where the outside world moves further away than you are used to. You are now officially the outsider and the observer. Not unlike life but very much like life, hyper realism in a way. Then things slowly unravel and life begins to normalise, a new rhythm in a new land slowly trying to align back to your own rhythm of sleep and waking up. Tasting new food meeting new people. Seeing new things. Dogs are allowed beside their owners in restaurants and in shops. Mothers are walking with prams n toddlers everywhere. Fit mothers. New information: people have to pay 2000 euros to get a license here! But that’s not enough, I am not here on a tourist trip. Im here to work. To paint a mural on a wall for the people of Carballo, a city 30 mins from A Coruña, north west Spain- near Portugal. Now there is a purpose to this seemingly random information. It’s like gathering cues in a way, much like a detective would. All this new information has to be checked with my earlier beliefs and age old ideas that we all share in some way. Then sieved through criticism to arrive at an idea for the mural. Its great to see some of my old friends here from Firenze. I look forward to hard work and arriving at some sort of conclusion in shape of the mural.

The Wall

Everyday is slowly getting set to a pace. I have always imagined hitting 30 to be a time when you yourself will find a rhythm that suits you. All concerns will magically arrange themselves onto shelves in your brain. Much like Dumbledore setting back a busted room in one of the Harry Potter movies. Yes, I’m sorry if you hate the whole JK Rowling body of work but I can tell you I have seen them more times than is normal. Anyway, not to digress -I am aiming for this epiphany by the time I hit 30. Not that you can plan such things – but all we can do is try.You know the whole work – fitness balance thing. God knows artists and designers like many other people are always in studios, working away; as yoga mats, sneakers, skipping ropes and weights gather dust. Its not so difficult in theory – a pace, a rhythm, a routine but sometimes work will bring down upon you THE problem that you will have to sit with for hours hopefully not days. You will stare at it, curse it, have a tea, curse it again, leave the studio, come back and maybe see a solution. Its these times that are detrimental to the balance that is so important for our minds to work well and our bodies to feel fit. Yah, everyday is slowly getting set to a pace, its getting there. Im not saying there’s a permanent solution but I think I might have some tricks to help me. Perhaps they should be listed categorically.

Here’s some of the work I did recently. An acrylic on canvass commissioned painting that I was talking about in my last post freshly finished. Untitled, 2×4 feet.

 

An album cover and the album art for Mumbai based funk/ nu disco duo Madboy/Mink’s  debut EP

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Madboy:Mink_back

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Madboy:Mink_lyricsinside right

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And a logo for Regendre, Quelle genre? Quelle gender? A London based blog exploring issues and successes in the LGBTQ community.

 

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I love art and I love design. Both have a lot in common & the knowledge of both adds a lot to each other.

I always imagine Marc Chagall’s thought could perhaps include design as well “Art must be an expression of love, or it is nothing.”

Until next time amigos, we don’t know what joys life will bring by then but see you soon.

Good things have been happening. I am now much more comfortable being a non office goer. I am happy to say that I did not die without routine. I thought i would wither into a corner of the world and quietly perish because I would be “all on my own”. I have been spending time equally on design projects, personal projects and commissioned illustration/art projects. Some scholarships are on the horizon, more about that soon! Oh but as always work is never-ending (in a good way) and everything is still difficult (in a good way).

I made the album art for Ramya Shankar Bhat’s The Indian Lullaby Project -1. These nap tunes are composed from Indian Karnatak Classical style music.

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Also, its been a while since I made posters as part of my personal work. Here’s oneto re-begin them.

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Some process photos from a wall mural I recently made for Max hospitals.

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WallMural_SamiaSingh

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And snap shots of a commissioned painting in progress

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I love working on a couple of things at the same time. I feel the brain has to be a little overwhelmed, (like in a tennis match) in order to really churn out those creative juices. Cant say I’m always relaxed with this approach but it works 90 percent of the time!  See you with more work soon!

No artist can predict what kind of work they will be creating in the next year. They can predict some aspects – like skill, colour, tone, quality etc all should improve and generally one’s graph should rise but content is some other game. You will also know what elements you use in your work – they will slowly become your language. You never know what is going to hit you emotionally (or hit you in the face) enough to make you think about it, sketch it over and over again until you fix on the correct way to create a visual representation to that thought.

I just got back from a brief residency at Uttarayan foundation for the arts in Vadodara (Baroda), India and feel absolutely inspired and ready to attack the next work thing. Its a beautiful place with great people and a superb work environment. I managed to create two etchings with ten editions of each but for the next time I’d like to take longer and not get so exhausted. Also one can work more on the final touches when there is a longer timeline.

Special gifts attached are Naveen Kumar Chandea’s sculptures. Aren’t they just genial?

