March 20, 2014

Kyoorius Knocks: Harikrishnan Panicker

By Preksha Sharma

While his illustrations are quirky, interesting and often inspired by themes related to space and astronauts (admittedly, his second dream profession), Harikrishnan Panicker’s most breath taking works are the intricate paper sculptures and paper cut light boxes  for which he collaborates with artist Deepti Nair, also his wife. Panicker graduated from Industrial Design Center – IIT Bombay in 2006 with a Master’s in design, and went on to work with Viacom 18 and designed for brands like MTV, Vh1, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.

David-and-goliath

David and Goliath

Presently in Denver, Panicker has been functioning as a freelance designer and pursuing an art career. Born in a creative family, his father has been his greatest inspiration. “My dad is innovative by necessity. He is self learned and is constantly building things right from furniture to his house in Kerala, I have grown up watching him and I always aspired to be as good as him.” We talked to this very talented artist to know more about him:

When were you absolutely sure that this what you want to do?

I am still not sure if this is what I want to do. But what I know is that this is an evolution process. I studied to be a computer engineer and now working as a graphic designer/illustrator and moving towards doing more art. I think it’s an exciting journey. I look back at my work a few years back and I think I have grown leaps and bounds and I’m sure a few years down the lane, the feeling would be the same.

At what time of the day do you feel most creative/productive? 

I am a night crawler, and I thrive best at night between 12 and 4am. And it involves a lot of caffeine and music.

If you have to dedicate a free hour and pick between sculpting paper and illustrating, what will it be?

I love to illustrate. Sculpting paper begins with a sketch as well, I draw the ideas and the layers out before I start sculpting/cutting paper, so I think if I have one free hour, I would most definitely be sketching.

If you can have one super power, what would it be?

Freeze time, because I hate deadlines, and the sound they make as they go by.

What would be your second dream profession?

Oh, there are so many but I do aspire to be in space, so an astronaut. But if my internal organs don’t agree to that choice in profession, I think I would be craft beer brewer.

Describe your work desk in one line. If you had to keep just one single item at your desk, what would that be? 

My work desk feels and looks like a paper bomb went off, it’s absolute organized chaos. But it’s also my space for inspiration, there are a lot of books, posters, toys and food crumbs. When I am cutting paper, I try to make the most out of a sheet of paper so most parts are utilized and there is very less wastage. If there is one thing I would keep it would be my trusted retractable X-Acto knife which I term the “Mercedes of Cutting Knives”.

Which has been the most challenging paper sculpture you have made so far?

We (me and my wife) worked on a 6ft x 6ft paper sculpture light box for AIGA National Gallery ( 5th Ave, New York) as a window display for the event – Bordo Bello NYC. This was the toughest piece for us purely because of the size, the logistics of working on it in Denver and moving layers to NY and assembling them and the fact that a lot of people didn’t know what we do and if we can pull it off. We were motivated to work harder and we innovated/improvised on the go, the output was amazing.

Are there any work partners, you absolutely rely on for your work?

My wife, she is my best and worst critic. She is an amazing artist and has an incredible eye for details. Together we work harder and beyond the scope of the project. Our styles are different with respect to art, but paper cut is one medium where we collaborate the best and challenge ourselves to keep innovating and creating.

Tell us about one project doing which you have absolutely enjoyed yourself. 

I recently finished an album cover for Dualist Inquiry’s first compilation album titled – Subterra. This album comprised of an eclectic range of upcoming underground musicians, and hence the name Subterra. I proposed a paper cut light box to create this vision of explorers in an underground cave, and Sahej (Dualist Inquiry) was really excited and he trusted me enough to go with it. I drew the layers, cut them out of paper, assembled & backlit the piece and then photographed it. The visual was stunning and when we released it nobody could believe that it was a paper sculpture as compared to a digital artwork. We later on released the process/making of images and the response was phenomenal.

Subterra

 

Doppelganger_albumart

What are you upto right now?

I am currently working on a couple of art shows in New York, San Francisco and hopefully one outside of US. I am also an artist on board with this exciting new movement in India – KultureShop which curates amazing talent and are building some exciting artworks in print as art prints and T-shirts.

EarthwardBound

Earthward Bound – for KultureShop

See more of Panicker’s work on Be.

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1 Comment

  1. Tonmoy

    03.20.2014

    Reply

    Love your works…..I am inspired by your work

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