Musings: Interview With Jaspreet Matharu

Jaspreet Singh Matharu, illustrator and graphic artist based in Delhi, pays homage to great Sikh leaders in his series of beautiful minimalist illustrations. Greatly influenced by culture and tradition, Jaspreet imparts a sense of timelessness to his artworks that celebrate the glorious past.

In a conversation with us, Jaspreet reveals how he came to realise his passion for art and what he thinks he would do if he was not an artist.


INTERVIEW

Hello Jaspreet, it’s a pleasure to have this conversation with you, tell us more about yourself.

My name is Jaspreet Singh Matharu, from New Delhi, where I also completed my schooling at Springdales, Pusa Road. After that I’ve been jumping places, Bangalore for diploma at Srishti School of Art and Design, in Goa as a graphic design at Beard Design and then Santiniketan to learn few elements of being an artist. Now I’m finally back in Delhi.

What drew you to art? How did you realise your passion for it?

My father used to get these small notepads from office with blank pages. I remember those being my first drawing books. I would draw very tiny characters from children books; expressions would draw alot of funny expressions. A page would generally have around 25-30 different faces. I feel that matured to become my interest in character design. The first storybook I wrote were adventures with my pokemon Charmander.

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Nawab Kapur Singh by Jaspreet Singh Matharu 
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Hari Singh Nalwa by Jaspreet Singh Matharu

Do you approach your art with any particular theme in mind?

I’m interested in constantly exploring new styles and mediums. My tumblr blog can give you a glimpse of it. The style changes according to the nature of work. It is at the junction of this intermixing and exploration that newer kinds of work emerge.

Talk us through your creative process. How long does it take you from the moment you form your idea to the moment you complete it?

I usually have a blank mind when I’m starting any work, my process starts with the first stroke and slowly and progressively starts building up through a constant story building up in my mind, which tells me what step to take next. Instinct, for a common word.

Familiarize us with the tools you use to get the desired output; we would also love to have a glimpse at your work station. 

There are various tools I like to use for my work. Illustrator/Photoshop, Paper, Gouache, Watercolour and Acrylic. I am recently working on mixing together some of these elements.

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Jassa Singh Ahluwalia by Jaspreet Matharu
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Punjabi Giddha by Jaspreet Matharu

How do you manage to divide time between personal projects and commercial work?

Well if you’re working in a company, you really have no option but to squeeze in time for your work. Otherwise while working as a freelancer, you can make your own schedules. It usually depends on your craving to see your work (personal) get completed, I usually like to take time with them and keep going back and out.

You’ve studied at the Srishti School of Art,Design and Technology. How has it helped you in honing your artistic vision?

An art/design school doesn’t teach one to be creative, it usually takes in creatives and gives them the right exposure and experience to become a person free to think for themselves and make their own decisions. I am really thankful to Srishti for that.

Are there any artists whose work has influenced you significantly?

Kandinsky, Genndy Tartakovsky, Shinichiro Watanabe, Masaaki Yuasa. I take a lot of inspiration from kids and their artworks, its genuine art that comes from the heart.

Are you working on any projects currently? We’d love to know more about your work.

I’m currently working on a storybook project named ‘Evil Dhalip‘, based on Dhalip Singh’s quest to become the most famous man in town.

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Baba Deep Singh by Jaspreet Matharu
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Akali Baba Phula Singh Nihang by Jaspreet Matharu

What does success mean to you?

I feel a successful artist is one whose work transcends out of just their studio. An artist has a very powerful skill, in this era, one should do work which looks at a bigger picture.

How important is music in recreating visions off your mind?

I’m a pretty moody person, which shows in the art I would be working on at that particular time. Music greatly enhances that feeling, and can affect one’s work. Hence, I keep a varied genre of music.

According to you, what is your most favourite work so far? 

I don’t have it uploaded anywhere. It’s an artwork I made in junior school.

What would you describe as your dream commission?

Drop gigantic paintballs on the city! Then take pictures using Google Earth.

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Baba Gurbaksh Singh by Jaspreet Matharu

If you could wish for one, and only one superpower, what superpower would you chose?

To make anyone my friend.

If you weren’t an artist, what do think you would be doing?

I actually blanked out at this question, thinking what could be an answer!? Never really thought about it.

If you could give one piece of advice to budding artists, what would that be?

Thou shall never stop drawing!

Lastly, how has the journey been with Cupick thus far?

Cupick is a really nice platform. Clean, simple, no nonsense. Just the way I like things 🙂

 

Visit Jaspreet on Cupick to check out more of his work.

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