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMore than drawing these days my head is full of information. Information on music, information about the future, information on how to break my head free of all the dull things like errands and life in general. But its good to see a new development. Seeing something exactly and drawing it millimeter by milimeter of precision is one thing. And to soak in something and draw it later is another. I have been leaning towards the latter these days and its a great way to memorise and abstract.

They’re up all night to get some. I’m up all night for good fun.. ok i’ll stop.

Since I have landed in Italy, a variety of things have been happening. We spend our days in the studio – printing and etching and looking at the clock hoping that the acid will not eat away too far into the plates.

In the evenings we walk or bicycle. Sitting in the piazzas/in the train to cities nearby – there are so many chains of thought. So many jokes. So many kinds of conversations. So many mysteries and so many revelations. Its hard to combine these various themes as one. I love to write in my notebook and draw but more and more I feel that each kind of genre requires a different feel.

A serious story might need serious drawings and serious text and serious looking typography. A funny thing might need funny drawings, funny text and yes you get the drift.
So – solution is to have a set of very tiny books. Here is a sneak peek at book number one – Something Changed. Let me know if you’d like  one.

Something Changed _ Samia Singh

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Come Find Me, Firenze was great fun. We knew nobody in this city – most of us are from outside of here spending between 5-9 months at our printmaking school. Florence is an ancient city – very inspiring and everything but a bit dead on young art. We wanted to step in and show some of our work and gather some exchange in conversations. Three houses were opened to the public over a weekend and it was very inspiring and energising to meet all these new people!

It also validated something most of us already feel. To go on doing what you love – with a bit of a skeptical eye. Don’t crush the creative process by being overtly controlling/demanding of yourself. Let your mind run around thinking of ideas. Do lots of sketches – come back and collect the valuable ones and do them with discipline. Edit well. Seek quality and humor. Replace this sense of doom with ironic humor – is the only way out and the only way in.

More about the exhibition here

Firenze by night, Aquaforte + aquatint

Firenze by night, Aquaforte + aquatint

thunder at cascine, monotype.

thunder at cascine, monotype.

sketch detail

sketch detail

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Bianca Tschaikner's work

Bianca Tschaikner’s work

Ovidiu Batista's work

Ovidiu Batista’s work

Paula Fraile's work

Paula Fraile’s work

Eri Mizutani's work

Eri Mizutani’s work

Paolo D Antonio's work

Paolo D Antonio’s work

Will add a few more photos in a few days.

Ciao!

 

 

 

Florence summer 2013

My group show in Florence! Come! Or keep in touch via our blog and Facebook page.

Come Find Me is an alternative way of exhibiting artworks. 9 artists from 7 different countries will open their current houses to the public. The show is over a weekend. Paintings, art stamps, comics, designs, illustrations and performances will help you Come Find Me!

Come Find Me e’ un modo diverso di mostra d’arte, nove artisti provenienti da sette paesi aprono le loro case al pubblico per un fine settimana per mostrare le proprie opere. ci saranno pitture, stampe d’arte, fumetti, disegni, illustrazioni, e performance!

One cannot predict what will happen when travelling. Especially travelling to a place that is culturally very different. But professions are a good thing. You meet so many people who are working in similar fields. Its encouraging to know that they are thinking similar thoughts and facing similar problems. I have never felt the need to show my work – as an everyday practice. I see a lot of my friends in Delhi who are musicians and artists as well. We are all quite comfortable doing our thing at home or in our studios or in our offices and having a show once a year or less. But here in Florence I see everyone is putting their work up. As stickers, as one night shows and sometimes on the streets – carrying their amps and just becoming part of the landscape. I am happy to see so many artists and designers and musicians shaping the city – the experience of it at least. And I feel ready to join them, you are what your creative output is. And somebody has got to see/listen to these months and years and hours and thoughts you have been working on!!! Get out there!

In the Piazza

while walking around

Graffiti in Firenze

T here’s a slow build up of pressure occurring everyday. A mild escalation day by day. What kind of an idiot borrows money to come study art during the recession???! Haha. Yes that’s one thought. Another is – Why have I come all the way here to Florence? All the way from India. Alone? Oh yes and here’s another: What do you hope to show these people? These ancient race of artists… handicraft is engraved here in every stone, every shoe that’s worn by the pedestrians, every woman who walks in her leather jacket. Italians are great lovers of the right process. Repetition of a process till the finish is impeccable. From cleaning a house to me polishing wood in my wood-cut class. Well, we’ll find out won’t we?

I came here to put myself far far away from my comfort zone. In order to produce something I could be proud of. Now that i’ve been lifted and dropped half way across the world, in the midst of many other cultures. I will begin to understand routine and techniques and soon will have something to show you. Fresh from Italy!

