Monday, December 20, 2010

Jimmy The Terrorist : : Omair Ahmed

Once Maithili told me, designing book cover is like designing movie poster. Only difference is the size. All design principles remain the same. It should have loud shelf value, also how a movie poster communicates 3 hrs in a single sheet similarly the book cover should manage to tell the gist of 300 pages. 
I completely agree with her when I recently got an opportunity to design a book cover. The story is about a guy called Jamal who became a terrorist after stabbing a police inspector and being beaten to death, he calls himself JIMMY. The author Omair Ahmed aesthetically captured the tragic life of Jamal and his father Rafiq and circumstances which transformed him to become aberrant human being. This story is set in northern part of UP, India around 1990.
After reading synopsis and few chapters of this fiction I decided only calligraphy would do the justice for this kind of subject. Thankfully I managed to reflect the same expressions of the content through the words. Editor, design head and the most important the author accepted the result and were happy too about the cover.
I got the chance to attend the launch of the book too. I was quite thrilled to see the blown up of cover used as promotion materials, backdrop etc. In the night this contrasting cover with black calligraphy on the stark white background with red accent was standing out beautifully in ambiance.
Here its the book:

And here is the full spread, designing a book jacket is 'more' fun, more scope to play.

Photo Credits: Aman Sagar

Friday, December 17, 2010

A New Beginning

Breaking News!
Yes, I quit my full time job and I am full time at home.

Plans: No plan is the plan
I will do whatever I want
I will do whatever I enjoy*
Calligraphy? For sure
Graphic design? Bread and butter
What's wrong with you? A Risk
Do you need any help? Get me some projects or buy my artworks+products or just wish me luck:)

*I wanted a well deserved break from my routine life. I will literally sit and think and sleep over my ideas and give some time to myself. I will make sure those ideas will see some day of light. This would also give me the opportunity to pursue my calligraphy in art form as well as for commercial purpose and of course graphic design as well. Now onwards I will be working as an independent designer and calligrapher I am also open to working/collaborating on projects.

So, keep visiting this blog to see what I am upto...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Typography Workshop : : Aksharaya

Recently I attended a typography workshop/camp which was organized by Aksharaya group, Mumbai and sponsored by a well-known paper company. This camp was took place in 'Alibaug' a 2 hrs ferry ride from Mumbai.

I was excited from the day when they invited me to participate. After lots of emails exchange about cordinatation, briefing, accomodation, communting etc. we finally reached Alibaug. These were all new faces for me, I haven't interacted with any of these participants before. It was a great experience to share creative space with them; learn new interesting things, methods from them and of course a fun with them. This camp was full of joyrides and productive outcome too.
The brief was to create word/s using any of the Indian script but only with paper/s. Well I can't reveal much details about this but I can share some glimpse of what we were upto! Soon this group will officially disclose the magical moments of Alibaug, then I will also share the same with you guys.

Its wonderful initiative from a body like Aksharaya and its great to know my country is also started these kinds of events for 'letter conscious people' like me. Looking forward to more come from and many more hidden talent, skill and passion flows.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

SWARMAYEE: Logo for academy of music and art

I designed this logo for a very small scale music and art academy in Mumbai. It is run by a couple Ved and Arti Nair. Ved was a music composer of film Khargosh, which I have done a film title and credits. It was really a short notice job as they needed it urgently for their upcoming event.

