The Indian Artist, Revamped: Learning New Tools!

Good morning everyone! I hope that you are all doing well and that the first few weeks of the new year have passed by smoothly. It has been a busy beginning of the year for me already and am excited for the next steps in my journey. I am applying to medical schools this summer and truly look forward to moving along the process! In today’s post I will briefly speak about my new decision to teach myself Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

As a self-taught artist in classical media, I have generally always stayed far away from digital art. To me, It seemed like somewhat of a cop-out, not as academic or technical as traditional mediums such as pencil and oil paint. I was completely fine being blissfully ignorant until very recently. I was asked to do some work that required that I do vector drawings in order to product the required result. This meant that I could no longer stay in my classical-era bubble.

I have thus set out on a journey to teach myself the powerful digital tools that are Photoshop and Illustrator. I have begun my journey my watching videos on YouTube, reading articles, and just messing around on my own. I look forward to progressing in these techniques and perhaps will use them to further enhance my own paintings and drawings in the future. I have linked the videos that I have found most helpful thus far if any of you are interested.

 

As I have a large learning curve to climb, I would greatly appreciate any help and advice that I can get. If any of you are proficient in the Adobe artistic suite please feel free to reach out or comment below! I look forward to sharing my new creations with you this year! If any questions or thoughts arise, please comment or reach out to me via my socials!

 

Until next week,

Riya

 

Instagram: @riya_aggarwal.art

Portfolio:   https://riyarts.weebly.com/

 

The Indian Artist, Revamped: The Festival of Bonfires

Good afternoon everyone! I hope that you are all doing well! Today I wanted to share with you the origin of a Punjabi holiday that took place this weekend. I will admit that even though I was born and raised in a traditional Indian household and have grown up practicing the traditions and festivals, there is still so much that I learn every day. There is much that I don’t know. When I found out that Lohri was on Saturday the 14th, I decided to do some research to learn about the origin of this festival and share it with all of you!

All you wanted to know about the Lohri festival, celebrations & traditions | The Art of Living India

Lohri marks the New Year for Punjabi farmers. On this day, the farmers show gratitude for their crops before the harvesting begins and pray to Lord Agni (the Lord of Fire) to bless their land with abundance. They chant while moving around a bonfire fire, praying for honor to come and to eliminate poverty. It is also believed that if one walks around the fire on Lohri, it helps in bringing prosperity. In Punjab, this festival holds special value for new brides. Many devotees believe that their prayers and concerns will immediately be answers and granted and that they will receive prosperity, good fortune, and a healthy life. Lohri marks the end of winter, and is a traditional welcome of longer days and the sun’s journey to the northern hemisphere.

Lohri is celebrated by lighting bonfires, eating festive food, dancing and collecting gifts. There are special desserts that are made during the time of Lohri out of the crops that farmers are able to harvest this season. People eat corn, sugarcane (also called gurh and gajak), and nuts. It is traditional to eat Gajak (sugarcane), Sarson da saag (spinach curry) with Makki di roti (corn tortillas), radish, ground nuts and jaggery. It is also traditional to eat “til rice” which is made by mixing jaggery, sesame seeds and puffed rice. As is the custom of all Indian festivals, people just come together, laugh, eat good food, dance to great music, and enjoy time with friends and family. How to Celebrate Lohri in Traditional Punjabi Way? | Blog - MyFlowerTree

If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to reach out! Also, please let me know if there is anything that you all would like to see from me this year. If any questions or thoughts arise, please comment or reach out to me via my socials!

 

Until next week,

Riya

 

Instagram: @riya_aggarwal.art

Portfolio:   https://riyarts.weebly.com/

The Indian Artist, Revamped: Happy New Year!

Good morning everyone! I hope that you have all had a wonderful start to 2023! To be completely honest, I haven’t touched any of my paintings for about 7 months now. There always seems to be something better that I have to prioritize, something else that I should be doing. In the midst of studying, focusing on classes, and stressing over life, I completely pushed my art to the side. I told myself, “Once this exam is over, once the semester is over, once this small thing is over, then I will reward myself and start a new painting….”

But life never stops!

I realized that I have completely forgone one of the only things that brings me true joy and acts as my cathartic release. However, the thought persists that being able to do my art is the prize, rather than something I should be able to integrate into my every day life, something that will help me to get through all else. One of my biggest goals in 2023 is to get over this mental block. I hope to be able to cultivate a better balance within myself and my life. I have truly learned that pushing away all self care (whatever that may look like for you) in the hopes of devoting all of my attention to studying or my goals, is counterintuitive, and has done more harm than good.

I hope that by the end of the month I will be able to post that I finally started a new painting, the idea of which has been living rent free in my mind for almost a year! This one may be my best one yet! What are your goals for 2023? What changes do you hope to see within yourself? What changes do you hope to see in your life? Is there anything you are trying to get over?

Please let me know if there is anything that you all would like to see from me this new year. If any questions or thoughts arise, please comment or reach out to me via my socials!