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something is slowly shifting. I am far far away from home – in Florence. I have come here to study etching. OK? Va bene? Now it’s tough tough scene to crack. Like any field is. You have to be not ordinary. You have to consistently improve. You have to consistently explode your own brain. I am very very excited to have put my brain in this new environment. Once I’m past the vast humungous mind boggling size of the supermarkets , the kind vehicle drivers who stop anywhere to let you walk pass, the strange plug points, the beautifully designed garbage bags, the double process of tram tickets and other many many similar geocultural differences – I will immerse into art. And push it to a stronger direction. Wish me luck!

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No time. Not an hour a day to think. Not two. But sometimes an extensive dip into the soul is required. Life’s waters mostly take you along. Sometimes one has to steer, shift slight directions, or gather spirit and scream down waterfalls. All quite exciting really. Here’s some sketching from some time spent lately.

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Process sketches from a commissioned assignment  by Designhabit for the Virasat e Khalsa (Sikh history) museum at Anandpur Sahib . The architect is the brilliant Moshe Safdie. Brief: What would the forests have looked like in the Siwalik foothills in the 18th century. Pen and Ink. Work in progress.
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Sorry all for the long silence. These things happen sometimes. I’ve been very angry for a while now. And I took the past few weeks trying to get to the bottom of this anger.
Here’s a cycle.You are expected to deliver your best (always). You needn’t get paid the best. Oh now you needn’t give your best (there isn’t enough time). Just do something. Oh good you can be fast. Can you be better? You needn’t…(and no we don’t want to spend on printing.)
Here’s another. You. You are smart and fun and intelligent. Stay. You can be more smart, more fun, more intelligent. Work here. Live here. Please don’t have a life. Stay. Please don’t try and act smart and fun and intelligent. You want to be better? No please. Don’t use that brain. Just stay. Catch.
Oh the last: You are young, we won’t pay much. You getting better. Good. You want to be brilliant? Sorry. We don’t need brilliant.

Is a jobbing person’s work as soulful as a “captain of my soul”?
Can you be a part of the industry and not be a full timer?
Is money more important than work with soul?
I’m all interested in things like these all of a sudden. I guess it’s a mid- twenties thing. The gypsy comes calling. I’m taking time off thought and doing some simple studies these days.
Also in the exciting cards is the next exhibition and you will hear more about that soon.

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Ebru! Wow.

Our debut opening of A Return to Circles was received very well. Thankyou all for coming. Singer songwriter Pratap N Deb aka Dayglocrazie added a whole new dimension to the show and we are grateful for that. Nothing like some soul while navigating visual art.  We have a few more shows in Delhi while we figure out Bombay, Bangalore and Calcutta for venues and funding. Hope to see you all especially old friends from Srishti and Sanawar in the other big cities soon!

Here’s the poster and postcard I made for our upcoming illustration and photography group show “A Return to Circles”

My crazy single trap shooter friend Zoravar is getting married! Yay. He wanted a very quick thing done and emailed so people could block the dates. He wanted himself, his gun, and rainbow trout which he catches when he’s fishing. Then he wanted his wife and it looked too feudal, so we put in some flowers and then he wanted some crazy birds. Well cant say no to friends. And it IS his wedding so can’t not put what he wants. Here’s the two in progression. I don’t particularly feel proud of the lack of finish but it’ll do for now. The official invite will follow some elements from these in a more intricate fashion and foil printing will be used to its bestest advantage and maybe a photo.

Last weekend’s sketch in the car.size 20×60 cm pen and watercolour pencils 

listen here

 

 

Had fun making this. 

Nice song, you can hear it here

I went to Manali to meet the inspiring Indian Olympian Shiva Keshavan and his beautiful and equally inspiring wife and sports manager Namita two weeks ago. I spent five days with them, hanging around at an advertisement shoot and speaking to them and Rosalba (Keshavans mother) about Luge, the sports scene in India, winter sport here and what it takes to be focussed on such a dream. So here’s some of their story thats written and illustrated (for the first time) by me; published in this week’s Tehelka. Pick up a copy or read it here Big thankyou to my art director Sudeep Chaudhuri for letting me out of office for this.

Perhaps its time to consider castration as a punishment for rape in India. Thanks to Nishita for the discussion before her write up.

I have loved this song for 6 years now, enough time to dedicate a poster. You can hear it here

Who can deny feeling the unbreakable pull of existentialism? I like to keep it at a low flame. And as we all know, the final answer is 42. But we try. Here is my humourless ode to today’s work blues. Evenings can never nearly be as good as mornings, when it comes to keeping your chin up. On a positive note, absolutely loving early morning running and sweating it out.

If you lie awake late into the night, early morning. If you suffer from a mind full of questions. Every night. Remember. You must get out of that bed, as near as sunrise as you can and go outside and not come back into the house for at least 2 hours. Okay one and a half – because you are new. Get out and exercise. Run, cycle, swim, walk, dance, skate, row, yoga – even a gym. Just get out early and life will get much better. But you have to keep at it. Don’t stop. Ever. If you can manage that – you will be what you have always wanted to be. Promise.

