Thursday, May 17, 2012


Exquisite Pattachitra art. Pic courtesy: Tilak Shetty, Graphiti
All of us have, sometime or the other, seen wall paintings in Madhubani art, with their rich and eye-catching geometric designs. Now visualise this traditional folk art form in an animated film for children. Mind-boggling isn’t it?
The man behind this imagery, Tilak Shetty, director of Krish,Trish and Batliboy II, has picked popular folk-tales and brought them alive on the big screen using this medium of art.
Tilak, who was at the inauguration of the two-day Children’s Film Fest held in the city recently, confesses that he cannot draw or paint “to save his life” and hence, chose this medium because “someone has to archive and document our folk history for posterity. And, films assure you of that,” he says.
A Commerce graduate, Tilak also dabbled in computer programming before setting up his animation company, Graphiti. He reveals that it is the art that decides the stories. “We first decide on the folk art and then we start researching on the folk-tales of the region. India has around 40 cultural zones; if we pick one artistic style, we also dig out at least three stories to complement it. We have a treasure trove of arts and stories, and it’s fun to blend the two on the screen,” he shares.
The “fun” entails painstaking research on the style, understanding the particular art form’s rules, getting the edits ready, maintaining the continuity — and in case it does not produce the desired results, then starting all over again.
When he started out, Tilak knew just three art styles — Warli, Mughal miniatures and Madhubani. So, this new visual medium “fascinates” him. “I’m learning a lot in the process and am also passing on that knowledge to others. In my animation films, I include a 30-second bit about the history of the art. It is like an introduction, say of leather puppetry from Karnataka to a kid who may be in Bihar. I am using the detailing involved in that particular art to weave the stories. The trees will be drawn in a specific shape, the human figures will have clothes in that design and the props too will flaunt that typical style. If children remember the names of the designs or the regions they flourish in, I will consider my All of us have, sometime or the other, seen wall paintings in Madhubani art, with their rich and eye-catching geometric designs. Now visualise this traditional folk art form in an animated film for children. Mind-boggling isn’t it?
The man behind this imagery, Tilak Shetty, director of Krish,Trish and Batliboy II, has picked popular folk-tales and brought them alive on the big screen using this medium of art.
Tilak, who was at the inauguration of the two-day Children’s Film Fest held in the city recently, confesses that he cannot draw or paint “to save his life” and hence, chose this medium because “someone has to archive and document our folk history for posterity. And, films assure you of that,” he says.
A Commerce graduate, Tilak also dabbled in computer programming before setting up his animation company, Graphiti. He reveals that it is the art that decides the stories. “We first decide on the folk art and then we start researching on the folk-tales of the region. India has around 40 cultural zones; if we pick one artistic style, we also dig out at least three stories to complement it. We have a treasure trove of arts and stories, and it’s fun to blend the two on the screen,” he shares.
The “fun” entails painstaking research on the style, understanding the particular art form’s rules, getting the edits ready, maintaining the continuity — and in case it does not produce the desired results, then starting all over again.
When he started out, Tilak knew just three art styles — Warli, Mughal miniatures and Madhubani. So, this new visual medium “fascinates” him. “I’m learning a lot in the process and am also passing on that knowledge to others. In my animation films, I include a 30-second bit about the history of the art. It is like an introduction, say of leather puppetry from Karnataka to a kid who may be in Bihar. I am using the detailing involved in that particular art to weave the stories. The trees will be drawn in a specific shape, the human figures will have clothes in that design and the props too will flaunt that typical style. If children remember the names of the designs or the regions they flourish in, I will consider my work as successful,” he concludes.

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