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START magazine

inborn swathi



pART of life


identity of a creative thought manasvi





goosebumps subtle




@harshabharadwaj @suyogg

What does ‘ART’



communication natesh



life surakshith







expressing the inexpressible @ eternalentity1




mean to you?


Dear Readers, The support for START has grown over the last few months, with a lot of suggestions and opinions pouring in. Please do not stop! It is hard for me to implement them all at once, but it can be achieved with your help. This issue features Vasudha- whose project ‘Delhi 100’ is all about celebrating 100 years of our capital through photographs and stories, Sohom- whose visit to the Andaman & Nicobar islands resulted in breathtaking landscapes, and Adok- who has just jumped into the photography bandwagon and needs a ‘start’. Anshul – spends his day time as a business analyst but turns into a wicked sketcher in the night! Look out for the detailed strokes of angels’ hair and devils’ capes. Akshata adds a personal touch into her graphics. To be able to tell stories with illustrations is a unique ability. I hope you are inspired flipping through the pages of this issue, as I was while creating it.

Wishing you all a great start to 2012! Keep Creating,

Priya Prakash

featured artists Vasudha Wadhera Anshul Chaurasia Akshata Shanbhag Sohom Das Adhokshaja Achar B P

Delhi 100 ― a project by

Vasudha Wadhera 20 / New Delhi / Student of Business Studies

IIT Delhi 2009

Owing to a large family spread out across the length and breadth of the country, I’ve travelled quite a bit across India. I found it strange that a new city would trigger so much curiosity in me, and I would seek answers to questions that I never asked about my own hometown. I didn’t know why the area I live in was named as it is, what significance it held, and surprisingly, no one else did either. I wanted to know my city better, to understand the aspirations of the many Delhi's that lead lives parallel in this city. The centenary of Delhi as the national capital of the country provided the final push to get me to take up the project.

Delhi 100. As Delhi celebrates hundred years of being the capital, an attempt to collect hundred city stories, through photographs, videos, musings and conversations. There’s no place like home.

Agrasen Ki Baoli in Central Delhi

Best Friend and I. India Gate. March, 2011.

As a child, I would be laboriously dressed up in outlandish outfits by my uncle and made to pose for the camera. My earliest memories include being dressed up as a fruit seller, with a basket of oranges, as a Lucknawi writer, and as a being with lady finger pieces stuck all over my face. Having a camera around most of the time created this sense of curiousity, and fascination with photography, and I would ask to handle the camera at family vacations, being inordinately pleased the entire day if I was granted permission. When I was 16, I bought my first camera, a Sony Cybershot to call my own, and graduated to a Canon 550D when I turned 19.

Connaught Place

DTC Low Floors 2010

There are hundreds of people you meet, friends, strangers, people whose lives twine through yours, maybe for just a moment. But that moment may be enough for someone to say something that comes back to you in a conversation you have much later. We are essentially the sum of the experiences we’ve had, the people we’ve met, and conversations we’ve shared. These conversations are often the source of much of my inspiration: about people and their lives, their small successes, the barriers they overcome, what drives them and more.

Daryanganj June, 2009.

I’ve also wondered how knowing someone affects how I photograph them. Would I project this information through the photograph or would it be incidental to the image? I think I’ve now started trying to bring forward these conversations and stories through my photographs, to create an image that is a piece of them, rather than something that just simply “looks good.” I’ve tried to channelize the inspiration I get from their lives into my photography now.

I think everyone brings their own perspective to the table-how they see things, how they interpret them. What would make me unique would probably be the same, how I take things. I enjoy talking to people, drawing from their knowledge and knowing more about them. I believe the biggest mistake one can do is cower before greater knowledge, feel inept and give up. I realize there’s a lot I don’t know, and I try to fill that gap. I don’t know if that’s a uniqueness, *it’d be great if a lot of people did that + but I’d definitely consider it a strength.

Snippets from Delhi 100

Chandni Chowk I think I have a lot to learn. I’ve been mostly an intuitive photographer so far, relying on my gut for most photographs. Technically, I have just started the journey. I start as a research analyst at a consulting firm the coming summer, which would leave me strapped for time. But weekend photowalks and courses have been looked at, people have been cajoled [and coerced] into accompanying me, and things look quite pleasant. It also helps that the pay will hopefully allow me to add to my gear.

Bangla Sahib.

