For this artist, culture is 'Kee' to success
There is no easy way to understand the phenomenon of art in the contemporary times.The diverse culture of India makes way for multiple forms of expression in performing arts and artists coming from varied backgrounds. One such artist the city has discovered in recent times is Keerthika Rajaram.
'Culture with colours' as she says is her USP and medium of expression. By culture, she means one that is ever evolving and changing across generations, communities and countries. Born in Sri Lanka Keerthika shifted her base to India in Hyderabad.
She is a self-made artist who found her niche in painting, ditching a few corporate courses in education and work. Once Kee landed in India she had to learn English from the scratch at the age of 19. The artist had a great passion for Indian traditional art forms and all of them have been a source of energy to her entire system.
Her work is stylised and so far depicts women performing activities painted in bold and strong colours. If you see, there is realism and a great deal of her unfettered imagination. Speaking about her colour scheme palette and her choices she says, "I think the choice of bold colours is inspired from traditional Sri Lankan masks that I was exposed to as a child; also I am a self-taught artist hence I have explored many styles and enjoyed multiple mediums of art.
Sometimes I feel I should have pursued a formal art education, for excelling on the field, but at the same time being an innocent explorer of art made me bold and fearless to play with strokes and colours to witness my raw expressions without getting bound by any pre-set norms while painting", explains the 30-year- old.
A couple of years ago, she was working as a talent acquisition manager and soft skills trainer but her career took a turn when she had to hire animators for a movie and the price was high. "I was given a huge opportunity by Firefly creative studio to learn cloth animation and work on the movie 'Mahanati' as an animator. A small shift from "what I want to do to - what requires me" made a huge difference", shares Keerthika.
She was practicing classical dance, theatre and Carnatic music when she was in Lanka but having very little time to explore when she shifted to India she wanted to keep the art in heralive in some form. Gradually she began to write poems in Tamil and started sketching the poems as small doodles to make her Hindi and Telugu friends understand her expression.
"Poems became doodles and doodles became paintings and finally I got to a point where I put up an exhibition of all my poems, paintings along with a Carnatic music track of all my poems, sung by a famous singer in Hyderabad atState Art Gallery in 2017", reminisced the effervescent lady.
Rajaram has started doing digital painting a year ago and started selling her artwork through social media. Her works have been sold across USA, Australia, Singapore, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and UK besides India. "I have put my prices upfront so that the art could reach anyone and the idea of digital prints is to make the same available for as many people as possible and also keep it affordable".
During this lockdown, she started her own company 'Kee' with her supportive husbandfor over a year who is a martial arts coach, and is looking forward to creating, making and selling art on all forms of canvases and materials.