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Note from the Editor Hello folks! Another issue, and boy are we glad to be back for this one! For those of you who have just picked up this copy, we are 'The Eye', your definitive guide to visual art! Having kept in mind some feedbacks on our first issue, our second issue is a 'pure interview special'. In fact, every issue here on, we plan on having a central theme to unify what you read. We speak to Sharad Devrajan , founder Liquid Comics, as he give us a low down on the Indian Graphic Novel scene. We bring you an exclusive interview with Ketan Mehta,an acclaimed filmmakers.All this and more, only on this issue of The Eye! Allen Klein said that 80% of what people learn is visual. At The Eye, we not only aim to learn more about this art Until next time, keep visualizing! The Eye

6. Getting candid with Ketan Mehta

16. Rendezvou with Calligraphy.

10.Mumbai Anime Club

17. Up close and personal with mar jadhav

12.Finding the next Shan Lee

shravanku-


Getting Candid with Ketan Mehta Ketan Mehta talks to Vaidehi Tendulkar about the never ending conflict between the commercial side of filmmaking and the romance associated with ‘Art Cinema’ What does "ART IN CINEMA" mean to you? Art in cinema means to me something that is realistic and most of the people will get connected to it in their professional and personal life. An art film is a film where real emotions are portrayed by characters that are performing it. How does Art in cinema differ from mainstream Cinema? A main stream has a preconceived budget and publicity is given more importance then the script itself. Wherein in an Art cinema the story, the actor, characters, properties are kept in mind more than making business. Is it a film that's free from Art forms? Yes, I agree the film is free from art form as it depends on the director's vision and the idea is not only the movie to be sold , but has to be well made by a director who's passionate about his job. Is an art film theater different from commercial cinema theater? No. An art and commercial Theater are same, just audience are different. Commercial cinema has multiple audiences i.e. mass, but an art theater has more of Class audience. Why do we call cinema the 7th art? It's called the 7th art because it's the only form of art that have all the 6 art form and when they are 6 | The Eye


Mirch Masala (1987)

combine together they result into a cinema.(painting, architecture, sculpture, poetry, dance, music are the six art)

Why is the lighting dull in an art film? Why are they too dark? The lighting is not actually dull in an art film. It's the dark reality which has to be support and needs to be emoted with same atmosphere around.

What kind of audience watches art film? Depending upon the art film there is a specific class of people that would be interested to watch the Why are the properties used in an art film dull? film. The class includes normally educated, higher To maintain and show a difference an art film uses middle class. off beat properties. These can be new but they are given the look to keep the movie dark. Why Indian audiences prefer commercial movies over Art cinema? Does a national award matter to a Maker of art Due to stressful life in towards date, People's ideal- film? ogy is hanged. All they want is on a weekend or pub- Yea! It does. Who does not want an award? It motilic holiday to go out with friend and families to vates you. It gives you recognition. Everyone likes to watch a film that is entertaining. People are not be appreciated for her efforts. Actually it matters bothered towards the subject or the script of the more then a film being hit. movie. Its SAD! But they just want entertainment. Does the censor board pass all Art film with a uniWhy do we need more of art films? versal certificate? We need an art film more than commercial movie No not really! Censor board does not easily pass because in commercial movies due to producers, certificate because of the bold theme, concept, lanscript, budget, a director who is passionate losses guage, scenes, topic that's shown in an art film. his creativity. So to utilize it we need an art movie. Why is the budget of an art film lower than commercial cinema? The budget is low because the producers are insecure if the film would make or recover profits at the box office. Hence the producer does not intend to risk so much money in an art film.

What Profits does a maker of an art film earn in its business? There are huge risk involved in making an art film. Profits are not very many but the aim of the art film make is to earn approximately what he has spent. Why are the actors of the Art film picked from Theater? National School of DRAMA (NSD pune) has got a 7 | The Eye


Rang Rasiya (2008)

diploma in theater for 4years, where actors are trained rigorously. Any actor from NSD passout, understands the director's need and can give proper emotions when asked. Theater actors are loud and well in emoting any scene. A director's job becomes easy. Why is it only realistic films termed as Art films? They are termed as Art films because they are the only films which show realism in it. And focus on issues that are neglected by society.

from one is released in theater and other in cinema. Both have realism in it. How did commercial cinema excel than art cinema? Commercial cinema is pure business makers and are just bothered to make and earn profits out of million spent. Audience enjoys a masala movie rather then children marriage, caste system, etc. All this gave an edge to commercial movies to excel.

