We wanted books with Kitschy art work, ones to keep with the RGB theme, and ones that would be inspired by films and so on. Not surprisingly our creative little venture was rudely interrupted by classes, assignments, never ending projects, exhausting shoots, other creative ventures and God’s will that would manifest itself as sleep.
As we dwindled away from the themes we had decided we often found ourselves justifying our new ideas. I think the first theme that faded away was the film inspired books, followed by the RGB theme. It was Kitsch that had caught our fancy and stuck to us for the longest time. So we came up with illustrations borrowed from truck art and rickshaw art from Calcutta, but I think midway we realised that I would take too much time and effort for us to imitate something that is already so well established. We were by now leading double lives, and by night our rooms would transform into a binders paradise.
In the midst of all the chaos we figured that we had had a good level of success last time we tried the Marbling on paper. Marbling is a technique that requires oil paints and water and works on the fact that oil floats on water. It yields interesting results if done properly. So that was it, the first kind of books we made were what we later called ‘Acid’. These little brown handy books with crazy bright patterns on the cover have coordinate colour paper inside. The responses from our friends were very encouraging, and feedback poured in.
As mentioned earlier, with the attention span of a gold fish we then took up other projects that interested us such as shooting a music video and video documenting a conference. What is interesting about these processes is that though they may look disconnected on the face of it they all influence and mould you in a way you’d never know. In processes like these one may loose or find one’s self.
Sai had seen me scribble little ugly faces in my notebook (that too was bound by me) I don’t know if it was in a moment of frustration or genuine interest in my retarded doodles that she handed me a paper and asked me to scribble away to glory. At the end of the day we had designed cool end papers for our second range of books, which have dual coloured paper inside. One set of end papers had monsters on them, one just had all kinds of eyes, and one had delicately designed bottles on it designed by Sai. The response to the endpapers has really been phenomenal too.
Our third set of books was Sai’s idea of making stencils for covers. So these small books have stencils of interesting motifs on them that expose the marbled paper under it.
Lesson: At the end of the day you are what you are and there is no one better at it than you.