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March 10, 2016

Sketchnotes: Saumin Patel

by Shashi Prakash Vyas

“Kaamotsav is my gift to our society as we absolutely deserve an awesome take on erotica through which we can talk about our own desires,” says Saumin Patel.

 Saumin Patel is a storyteller. Being bad at mathematics he tried his hand at making diagrams as a kid, though he never really understood algebra but perfected geometrical diagrams with each try. This love for drawing landed him at J.J. Institute of Applied Art.

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It was during his graduation years, that Saumin first got acquainted with the hyper dynamism of art in American comics. He says, “Back then it appeared to be a super high benchmark to aspire to. So after Art College I did bit of animation and lots of illustration work for advertising and publishing.” Storytelling through images and meeting creative people frequently remains the most exciting part of his job till date.

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Unlike other artists, his list of inspirations is never ending which is proof that he doesn’t shy away from learning new things. This is very much evident in his illustrations as well.

Guillermo del Toro, Terry Gilliam, Tarsem Singh, Amir Kusturika, Ridley Scott, Gustav Klimt, Caravaggio, Gustave Dore, Francisco Goya, Mike Mignola, Frank Miller and Moebius are the few he picks from his list of inspirations and says, “There are more but I think overall I gravitate more towards the fantasy elements in their art. That is the common thread that binds them all for me.”

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Saumin has worked for a graphic novel for Agent Vinod, Tinkle, short stories for the Sholay anthology and his most recent project is Blazing Bajirao for Eros Now but there is one project that he is really passionate about, ‘Kaamotsav’.

Having worked on comics in the crime, action, myth and content for kids genres, he wants to now explore sci-fi, fantasy, horror, supernatural and other subjects but says such opportunities are meagre in the professional world.

While curating a personal art project, he wanted to work on a subject that he wouldn’t get to work on professionally

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“This project is very unique for me, as I won’t just be creating single images but a series that will all be bound into a single theme. Through Kaamotsav I want to explore erotica, a subject that is least explored currently in art and intend to make it a conversation starter for people.”

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Elaborating on the social acceptance of his project, he talks about how during ancient times sensuality was very much the cornerstone of Indian visual arts, with temples, texts, sculptures and murals decorating and celebrating it.

He says, “Sexuality was tied to spirituality and was an open part of society. These highly decorative sculptures showedmen and women covered  with minimal clothing and a lot of ornate jewellery.”

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He wants to deliver this very message through Kaamotsav, that a nation that loves sex shouldn’t shy away from talking about it.

The more we talk about it, the easier it is to rid it from the  shame and angst. With the ‘Kaamotsav’ series, he makes the statement that art is a good medium to express erotica and broaden social perspectives.

What say you?

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To follow Saumin’s work you can visit his Behance and Facebook profile. 

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