This is what client said:

You are simply too good!!!
And that too at such a short notice!! 
I saw the design and its really wonderful -
the rhythm created by those 'extensions',
the balance achieved and the subtle details,
especially the lyrical swan's neck-like figures!!
Musicality of/within your design is just brilliant!!
You have given much more than my friends could imagine!
They are so happy and proud of possessing the design.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

FEATURED IN: 40 Fantastic Calligraphy Blogs

This blog (personaleehkin) is featured in under '40 FANTASTIC CALLIGRAPHY BLOGS'. I am super excited and thrilled about this mention, recognition and of course motivation...
Here is the link where you can read the full article: webdesignschoolsguide
Also screen shots if the link expires, doesn't open

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Edible Letters

Apart from lettering+calligraphy and Bollywood movies, I have another passion for FOOD! No... I am not talking about my culinary skills, but I am talking about how food makes me peppy and charged! Yeah I am total FOODIE! I love to eat and experiment new food. Being a vegetarian I have a limited choices but I still manage to find some way the other interesting things and combination to satisfy my hunger.
What if my these passions come together, lettering and food? letters created with food? Don't be amazed just have a look at these images. I did this small experiment in office kitchen when our cook was serving evening snack. (Yeah we are one of the luckiest studio where we get homemade lunch and snacks and n amount of teas and coffees as per our *demands*)
Here are the Palak Chillas (Spinach Creps) converted into letters:

This is Devnagri letter 'e'.

 This is Devnagri letter 'a' (not the apple 'a').

This is Roman letter 'A'.

This is Devnagri letter 'a' (Yes the apple 'a').

It was complete fun and a good break between office work. Thanks Dayanand for letting me use kitchen and Rikta for helping to shape my letters.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

: : Show 2 : : Glimpses

Finally I got some time to post few pictures of the latest show. This show was awesome experience in terms of meeting different sets of people, getting their reaction and  appreciation was just fantastic. This exhibition had more professional touch than the previous one.
The venue was simply fabulous, its an academy of art and craft situated near Siri Fort (excellent location, easily accessible from any part of Delhi) run by the great artist Arpana Caur. It has two floors with basement where they have library, vocational training centre and of course two mid sizes exhibition galleries. Here is one of the gallery where we displayed our work. Many friends, colleagues, relatives (of other artists) were present for opening.
Some of my work, I displayed total 6 artworks.
This is devnagri 'T' with anuswara.
This is devnagri 'L' with double maatras. 
I also displayed some 'diaries' for sale. More details on the next post :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Group of Young Artists : : {Show TWO}

I would like to invite you for an another exhibition. Again its a group show of SIX young artists. They will showcase the mixed media artworks and paintings at Arpana Caur Gallery from 3-8 August, 2010. Its in Delhi, near Siri Fort Auditorium, whoever is in Delhi during that time please do come and visit the show. I am showcasing total 6 artworks with 5 other artists who have completely distinct styles.

Right side middle one is mine (I am sure you must have guessed it obviously ;)

LETTERFORMative : : Show {One}

Finally we took down the show! LETTERFORMative was an awesome experience. It was nice to know common man people are getting aware and amazed by this art, Calligraphy. Well, my intention was always to showcase Devnagri in modern form and should reach international platform. I enjoy experimenting and playing with various tools, techniques and materials. I personally like to make calligraphy more 'image centric' and create a visual abstraction of letterforms; where I am OK, if legibility takes a back seat. All letterforms have an excellent structure, body; its just a matter of peeling of each layer and exploring its hidden beauty.
Making an artworks were a game of ups and downs. It was frustrating to achieve a desired stroke after wasting days & days and papers or sometimes it was a joyful moment when accident with ink, paper and hand resulting in never-seen-piece.

Here are some pictures of behind the scene and actual show:
 Slowly going up
Finally all are up
 In the ambience

 I also made one lamp, displayed below (right side, Prism shaped). I am in the process of making such products.
Other artists were from JJ School of Art, Mumbai (Sarang, Noopur, Pradnya and Yashodeep) have a unique style. More abstract, slightly quirky and minimalistic. They have taken these alphabets in different level. This bunch is purely dedicated to type design and typography. I found overall more systematic approach than 'free' but that's their perception of looking Letterart and no doubt it was looking kickass!
Other artist cum faculty was Mr Kharsani from Ahmedabad, very experienced amongst rest of the gang. All the artworks show his trained and well-prepared 'hand' and knowledge of DNA of each alphabets. I amazed the way he gives energy and freedom to his letters.

