Dialogue 26 | Ritvik Agarwal

Artist Statement

I’m extremely passionate about cities and their architecture. Within my sketches, I try to understand the context by placing myself right in the space. I love analyzing complexities and what comes out in my illustrations is a representation of my take on how the space functions. 

I’m from Hyderabad, a budding metropolis of India.

My mother was an artist, and she always inspired me to work harder and drew me towards art and design concepts. She believed perfection was key, and we used to practise day and night to get the tiniest of details right.

This passion grew when I joined architecture school. Learning about great architects and their styles of work intrigued me! Everyone was so different and unique. The notions of minimalism – as a way of life, really stuck with me. This taught me to reduce my messy work to detailed sketches, my need for perfectly straight lines to squiggly strokes, giving the drawing more empathy, and finally, going from a surplus of stationary to a micron and a humble sketchbook.

Hi Ritvik! Thank you for sharing your beautiful sketches on our blog! Could you start telling us how it all began?

I was always very fond of travelling and exploring new places. I liked taking photographs of places, but images always lacked something. I wanted to capture my view of a space, and I found the best way to do that is by sketching it out. This helped me understand the space and the architecture better. On one such college trip- to Delhi, I wandered off to see the historical buildings the capital city had to offer. I used to sit at the heritage sites and start sketching! People started gathering around me and complimenting my sketches. That’s when I decided to begin my line of art. I started going from monument to monument, city to city, looking for inspiring spaces to draw. It had soon turned into an addiction.

Besides the strong cultural side that is present in the architecture of India, what else, or who else inspires you?

My early artistic inspirations were some great Architects like Frank Gehry, Charles Correa and Le Corbusier, to name a few. What inspired me was their different approaches to sketching as a medium to simply convey. By detailing and compiling their methods, my work aims for intricacy, with a hint of “flowy-ness”.

Would you say that your style or technique  have been changing through time? 

I’m always transforming my artwork. As I learn from experiences, it reflects upon my art style, and It is subject to constant innovation. 

Starting out with simple line sketches, I learnt how rendering adds depth. As I grew more confident with this, I started experimenting with new styles- taking away strokes from one, throwing excess lines in another, cleaning out sketches with straight organized rendering techniques, trying different varieties of strokes, inducing my knowledge of architecture by giving life to materials and the list goes on. Currently, I’m exploring the realm of digital art and contrasts; Who knows, maybe someday I might just introduce myself to colours.

Now that you are also sketching digitally, how do you define which materials/media you are going to use? Did the digital art add something to your work that you would like to mention?

Honestly, I was very skeptical of starting digital sketching. But the idea of working in layers and erasing mistakes intrigued me. Art is art, no matter the medium used to convey it.

I would say that sketching digitally makes work easier in many scenarios, but it rarely comes close to the satisfaction of ink on paper. 

We also saw that you have a strong social side in your art works. Could you tell us a bit about it?

What is sketching, if not a method to communicate? I feel artists seek a more direct influence on their communities and challenging social issues.

By visually representing an idea or a statement, I try to make an impact with my work. One such project I worked on was a comic strip from the POV of a humble family residing close to a Scottish cemetery in Kolkata- a dense metropolitan. It portrays how urban renewal in the cemetery positively affected their lives and enriched the community it was the centre of. I’m also looking to spread awareness through my sketches of the beauty of heritage buildings and the need to protect them.

Could you describe your work in one word?

Dynamic. One space, infinite stories.

Have you been participating in artistic residencies,open calls or any  online activities during this pandemic period? How are you dealing with challenging times? 

I’m continuously looking to innovate and learn. During this pandemic I’ve been rethinking and experimenting with my sketching techniques. I see this as an opportunity to see the world through my sketchbook. I’m broadening my horizons by studying cityscapes through photographers around the world.

Anything planned for your future? New mediums, art residencies, webinars that you would like to share with us? 

I would love to start working on more focused projects, where I would be able to capture a city’s experience in a series of sketches. When it comes to new mediums, I’m looking for ways to add more life to my artwork, so maybe watercolour washes are my next goal.

Also, I’ve always wanted to teach sketching and it is definitely something I’d want to work towards in the coming years. 

Please share some social medias where we can follow you! 

Please check out my work @mycron005 on instagram and support me if you like what you see!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s