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Digital Meets Culture - Interview with Anirudh Sainath - DigiKarma
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Anirudh Sainath of Molee Art is an exceptional digital painter who creates unique paintings, especially of ancient Hindu mythological characters. These mythological characters in Anirudh’s paintings have stunning character designs that are rich in detail and color.  In our interview, Anirudh talks about his creation process, and also about one of his amazing paintings.

Q. ⁠⁠⁠Welcome to DigiKarma.Could you tell us where you’re from and how you got started in the field?

Anirudh: I was born and raised in New-Delhi, India and I started drawing when I was around 3, and I’ve been painting digitally since I was 17.                     

Q. What made you first start doing digital paintings? If you can recall what did your first digital painting look like, and what is the most important thing you have learned since then?                      

Anirudh: I was watching this show on television as to how comic book artists color or draw for comic books, and the fact that majority if not all of their work is digitally made intrigued me big time.

I initially started by coloring with a mouse, scanned drawings that I made with pencil or pen; and my first digital artwork was actually pretty horrible, but during those days I felt I was pretty good.

I learned about graphics tablet later on and bought one for myself. The difference was huge, and I felt my artworks are really good. I posted some of them on this website called “DeviantArt” and to my surprise, no one bothered to give importance to my artwork. I felt humbled, and I realized I need to work much harder. So the most important lesson I learned from that is that “we should never be too proud of ourselves. We should realize that there is always scope for improvement, that there will always be someone better than us at what we do and so we must never feel impressed by our own work and we must alway stay humble and work harder than we did yesterday”.

Facebook Page for Anirudh Sainath (@MoleeArt) 

https://www.facebook.com/MoleeArt/

                      

Q. Did you attend any course for digital paintings or arts in general?                        

Anirudh: After graduating from school, I gave the entrance exam to J.J. School of arts in Mumbai, I got a decent rank but for some reason, I didn’t want to go. I then have the entrance to Delhi College of Art, and thought of giving it a shot; I wasn’t too happy there so I dropped out within the second week.So no, I did not take any course for digital painting for arts in general. I’m a self-taught artist.                                       

Q. What are your tools of the trade? Both tech and non-tech if there are any                        

Anirudh: When I started painting digitally I started with a Wacom Intuos 3 tablet. After a few years I then started using the Wacom Cintiq 21UX, and now I’m using my recently purchased Wacom Cintiq27QHDT.

The software I’ve been using for digital painting is Photoshop CS5 extended and Photoshop CC.I used to draw traditionally during my school days, but since I’ve moved to digital art I’ve only been using tablets.

Q. Please walk us through the typical process of making one of your amazing digital paintings.

Anirudh: It’s like painting on a canvas, other than the fact that you can undo wrongs, add lighting effects, warp your image, work on individual layers etc.

I basically start by drawing out a rough sketch, then I make a more refined sketch of the same on a layer on top, I add in flat colors or sometimes values that give me an idea about the lighting and environment that I want to give the artwork, then I proceed with painting over the lines with layers upon layers, adding some effects here and there perhaps, touching up on stuff etc. it’s a pretty complicated process, not too easy to put it in words.          

             

Q. Why such an interest in mythological figures? Any specific reason you paint them?                        

Anirudh: Mythology has intrigued me since I was small. I used to watch these mythology-based shows on television as a kid with the fam.

And spirituality too is something that is very dear to me, so they go hand in hand. In my late teens/the early twenties I started readings scriptures and to my surprise, the descriptions made a lot more sense then what I got to see on television, and the characters were a lot closer to what I imagined in my head as a kid.

My main reason to paint Indian mythology, in particular, is because it’s very badly misrepresented in modern media, and pretty much majority of what we get to read by present day authors or get to see in television shows bears little to no resemblance to what is there in the texts, besides what the scriptures have is a lot more entertaining and enjoyable to read. And painting to me seems like one of the easiest ways to put it out there.                                            

Q. “Rudra Smoking or Smoking Shiva” painting is one your most famous work. It is a brilliant digital painting with some unique visuals. Please talk a little about the process of creating it and how you came up with this concept.                        

                               

Anirudh: I created the Smoking Shiva artwork about 6 years back in 2011.I was majorly inspired by Aghoris, Naga Sadhus and the folklore and belief that he’s fond of Marijuana, Bhang, and Dhatura.

When I painted it, I was a nobody back then, in fact, I didn’t feel this artwork would be received that well at all, but to my surprise, it was this artwork which made my artworks somewhat famous. It’s just something that popped in my head; I think this is the best way to put it.

And just to make it clear, I don’t smoke at all. I am often assumed by everyone to be a smoker ever since I’ve painted this artwork. 🙂      

                                                      

Q. Even the best designers practice frequently and learn new things, so where exactly do you go to read tutorials or articles that help you find inspiration for your paintings?                        

Anirudh: I was initially introduced to this site called 3Dtotal by a friend of mine, and that was a major source to gather information and to learn digital art. I also used to watch YouTube videos of Bobby Chiu and artists such as Daarken to learn digital painting.

My main source of inspiration I would say are video games like God of War, Assassin’s Creed, Mortal Kombat and while painting I love listening to epic orchestral music such as the ones from Two Step from Hell and Immediate Music, and I also love listening to Sabaton when painting.

                    

Q. Ok so what’s your take on haters?? Especially people who try to ruin your paintings or put negative comments especially not knowing anything about our original texts.How do you deal with them?     

Anirudh: I initially try to school them on the subject. I’ll try my best by giving them evidence from scriptural texts and also from any temple artwork if possible.

If they start abusing, threatening or if they keep spamming negative comments even after I’ve explained myself, I realize they become a nuisance of sorts and so I often ban them.

                  

Q. Thanks again for providing DigiKarma with this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?                        

Anirudh: Follow your heart, don’t worry about anything else but don’t be careless either. And thank you! It was my pleasure!

Note: This Interview was taken by Ash from DigiKarma.

Facebook Page for Ash (@officiallyAsh) 

https://www.facebook.com/officiallyAsh/

                  

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