The COVID-19 pandemic has literally stopped time. Every day we find ourselves falling into the abyss of paranoia, loneliness and uncertainty. The privileged complain about their boredom while the under-privileged don’t even have a voice. Probably the only thing connecting us is the variety of digital interfaces where the physical restrictions seem to vanish. It almost makes us understand the importance of staying together and uniting through simple mediums like art.
I read somewhere, “Art is often created through the reimagining of ordinary things”. It is miraculous how effective it can be in transforming our monotonous life into a creative and tranquil experience. Sometimes finding an innovative perspective, gives us the little push we need to get through such tough times. Art is one such thing that you can learn to do without having any prerequisite dexterity. It’s only function is to satisfy the creator.
After scrolling through my instagram for hours, I came across some brilliant minds that are considerately interacting with their audiences and spreading positivity across the internet. With the same enthusiasm they agreed to collaborate with Art Culture Festival in our objective to amplify creative voices and spread some joy.
“Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is”- Jackson Pollock
The Art Lounge (@artloungin) is an artist’s heaven. This Fine Art & Design Supplies store provides popular brands like Pebeo, Winsor & Newton, Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth, etc. Their aim is to ensure that every creator has access to the best possible supplies to bring their vision into reality. Moreover they have a space dedicated to conducting workshops and art classes on the weekends and as a “Co-create Lounge” where one can sign up for free to work on their art or projects on weekdays. The delightful little tutorial that they have made in collaboration with Art Culture Festival on Basic Gouache Techniques and Watercolour Florals, simplifies the process.
“As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance” – Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)
I’m pretty sure every single one of you doodles, be it behind your math notebook or on the corner of your telephone diary. Mamta Singh is a professional artist, doodler and an illustrator who is the founder of Doodle Art Workshop (@doodleartworkshop). In 2012, she started off by selling handmade products like mugs and diaries and eventually grew her horizon into wall art, doodling, conducting workshops, illustration, murals and art installation. By 2016, she moved full-time into this profession and is now a famous artist in the country. She is has put up several tutorials on her instagram, one of which I attended and instantly fell in love. It made me realise how fun and easy doodling actually is.
Doodle Art Workshop on basics of doodling is a haven for creative aspiring artists to discover their personal expression. Providing excellent guidance on use of tools to execute and refine ideas while preserving the aesthetic boundaries, Mamta helps individuals explore themselves.
Her tutorial in collaboration with us, teaches this adorable illustration which is so simple, yet charming.
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton
The Doodle Factory is a 10-year-old company, based in Pune founded by self-trained artist & calligrapher Aditi Deo and is known for its range of environmental-friendly products, art & calligraphy workshops in schools, colleges, corporates & lately its hugely popular series of Art-for-Adults classes & Calligraphy Clubs.
Aditi Deo has conducted these classes for all ages, and especially for adults, since 1997. She observes that while kids are given many options to learn art, the opportunities for adults are terribly limited. Yet adults make much better students, because of their life experiences, the purpose behind their desire to learn, and of course because they are willing participants.
Make sure you check out the daily art sessions that Aditi has been conducting on Instagram (@the_doodle_factory) to help engage internet audiences with art and to keep them motivated during this time of social distancing. The sessions are free and explore a wide range of subjects like floral art, food illustration, surface design, product design, paper arts, lettering & portraiture.
Many of us have had to celebrate birthdays during this lockdown without being able to give or get any gifts. However Aditi teaches this wonderfully lettered card in her collaboration which is sure to brighten up the birthdays of your near and dear ones. It is also super easy to make!
“Bring your humanity to your art. Bring your art to humanity.”- Maxime Lagacé
Last but not the least, this wonderful NGO, Saturday Art Class is a school based intervention that leverages domestic and international art to address the void of social and emotional learning that exists in India’s government and affordable private schools. It focuses on social and emotional learning, life skill development and character strengthening among children. Since its inception in 2017, Saturday Art Class has impacted over 5000+ children across 15 centres through a network of over 1200 volunteers. Ever since the lockdown it has started this Do It Yourself series on Instagram (@thesaturdayartclass) where in professionals teach interesting, innovative art works to audiences sitting at home.
Their co-founder Chhavi Khandelwal explains a brilliant concept of meditation through art in our collaboration. I have personally tried it and I can guarantee you it is a calming and rejuvenating experience.
When the world descended into chaos and we were all shut inside these tiny places called our homes, the first thought that came to my mind was Pablo Neruda’s keeping quiet. He said,
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
Well, Mr Neruda your dream has come true. Although it will be art to keep us sane during this period of silence. It will serve as an escape from our thoughts and in the true sense justify this exotic moment.