I would like to thank Mocha ArtHouse team, my studio Codesign for their support. 
Here is curator Sandhya and me, trying to click photo of artworks, but in vain, because of stark glare and reflection; literally shooting stars, glares.
This show encourages and motivates me to do another show and look at this art more serious.
Yes I am already participating another show...see the next post for details and excitement.
Some photos by Vinay Jois.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Festivals of India : : Calendar

Remember 'The festivals of India' post? This is the detailed post of the same. Its a calender I have designed for a client 'Tricolite' who manufactures and supplies big electric machines for big scale companies. The theme which they decided this year was 'festivals of India'–different festivals celebrated in different parts of India in different months.
We decided to use calligraphy. Not only for lettering but explored the forms and graphics with calligraphy techniques. Basically all the graphics were made with strokes. It was a challenging experience in terms of creating 'imagery' with such constrains. With lots of experiments with nib thicknesses and dirtying hands and papers, finally we were ready with sets of graphics related to 12 festivals. Later it digitally scanned, composed and colour corrected.
Here is the cover:

We were actually running behind the time. The calenders should have reached the customers by mid of January. Because of some production hiccups we managed to deliver it by end of February. Hence the calender starts with April 2010 and ends with March 2011. Here are some glimpses of months/festivals.

This project was an experience! I was going through a severe pain, had a major dental surgery which became very complicated and was absolutely bed ridden for 5 days, couldn't open my mouth and move anywhere. This calligraphy came as savior. I have to be forcefully at home. D told me about this calender and was desperately in mood to do what I really like.
Actually this calligraphy worked as the best remedy for me to recover fast :)
This is how it looks as a spread:
Close up of forms and inks and texture:
Client as well as their customers were really happy to receive this 'piece'. Thanks Meera, Ayush and Dahiya and Mohor. Photocredits: Maithili Doshi.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Sneak preview of ongoing exhibition in ArtHouse. As I promised I will get back to you with detailed information about exhibition my experience, responses, artists etc. in next post. Till then enjoy this.

Friday, May 28, 2010

My First Exhibition : : Invitation

I am really sorry for this long gap and couldn't post so far. The reason of disappearing was the exhibition. Yes, I am displaying my Calligraphy work (almost 15) in Mocha ArtHouse, here in Delhi.  Its a group exhibition, called LETTERFORMATIVE. There are total 6 artists, four from Mumbai, one from Ahmedabad and me. It's an excellent experience of experiments and learning. Hope to get a good response. I will write in detail about exhibition and other artists in the next post.
So here it is...
Leehkin is cordially invite all of you to calligraphy exhibition which will be on from 30th May till 10th of July, almost a month long. Whoever is in Delhi, visiting Delhi during this time, please drop in to the ArtHouse. PS: The artwork used in the invite is created by me ;)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Conversation with Passengers

Recently I went to Palampur and Andretta by train. I love train journeys. Its fascinating to just watch and hear people around you. I am the last one to initiate the conversation though I enjoy what they discuss, tell, crib about...publicly ;)

Moleskine Mania

Moleskine • Many thanks Avinash!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Letters Arts Review Annual Issue

My work got selected and published in this year's annual juried issue of Letters Arts Review, an excellent calligraphy magazine. There were total 314 entries created by 98 artists from 20 different countries. I am very happy and excited as judges selected my work and gave the opportunity to stand with other well known calligraphers. Also the exposure of Indian Devnagri script on international front. That's really motivating and gives me kick to do more challenging stuff.

An artwork which I sent was a popular poem by Late HarivanshRai Bachchan. Its in Devnagri script, written by Lamy fountain pen with blue ink on orange cartridge paper.

Thanks Alice, John Neal,  Christopher Calderhead.

Photo Credits for submission: Rajesh Dahiya