If you see the happiness that the Bangalore Buskers give as well as receive through their art, you might just start believing in this adage! This group of artists loves to talk to everyday people and create artwork inspired by their stories and give it away for free. Meet the Buskers, get a piece of personalised art or even take your own talent to the streets of Bengaluru with them!
The Bangalore Buskers do not believe in confining themselves within one space to interact or to communicate; they choose open places to operate in. If you see a bunch of varied people combining different persuasions - from a doodler, to a musician, photographer, or even a person with a typewriter! — mostly in and around Church Street, then you’ve met the Bangalore Buskers. This diverse conglomeration of creative talent takes your story or mood and converts it into quick art. Vikash Raj doodles, Harshinee Rajkumar sketches, Rahul writes poems and others create similar magic with different art forms. They do not charge their fans a paisa, and share their work freely with the people who have contributed something of themselves to it.
Rahul Kondi, founder of Bangalore Buskers, has found that creating in groups is more fun. He says, “I started it as a hobby and people with unique art forms were intrigued by my idea and eventually this movement formed. This open group welcomes anyone. We mostly show up at Church Street where we sit together because it is more fun.” Rahul explains, “This group revolves around the idea that art is made not in isolation but by collaboration, and that art should be accessible to everyday people. So, we sit in public spaces, invite strangers to have conversations with us and make art with them in different ways and give it to them as a keepsake.” With the audience as their subject, they turn these conversations into stories, using the moods, hobbies, careers and anything else running through the people’s minds. The main aim is to capture the essence of their emotions and thoughts and present them creatively on paper or whatever medium they are using.
For example, Vikash Raj, creates a unique doodle in just ten minutes once he has spoken to a person. He says, “Since we talk to one person at one time, they open up and speak their heart out. If there are instances when people are not sure what they want to talk about, I illustrate based on what I observe about them. In either case, I have the full liberty to use my creative expression. Also, understanding the psychology of the target audience has always been an important part of my job and that’s how I started liking this concept of interaction with strangers.” Vikash acknowledges that, “Art is subjective and personal to each audience. People find it exciting to see how we interpret their words into illustrations.”
And then there is Harshinee Rajkumar, a 20-year-old self-taught artist, who can be found on Saturdays in front of Blossoms Book Store with a small sketchbook, pencil and many random questions. She likes reading body language and expressions. According to her, “Sketching within 15 minutes, I add small traits and hidden details to the caricature which are more beautiful. Poems and portraits are the kind are things that people enjoy as gifts as well as for themselves, mainly because of how personalised they are. And because we are busking in public, they get to witness the process too. It is quite interesting to see them battle with excitement for the finished product.” Harshinee particularly enjoys sketching kids, as she believes, “They always have something interesting to say. And you can find them smiling throughout.”
In some cases, people who were once part of the audience have now joined the group. They interact with the crowd closely and put down their features, thoughts and expressions on paper. And that is how more features are added to the work. And artist by artist, the Bangalore Buskers increase their ranks and slowly add a bit more joy into the lives of Bengalureans....