Saumya Shukla is a visual artist whose work explores a range of humanistic and socio-cultural themes. Her art showcases her ability to address issues of identity, representation, and power in a way that is both visually engaging and emotionally resonant. Her evocative, phantasmagorical representations of internal conflict through the use of symbolism and metaphor are a colourful and insightful expedition into the human mind.
Apart from the artist's personal experiences and vivid dreams and nightmares, her style is influenced by surrealism, and sometimes, Dadaism that allow her to convey complex emotions and ideas in a way that traditional art cannot. The inner turmoil and anxieties that she and those around her face on a daily basis often find their way into my creations, giving them a deeper and more personal meaning. Nostalgia is an underlying component in a lot of her thought-provoking pieces that challenge the viewer's perceptions.
As the creator, Saumya's project centres around using comics as a form of emotional processing and resilience-building. She started making comics during the pandemic, using them as a way to express herself and process overwhelming emotions while also documenting stories around her. 'Baggage', one of the works that emerged from this project, it tells a story about attachment, detachment, and personal growth. This part of her practice is ongoing and has become a significant source of personal development and creative expression for her.
"Through putting together this project, I learned the importance of switching between different forms of expression to keep herself motivated and engaged. This project, in particular, was a powerful tool for me to cope with my emotional struggles by channelling my thoughts into creating comics that others could find comfort in or relate to. It was an effective way to transform my rage into something productive and meaningful, and one that I wanted people to see. I have found that making these comics has opened up new avenues of exploration for me as an artist and provided me healthy coping mechanisms", she shares.
Saumya's biggest inspirations over the years have come from the people and conversations around her. She often journals conversations, overheard snippets, and her own thoughts to help generate ideas for her work. Additionally, music has been a significant source of inspiration for her, constantly fueling her creative energy and generating new ideas. Overall, her artistic career has been shaped by her experiences and the world around her, and I am constantly finding new sources to inform her work.
The artist's creative process starts when an idea begins to take shape in her mind, she lets it grow until it becomes overwhelming and needs to be expressed. She doesn't like to limit herself to a specific style, but each medium has its own unique language that she adapts to in order to convey the message. For Saumya, the purpose of creating goes beyond just personal enjoyment. It is a way for her to communicate and express things that words cannot fully capture. Art helps her navigate through tough situations and gives direction to her thoughts, letting her build an entire world around how she chooses to tailor certain experiences together, and explore themes that are important to her. As someone who doesn’t like being very vocal or confrontational, art gives her opportunities to communicate what she cannot imagine words to do justice to. Ultimately, the artist's purpose is to connect with others through her work and share her perspective on the world.
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