Chatting up self-taught artist Amaan Khan about his work and his plans for the future
Amaan Khan, a 21-year-old student from Delhi dabbles into many creative pursuits like writing poems to scribbling stories, and playing music. Currently, the English graduate student is passionate about doodles. The self-taught artist is running a series called ‘Unknown’ on his Instagram page @ammanhk.
Speaking about his love for doodles, Khan says, “I’ve been doodling for as long as I can remember. I was happily making doodles and other drawings for shows and for school magazines and events until now.”
Khan gives credits for his art to his friends and mentors, who have been guiding and encouraging him. However, he feels that a professional training would perhaps help him sharpen his skills. Says he, “Now that I have got this far, I feel it is necessary for me to get some formal training in art.”
Khan’s illustrations are purely abstract in form, and in most cases do not follow a specific theme or ideology. Says he, “Most of my illustrations do not adhere to any ideology or theme. I leave it up to people to decide what they want to take away from it. That apart, I make doodles and drawings based on themes which I either mention in the title, or I place a phrase in relation to it. All I want to do is tell stories through my work and not just focus on a plot — like comics.”
Khan, who has recently made a doodle called Faustian Ambivalence, adds “It’s not about the theme. It’s about how well I am able to communicate it with the audience. Sometimes people just clap for the complexity of the drawing, not really grasping what is being told. It’s just something that every artist gets better at with time.”
Khan likes to focus on the content of the drawings rather than trying to make it look more vibrant and colourful. Which is why he sticks to colours like grey, black, and white. Says he, “A colour like black helps enhance contrast and enables to focus. I do use colours if they are needed in a particular drawing, but I mostly use black, which is important in enhancing the gravity of the art work.”
Almost every doodle artist, cartoonist and illustrator wants to come up with his/her own comic strip. When asked about it, Khan replies that he would love to create one in the future. Right now that’s not my priority. “I want to create art — whether it be films, animation, paintings, doodles, comics. I’m still learning and trying to figure out where my specialisation lies,” he adds.
Although dreaming to make big in life as an artist, Khan is not unaware of the hardships one has to face while pursuing a career in art. “Nothing in life comes easy anyway!” he exclaims, adding, “The aim is simplicity, and the route often takes complicated turns. Work is often hard to come by for an artist who’s starting out, but it gives one motivation and time to work on improvement and educating oneself. The ultimate aim is to make the audience understand different points of view and make them open to different ideas, acknowledge its existence.”
Follow the writer on Twitter @amu_prasad