Are art film makers turning commercial film makers? Have art films disappeared from bollywood? The only reason being in art cinema you tend to put Due to inflation of the market everybody wants much effort but the returns in form of recognition, returns from films in which movie is invested. They profits is substantially low when compared to comdon't like to risk the money. Commercial movies give mercial cinema. you more profit then art film as it has more audience that's the reason people focus on commercial What makes you work on a project? The uniqueness of the concept, the freshness of the movies more. theme, Discovering new boundaries makes me work Difference between Art in cinema and art in the- on a project. ater? There isn't much difference between both apart 8 | The Eye


All For The Love of Anime! Mohita Namjoshi finds out how Anime has become an inseparable part of its fans in Mumbai and to what etxent they go to exhibit their love.’

A little more than two years ago, when Facebook had become the heart throb of young Indians, a group of five youngsters from Mumbai started a community called the Mumbai Anime Club (MAC). The group came into existence virtually and started with small talk which included posting anime characters online or coming up with forums. Within days, the number went up to hundred odd people who actively shared their knowledge about anime on the page.

no, anime is serious business. The level of enthusiasm within these otakus had hit the ceiling. They held anime debates, went together for any Japan related exhibitions, put out a collection of manga and anime figurines and most important of all sketched anime. Anime sketching is an art form in itself and MAC opened a platform for these talented artists. Making optimum use of the social media they held completions of anime sketching and to encourage more and more members they would give away free anime posters and mugs.

“We thought of meeting up then,” said Aniruddha “That’s how we fixed our official logo. There were so Joglekar one of the founder members of the club. many members who wanted to contribute to the “Initially we started off with cafes but then eventu- logo of MAC that we decided to keep an online poll. ally the average number of people turning for meets There are many animators and graphic designers in went up to 50. So then I decided to keep my house MAC, so it was a neck-to-neck fight”, smiles Rachita open for regular fortnightly meets.” Joglekar, who is Saha, who not only cr now working in Singapore as an animator with a eated the official logo but also owns the trademark gaming company, had decided to keep open his bun- now. galow for the customary meetings. They call his house their Head Quarters now, officially. Another interesting and engaging activity that MAC enjoys is the cosplay. “Cosplaying gets tougher here In these meets, one would expect a bunch of kids because we don’t easily get the Anime-ish material. jibber-jabbering about their favourite cartoons. But We must spend a lot of time and energy since most 10 | The Eye


of our costumes are handmade,” explains Rishabh Saha, while showing off his jarring orange toupee, part of his cosplay as Pein from Naruto. “The original was a long one suitable for a girl. So I went to the hair salon, got it cut and applied an immense amount of hair gel to make the hair stand up straight.” He beamed. There are many more who did not just stop at stitching their own costumes but others’ as well, bought wigs from the heads of mannequins at stores, tore up piles of cardboard to make weaponry, “All for the love of Anime!”, as their slogan shouts.

with three different performances. One was a coslpay fashion show which was a huge hit. There were repoters from NHK and Fuji TV who interviewed the cosplayers which was a whole new milestone crossed. Our in-house band Wasabi vibes, sang and played

“Cosplaying gets tougher here because we don’t easily get the Anime-ish material.”

“When we celebrated our first anniversary, some members got cake, sushi, tempura, all made by their own hands! It was nice to see so many enthusiasts coming together,” beams Gaurav Godbole one of the pioneers of the club. By the time MAC had around 500 members, they got an opportunity to participate in the Cool Japan festival organized by JETRO and the Japanese government, managed by Maidoindia, in March, 2012.

Japanese songs live. We also have a Tabla-player who sets us apart in idea because the band is a fusion of Western, Japanese and Indian music. We even had a kawaii dance show. We also volunteered to handle the kiosks of different Japanese companies including Asahi, Japan Publications, TMK, Kikkoman Corporation, Daisaku Shoji, Pierrot, etc.”

