Finding my voice

Its been 7 years since I first started to draw and voice my views as a visual humorist. In 2010 I bought myself a brand new laptop and spent time creating vector illustrations. I wanted to use humour to convey the message and engage with the audience. I spent a lot of time tweaking the drawings. Some turned out good.

But over the next 2–3 years my job would take priority at some point. I just made a few drawings once in 6 months.

In 2014, I discovered the works of Jean Jacque Sempe and bought almost all his books because I really enjoyed them. The themes in his drawings are from everyday life and show a deep understanding of human beings. He rarely uses words but uses the simplest of strokes to evoke a smile.

I also admired the grand sceneries which he used as stages to set up a gag in some tiny corner of the drawing.

I made a few drawings with just a fountain pen for my friend’s book and they turned out great.

I mostly drew cops because they were the only people who stood out prominently during my daily commute to work.

I tried creating a large drawing of a temple close to my house.

After a while I got busy with work again and didn’t dedicate myself to drawing on a regular basis. I made political cartoons and caricatures sometimes.

Travel far enough you meet yourself. ― David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

In December 2016, I set out on a road trip all alone. I travelled to Rajasthan for 3 weeks. One of my friends encouraged me to draw instead of taking photographs. So I just bought the cheapest available material that I could find in small town Jaisalmer. A drawing book for Rs 15 , color pencils for Rs 45 and a Black DVD marker pen for Rs 10.

I saw very interesting people around me who were such a delight to draw. Their style, mannerism, demeanour were all different. I was excited and kept drawing.

I drew when not wandering around. All the characters were drawn from memory.

At the end of the Rajasthan trip, I flew to Hyderabad for the new year. While travelling in a taxi, I saw a lady weaving garlands under a lamp post. I couldn’t take a photograph with my mobile since it was dark. But for some reason I had the urge to draw her. After finishing the drawing I was curious as to what she would have been thinking while engrossed in her work.

Adding a mathematical equation into a thought bubble brought some humour to the drawing.

I owe at lot to my friends & colleagues on social media who have encouraged and prodded me to keep the momentum and stay in the flow. I am determined to keep drawing on a daily basis. I wake up at 5 am with the sole intent of drawing.

What has emerged now is that the richness of my drawing (however badly drawn)comes from detailing the people on the street. This was what I had set out to draw about 7 years back.

I intend to travel more often and continue to dedicate myself everyday

A colleague exclaimed today in the washroom:
“So you are drawing the common man?!”

I felt elated.

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