Santanu Hazarika India’s face at Red Bull Doodle Art – an exclusive interview
When we received an entry for our March edition from Santanu Kaushik Hazarika, I was in full awe of the complex yet symbolic arts done by this guy. And when I met him in person, he was this person who has so much of creativity in his mind and his amicable nature is something which makes him such a fun company to talk and relate to. Taking the word ‘doodle’ seriously in his life, he started reflecting it in his art and finally hit the jackpot when recently his entry got selected in the Red Bull Doodle Art contest and he now will be representing India in Cape Town for the next round. In a candid chat with Creativica, Santanu talks about his success, influences and his never-ending love for doodle art.
Hello Santanu! Creativica welcomes you!
Hello Spondan, glad to be a part of this.
Firstly, heartiest congratulations to you from Creativica on being selected. You may deliver your vote of thanks now..
Thank you. Really appreciate it. This was only possible because of the immense support from each and everyone who appreciated my art from the time I started. My parents, my friends, my teachers, everyone, thank you for believing in me. I would also like to thank the red bull for this great opportunity to showcase my art in such a big global platform.
Though Google defines ‘doodle’ as scribbling absentmindedly, all these sketches do not seem to spring out without much thought.Can you describe to us the ideas involved behind your selected doodle?
Well, there wasn’t any preconception about the doodle. Technically, doodling is supposed to be something which is made when the mind is preoccupied with something else. The doodle that I made is basically the cumulative of various interpretation and analogies that I’m studying right now about Hinduism. Right now, I’m heavily influenced by the Hindu art forms like Hindu calendar art. If you look at them, these calendar arts are somewhat like doodles (laughs), immensely detailed with endless symbolisms with each object having a deeper concept and imagery. This doodle shows a man embodying the universe itself of which he himself is the creator. He lives within ‘Maya‘, he uses every means possible to understand and be certain about the uncertainties of nature, science being one of his tools. He realises Maya and see’s through it, he seeks enlightenment, he wants to define Adi Seesha Ananta , the primal the void and the infinite, the six-headed snake. He transcends and realises ‘Prakriti‘ or nature, reaching out to a formless deity on top surrounded by four lotuses in the form of candles, illuminating it. That is just a small overview. There are other symbolisms in the doodle, but I leave that to you to decipher (laughs). I started off with a point in a light bulb in the bottom and ended up with this form.
Wow! That was completely beyond my bulb for sure! Though doodle is a newly coined term, when did you start sketching this genre of art?
I started doodling when I was in class 5.. I think. Just random things on my notebook, just mindless scribbling. Becoming an artist was the last thing in my mind. But slowly as I got older, I got better at channelling my thoughts through art. It had no boundary..no limitations. I could draw whatever I imagined, and that inspired me. You can draw a whale flying , a monkey with three heads, even a man with no soul, it didn’t matter if these things are possible or even existed , just the fact that you can put in down on paper and see them visually, is the thing that inspired me the most.
I’m sure imagination helps a lot. What are your weapons of choice?
I mostly use pen and paper, fine-liners to be precise. But currently I’m experimenting with various mediums like soft pastels, acrylic, brush, digital media, spray paints and even tattoo machines.
Being an engineering student, were your parents supportive about your doodling?
Yes! They have always been supportive of whatever I did. Especially my mother. I owe all my achievements to them.
That’s lovely..What do you think about the future of doodling in India, as a profession?
It’s very hard to say. See, India has a very unpredictable market. Here artists are not given so much importance. You have to the very best to make a living out of it. There is a future, but it will take time and a change, in general, in people’s mindset. Appreciation is what we all need.
Where do you draw your inspirations from? What importance do books and movies hold in it..
I’m inspired by everything around me, nature, people, emotions everything. But mostly I’m inspired by visual media. Works by Salvador Dali have always questioned my imagination, and this has always inspired me. Movies especially the ones by Alejandro Jodorowsky, played a very important role in getting me inspired. I like to think of movies as work of art rather than just entertainment. Currently, I’m drawing my inspiration from Hinduism- spirituality actually not the religion, as I’m doing an in-depth study on Hinduism, I’m getting inspired at every step. Oh and yes! I’m also a huge anime fan!! Kanpai!!! (laughs)
Kanpai to you! Bottoms up! If I ask you to make a doodle of me, how long would it take? (grins)
(At this, Santanu smiles back and takes hold of a pen and a paper nearby and starts scribbling hideously. I get curious and excited as I wait to see the result of his fast scribble..Even before the Pink Floyd track playing behind got over, he submits to me a doodle of mine, as I look in awe and amazement..one glance to the clock..and one to him..as I count five minutes!)
Here you go!
Wow! I can’t fish for words now..in just five minutes this has to be a pure doodle! Thank you so much!Well, my final question to you now.. So Cape Town finally! How’s the feeling??
Awesome !!! This one word says it all. First thing I’m going to do is click a selfie with sharks (laughs). I will only get a few days to stay there so I will keep on exploring and exploring and make the most out of it.