Priya Sebastian's Redbook

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

This is what happens when two very creative people get together for madness & fun (& food if I may add) The results are spectacular. I'm talking about Priya Sebastian's and the Embellisher's Red book Projects. I have already featured Embellisher here. Strangely I took a little longer to discover Priya. Each page of her RedBook is an example of how much fun she has had & like a lot of Priya's work, there is an unmistakable sense of drama in each page, with generous doses of her style & humour. I wrote to Priya asking for an interview & she agreed most graciously. So here's a peek into the Redbook & what what makes an artist like Priya tick. This is going to be a treat :)

Artnlight: The RedBook Project is a gorgeous piece of work. How did it happen, tell us more about it.
Priya: Vineeta, I am so utterly surprised at the popularity of ‘The Redbook project’. Embellisher (of Million Little Stitches) and I initially decided to meet and exchange Redbooks once a fortnight. We did so very enthusiastically since it involved choosing and going to a different restaurant every time. We had to curb our enthusiasm a bit when we found ourselves putting on too much weight for the sake of our Redbooks. Then we ambitiously considered finishing the Redbooks by December 2008 but we didn’t and we don’t mind. I think the reason Redbook has evolved this far, without either of us getting fed up is that we keep it so flexible and meet only when both of us have done something in the books.

I even received offers for Redbook exchanges from bloggers overseas who had read about this on my blog. But I had to decline since one Redbook project at a time is more than enough. It might be a fun project that I do on the side but it gets me thinking and exploring options and materials that I never did before. The unclogging of the creative channel that results, spills over in all sorts of ways into my main illustration work.

Artnlight: What is the kind of work that I like doing most?

Priya: Just drawing !

A: What would a dream project be?

P: My dream project would be writing and illustrating a beautiful story which has universal appeal. Why must books with pictures be focused on children only?

A: What is it about Art that you like the most?

P: What I like about Art most is that in its ideal state, Art is a creation which speaks volumes through its beauty in a language that is beyond words.

I dislike visuals that brazenly scream their message through gimmickry and ugliness or visuals that are so esoteric, they have to be supported by a thesis to be understood by the bewildered public.

cut-paste was never more exciting or intriguing
A: Does it ever happen that you feel you don't know what to do when you are briefed on something?

P:All the time. I don’t know the answers when I begin a picture. The answers emerge with thinking and drawing, like the pieces of a jigsaw falling into place. I love this process of not knowing where I am going and then along the way, finding a clear answer awaiting completion.

I love her sense of style

And her sense of humour :)
A: I once heard a creative legend say "It is a fine privilege to live the creative life" - would you agree?

P: Yes, I am indeed privileged to live a life where I can express myself creatively and in a way which is uniquely mine. Once I used to believe that great privileges would be handed to me at the snap of my fingers on a silver tray with trumpets blowing loudly in the background. Little did I know that over time, I would be sand papered so much by life and its adventures, I would finally recognize that the ‘fine privilege of living a creative life’ is not about glory and accolades but the act of creation itself. That I am allowed to do this, I consider myself truly privileged and blessed.

I really had trouble shortlisting some images, they were all so beautiful. To see all of the Redbook Project click here. Priya writes a delightful blog, just like her work, read it here.

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