Just give me paper and pigment liners; I can spend hours creating patterns.

Artist of UNSEEN 2.0 - Malvika Bhardwaj | Illustrator/ Doodler

UNSEEN 2.0 is an unconventional form of exhibition which is a digital art exhibition curated by Platform For Artists . This enables artists across the country to participate, showcase their work and connect with like minded people. The entire idea is to broaden the scope of exposure which the artists would probably not get at an offline event. We have sixty diverse artists from across the country who are a part of this one of it's kind art exhibition.

Here is a set of questions team Platform For Artists asked Malvika about her everyday routine, her art interests and more.

Tell us about yourself. Wanderlover. Indophile. Foodie. Meditator. Cynophile. Maverick – that is Malvika Bhardwaj for you. Namaste! I am an HR professional cum digital illustrator and mandala artist in pursuit of a fulfilling career in the field of visual communication and art. I was born in Agra, raised in Calcutta and Bangalore, and adulted in the UK whilst studying at the universities of Sheffield and Warwick. I am a happy kid at heart who is an absolute lover of culture, history, travel, food, meditation, and yoga. I never shy away from new experiences everywhere I go and these include learning resin art, being a former equestrian and jumping off a yacht in the middle of the Turkish sea just to watch the sun set! I am a very detail-oriented individual who enjoys conversations and debates on politics, culture, and religion and has a spiritual outlook towards life. Life motto: #ZindagiNaMilegiDobara.

What are your art interests? My passion lies in visual arts, specifically, illustration and doodling. My work focuses mainly on illustrations inspired by the daily scenes and characters found in our diverse and vibrant motherland - India. In addition, I make custom illustrations that attempt to capture the individual's uniqueness by incorporating elements s/he holds dear. I also like sprinkling some nostalgia and humor on my work. Mandala art is another form I enjoy thoroughly. Just give me paper and pigment liners; I can spend hours creating patterns. I happen to absolutely love the Indian art and craft forms and am extremely interested in working on the revival of these traditional art/crafts and techniques in the future.

What are your views about the current scenario of art in our country? I believe that the art scene has evolved a great deal in India. The exposure to a broader spectrum of art forms, be it visual or performing, shares a symbiotic relationship with the increasing appetite for art of the Indian public. I find that different art forms are now being accepted more easily and appreciated by the audiences leading to a bigger market for the same. For instance, talking about illustrations, one can see several businesses sprouting in the field which are not limited to just selling these illustrations as one-off art pieces. These have been steered in the direction of mass production in the form of mugs, tins, etc. – Chumbak being one of the best examples! The entrepreneurial scene is booming with so many talented, wonderful artists coming out with their own lines of products. India has a plethora of traditional art and craft forms, perhaps more than any other country in the world. With the advent of a number of cultural initiatives including exhibitions and art fests, we are much more exposed to these declining/lost art forms. However, I do find gaps in terms of our education systems where, the role of art in helping children develop their creativity is being undermined. Also, there seems to be a lack of infrastructure where many artists, especially those from the rural backgrounds, aren’t able to develop their skills further. India has massive potential to be an epicenter of art and culture contributing towards greater tourist influx and employment if these gaps are filled. It is imperative that initiatives be taken by other fortunate artists and patrons – such as Platform for Artists – to give a podium to budding artists and support the cause of reviving traditional art forms.

What are you working on currently? Currently, I am finishing up a few custom illustrations, a mandala piece, and a ‘save the date’ wedding invitation for a friend. Since I have just begun working on my art full time, there is a lot of work in the pipeline that I intend to complete in addition to Upskilling and creating better artwork with each passing day. Building good social media presence tops the list and I am focusing on that for now.

Where do you get your inspiration from? I don’t need to look too far for inspiration. I just look around me and can find myriads of unique personalities and every day scenes that scream India. This inspires me to create characters with their unique traits and draw scenes that are typically Indian or have an Indian element in them. For instance, I have recently created a character named ‘Bolta Nattu’ – a robot who loves Bhojpuri movies. When making custom illustrations, the inspiration comes, of course, from the subject. As for mandala art, I get inspiration from patterns I see on saree borders, wall art, etc. I recently went to a Muji store and drew the patterns I saw on tiles installed at the store’s entrance.

Which kind of artists would you be interested to collaborate with? Any kind of artist who would find my work appealing and would wish to collaborate!

What's the first thing you do when you wake up ? I go to my parents’ room and snuggle with my mom and dad.

Which is the most used app in your phone? Has to be Instagram! Regularly seeing beautiful artwork gives me the impetus to work on improving my own art.

Which is the one song you can't get out of your head? Not one song but a medley by Amit Trivedi called Sound of Nation.

You de-stress by? Meditating, doing some mandala art, and binge watching dog videos.

You can check more of her artwork on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/platformforartists/

To connect with Malvika ,connect with her on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/malvika.illustrates/

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