The Art of Roshan

Unlike most other artists who boast of being able to wield a brush since birth, Roshan Kurichyanil actually walked away from an interview at an art school. Offended by the disbelief that greeted him as criticism when he showcased his sculptures, what else was he to do? “I was practicing sculpture at that point of time, but my painting wasn’t that great. In fact, I had pretty low scores in the exam, but they weren’t low enough to keep me out,” grins Roshan, voice almost drowned out by rain that accompanied us in a quaint little cafe in Bangalore.

 

 

Years after the little ‘disaster’ at the interview, Roshan is no longer the young man with the weak spot while playing with paints. With a riot of colours defining his journey as an artist, he is a man who believes in the wonders of stylization. “I am not trained and I am human, so I can of course make mistakes! But with the joys of stylization, my lack of knowledge about the human anatomy is made up by my ability to see and explore shapes, he explains.

 

 

Inspired by the likes of Pascal Campion, Sean Gordon Murphy, Skotty Young, Mike Mignola and many more, Roshan’s initiation into the world of comics as a creator happened years ago at the Mumbai Comic Con. Though he didn’t have a published comic to boast of back then, sitting around at the venue with two of his mates, his initiative to greet people with commissioned art work was a huge success! And at the next Comic Con, he along with Kishore and Sinu, not only started Libera Artisti but had a graphic novel, Autopilot to launch. And they are currently working on a new idea!

 

 

Plagued with issues of incomplete comics, spondylosis and even rampant plagiarism,  though Roshan’s journey has been a rocky one, he confirms that it is one he had always wanted to experience. “Sure, it doesn’t pay much, but it is definitely worth the shot,” he smiles. “At the end of the day, this is the life I wanted and I can surely confirm that the journey has been good!”

 

Though hugely successful as an artist and a creator of graphic novels, Roshan is the simple man with the simple thoughts and of course, the man who chooses to believe in simple art. “Most of my works are spontaneous,” he confesses while trying to define his creations in his own words. “I don’t plan or sit and think and I don’t try to desperately capture what is perceived as ‘realistic’ either. I believe that if you can capture what you feel, you have already succeeded as an artist. But to be an artist, you need to know where to start and to be honest to yourself,” he says. Adopting a signature to go with his works only very recently, Roshan literally shudders at the thought of watermarking images. “Yes, works get plagiarized, yes it is not right to steal someone’s creations, but in my experience, you can either talk to the person make him see sense of be able to do nothing about it,” he shrugs. “But that does not mean you put watermarks all over your art! In my eyes watermarks are like the huge kohl spots mothers lovingly adorn their babies with to ward off the evil eye. Does it actually make sense? No. Instead, what it does is make the entire picture look ridiculously ugly!”

 

 

As his very last evening in Bangalore for a while draws to an end, Roshan leaves aspiring artists some wise words to ponder over, a result of a lesson he had learnt during his early years as an artist: “Don’t sit and work for long stretches! After months of doing nothing but waking up to computers and work, a  friend of mine and I ended up with severe back problems. And trust me, you wouldn’t want to go through it!”