Art is and always has been an immersive experience; pulling the creator and the audience into an enigmatic orbit that turns out to be a full-body experience. Defying mediums and rules of the creative space, the art of graffiti is one that has quite a hold on the public art sphere.
Transitioning from being condemned as an act of vandalism to now being more of an attraction as a host of cities around the world develop their own street art culture, we engage with the urban graffiti artist splashing the country with captivating murals and vibrant street graffiti.
Meet Sanatan Vatsayan, a web designer by profession who is the face of urban street art in the homegrown artistic landscape. From navigating life as a neurodivergent artist to channelling all his energy into turning the city he lives in into his own personal canvas, the young artist has come a long way.
HG: How would you like people to interpret you and your work?
SV: I am Sanatan, I am a web designer for Adobe and I do a lot of different passionate projects. I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia so I keep moving on to new things and make new hobbies my passion every 4 to 5 days. I consider myself an approachable person, who is a keen listener, loves to explore, and loves to learn new things.
HG: In your Instagram bio, you have referred to yourself as an athlete and a diver. Please tell us a bit about your experi-ence?
SV: Arts and sports are something that I could use to define myself because nothing excites me more than these two things. I’ve always had so much energy. One way of using this energy is by playing and participating in sports. Be it any sport you can think of, you will catch me volunteering to go first. I have played all sorts of sports from tennis, basketball, volleyball, golf, handball, and cricket, but nothing comes close to the passion I have for football. Since I have done all this, I thought why not push my adrenaline and get some more by training in things which I have not done before, so I recently got my certificate for open water diving from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and now I can dive anywhere in the world. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
HG: How did you kickstart your passion for graffiti? how did you find your inspiration in graffiti designing?
SV: Art has always been a part of me since I was young. I have grown up with dyslexia which hampered my studies, so I would break things down into smaller elements and illustrate them to understand them better. For me, doodling came easier than writing 10 sentences. I have grown up in Patna. I have never noticed any graffiti around me or any art on any walls of that sort fill up this colourful city. I thought maybe I could start a culture that promotes art and makes people more appreciative of it. For me, Graffiti began during the lockdown. Artists went out for me, gave me a blank wall gave me some cans and some music for me to leave a mark. I have been interested in graffiti since I was a kid, but I just never really had the chance to do it before now. I love to do things on wide scales, rather than just on a small A4 size paper or canvas. I have done a lot of murals with paints, but it’s just so much easier with the can because it is faster and I have just gotten into it. I want to learn lots and lots more but yeah, that’s how it started.
HG: Is the Indian approach towards street art evolving? Are we embracing the concept of public art spaces now more than ever?
SV: I don’t think art should ever be like be illegal. Art is about expression and graffiti is just a form of art. Besides the canvas, there is a whole world out there! If art is allowed in museums, then art should be allowed on walls too.
HG: What suggestions would you give to a budding graffiti artist?
SV: I am a budding Graffiti artist myself, so the only advice I can give is to keep going. Practice makes perfect, and the more you try and fail the better you get at it, I feel. You get better at some things the more you do it. With every stroke and with every can you use, you learn a bit more. So, my advice would be don’t think so much, just take a couple of cans and just go for it. Do ask for permission before working on a wall. Other than that, be socially right and be within the law.
Check out his work here.
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