Love to sing? Love to listen to music? Love to figure out songs on the guitar? Cant tune your guitar yet? Tried but didn’t quite get the tuning right? Love Bob Dylan? Fighting a deep sense of lull by singing? Like to do things away from the computer? Want to go for a run? Can’t find time this week? Did you find time last week? Do you want to find time? Are you saving any money? I hope you are not spending it all. Are you? Want to bake a cake? Or shall we roast some pork? Do you want to go to the mountains for the weekend? Wont it be too short? Cant you take some days off? Of you just had a holiday? How long?

Music breaks time into segments, memories. Went to listen to Lou Majaw on sunday. A tribute to Dylan. Very nice to hear some quiet some rough songs in a small gathering. He even asked me to join him for   some songs on the mike! What gates of  wonder music opens. The best thing to do in your free time. Or for a living. Or for pure joy.

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Something has got to shift in the general mental make up after seeing Robert Crumb’s work. From the line quality to the larger umbrella under which his work sits – mindnumbing stuff. Crumb said that the world needs more satire and less original artworks talking about comics in museums. He was impressed by World Comics India, and felt that there was a great scope for amateur comics. Issues can be brought up easily in the comic format, in comparision with other modes of conversation which fall short discussing taboos.Gary Groth introduces Crumb as a miserable hillarious existential slob.
Crumb says he enjoys lettering and layouts especially in covers.Crumb’s illustration mocking his relationship with women.

On being asked whether he was planning any work on whats going on financially in his country, Crumb said that heavy shit goes on. He is gathering evidence. He has many conspiracy theories. He has been avoiding doing political analysis doing more personal autobiographical stuff for the past few years. But he is gathering evidence. He looked at my sketchbook and even made a little advice sketch! What an inspiring weekend.

And may I add that Gary Groth was a superb host, I enjoyed their conversation immensely.

Todays trial and error has resulted in this. Vectors can be fun. I’m learning how.

Day two at Comic Con India. Gary Groth, editor in chief of The Comics Journal and co-founder of Fantagraphics books spoke at length today about his journey through comics and publishing.I loved being flooded with names and given an inkling of what all has been happening in the American comics scene. A brief mention of work worth living for versus shit that doesn’t matter was interesting. Lifetimes worth of social comment, satire  and humour today revealed exposure & inspiration. A precious saturday afternoon.

Robert Crumb looks on as Gary Groth talks about his work.

All the biggies are here. The lights are set. The table is laid. Settle those creases on your suits gentlemen, ladies avoid heels. Comic Con India kicked off yesterday with their 2012 Awards at India International Centre. Was interesting to see the makings of a strong high impact powerhouse. Presentation format, the hostess etc reflected something from a school annual day auditorium. You could feel the newness of the concept in India. As Aline K Crumb mentioned, she just came from an event in France where she was surrounded by twenty five thousand people to IIC here, modest but touching. RK Lakshman was presented the lifetime achievement award.

The Crumbs were especially amused by a notorious print of Need More Love, a graphic memoir that my colleague Shone bought the same day from Lajpat Nagar in order to own a signed copy. Apparently, and Shone did not notice, the size of the book along with the length of the stories has been cut. They have never seen that copy. They did not know it existed. Is it home made? We will find out.

The person you are looking at is Rakesh from Blaft Publications. What a surprise to see that hairdo at India International Centre. Fifty points to Blaft. Seated next to him is Yukichi Yamamatsu  from Japan who’s launching his book Stupid Guy Goes to India. He doesn’t speak English but will answer questions in Hindi if put across delicately.

And man to look out for, Author and illustrator of Satya Police who won the category for Best Unpublished Work and a grant and a publishing deal. Wow. And he’s got a good sense of humour  because he was the only one to point out that the music played before the announcements could have been responsible for him having a heart attack!

More from Comic Con India on this weekend. I’d like to thank my genius Art Director for sending me out of office. What a treat.

My age old housemate and friend Aashim Raj is the first of a series. I like to sketch people. I like to sketch them doing boring ordinary things. I’m trying to think of one line per person. What they are to me. Whats their signal quality or strongest character trait. So here we go. 

How much I’d love to take a look at this up close. Sudarshan Shetty has delightfully mad work. Love it. Next time in Bombay. Yummy pictures by MS Gopal, with a bit of information about the bus and more yummy pictures here. Wonder what all this bus could do if it were pushed to be “interactive” . Interactive is the new word for magic.Maybe?

I love seeing other people”s sketchbooks. And its even better when they write about their process and mediums used. Rishabh, my colleague at Tehelka brought this wonderful book he picked up from Italy. Here’s some things for you to look at.

signature_SamiaSingh

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