CHENNAI: For independent illustrators Shruthi Venkatesh and Ruchi Jain being part of a platform that offers affordable art has always been a dream.
As they prep-up to display their art prints, mostly inspired by everyday life, memories, spaces and moods, we catch up with the two who are into everything artsy.
For Shruthi, her entry into art was inspired by her grandfather, a cartoonist. “He used to show me how to draw and gradually I picked it up. As I grew, it was natural for me to be inclined towards drawing cartoon, but later I figured out that wasn’t my thing and moved to illustrations of things I saw around me,” she shares.
Ruchi has a similar story to share. Her parents were into textile designing, portfolios and art prints and these were always a part of her childhood. As she grew up, Ruchi took to graphic designing, but by 2010, she switched to illustration. “I am not a ‘minimalistic person’. My works always have more than five elements in them,” says the illustrator. Reason? “I’m from Mumbai and it’s always crowded — the markets, roads…everywhere, it’s crowded. I think somewhere in my mind, I always have that while I work and it reflects in my art,” she adds.
But for Shruthi, it’s about her daily experience and moods that she puts to work on paper. “I try to draw and document one piece everyday…of something that made me happy, I try to recapture it,” she says. “I want to draw illustrations for children’s books. That’s a genre I want to explore…
to bring bigger things in simpler illustration that children can understand.”
While this is her first professional exhibition, Ruchi has the credit of exhibiting her work in London, Beijing and Poland. “This is my first time in Chennai and I am excited about it. In cities like Mumbai and Delhi, a lot of art events happen and in Chennai, things are just picking up.
I am looking forward to interacting with new people and also put the message across that art can be ‘simple and affordable’,” she shares. “Chennai still has a long way to go in terms of illustration. People don’t understand the importance of illustrated content in any field. We want people to be more open to art and hopefully this art-pop up brings a change,” adds Shruthi.
The two have worked together earlier for a project and Ruchi recalls, “We did a small project where we doodled and did some typography work for a local café. This is the first time we are doing a show together and we are excited!”
So, being illustrators do they prefer digitisation over handwork? “I enjoy only handwork…most of my sketches are pen/pencil on paper.
I work on different materials — paper cutting, thick strokes of paints, fabric textures and so on. But, yes… the end result is digital manipulation,” opines Ruchi while Shruthi says that it’s a 50-50 for her.
Srividya Sriram, Ruchi Jain and Shruthi Venkatesh will display their art works at ‘Makery: The art pop-up’ at Backyard, Adyar on March 12. For details, call: 099403 71720