Today MAC has over 1500 active online members who still continue to come up with more and more interesting activities. They aspire to spread their name not just in India but overseas. Well, at this rate, it does look like they will make their dreams come true.

“This was our turning point,” recollects Abhishek Sayan. “We got to step out and showcase our varied talents to the outside world. We did a stage show 11 | The Eye


Finding the next Stan Lee Indigenous graphic novel series are a rare find in India. Unlike America or Japan where graphic story telling is a vital part of modern day pop culture, Indian storywriters have entered this space much recently. With the influx of Japanese and American comic series it has become crucial to understand the market that has bred Indian graphic storytellers. Contrary to popular belief, India has been one of the leading trendsetters in comic art. One of the trendsetters leading this movement is Liquid Comics. Liquid Comics have fronted a lobby that fuses the richness of Indian mythology with the glamor of Sci-fi literature. Their star publication Ramayan 3392 A.D basis itself on technological themes, often culminating in the same situations, replaces the spiritual themes of these ancient texts. This reflects the classical Indian belief that the history of the universe repeats in cycles, eventually causing history to repeat itself in similar, yet alien ways. The company has many other titles as well in production. Sadhus, Devi, Snake woman are available in the Indian market. The eye spoke with one of the founders of this company Mr. Sharad Devrajan to know a little more about their venture. To start from the basis, how did Liquid comics come into being? My partners Gotham Chopra, Suresh Seetharaman and myself originally founded this company (which was then called VIRGIN COMICS) in 2005 with the Virgin Group including author Deepak Chopra and filmmaker Shekhar Kapur. In 2009, the founding management team was able to work with Virgin to complete a management buy-out and renamed the Company to Liquid Comics. What was Liquid comic’s operating plan for the business? Today, Liquid owns and manages a library of graphic novels focused on two primary areas: Firstly, we aim to create stories with Filmmakers & Innovative Creators. Liquid collaborates with leading talent from around the world to craft original stories and character properties to be further leveraged into other media. The creators include John Woo, Guy Ritchie, Nicolas Cage, John Moore, Shekhar Kapur, Deepak Chopra, Dave Stewart, Jonathan Mostow, Grant Morrison, Marcus Nispel, Stan Lee, Ed

Burns, Duran Duran, Hrithik Roshan and more. Secondly, we wanted to define an ‘Indian graphic novel’ in an environment where it didn’t exist. Liquid has created one of the world’s largest comic book libraries of characters and stories tied to the myth and lore of India and is ideally positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for youth entertainment with 550 million people under the age of 25 by Year 2015. Similar to the multi-billion dollar success of Japanese anime and Manga comics, Liquid intends to market its groundbreaking mythic content to audiences worldwide, leading the transition of India from an “outsourcer” to “a source” of dynamic creations and creators. On that note, do you think Indian graphic novel artists and writers are equipped with a global understanding of this phenomenon? Similar to the phenomenon we have seen with Japanese anime and Manga, which have influenced every aspect of popular culture and media today, our mission is to spark a creative renais13 | The Eye


sance in India. The next JK Rowling or Stan Lee is sitting in a village somewhere in India and our job is to find them, support them with the right resources and training and then give them a pedestal to share their unique ideas and vision with the world. Our hope is to create a haven for the country’s most innovative creators and launch a new wave of characters from India that simultaneously appeal to audiences from Boston to Beijing to Bangalore. And would do you see Liquid’s role to be in this process? It’s about reversing the funnel and taking our great characters, stories and creators to the world. Already our artists such as Mukesh Singh and Jeevan Kang have worked on books with some of the world’s leading creators and have built fans around the world that marvel at the work they do. The best is yet to come. What do you say is the essential characteristic difference between mainstream comic series abroad and in India? The western superhero was really defined in the 60's by Stan Lee and his creative partners and largely a result of the cold war ethos and fear of the atomic age - many of the heroes of that era that still thrive (Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Daredevil etc) get their powers from mutations or unknown radiation that played on the fears of that time. In the same way Indian creators must tap into

their cultures and prevailing contemporary issues, hopes, dreams and fears to serve as the source of inspiration for their characters. As the Indian market begins its evolution and begins to define itself, it may find parallels in markets like France and Japan, where Superheroes are not necessarily the defining ethos and many other genres successfully thrive. At Liquid we believe, just as western comics were defined by "Man versus Science" and Japanese comics were defined by

14 | The Eye


"Man versus Nature" (seen in Akira, etc where the industrial age unchecked leaves mans place with nature disrupted and leads to post apocalyptic wastelands or technological monstrosities), Indian comics/heroes can find rich storytelling in the concepts of "Man versus Mythology" how modern heroes interact and deal with the mythic undertones that have defined Indian theology and philosophy for decades.

