That’s what Niranjan Raghu believes in. He doesn’t believe that people have *particular* talents, just that all are talented and with practice, it’ll surface. I spoke to him for more than half an hour and I was blown away with the amount of work and thought and research he puts into each of his piece.
Niranjan is a 3D graphic artist. The reason I chose him today was that I went “Woah!” by his ability to create such beautiful art from scratch. And a computer, of course.
In this little chat with Niranjan, from so long ago, there is so much wisdom that was imparted. And I’ll try my best to impart it to you all.
It all started when I was in 10th standard. I went to this state competition called “Prodigy” in Chennai and I saw all these people doing cool shit. I thought, “Why not do this?” And someone had designed a game, and I went, “Game designing is cool.” I went and downloaded these game engines from the internet. Then I started doing it. I used to code a little bit, and then eventually, I realized that I needed to learn 3D to actually design a game because I wasn’t that interested in coding. That time, Maya was not free and I downloaded this free thing called Blender. I open and I immediately close it. I said, “It’s impossible.”
Learning Blender itself takes some time. I open it again, and there are these hundreds of buttons staring at my face and I go, “No, not happening.” And I leave it for 6-7 months straight.
If he had never opened that software again and tried, we couldn’t have ever seen something like that.
I went back to it after I finished 10th. I was REALLY not interested in science, at all. Chemistry especially. So then, instead of playing video games on my computer, I put all my time into leaning this. 2 years later, I can do something. I know how to make an image. And there’s nothing in my head. Like, it’s all just skill and no higher thinking.
I was so sorry to hear that college let him down. He learnt everything on his own for two years, and still learning on my own.
I was recommended a book by an external faculty who left recently, and I don’t remember the name of the book, but it dealt with the psychology of design.
I had never heard of it before. It sounded so exciting. He demonstrated the principle of balance to me: a circle in the exact centre of a square.
This is pleasing. Even though it looks static, it’s really not. imagine invisible strings attached to the circle. They’re all balanced. So there’s tension. And when you move it away from the centre, you feel irksome, right? This is the psychology of design. One of the first things that’s there in the book. It talks about what happens in your head when you’re looking at something like this doing design. Then I started applying these principles to my art and that’s when I started “making” art.
With these works, I’ve been trying to explore my style with a central object, in this case, a sphere. Any number, any shape. This is the apt description of my style: muted colours, soft light, lots of contrast. An epitome of my style.
Now he’s trying to make films that he wants to make, not being bothered by what others say or having constraints or anything.
And, he also makes music! Check them out here!
He has an interesting principle:
I don’t go back to my old work. I have lost the thought when I was making them and I will lose more than I gain, redoing it. I always start fresh. Once it’s done, it’s done.
Can’t say the same thing about writing.
I used to play the guitar, but stopped because I never really went to classes and my techniques are all wrong. So I promised myself that I wouldn’t correct them until I’ve learned to play the piano.
I don’t really write that much music, it’s a secondary thing for me. But I do it anyway. Because why not?
His first film is Panta Rhei, and the trailer is out! Watch it HERE!
This is going to contradict Tuesday is Talent Day! but I don’t believe in talents and spontaneous creativity. For one, it’s skill first. And the term “talent” is not talent. It’s us consuming these ideas and internalizing them and when you need it, your brain makes its connections in its own way. It’s just how your brain works. EVERYBODY can draw, can do what I’m doing, given that they have to combine these ideas and make them work. And Practice. Two years of practice and six months of reading up before makes people ask me how I’m doing the things I’m doing.
And his dedication inspires us all.
This is my favourite work if his.