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Interview with Saumin Patel

Interview with Saumin Patel

Saumin Suresh Patel is an illustrator who loves to tell stories through  comics and animation. The dynamic and stylized world one could create through this art form is unique and highly exciting for him and has remained core focus of his body of work. Besides the client based projects, there is also focus on extending the boundaries of visual narratives through a bunch of personal art projects.

KS: What kind of work does your practice specialize in?

Saumin: Our core focus has always been storytelling through illustrations. Comics allow us to create exciting and dynamic art so we prefer it most. We also work on a lot of visual development and concept art projects. Most of these projects are contractually bound so the art is never shared online or offline. Basically all our work print based or animation stems from the root of comic art only. People hire us to work on such projects based off the work we have done so far.

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Saumin at his Studio

KS: What are some of the challenges you have found being an Independent studio in India?

Saumin: We have chosen an Art form which is generally considered low brow by all kinds of art communities. Yet it’s an Art form which requires stupendous amount of skill not only in terms of drawing but also in terms of how one is telling a story. Also there are extremely few artists in India pursuing comic art as a full time career. So finding people to be part of projects is very tough. The biggest problem though is that the kinds of projects commissioned are almost always Safe Zone subjects or do not explore unconventional ideas or themes. So we have to put in a bit of extra effort to make it all look exciting and new for our audience. Other issue is that each active project consumes massive amount of time and energy and there is hardly any time left for archiving or showcasing work online or offline. There is more but in the end each day is spent creating art that is exciting to us and that is a fantastic payoff.

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Saumin's Art

KS: Which is your favorite project in the last year and why?

Saumin: Last year was quite fantastic. I started an erotic art project called – Kaamotsav. The first volume of artbook was self published under this project. Besides this we created one of its kind motion graphic web series called - Blazing Bajirao for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period epic – Bajirao mastani. This was a unique project for us as the film was a highly stylized representation of a specific period and we got to create a very graphic / comic like version of it. Was exciting and fantastic to create art for this one.

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Kaamotsav Volume 1

KS: Tell us more about Kaamotsav Volume 1.

Saumin: Kaamotsav – volume one is a collection of my erotic artworks. The art in this volume is heavily inspired by the erotic sculptures and murals of ancient India. The project being a fantasy project does not use crutches of popular mythology or characters and nor is it a guidebook of sexual positions. The core thought behind the project was to revisit one of the most explored theme in ancient Indian visual arts and present a unique fantastical take. This first volume has about twenty nine artworks with a set of pages devoted to the sketches done for the project. The signed edition also has two signed sketch cards with unique sketches not presented in the book. There are three different artworks specifically created for mugs as well.

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Kaamotsav Mugs

Fun Stuff at Saumin's Studio
  • A song that represents Saumin's Studio vibe: Past is Prologue by Tycho
  • Favourite hangouts near your Studio: B.Merwan is a very old Parsi owned restaurant near by. Best known for epic mawa cakes which almost always get over in few hours. Then there is a south Indian restaurant – Vannakkam Vihar for some delicious south Indian cuisine and lovely filter coffee. 
  • Quirky items in your Studio for inspiration: Lots of terracotta objects acquired from local artisans from my travels. I love these for their designs and no two of these are same.
KS: Any future products we can look forward to get out?

Saumin: Currently there are few ideas but it would be too early to share any bits about it.

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