Updated: Nov 3, 2019
In a conversation with Vimal Chandran, we realized how artists can be good at multiple things and excel at different projects. Scroll down to know what all he has to say about his art and rest.
1. You are an Engineer, what made you make a career in Visual Art?
I have been drawing since childhood and it was always a part of me. Later on, I did B-tech in Information Technology and worked as a software engineer for MNCs like Philips and Honeywell for a few years.
I started getting bored with my routine corporate life & I decided it was finally time to do something which I really enjoy and gives me absolute freedom. So I quit my job and started doing Art and Photography.
2. How challenging was it for you to create & look for work opportunities in the field of Visual Art?
Let me be honest with you, it was not very challenging for me to find opportunities. When I quit my corporate job I was sure that I wanted to do something which makes me happy and gives me the freedom to communicate and express my thoughts & perspectives to the world. When I was working as an Engineer I started a Facebook page and started uploading my artworks and photography there. This was around 2011. I did a lot of artwork at that time during my free time. It gave me the freedom to experiment with different genres and styles as I didn't have to do it for monetary benefits [Since I already had a full time IT job].
Slowly, people started approaching me for work and I started taking up these assignments. As months passed on, I started getting more & more commercial assignments and by that time my facebook followers reached about 2.5 lacs. So it was fairly easy for me to quit my regular job and start doing Art and Photography full time. It was indeed a risk and I was willing to take that.
The only thing I did was I started doing things that make me happy and put it online so that people can see it- a fairly simple method!
3. You’re a self-taught Artist, what all resources you took help of to keep yourself well informed about the latest trends in Visual Art & Photography?
Absolutely everything. The Internet mostly has all the information and there are also numerous books available. In this age of technology, knowledge & information is always accessible at your fingertips. You just need to make an effort to learn.
4. We often see your illustrations to be the depiction of regular moments from life, what inspires you to draw these illustrations?
I take inspiration from things around me, travel, music, books, people, random conversations, movies ..etc. Everything around me is an inspiration for me and I just have to think/imagine a little bit from my side.
So it's ok for me if I sit at home, go to a cafe or travel to places - the world is full of inspiration and we only have to open our eyes to it.
5. You carry a small notebook when you travel around, does traveling helps you draw your illustrations?
Absolutely. Traveling to new places gives a change in perspective. It opens new doors of imagination and one starts thinking differently.
6. Varanasi, Udaipur or Leh; which of these places really moved you to create Art?
I love all these places. India is full of wonders and stories.
7. What kind of music do you listen to while creating a piece of Art?
Anything which inspires me. I'm not very specific about the genre, I listen from classical to Sufi rocks to EDMs.
8. You have founded the company “The Unposted Letters”, how do you manage to keep your company going in sync with the latest trends & demands of your customers?
Well when we started Unposted Letters, our idea was to make products that we love and are unique in a certain way. More than getting worried about keeping up with trends & demands, our focus is mostly on keeping our products as real as possible & maintaining the connection with our customers. We create unique limited edition art products. The key differentiation we try to bring about is that our products are not fully machine-made or something which is mass manufactured. Each product conveys simple, honest, and heartfelt stories that you have been living through or been a part of.
9. The field of Visual Art & Illustrations is growing, how do you strategize to keep your work unique & fresh?
Yes, this is a wonderful period for visual artists and illustrators. Technology & the social media boom helps us to make it more easy to communicate & connect with the audience. Every artist is different & what he creates is totally dependent on his stories & thoughts! The way someone else perceives & understands the world could be totally different than the way I do... in that way, every art is unique. There are no strategies to keep your work unique & fresh other than being you!
10. Tell us the last book which really inspired you?
'The Art of Looking Sideways' by Alen Fletcher[You can read this book any number of times and it would still be interesting], Early Indians by Tony Joseph [Its nothing related to art, it's about insights on Indian History based on latest genetic & linguistic studies]
11. Which artist do you look up to?
I follow Damien Hirst, David Shrigley, Banksy, Bill Watterson [even though he is not doing anything now, Calvin n Hobbs is still a wonder, etc My list is actually endless.
12. Where are you traveling next?
Nothing planned yet, my travels are usually spontaneous decisions as I'm really not good at planning things.
Thank you for sharing your journey with us Vimal, we wish you lots of success and creative energy in your future projects.
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