Anshul Chaurasia 23 / Bangalore / Senior Business Analyst Gets to do lot of maths and stats throughout the day, and art by the night. The perfect right and left brain combo :)

I had a good hand at drawing since my early school days - used to draw a lot in my science subjects and during holidays. Some 1.5 years ago I was preparing for design school admissions (as that was something I wanted to do after my engineering but couldn't). Since having a day job as a Business Analyst wasn't doing much good to my portfolio, I decided to do some drawings in whatever free time I could get - late after 8 pm, on weekends, during holidays and so on. I started with what I thought I was good at - lots of cartoons and fan art stuff. After getting back in form in 1-2 months, I decided to give portraits a try. Now portraits are somethings which I consider as the most difficult subject in art, be it facial structure, expressions, curves, solid form or emotions, everything has to be exact, not a line more or less. One can derive pleasure in drawing landscapes and other non living objects, but I feel the satisfaction one gets from making a portrait - be it even 70-80% photo realistic, is much more.

Till now I have only taken up graphite drawings, charcoal should be the next. But I want to give enough time for each before I move to the next medium.


Wild Spring

Curls (original artwork by Regius D.) Art for me is anything that gets your creative juices flowing. It is something that spices up the mundane with ideas that might sound fantastical at times, but are equally or more effective than the normal ones. Apart from drawing, i write a lot as well - short stories, reviews and random articles. I was also actively involved in theatres during my college days where I wrote and directed three plays. I still manage to take out time and watch plays in Bangalore, just to get inspired to write a full length play on my own. Making short films iis again something that I would really like to do if I have some good ideas and also time. I even used to work as a graphics illustrator for a college based research project that focused on developing e-learning mobile games for rural kids. So for me 'art' is not limited to drawings or paintings but in essence it is something that brings satisfaction, a sense of pride as well as achievement while giving shape to one's creative desires at the same time.


Coral Dream

Tools: Inspiration, or the thought to decide what to make is the hardest part. And then once you start the drawing process, learning, improvising and improving is a ride until you finally reach completion with a sense of innate joy. More specifically for graphite pencils I use Staedtler (5H-8B set), Lyra (2B-6B), mechanical pencils (B, 2B), kneaded erasers and tortillons. For colors I use Staedtler Triplus fineliners, pigment liners and watercolor pencils.

My Best Work: Garden of Curls It was a little daunting task to plan out all the curves and swirls in the hair curls. Then I even went on more than the reference image to give a more powerful structure and form. Also I was quite happy with the way it turned out and I felt great that I could do so much of complex hair structure that looked good too.

Inspiration: Fans will be fans. If you start with drawing fanart, even after you have dabbled in other areas as well, fanart would return. Much better and awe-inspiring! All the excellent movies, tv series, comics and books that have excellently multi-layered characters created in them, is a great source of inspiration as well as subject for my drawings. For my other creative pursuits as well, I try to learn from them as much as I can, to craft something original of my own. I am not unique. In fact I don't aspire to be. I try to improve myself at every step just to be good, and there are a lot of excellent artists out there in whose shoes I would like to step into. For me 'art' is more about astounding people by creating common things, doing things everyone wants to do but cannot given lot of other obligations in their lives. I only want to have enough time in my life to keep doing lots of creative things, and challenging myself at the same time to do more.

In the future, I might start focusing more on writing, or on plays or on something I haven't tried my hands before. But this much is certain that with more practice over time I would get better at drawings. I would love to start a web-comic of my own soon, let's see how life goes after that!


The only advice that I have is - don't do art for art's sake. Do it for yourself so that it wont matter what you do, until you are deriving happiness from it. Be happy in whatever creative medium you want to do, and then as you become good at it, acknowledgments would follow. I feel almost everyone is very creative during his/her childhood, but as life passes on and more pertinent obligations take over, one lets go of all that creativity. I don't stress that one should keep on doing drawings, paintings etc for the rest of life but take it as a creative outlet even in later phases of life. The simple joys of bringing shape to one's imagination, seeing the myriad structures unfold could be a great stress buster and a life support always.

Akshata Shanbhag 26 / Bangalore / Freelance illustrator and designer

I started drawing and painting from the age of 5 and did it on a regular basis during my school years. Pre-university, four years of engineering (in Medical Electronics) followed. During this time, the only drawings I did were doodles in notebooks during lectures in class. In fact, I could barely remember how to hold a paintbrush. Then came a stint as a manual tester in an IT company. 8 months of it and I strongly wanted to do something where I could be my own boss or at least work as part of a small group of people doing something innovative, something fresh. What followed was an impulsive, muchcriticized, tumultuous decision to quit a “secure� job. Since then, to varying degrees, I have tried my hand at animation, interior design, graphic design and illustration. The last two, especially illustration, have turned out to be the answers on my quest for creative nirvana. Four years, several emotional rollercoasters and ill-timed epiphanies later, I’m finally doing something I love. In addition to freelancing, I have recently taken up a position as User Experience and Design (UED) Engineer at Sievelogic Software.

