Abhilash Narayanan is an imaginative realist painter, who combines his love of realism with his passion for fantasy. His work explores themes of popular culture and mythology. The portfolio of this animation designer and digital artist is awe-inspiring. With multiple pages of stunning digital images, there really is something for everyone. A master of the art, Abhilash has created artwork for several brands and also worked on poster designs of numerous movies.
“In my art, I explore what gives a thing its substance, its soul,” he explains. Born in Kalady, Abhilash’s love of art is inborn. He never shifted focus and decided to study art professionally. “I was into art from a very young age. One of my major influences was Indian mythology and age-old stories, especially those in Aithihyamala. The colours, the characters, everything grooved on to me and I wanted to relive them by making drawings after reading. As far as I can remember, I have been drawing mythological characters, gods, demons, kings, queens, etc.
Those memories drive me through. It’s going to influence you. I also had a real foundation as I had several books when I was young.”
When asked if an artist could separate the works from his or her life, he says, “I don’t know how you could possibly separate them. Of course, there are things I do that are seemingly completely mindless, but I don’t know if there’s separation. I think it’s all one thing.”
Abhilash has been working on a series of works titled ‘Aithihyamala Series: Inspired from Lore & Legends of Kerala’, which is based on the stories taken from Kottarathil Sankunni’s Aithihyamala. “Like our epics, Aithihyamala is one book I have always loved. Though I am into freelance works of animation and digital designing, I try to find time for my personal works. This series is something like that. I have already completed some works and have plans to publish them as a book.”
One of the peculiar features of his works is the way he analyses and portrays the character traits. “I do have a small session, something like research, before drawing characters. Understanding the traits of a person will make the work easy. Identify the basic trait and you can start working on it. It is easy while drawing mythological characters as we know the story. But when you create a new character or a face, it takes time.”
Abhilash says modern digital designers and animators use cutting-edge technologies. Besides, artists are super competitive. “Digital art is like any other art. It is created using a computer rather than the more traditional art tools and is quickly becoming a reputable form of art in our society. Unlike the traditional artist who struggled to get a platform, we are blessed with technology. If you are talented enough to use the tools wisely, you have platforms such as websites and social media. I think art is for everyone and the idea of any art should be disseminated among the public. It would only help it grow.”
Abhilash also designs movie posters and logo animation videos, the latest being a logo animation work for ‘Working Class Hero’.
Abhilash loves to doodle also. He has started working on an interesting series of doodles that are done using his favourite Reynolds pen.
“That pen evokes nostalgia. I love to even hold it in my hand. I always carry a sketchbook with me and try to make the best out of any time by doodling,” laughs Abhilash, who now resides in Muvattupuzha....