Everybody has a story and my favourites are the ones that make the reader, the writer and the protagonist happy. This story needs to be told because talents definitely need a lot of recognition. So here we are, steering into the life and works of Karthik Arvind, a Chennai lad and an Automobile Engineer who is currently taking up his masters at the National Institute of Design. Are you ready to uncover more from Pixie's view? Yayyy! Let's get on the roller-coaster from Boomerang to Earth. 🤖💁🏻
Baby steps into creating art
You never know what you are good at, unless you try your hand at it. When Karthik was working as a Research Assistant in Purdue University, back in America, he started making doodles on a sketchbook. He later uploaded these doodles online where he received appreciation from his people. This inspired him to keep doodling further. His first client was his friend who requested for a valentine’s card illustration and his journey started from there.
More often than not, we get inspired highly from what we see. That’s why people have role models in life. When Karthik used to frequent to his friend’s house to play games or watch movies, he used to notice his friend’s brother work on art full-time. Looking at the huge canvases and potraits and taking inspiration from there, he bought a few art supplies for himself and started working on them. His brother’s friend motivated him to take it futher and introduced him to the world of illustration. People say your family and friends are your biggest strengths. And it stood true in Karthik’s story as he says, “I won’t be where I am right now if it weren’t for my brother, his wife and my parents.”.
Passion is the key
Artist’s block or Creativity block is a common term amongst the art-loving group. Artists/Writers/Content creators occasionally struggle with this syndrome. How does one fight this block and come out of it to focus on work? Everyone deals with this in a different way. Karthik’s way is to watch movies, listen to music, read books or news. The motive is to keep himself filled with information.
“I keep a hard disk with folders of pictures of illustrations from a few of my favorite illustrators.
Keeping yourself susceptible to new ideas is possible by finding the right balance between leading a monotonous life to improve your skill, but with new experiences every day.
For example, I go to a park everyday for a run, but I take a different route to that park every time so that I see new things around me.” says the Artist.
As a freelance illustrator, Karthik says he has witnessed all kinds of clients. There are people who are happy with his work in the first shot and there are clients who ask for more than 10 iterations. But at the end, everybody walks out with happy smiles which inturn motivates Karthik to work further. “I love my clients but there is one person that I hope to impress one day into accepting my work- my brother. His feedback matters more than anything to me.
My favorite ‘client’ is my close friend- Ashwin Vinayagamoorthy. He is a musician and you can hit him up anytime. I hope he has a few good things to say about my works. He is my happiest client.” says Karthik.
When asked about his favourite doodling moment in his career so far, he reveals that he doodles profusely for a Subway outlet at Shanti Colony, Anna nagar. Once when he was illustrating the “Burning Monk”, a random girl walked up to him to compliment . He says, “She went on to take a picture of my artwork and a picture with me. My own artwork was my wingman at that time. Sometimes, I wonder if my artworks are a chick magnet.”
An artist filled with hobbies
This one was a surprise that we never saw coming from him. He happens to love gaining and loving weight and considers it to be his favourite hobby. But he is planning on losing weight for one last time. Apart from this, he likes to read books, run, listent to podcasts. He also spends a lot of time on reddit and listening to music.
“I spend a lot of time on reddit. I take music very seriously.
I have an extensive iTunes music library with carefully curated playlists. I have a playlist labelled ‘50’ that has 50 of my favorite songs ever. I have another playlist called ‘Nominees’ that includes the new fire songs that I have listened to and conduct my own little ‘Grammys’ every 2 months, to see which songs in that playlist will make it to ‘50’. My top 1 has always been ‘Across The Universe’ by The Beatles.”, says the die-hard Beatles fan. He also loves riding his motorbike. He aspires to tick-off all the American states from his bucket list by visiting them. An autograph from Ken Sugimori in Japan are also part of his bucket list.
“I want to educate people about the dangers our planet is facing. I want to see the world. I want to save endangered animal species. I love Tamizh.”, he adds.
Looking forward to what’s coming next
If you love something with all your heart, and want it more than anything in this world, the whole universe will conspire to bring it to you.
This has been Karthik’s mantra all along. He believes in the “Secret” principle undoubtedly. Karthik refers to working on art as, “It is like how a child would feel if you ask that child to go have fun in the playground and give it 5 bucks on top of that to buy whatever it wants after playing.”
Talk about Jake Parker (Agent 44) and it will definitely light him up. Karthik looks up to him as his role model. “Bordeline-Stalking his life for the past 3 years”, as he calls it, he was delighted when Jake Parker responded to his illustration of “Rio Jesus” on Snapchat. He feels it is one of the best compliments he has ever received. “I hope to travel to USA, to Provo, Utah and meet him one day. I want to let him know that I am his biggest fan. He gives me hope that I can become an independent artist one day.”, he adds.
What is Art, according to Karthik?
“Art according to me, is absolute freedom. You can make or break the whole world with it. I have made the jump impulsively. But I have learnt now that money lets me buy freedom. And I want to hustle until I find that sweet spot between being a full-time artist and affording freedom.”
Take-aways for people who are looking to take up art as a profession
“Ask yourself this: ‘Will I take up art even if I know I will be earning only 6,000 INR a month by making a living out of it?’. If the answer is yes, then you have what it takes to make a proper living out of it. Draw everyday. Opportunities will eventually show up.”
Karthik works as a freelance illustrator and one day aspires to become a full-time artist. His dream job is to become a concept artist at Pixar Inc. He also wants to illustrate a series of graphic novels for his self-written concepts.
Read about: 5 crazy doodle artists to follow on Instagram