There is no room for melancholy in her expression. Deepti Ramakrishnan, a young illustrator from Coimbatore depicts a happy place through patterns and pathways of her imagination. Her artwork appears as an exploration of the universe inside the mind, a thought process that doesn’t seem to have an end or a beginning. You cannot shut it off, you can just let it flow like a stream in the woods.
In a casual chat with us, Deepti opens up about her art, inspirations, college and happiness.
Hello Deepti, glad to have you with us. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I am from the incredibly hot but also immensely loved city, Chennai. I grew up there for 18 years. I absolutely adore the sea, it’s like a second home to me (makes living in Bangalore hard) but I live in Coimbatore now and am studying my final year in design in Bangalore.
How did you realize that art is your calling?
As a child, I have always been into art. I drew my first finished picture when I was around three and it was a cat done in watercolors (funny as I am terrible at watercolors now). My mother still has it filed away somewhere carefully. I took art classes through school and even took it as a subject for the boards.
Run through your creative process for us. How long does it take for you to go from ideation to the finished product?
I usually like making detailed thought provoking illustrations. I like taking my time usually and let the practice make my hand speed up, but I always believe in quality over quantity. I let the situations in my life inspire what I do.
“I DREW MY FIRST FINISHED PICTURE WHEN I WAS AROUND THREE AND IT WAS A CAT DONE IN WATERCOLORS (FUNNY AS I AM TERRIBLE AT WATERCOLORS NOW)”
Give us a picture of your inventory. What tools do you use to get that desired output?
I don’t have a specific inventory, I just need my fine liner pens and a journal to write and sketch in and I take it with me everywhere I go. Also I’m a little bit of a perfectionist so I carry an eraser and a pencil with me so that my inking will be perfect. I did attempt drawing straight with a pen and that was both terrifying and liberating.
Who are your top three favorite artists that you draw inspiration from?
I started off with Gabriel Moreno, mostly for his detail but now I keep shifting from artist to artist, there are so many that are amazing!
We realize that you’re a student, from finishing a college project to finishing an artwork for a client, how do you make sure that things don’t overlap and manage to make time for both?
When I started with client work along with college work, I was horrible at multi tasking. Now I have gotten used to balancing my time evenly. I break down the work into sections and then divide them up through my time frame, so that I know I can achieve my goal.
What are the kinds of challenges you face while working for a commercial project?
I think the problem with commercial projects is finding the balance between what the client wants and what your opinion/idea is, but once you find that balance I think it will work out fine.
You have contributed your bit for the Fearless Collective. How did that happen? Talk to us about it. How close is this particular project to your heart?
I found out about the Fearless collective, as I have worked with Shilo before and came across this online. Moving into a new city was difficult for me, and living on my own made me go through many experiences which were unpleasant and made me scared at first, and then I realized its all about overcoming that fear, because unless we do, this problem will never end. That’s what inspired me to contribute to the collective.
“I THINK THE PROBLEM WITH COMMERCIAL PROJECTS IS FINDING THE BALANCE BETWEEN WHAT THE CLIENT WANTS AND WHAT YOUR OPINION/IDEA IS.”
According to you, what is your greatest work so far?
I am currently working on a graphic novel, and I feel like this is my greatest work so far though I know this will constantly keep changing as I move along.
Procrastination- how would you define your relationship with it? And how do you deal with it?
I had a major problem with procrastination up until my final year in college. As mentioned earlier, ever since I started working on this book, it’s never been a problem. I realize that as long as you do what you love, and whatever you are doing brings you joy, procrastination won’t be an issue.
We realize that you also love travelling. What are three places everybody should visit in India? Why?
I do love travelling, and I feel like every place you go will have its own beauty that will make you cherish it. What I love about travelling is that it makes me feel alive. I try making the most of every minute of every day. The thrill of learning new words, meeting new people and having new experiences, that’s what I travel for.
What does success mean to you?
Success to me, is knowing that you are getting better everyday. Even the smallest things make a difference. Nailing a perfectly straight line freehand to finishing up an illustration before the deadline I set. That’s what success is. I feel like these small things will build up to larger successes. It’s all about the little things. (so cliché)
“THE THRILL OF LEARNING NEW WORDS, MEETING NEW PEOPLE AND HAVING NEW EXPERIENCES, THAT’S WHAT I TRAVEL FOR.”
What about music? How influential is it while you work at getting a creative output, oh and- can we have a peek at your current playlist?
This might sound weird but I can’t listen to music when I work. I can only listen while I travel. When I work I want to concentrate fully on my work, so I usually for some odd reason always play a TV show that I have watched over a million times in the background. It’s more familiar so there’s lesser chances of me getting distracted.
What’s the most dangerous thing that appeals to you?
I want to go skydiving. I think that that would probably be the most dangerous thing on my bucket list that appeals to me but that is something I have dreamt of doing for the longest time.
Do you have any Famous Last Words for our readers?
Haha, no famous last words. I think I have already filled up this interview with too many cliché lines. [We think not. ;)]
How has the experience with Cupick been thus far?
Cupick has been a blast so far, its been a great experience and can’t wait for many more to come!