Wars, Matrix, Harry Potter and most recently, Avatar).

“As What can audiences look forward to from the the Indian market house of Liquid in the near future? begins its evolution and begins to define itself, it may find We do have a number of film and televiparallels in markets like France and sion projects in development, such Japan, where Superheroes are not as the Warner Bros. film adaptation of necessarily the defining ethos and Gamekeeper with director Guy Ritchie; many other genres successMythology and comics for the Virulents with director longest while have been the John Moore; Voodoo Child fully thrive.” domain of Amar Chitra Khata, with Nicolas Cage; Ramayan

until Liquid came along. What led you to pick up that subject? We think stories like the Matrix deal with Maya the illusion in a very contemporary fashion - and India’s young creators should find ways to tap into the great mythic heritage of the country to tell contemporary and fresh stories that can speak to audiences worldwide (such as the mythic undertones of Star

3392AD with Mandalay Pictures; The Leaves with Summit Entertainment; The Sadhu with Hollywood Gang; The Stranded with the Syfy Channel; Beyond with Deepak Chopra and First Family with Fremantle Media Enterprises. Akhila Shankar 15 | The Eye


Why did we forget Calligraphy? Sarang Kulkarni, a graduate of Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Arts in 2002 and is the proprietor of WhiteCrow Design Management. He has done type-faces for many major brands including Vodafone, Virgin Mobiles and Frooti. So here we have you an interview with Sarang, an independent graphic designer and calligraphy artist who finds hidden beauty in alphabets. When did you get introduced to calligraphy? I graduated from JJ school of Arts and specialized in Calligraphy. In our second year in college we were asked to different small projects, implementing different styles, strokes etc. and that got me curious. And in our third year we were taught the different brush uses, styles, illustration, etc. We attended workshops and heard other artists talk too. That developed more interest. And what about it do you enjoy the most? The different techniques, and every time you do it, something new is formed. For says I used to practice and on maybe the third or fourth day my letters came right, the whole process is interesting.

don’t see people using them in everyday life. I think they are just advertising gimmicks. You have worked in various languages varying from Bengali to Hindi, Marathi, English, Nepali what is the outlook you take in your art to bring awareness to the importance of our cultural differences. What according to you is important in that process? I worked on this Vodafone project where we had to make their logo and tagline in 11 Indian scripts to match their Latin logo, and the result was wonderful. All the languages I’ve worked on are totally different from each other; every language has something to say about their culture. I can’t have Bengali look like Devnagri, it will lose its essence. So every script I work on I try to maintain its aesthetics and even though they are different they should look like a family. That’s the most important part of it.

You think calligraphy can be called a “traditional” Indian art form? Yes, it definitely is. it has always been traditional. All the manuscripts, books, were handwritten and Do you consider calligraphy as a link among the different cultures in the world or does "calligraphy" that’s calligraphy for you. have a different meaning depending on a specific New fonts like “Gandhiji font”, “Hinglish font” are cultural background? being invented now-a-days, what is your take on Calligraphy doesn’t connect cultures, it preserves them. Like I said all the scripts are different, they that? We do calligraphy and typography so that people mean different things to the people of their culture. understand what is written, and these fonts you mentioned are quite complicated. The thought People love the color calligraphy, what was the process behind them too, isn’t very strong. You deciding factor into moving away from the tradi-

