The participants are given a kit which contains a sketchbook, and sketching and colouring tools. We tell them what to do and how to do, and with what. Literally speaking, we have removed any roadblock that people might encounter in their process of learning art,” says city-based artist Aditi Deo. That explains the concept of Art Quarter programme, which will be held in association with Art2Day gallery on Bhandarkar Road.
The first Art Quarter was held in 2015, in Deo’s studio, The Doodle Factory. According to the current format, four mediums — pencil sketching, pen and ink illustration, watercolour and calligraphy will be taught every Wednesday (starting from July 5 to first week of October) at Art2Day. The workshop is open to participants aged eight and above.
Elaborating further, she says, “The Art Quarter was designed specifically for those who want to do art, but can’t find the right teachers. Apart from children, nobody has got a definite time for attending an art class. So these workshops are for about three months each, exploring four different mediums, once a week. That’s how we do 12 classes.”
The course, Deo says, takes into account, what people need to do to take their first step into the world of art. “Not everyone is inclined to become an artist. But art can become a part of your life; it enriches you, you create something of your own from scratch — that joy has no parallels,” she adds.
But most of us look at art through myopic lenses — that it’s meant for children, and it should be practised to improve your drawing or because you can draw your diagrams better. Deo calls this ‘short-sighted’ view.
“There are a lot of grown-ups who can benefit from art. They don’t know where to start and they think that if they are not able to learn the skill, they will never learn it. So just to change that thought, I designed this workshop; the structure is such that the classes are about instruction, how to use the tools and so on, with a little bit of practise before the resource person,” she informs.
All the participants will also be bunched together in a WhatsApp group, and they will be given assignments through it. “These assignments will be given to them on Thursday or Friday, so that they have the weekend to practise, and fill up their sketchbook,” explains Deo. She will be sharing some of her pictures and some of other Instagrammers, from Pinterest, etc so that people who are really interested have something to feed it.
But if the workshop is going to be open to both adults and kids, will there be a clash of comprehension? “The instructions for both are same. More often than not, kids have an easier time because they come free of biases. Adults think that they are not artists and can’t draw a straight line, and get stuck in certain ideas about themselves. It takes them two or three days at the workshop to come out of their complexes. All I expect from the participants is keen interest. You should just draw on the paper without any fears,” she says.
The idea is to think and create something beautiful; something that will help you. For instance, someone might learn watercolour because he wants to document what he sees around him during his travels to different places. “When your interest stays intact, you are eager to learn and add something new,” she points out. That’s the reason why Deo doesn’t believe that colouring books for adults are good. “I think the pictures, the illustrations are good to look at. But it’s difficult to sustain interest — you might colour one page in pen and ink, for another use sketch pens, etc. After that, what? At the end of the day, it’s someone else’s creation,” says Deo.
Deo is also planning to run a calligraphy club for adults. “This is going to be a regular, weekly activity. So it’s meant only for grown-ups.”
Like art, this too has many benefits. “Handwriting has suffered, because kids start writing early these days, without knowing how to grip the pencil or pen. Thanks to technology, language is suffering. We cannot do without language, we cannot do away with communication. So when you start learning calligraphy, you learn to write and read better and your vocabulary too expands. You want your writing to be more meaningful. It contributes to your personal expression. And, I guess that’s the secret to world peace,” she says and chuckles.
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The Art Quarter consists of 4 modules of 3 weeks each — Pencil Sketching, Pen & Ink, Calligraphy and Watercolour. The sessions will be held at Art2Day gallery, above Skoda showroom, Bhandarkar Road, between 5 and 7 pm. To register, write to email@example.com