Whenever we look at a beautiful piece of art, the words ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ comes to mind. But the sad part is that an artist receives very little or almost no encouragement from our society for their painstaking efforts. People only have a vague idea of what a graphic designer does and generally have no appreciation for the artist. You can ask anyone and most dismiss it with a quick ‘something to do with computers’. Northeast graphic designer/artist Manjit Rajkhowa talks to ENe about his journey in this field, experiences and much more.
Why did you choose to be a graphic designer/artist? Are there any challenges that you faced?
I used to play with colours everyday when I was a kid. But when I entered this field, I did not have any diploma or certificate to boast of. Later on, to gain more knowledge, I did courses on visual art, graphic design, photography and film editing, which helped me to hone my skills. I did not face any challenges as such mainly because this is something that I love doing. And I also got a lot of support and encouragement from my family and friends.
You have done art direction for stage dramas, for a TV serial and you have also done cover art for more than two thousand books in different languages. How do you manage to juggle so many things together?
When you are passionate and interested about something, it is not so difficult to do so. The medium I think is not important, only the quality of your output matters.
The concept of LORALI was your brainchild. How was the whole experience?
It was a very different kind of project and proved to be an excellent experience for me. In the year 2010, I was invited to Golaghat Charukola Bidyalaya for an art workshop as a resource person. It was there that an interesting idea came to my mind. That was LORALI (childhood). It was a project that involved children, and the (painting) project was based on village life/folk culture. The exhibitions LORALIR GARI (2011) and LORALIR DHEMALI (2013) are the by-products of the whole concept. LORALIR ANKBANK (2014) is another unique concept where I collected 100 drawings from 12 child artists. These drawings are the scribbles of their unconscious mind done without any education or guidance. The age of the child artist is 2-3 years only. These art works were exhibited at the State Art Gallery.
Any suggestions to people who want to follow a similar path?
I don’t have any suggestion as such because I still consider myself to be learner. I can only say that observation, passion and dedication are a good mantra for anyone who wants to follow a similar path.
By Payel Bhattacharjee