We Are All Mad Here I am very much inspired by the mavericks, the daredevils and the trailblazers of this world — people who have minds of their own and are not afraid to use them. My inspiration to create comes from random thoughts, words, songs, dreams, movies, books, people, places, fairytales, colours, shapes, patterns, situations, emotions - from almost anything and everything. Several of my ideas take form while daydreaming or travelling or just before I go to sleep, when I am lying in bed staring at the ceiling, meeting imaginary people in my head, having imaginary conversations with them. The prospect of working on a new project is highly rejuvenating and I cannot wait to get started. My brain is oblivious to procedures and practicalities. It works 24/7 and churns out thoughts and ideas (the good, the bad and the weird) at an alarming rate (as if it’s trying to kill me by thinking too much). I also do quite a bit of research and wordplay to come up with more ideas; create mindmaps/spider diagrams.Then comes the part where I pick a couple of ideas I like best, draw, redraw them on paper. Then I either colour the drawing using markers or recreate it digitally. Finally I tweak the vector illustration or scanned image till it is just so and I like the way it has turned out. Then it’s time to relax like I have just reached the top of Mount Everest.

I like to think everybody is unique. Some of us embrace the uniqueness, while most try to escape it. Thankfully, I belong to the first group. I am reluctant to call my work art, mainly because I think of it as dressing up doodles and haven’t had much formal training in it. I consider my work unique because it is not separate from who I am as a person — weird and colourful. Adding my own little twist to everything is what I do. I see life as Alice did after falling down the rabbit hole. And these lines would describe me perfectly: But Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common way Put cats in the coffee, and mice in the teaAnd welcome Queen Alice with thirty times three!

Sleeping Beauty

What Do You Want?

According to me, my best work so far is my notebook from The Fiction Project 2011 ( My notebook is far from perfect, but it holds a special place in my heart because working on it I discovered that I don’t just love ideas, pictures and words; I love the way they interconnect and I love telling stories through them.

The Lure of Bling

Right now I feel as if I have just returned from 4 years of exile and my life is just beginning. The future looks bright and promising. If we are still alive after December 2012, I will very much look forward to keep creating, learn French, Yoga, calligraphy and swimming; live near a waterfall, own a cottage in the countryside, develop psychic abilities, inspire people in some way and look back on my life without too many regrets.

Sohom Das 20 / Kolkata / Engineering student

Photography is something that has always fascinated me; the ability to preserve a moment for life was truly intriguing. Unlike others, I was lucky enough to have begun my journey with a DSLR. It all began with experimenting with a new gadget, like a kid in a candy shop I used to be engrossed in all the features my D40 had to offer. Since then it has been a long but eventful journey. My biggest inspiration has been life. Life is never stagnant, it moves on. As Lennon had said, “life is what happens to you when you are busy doing other things� I truly believe in it. Despite my engagements, I make sure to experience life, through my photography. The diversity that the changing world offers to my lens is what I look forward to capture.

Street, Port Blair

Scene at Port Blair

See, the subject inside my frame may not be out of this world. It is something that all of us know, see and are well acquainted with. But it is my presentation that is unique. It is rarely a single subject in my frame, it is always a medley of things happening together and the music it creates , music to the eyes, a treat. No one can predict the future. My future seems pretty hazy, but all I can hope to do is continue with this passion. I’d be eager to exhibit my photos, go out and capture the world within my lens. Get a bit more adventurous and go far-and-out showcasing them. Competitions and awards are alluring, but my real aim is to present my work before the world. Appreciation is all I seek, maybe something on the lines of Start, maybe. (All photographs taken at the Andaman and Nicobar islands.)

Adhokshaja Achar B P 20 / Bangalore / Engineering Student

I got into photography about 6-7 years ago. That was when I bought my first camera a film camera for about a 100 bucks. Later moved on to Point-and-shoot digital cameras. and recently about an year ago a DSLR D5000 from Nikon which has allowed to experiment a lot. Inspiration to me comes from everything around me. Music, people nature.. most importantly the play of light. How dramatic light can make objects that are otherwise The other main sources of inspiration is the amazing work of others around me, the emotions of people.

I believe in portraying stories through photography as Edgar Degas says “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.� The whole experience of taking a photograph right from metering to composing to processing drives me to go out and make photographs (yes make photographs not only just take them).

One of my new year resolutions this year would definitely be project 365. I Know it would be hard to complete.. but what's life without some challenge? I shall try to incorporate different styles and breakout of my comfort zone.


Photo by: Priya Prakash

without them, we’re nothing.

Cover Photo: ‘The Wait’ Shadipur Metro Station, Delhi by Vasudha Wadhera Feedback:


8 START magazine honesty subtle inborn identity of a creative thought @harshabharadwaj@suyogg @sameerjha90 @xamitsharmax @abhinandkr @leftop...

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