17 | The Eye


there were a lot of artists but they were never documented on, and it’s just what we are trying to do. What is it that worries you about Calligraphy these days? Lack of awareness in a huge concern. Many people don’t exactly know what calligraphy or lettering is, they aren’t aware of the difference and that does worry me. Aksharaya the team I work with, try to do that. We have free sessions every two months in Mumbai and people do come, ask questions. That’s out basic aim, to make people conscious. Who are the people you admire from your field? All the people I worked with, right from R.K.Joshi to Achyut Palav, Santosh Kshirsagar, Atul Gokhale

tional black and white and using these colors? When it comes to calligraphy the basic thing is the contrast, the white space. And letters forms are meant to read, when we write in black and white, we have more white space which makes our art pop out. No point making it colorful if you can read it. Colors are just add-ons. Even today, we have our basic. Designs done in black and white and then colors are added if needed. How do you perceive calligraphy's future in ten years? I understand that many calligraphers are seniors. Do you think it will survive? A German calligraphy artist Kathrina Peiper had once said that in her country less people are going towards calligraphic arts, that’s because writing isn’t paid much attention on. But in India we have been taught how to write since the very childhood. Handwriting is paid attention to. And even if people stop writing, and go all digital, we still have to do the writing there. The digital arts always will be there. You have collaborated with artist Hanif Kureshi and created a website which promotes various artists. How did that idea come to being? There are many artists, calligraphy, lettering and typography that people don’t know about. So we showcase their work. We use their calligraphy skills and create type designs, we make them into fonts. We created a few and one was freely available to be used on the net. 50% of what is earned goes to these artists. The whole idea behind it is to get these unknown artists n focus. There was a time when

What was the best project you have done yet? All the projects I have worked on were different, all were my babies and I can’t really compare them.But there was this group project I did with team “Aksharay” it was a calendar we did and I think it was a brilliant idea. What are the projects done by others you have loved? The Aksharyog 1989 catalog and also the 48 hour project by Santosh Kshirsagar. What are your favorite fonts and why? My favorite font is “Life Ok” because it’s very authentic and all the characters have an Indian-ness to them. What is something that you learnt in all these years in the field of calligraphy? When I had just started I worked with R.K.Joshi and he taught me the most useful lesson that everything can’t be commercialized. I learnt to explore tools and materials and look around me. Lastly, any words of advice for aspiring designers/artists? Calligraphy is a business where on needs to be patient. You don’t get it the first time, try again and if you have the passion, learn, pursue it. A little money in the beginning yes, but come a few years you will definitely flourish in it. Tanvi Hegde

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Photography Talks with Shravankumar Jadhav “The patience level has kind of dropped. Even when I started off, I started with one light you know with one lens. So today even before, the person joins his first job, he wants the entire kit, he wants to strike immediately.” How did you get started with photography?

Do you prefer goin abroad and shooting?

Photography has always been my passion, from the age of 3. It was always a stream of my liking, It was in class 12 th when one of my friend, Iqbal Mohammad and me decided to work together in a field which was our passion and we moved ahead together and here we are today when we have done successful shoots for a couple of clients and still we have long way to go ahead.

Yes I do, it again depends. I don't want to shoot in japan for the sake of it, there needs to be some thought process. So if the ad really needs that, then nothing like that we just plan and leave. What do you think about the charges that others are charging. how is the market Standard of this industry ?

How much time do you spend at work, do you have shoots regularly.

I really don't know, because I know of photographers, who are doing their job for free sometimes, so I am really not sure about what I am not only into photography, I run an advertising really others are charging. agency also, it's called ‘1 point size.’ Do you like to give some advice to the freshers? Is there any style that you follow in photography, I occasionally teach in light and life academy, so I that makes you unique. do some work shops there for the students once a year. For me the most important thing is the concept. It's not just about a pretty picture but I need to have Is it that the upcoming photographers have to an idea. I would either address a photography shoot work hard and keep on learning. with an idea rather than looking fit. So that's what it People want to be successful within a year and a is. half, which isn’t easy. They look at well established Is there a specific computer you prefer, something photographers who have been in business for like 15 years. They need to work hard. you specifically prefer? Not really..I work on apple. Do you use any computer graphic like Photoshop, coral draw , illustrator? Ya we use Photoshop and illustrator for pictures and ads.

The patience level has kind of dropped. Even when I started off, I started with one light you know with one lens. So today even before, the person joins his first job, he wants the entire kit, he wants to strike immediately. Aditya Sapkale

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The Eye Issue 2