The Process of Creating Art Is Very Simple Yet Personal - Simran Dhiman

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1. Tell us more about your background and journey.

I would like to believe that I am into the best of worlds, art and science. I came across a satisfying video of very famous calligrapher Seblester on Instagram in the last semester of Graduation (2016) that video made me try imitating the same using highlighters. 

I didn’t even know it was called calligraphy. What followed afterward was six months of finding tools, and self-learning with the intention of being able to write the brush script and not to become a calligrapher per se. 

Academically I’m a Chemistry graduate and forensics postgraduate, aspiring to work in the same field while balancing my passion for calligraphy. 

I made the Instagram page (midnightscribbler) to track my progress and just to try something new and different, the name because this journey literally started by scribbling at midnight.

Throughout the last four years, what’s stayed with me is the zeal to learn more, get better at what I do, and enjoy the craft, explore more. Fortunately the work I put gets appreciated and was recognized which lead me to work on commissions. 

I can’t thank my stars enough to have come across such beautiful Art Form which gave me a new identity and the opportunity to work with Brands, Agencies, organizations like Google India, Pixylz, and Hapusa Gin etc along with meeting and interacting with people of different age groups and backgrounds by teaching in workshops. 

2. When did you decide you wanted to be a Calligrapher/illustrator?

When I had started calligraphy there was hardly any awareness of this Art Form in India. With time and in this digital age, the appreciation for handwritten scripts is increasing. So in simple terms, I didn’t decide to be a calligrapher. 

It was never a plan, it was more like an escape from everyday stress and academics. I wasn’t serious up until the frequency of work I got increased, which made me embrace this side of life and I started taking it seriously and put more effort to be out there. 

As to illustrations, I am new to the digital art world and learning, right now I happy inculcating my love for calligraphy into art journaling and simple illustrations.

3. Is it a financially stable career?

It’s how you perceive it, every career requires utmost dedication and hard work be it in academics or otherwise. The prerequisite of being successful or financially stable in any career depends on many factors. 

If I talk as a freelancer, who doesn’t do it full time, work depends on opportunities that come forward, like to teach or working on commissions or selling some product and it’s no surprise that having stability in anything different from regular is hard to achieve. 

I guess the field is work in progress, and so am I in it.

4. Who is your favorite Calligrapher /illustrator and why?

I have different favorites for different scripts. Every artist has unique style. 

My inspiration on social media is Bhavika Malhotra( @theinkaffair) with her quirky brush script style, she was the first Indian calligrapher I came across back in 2016, her mindful presence on Instagram and satisfying videos made me try recording videos too. 

Paul Antonio (@pascribe for Dip pen), Alicia Souza, and Irina (@Illustrateria) for illustrations. They are amazing at what they do, and their passion for the craft is uplifting.

5. Where do you get inspired from to create art?

Everything is a source of inspiration. My observations, experiences, thoughts help me generate ideas. De-cluttering space, cleaning, looking at my art supplies, seeing their potential, experimenting with them leads to creating art. 

Being a calligrapher my work mainly revolves around words so any piece of writing that entices me to pen it down or having an idea and finding a suitable quote to express it works for me. The process of creating art is very simple yet personal. 

At the end of the day, it’s just expressing yourself via colors or words or both.

6. What kind of book do you prefer to read?

Besides textbooks of forensic toxicology and medicine, I like to read spiritual books which help me clear my mind and at the same time make me think for example A wake-up call Beyond Concepts and Illusions by Sabrina Oberia and Beverly Chapman.

As for lighter reads, Thrillers and mystery novels or young adult fiction too. You can say the spectrum is wide, anything that keeps me engaged works.

7. What piece of advice would you like to give to future aspiring Calligraphers/illustrators?

I don’t think I am qualified enough to advise, as I am still learning but I can say from my experience so far to put up content which you like, your Instagram or any social media handle is like your online journal, create the content you want to see, and if someone else likes it too then it’s a win-win situation. 

Learn, experiment, make your skill your priority, and don’t fall into the trap of social media. And at last, talent is overrated; hard work is the real deal.

- Simran Dhiman

- Interviewed By: Pallavi Surana

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