by Shalaka Deshpande

In my artwork, I am celebrating the diverse culture of India. In the artwork four important figures each signify a different aspect of the culture of India. From left to right it shows: A Cricket player which captures the most popular sport in the country. A Bollywood actress, which symbolizes the influence of movies and music on people. An Indian scientist showcasing the stellar progress in the country’s space program. And finally, an Indian engineer leading software and technology development.

In the background we see the most recognizable iconic monuments of India including: The Taj Mahal, Himalaya mountains, Thar Desert, and the Ganges River. India’s national bird peacock is seen preening. The left side represents somewhat traditional aspects of India and to the right we move towards technology. Thus, the landscape on the right shows modern cityscapes. An Indian motorcycle captures the spirit of the most common means of transport in India. I thought it was important to show the blend of both tradition and the new modern age India in my art.

It is very important to me to have the ability to share my culture with the Camas community. I hope that this art will provide a snapshot of the important cultural aspects of India and make them appreciate it. Through my art, I hope that people can learn more about different traditions and understand the mixture and cultural diversity of India. Art has played a very role in my life and has shaped me into the person I am. Apart from drawing, I enjoy classical singing, Bollywood dancing and photography.

For this project, I first created the art theme in mind and decided to use four people. As the time was short I did use AI to create each person and the background. Then I composed them digitally in Photoshop on a computer to create a digital image. At this stage I transferred this digital image on an iPad Pro. I used Procreate drawing program with the Apple Pencil on iPad Pro to do the sketching on the digital image. This process is very similar to drawing on a piece of paper. The Pencil and Procreate allows you to use pressure, tilt, etc like on paper. I had to fix many things, change expressions, add/ modify costumes, add accessories and also to stylize it. I finalized the image by applying shading on the iPad with the Pencil.

In conclusion, I have lived in Camas all my life and have enjoyed it tremendously. I feel that people in Camas are very culturally aware. I also like that they are very encouraging and appreciative of art.