April 7, 2016
“Sketching is the most intensive way to engage with the surroundings and is indispensable to me as an animator because that’s where my visual library for characters, locations, words and emotions stems from,” says Upamanyu Bhattacharya, a visual artist from Kolkata.
While studying animation film design at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Upamanyu often felt incapacitated due to lack of formal training in art and proficiency in media-based skill until he was taught that intention and not medium, must drive the art.
Picking up influences from the likes of Bill Watterson and Egon Schiele, he is truly inspired by the nuances in the works of artists from his homeland: Bengal. “In particular, observing the Bengal School of Art taught me how to pick meaningful influences and synthesize it into something new,” he says.
“My work is also heavily influenced by cinema, particularly from the standpoint of composition, and in the case of graphic narratives, pacing. I have learnt much about storytelling from the films of Satyajit Ray, Akira Kurosawa, Satoshi Kon, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata.” He draws compulsively during his travels and tries to offset it with reading and watching cinema from world over.
Though a lot of work he does is created digitally, he still is fond of the old school hand-drawn style and prefers traditional media. He loves working with correction pencils, hard pencils, ballpoint pens and brush pens. “Someday I hope to graduate to a good use of watercolors and other paints,” he says.
Besides working on animation and pre-production for title sequences, music videos and channel packaging, Upamanyu is currently working on a pet project ‘Majhdhaar’, an animated short film which is an adaptation of a narrative poem by Rabindranath Tagore.