"Don't Judge Your Work With the Number of Likes" - Atul Kalia

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1. Tell us more about your background and journey. 

Hi, I am Atul Kalia aka Pahadi Badka. If you talk about my educational background, I completed my Bachelor in Animation and multimedia and masters in the same with the specialization in graphics and Fx from Chandigarh University. 

I was a really bright student during my college years. Currently, I am working in a reputed private University of Punjab. I can sum up my entire personal and professional life in three words – Art is Life.

2. When did you decide you wanted to be an illustrator?

I used to read a lot of comic books, watch a lot of Cartoons. The people who created these things fascinated me a lot, somewhere in my tiny mind I always wanted to be one of those people who spread smiles with there art. 

I didn't realize that until I completed my post-metric. It was then that I chose to devote myself to learning art and various skills & techniques in the field of art. Consistency in art brings me closer to it & it is an ongoing process. 

All this came together to inspire me to become an artist and I am very glad that I choose to be an Artist/ illustrator.

3. What do you like the most about being an artist?

Being my own boss and having the feeling of doing something to promote the Art, Culture, food, and language of Himachal is the best feeling ever. I like to tinker with everything while drawing I try to discover or rediscover the facts and other things so that I can bring the best for my audience. 

Pahadi Badka gives me time to think about myself and thousands of other people who are away from the home but keep Himachal in their hearts. People who never met me and may never meet, but still appreciate my artworks and efforts motivates me a lot. I think that is the thing I like about being an artist the most.

4. Who is your favorite illustrator and why?

Well, this is a very difficult question but if I have to choose I would say legendary cartoonist/illustrator "Late Shri R. K. Laxman ji" who is very well known for his creation "The Common Man". He is still alive in our hearts and will always be.

5. Where do you get inspired to create art?

When it comes to art it comes very naturally, the sense of wonder I think. I am fascinated by everything Himachal has to offer culturally and naturally. It never ceases to amaze me. I love Himachal a lot through my art I try to capture things and present to my audience. I try not to stick to definite subjects.

6. What piece of advice would you like to give to future aspiring illustrators?

My advice is to don't judge your work with the number of likes and shares you get on social media. Be focused and keep doing the good work. Another thing every illustration artist must have is a good observation. 

Comics and sketches are visual. Hence, being able to picture the story in your head and narrate the story on the same concept are two different things. Every artist must strive to reduce that gap. Always look for inspiration and be inspired at the same time. Stay up-to-date with current trends in art.

7. What is your favorite subject to paint and why?

Anything related to Devbhoomi Himachal or India is my favorite subject to draw and paint. I believe this is one of the very effective ways to keep the culture alive in the form of art. Apart from this, I love to draw human caricatures.

Atul Kalia, Illustrator

- Interviewed by Shilpy Sharan

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