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January 22, 2014

Sketchnotes: Kavita Singh Kale

By Preksha Sharma

“Sketching is the foundation for everything that I do with visual media,” says Kavita Singh Kale, an artist whose canvases are varied, vast and accomplished. Kale is an animation film designer, co-founder Underground Worm studio, and she writes and illustrates for picture books, and holds a decade of experience in creating content for the publication and film industry. Sketching for her is a spontaneous process, the purpose and stimuli of which vary. “As an animation film designer, so many times I like to draw to understand motion,” says Kale who acquired a post-graduate degree in animation design from National Institute of Design. On other occasions, she turns to her sketchbooks to recollect an experience through her drawings. “This gives me the opportunity of stretching my drawings to surrealistic spaces but within the essence of real events.”

Kale completed her undergraduate degree from the College of Art in Delhi, and says that drawing comes naturally to her. ”I like the tactile nature of using charcoal, watercolor, pen, and pencil for sketching. It is more of a meditative experience.” And she admits that she eschews any digital intervention and even if she has deadlines, she keeps the digital platform for the end, only to compile the prints. Sometimes she doesn’t visit her own drawings and sketches for months or years but they serve as ‘connecting tissues of a creative process’. And at times they make their way to Kale’s professional work. “A lot of self-exploration gets clubbed into the professional work, where this bank of drawings enables me to pitch ideas to the clients. It is like the box in the attic with objects of nostalgia,” she says.

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An interesting example of this is one the best known works of Kale, an acrylic-on-canvas painting called ‘Facebook’ which later inspired her to write and illustrate the book My Facebook Friends published by Tulika , which won many awards. It all started with a  series of sketches of some of her friends. The Facebook painting also triggered a series of paintings about India as a developing country, juxtaposition of contrast, strong diverse cultural heritage, energy of cities and people. “I also used this style of work as base for a show branding – print material like invites, posters, catalog and banner for an exhibition called New India Designscape at Triennale Design Museum in Milan,” she says.

Here are a few assorted pages from her sketchbook:

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