June 12, 2012

Abhijit Kalan

Abhijit Kalan says he has no set process in place as far as his illustration work is concerned. “I mostly wake up suddenly at night with an idea. I illustrate it in about two minutes and go right back to sleep.Of course,there
also are times when I take longer. However, if I purposefully sit myself down in order to illustrate something in a planned manner, I simply can’t draw. It always is sudden and impulsive. When Iam briefed to draw something, I can’t just begin immediately. I let the brief simmer in my head, and the idea (and the will to draw) is always sudden,” he says.

Abhijit passed out from the JJ Institute of Applied Art, with Photography as the major subject. Looking back at how he got interested in illustration, Abhijit says he always thought he was a photographer. “I envied all the illustrators I knew. In my fourth year at JJ, we all had to create an identity design. My identity, really, was the name I had since school — kauwa (crow). I just sat down and drew a crow. That’s when I discovered that not only could I draw but I also had a unique style. I never stopped after that. By now I have drawn 134 different renditions of a crow. Then other animals followed suit,” he recalls. The crow is a recurring motif in his work.

Ask him to name one illustrator whose work he admires greatly and Abhijit says, “If it has to be just one name, it would have to be Professor Anant Kulkarni. He’s the greatest Indian illustrator I know of. I also worship Khomane, Deepu Sasikumar, Sameer Kulkarni, Adhemas Batista, Sameer Kulavoor.”

As for inspiration, Abhijit says he usually goes to sleep, adding, “I guess that’s because everything I see and observe gets processed in my mind then.”


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First published in Kyoorius Magazine 12, featuring Sky Design, Design Orb, Studio Tjeerd, JWT, Wieden Kennedy, Ideas@Work, Abhijit Kalan, Alicia Souza, Anvita Jain, Garima Gupta, Nithin Rao Kumnlekar, Rahul Gaikwad, Rebecca Chew, Saurabh Kumar, Taaneya Balaji, Ratna Ramanathan, Adobe India, Tarabooks, Latika Khosla, Ruchita Mahadok, Harsh Purohit, Michael Wolff, and Shagun Singh. Not a subscriber yet? Subscribe here.

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