the different realms of art with noor rajbhandari
If you’re a person who’s anywhere on the Internet, it’s not hard to be inspired by posts that look different. And when we say different, we don’t mean something that’s bad or wrong. As it is told, it’s important to have a visual sensibility, to understand what works and what doesn’t, in a lot of things that we do in our daily lives. But art and design is one thing that is solely ‘you’ and that can be anything that you resonate with.
We met up with Noor Rajbhandari and talked to him about how his creativity works. He says “it is analyzing the content, distilling an idea or concept, and then making it visual.” From what we heard, he likes to give himself fun projects and try different things. To know more about him read on.
WHAT ORIGINALLY MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME A GRAPHIC DESIGNER?
It comes down to my childhood and upbringing. Me and my brother, we were always enamored with comic books and cartoons. That being the backbone in itself, it always inspired us with the way we see deigns or colors along with the stories. It always had a certain appeal to us. And then my brother became a certified artist. He was the one who drew and did all the artsy stuff, and I felt left out. So, I too followed the trend because that was all I knew as well.
At a certain point I tried out different creative fields like music and writing but then again, I couldn’t get into that. I gave myself an ultimatum: either be in art or in music. And I chose art. During that time, one of my friends was associated with ArtLab. This was the time when the street art scene was flourishing in Kathmandu and I wanted to be a part of it. I met a lot of creative people and we were trying out with a lot of experiments. Around that time, my brother gave me a Wacom tablet, which I had no idea how to use. But I decided to try out digital art for a change in Photoshop because my sketches were not turning out to be great as I wanted it to be. And I just kept dishing out designs and graphics people have come to apparently like.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR APPROACH TO DESIGN?
I genuinely don’t know how to answer that. I’m not keen on the idea that there is some sort of ‘style’ that simply gets applied, and without that I’m not sure how to summarize my work in any simple compressed way. But to put it in a way, I really like bad Photoshop. The bad ones always get me. So, intentionally I decided to make Photoshops that were really bad. And I decided that it would be interesting for me if I could do something in a Nepali theme. So, I started googling Nepali images. I had to figure out the best way to incorporate all of these images. So, I looked at the works of a few designers that I liked and took one aspect from each and mixed it all in my designs.
HOW DO YOU THINK ONLINE DESIGN RESOURCES HAVE INFLUENCED THE GRAPHIC DESIGN BEING PRODUCED TODAY? AND HOW HAS INSTAGRAM HELPED IN OUR WORKS’ VISIBILITY?
The design industry’s growing in audience, which can absolutely be used as a critical instrument. The dissemination of work has never been easier, and its growing accessibility is expanding what once was an exclusive practice.
I go by the handle Hooman all too Hooman on Instagram. It comes from the book ‘Human all too Human’ by Fredrick Neichze, who is a philosopher, and the name is completely random, but it resonated with me. But I go by the artist name HY:DE. It’s from the story of Jackyl and Hyde, where the same person has two different personalities. So, me being a reclusive and an introverted person, HY: DE is a persona of myself that creates art without being worried about what people think.
And about Instagram, I was very skeptical about being active or posting a lot of stuff because Facebook was taking a lot of my time. But at one point, my friends said that it was a nice platform to show my work. So I obliged and started. It seemed like a good idea, and it was.
WHO OR WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR WAY OF THINKING?
I can’t, in any meaningful or truthful way, point at a ‘singular’ thing or person. Life’s just too messy. At times, you really get inspired by other people. There is this artist called Bob Ross. He says that while working there should be happy accidents for it to actually mean something. I just try a lot of different things and randomly until something works. So, a lot of different happy accidents work the charm for me. There are a few works that have been influenced by what was happening around me. I get this urge to make a design to just get the idea out of my head. There are weird dreams that I remember the next morning and I always write about it and that becomes the inspiration for my next design.
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WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY TO ASPIRING ARTISTS? ANY WORDS OF ADVICE?
At first, its is just that you need to have an aim. I know everyone says that but then there is the societal approach to it that makes us question our aim. That makes it confusing for us artists. But that is life itself and you need to learn from it.
But of course, it is very difficult for artists because the clients here perceive art as not a legit industry. It is a big problem as it is taken as a pastime hobby with no involvement of money. But for some of us, this is our business as well and since so much of our time is invested for a project we would want that in return as well. So, I would like to say: know your worth. I know it is difficult but if you are spending days and nights thinking about your art then it should leave an impression.
WORDS: SHREEYA SANGROULA | PHOTOS: GAURAV XHOMPATE SUNUWAR | ARTWORK: NOOR RAJBHANDARI