Shadowsplay is the brainchild of Amoolya Bhatt, a bright and bubbly architect and illustrator from Bangalore with an infectious smile. Paintcollar caught up with her to take a look into her world of doodles!
How and when did the art bug bite you?
I think I was always bitten by it. I have been drawing as a kid and it gave me an escape whenever I was getting scolded or getting an earful from my professors 😛 Only now am I actually doing something about it… I guess some part of it is genetic. My uncle was an artist and he completely influenced me 😀
Did your schooling and environment play an important role in those early years?
So basically the only way schooling or college contributed was by giving me stress and doodling was my way out of it all. 😛 (Oh shit, will my teachers be reading this? Oh damn..I still love you guys for your encouragement!) There was this particular teacher who pushed me into it when she saw a sketch of mine online and said she would like to see more. That made me kind of happy to know that someone who was a teacher believed in me and encouraged me.
What attracted you to architecture?
Ohhh i love architecture! It’s all about symmetry and asymmetry. The way light and shadows play (haha see what I did there?). It’s such an artsy science so it gave me the best of both worlds. I get to sketch and design actual things that people stay in and that makes me feel good. I’m always getting at creating something new and bringing something unique to the field.
How did Shadowsplay start? We would love to hear about your journey.
Shadowsplay started when my whole class in college was getting an earfull from our professors and I just spaced out and doodled since I had really nice stationary (one of the perks of architecture). Some of my friends saw it and really liked it which spurred me on to do more. Then I put them up online and a friend of mine asked me why I don’t put up my work for a larger audience to see and got me to join Paintcollar and now here we are!
Shadowsplay is a rather curious name. How did that come about?
I basically suck at painting and colouring (can never stay within the lines :P) so i doodled using black pens and let the white spaces define my sketches, which they never failed at doing. So I was safe and at the same time got the result I wanted. They were all in black and white – hence ShadowsPlay . Only recently have I started dabbling in colour to try something new but the originals are always in just plain black and white.
Does your study of architecture make its way into your art?
Sometimes it does… It helps me define and refine drawings like you would a building. Being precise and all that jazz. The only other way it comes in is that when I want to refine a drawing i use AutoCad (a software very widely used in our field) to redraw it and then take it into Photoshop to tweak or edit.
How does inspiration strike you? Are you works methodically planned or do the ideas and ink just flow?
Dogs! They inspire some of my sketches. I’m the crazy dog lady :p I don’t have a dog of my own so I put my wishes/dreams down in sketches so that my mum notices and lets me have one 😛 Also, like i said my uncle is a huge part of my life and I’m just carrying on his legacy. And it’s not really planned. When I’m stressed sketching is how I let go. There are a lot of artists who inspire me. So while browsing sometimes I see something interesting and the next thing I know I have an idea and cant wait to put it down.
Do your daily experiences make their way into Shadowsplay drawings? Or do you prefer to work on specific themes?
Like I said my interaction with dogs and other experiences kind of influence me and my work is mostly based on such themes. Music is a huge source of inspiration, especially the band Imagine Dragons and of course my favorite comic superheros (working on this theme right now :D) So its kinda like a bit of both.
What is the most exciting project you have ever worked on?
Actually, all my projects are exciting for me!:D I’m like the impartial parent. Right now I’m designing a friend’s save the date.. it’s different and I’ve never done anything like it so I’m excited! And I would like to do something related to animal welfare or awareness- THAT would make me super happy!
What’s next for Shadowsplay? Are you interested in creating a distinct artistic identity or would you be open to exploring uncharted territory?
Actually I don’t think I have a distinct artistic identity as such but I wouldn’t mind going down untested paths. So i say bring it on life, I’ll take it! Though speaking of identity, I’d like to get more widely known so people can identify my sketches and all 😀 Hopefully I can do a bit of both- architecture and doodling with the same intensity and get the latter out there more.
Do you think a platform like Paintcollar has helped your art reach newer audiences which would have been inaccessible earlier?
It’s because Paintcollar nudged me into getting my sketches onto their platform that I’m actually doing more and putting them out for people to access! Without Paintcollar they would have been filed away or stayed in the margins of my notebooks and I would’ve put off making a platform for them forever. Here I was already given one! A lot more people who aren’t just friends are appreciating my work and its a great feeling when people buy your work! Without Paintcollar I would not be where I am now or make products out of my sketches! I mean PRODUCTS c’mon…that’s absolutely WHOA!! So I owe you guys a LOT 😀