 

Until next week,

Riya

 

Instagram: @riya_aggarwal.art

Portfolio:   https://riyarts.weebly.com/

The Indian Artist, Revamped: A Show for Art Enthusiasts

Good morning everyone! I hope that you are all doing well. I have had a rough couple of weeks but am trying to keep my head up high and finish off this semester strong. Today, I wanted to share with you all a really wonderful British television series that I happened upon a couple years back.

It is called Portrait Artist of the Year and each episode features a regional competition in which hobbyist and professional artist contestants are challenged to produce a portrait of one of three famous sitters, and the judges then select who moves onto the semi-final. The top-three finalists  will have their work displayed in one of the UK’s world-famous cultural institutions. The winner of the show will receive a £10,000 commission to produce an artwork that will become a permanent part of the British Library. Famous sitters for the show have previously include Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, and Asa Butterfield, to name a few.

It is a beautifully lighthearted show that highlights incredible artists and their unique means of capturing life in their art. I implore anyone who has some time to check it out. Here is a link to a playlist of the first three seasons! Enjoy!

I know it was a short one this week but I really wanted to share a different form of art with you all! Please let me know if there is anything you all would like to see from me. If any questions or thoughts arise, please comment or reach out to me at my socials!

 

Until next week,

Riya

 

Instagram: @riya_aggarwal.art

Portfolio:   https://riyarts.weebly.com/

The Indian Artist, Revamped: Forced Creativity and the Confinement of Abstraction

Good afternoon all, I hope that you are all well! Today I wanted to share my most recent Studio 3D sculpture assignment. I struggled a lot with this one, as I have found that I have struggled quite a bit with this class thus far. The whisper of forced creativity and the underlining requirement of abstract has made it quite difficult for me to create pieces that I am proud of. I have learned a lot about myself as an artist and have honestly just realized that I have a hard time with being spontaneously creative, especially when forced into the confines of abstract art.

It is interesting to think of abstract art as confining. Many people would probably consider it quite the opposite as much of anything can qualify. However, as a conceptual artist in love with hyperrealism, it is very difficult for me to create without any inhibitions. I constantly crave creation (wow that’s an alliteration if I’ve ever seen one) that has a backbone, a thread that is traceable to something very conceptual or recognizable. When asked to create merely with the basic principles of art (lines, forms, planes etc.) without adhering to any rules, I have a lot of trouble. It is very frustrating and leaves me creating something that I “secretly” attribute to a concept in my mind but force to fit within the label of abstract.

I did the same thing with my most recent piece assigned in ARTDES 120: Studio 3D. We were instructed to create a piece using various planes to create a beautiful sculpture at least 20 inches in size. When playing around with planes, the first thing that I thought of was a flower, an objectively conceptual symbol. I was then forced to create a piece that was not so “scientific” but rather something more “classical” in thought. Being so used to creating with a firm idea in mind, my mind jumped to a skull. However, I forced myself to pursue a piece that was almost “shapeless”, something that has form and takes up space, but a work that does not need to resemble anything else.

I inhabited my inner child, making random shapes, and putting them together. I ended up with a piece that flowed upwards in a tower formation with intersecting planes. You better believe I still integrated a flower! Ultimately, I enjoy the piece; however, the only part of it that I will actually save is the flower. I hope that I am continued to be challenged in this way. The experience of being forced to lower my inhibitions and break out of my own created box, in my opinion, has made me a better artist.

Please let me know if there is anything more that you all would like to see from me. If any questions or thoughts arise, please comment or reach out to me via my socials!

 

Until next week,

Riya

 

Instagram: @riya_aggarwal.art

Portfolio:   https://riyarts.weebly.com/

The Indian Artist, Revamped: The Art in Science

Good Morning all! I hope that you are doing well. In an effort to bring more of a science energy to my column and explore various arenas of thought, I wanted to share an incredible artist who magnifies the smaller things in life!

The Life Cycle of Coronavirus

David Goodshell is an associate professor at the Scripps Research Institute and research professor at Rutgers University, New Jersey. He is especially known for his gorgeous watercolor paintings of cell interiors and signature scientific illustration. As explained on his website, Goodshell has been working since the early 1990’s with a type of illustration that shows portions of living cells magnified so that you can see individual molecules. He explains, “I try to make these illustrations as accurate as possible, using information from atomic structure analysis, electron microscopy, and biochemical analysis to get the proper number of molecules, in the proper place, and with the proper size and shape.”

Influenza Virus

Many of Goodshell’s illustrations are free for download and use through a gallery at the RCSB Protein Data Bank. He has also published a book titled “The Machinery of Life,” which includes illustrations of portions of bacterial and human cells.

I love Goodshell’s work as it brings science and molecular life to the general public, educating people through beautiful images and artwork. Science is an art in itself and the aesthetic principles that artists worship are rooted in nature. Personally, I have always been very interested in medical illustration as well as the healing qualities of art via art therapy. I hope to speak more on these topics in the future and engage more intimately with my art in a scientific light.

Please let me know if there is anything more that you all would like to see from me. If any questions or thoughts arise, please comment or reach out to me via my socials!

 

Until next week,

Riya

 

Instagram: @riya_aggarwal.art

Portfolio:   https://riyarts.weebly.com/