CHENNAI: A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. But, over the last several months, visual designer Rajesh Seshadri has been conveying ideas and the crux of current events to his followers through layered and nuanced minimal designs. “Earlier, my minimalist movie poster designs garnered attention and was even appreciated by those from the film industry.
That encouraged me to extend my horizon in minimalism. When the lockdown was announced, I decided to tap on that and began working on artworks and illustrations which focused on everyday affairs and local news — from lockdown extension, the shutdown of the Koyambedu market, social distancing, Dhoni’s retirement, COVID-19 vaccine to PUBG ban,” shares the 30-something-old artist, who uses clean lines, clear shapes, experimental shadows and empty space to communicate.
“It was very interesting to work on different concepts and distil a rather complex subject into a simple form. For instance, to commemorate Dhoni’s birthday, I used milk bottle icons and added the text ‘best finisher’, instead of illustrating the man himself. Similarly, for World No Tobacco Day, I used a fallen ‘i’ in the word ‘Kills’, to represent a cigarette and its ill effects.
The idea is to deconstruct the concept, remove any unnecessary details, leaving only the core of the subject,” explains Rajesh, an engineering graduate, who found his calling in art over a decade ago, following a tragedy. “My mother was a lover of art and to a certain extent practised it too. As a child, I grew up watching her create artworks out of things available at home, upcycle old objects including gramophones. But never did I imagine I would become an artist,” he shares. As Rajesh approached adulthood, his mother was diagnosed with cancer and soon passed.
“I was pursuing engineering and never thought art would become my career. But having lost my mother, art, the thing that gave her joy, drew me further towards it. I started taking baby steps and soon decided to make a career out of it. It’s unfortunate that she isn’t around to see me do well in the field! I want to make her proud,” shares the creative, who works as a visual designer in an IT firm. Over the last six months, besides creating minimalistic posters, Rajesh has also been sketching the myriad hues of Madras — from Thiruvanmiyur’s mor thatha, Mylapore’s Ranade library, Anna Nagar’s tower, the numerous modes of transportation and temples to daily life.
“While in lockdown, I missed a lot of things about the city — from public transportation, the vendors to everything under the sunlight. So, I started sketching the different quintessential aspects of the city in parts as different series. Since the Madras Day celebration was also picking momentum in August on virtual platforms, the artworks garnered a lot of traction. It was exciting to explore and experiment with the city through artworks,” details the artist, who continues to sketch the different facets of this city on his iPad. “I have also been trying to give a hand-drawn finish to all my sketches, though they are digitally rendered.
That has made the artworks stand out,” he adds. Demonstrating a strong sense of visual wit, Rajesh is currently working on creating timely minimalistic designs and is chalking a temple illustration series. “The key is to tell short stories or events with graphic simplicity. It comes with practice and is a work in progress,” he adds.
For details, visit Instagram page rajesh.seshadri or Twitter @rajeshseshadr