("Happy Days" -by D. Athlay and K. Anderson- 2012)
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” ― C.S. Lewis
This pretty much sums up the first conversation I ever had with Kam. Both of us live miles apart, have never met (that’s why the name Penfriend seemed very apt), but connect in a way which cannot be described in word or verse.
The thing which binds us together is our art about which I’ll be talking later. You guys must be wondering, “Wait a minute... who is this again?” So, here goes – Hi! I am Dakshaja Athlay from India and I am thoroughly pleased to meet you. The name is kind of twisted and difficult to pronounce I know, I get that all the time, it is the name of one of the incarnations of Goddess Parvati just so you may know. I hate talking about myself but Kam insisted on giving you guys a brief introduction about who I was, so... I am all of 23, in my final year of grad school studying architecture; architecture- the first thing I share with Kam. Illustration art is something I have recently picked up and it has turned into a passion in just a few months. Illustration- the second thing I share with Kam, passion- the third. I love colours, it’s a colourful life after all but somehow black and white, which are the presence and absence of all colours, and not colours in themselves, captivate me. Use of black and white- the fourth thing I share with Kam. And the sharing continues...
So now that you have realized both of us have a lot in common, it won’t be hard to imagine how or why we clicked. How we met? Well that I would leave it to Kam to tell.
Coming to the more serious part of it - the work. I work on inspiration. Inspiration drawn from music, food, friends, my culture which is rich and diverse, other art forms, travel- in short whatever I come across in day to day life. So when Kam came up with this brilliant idea, to merge our art forms, I was more than excited! Imagine me laughing to myself and jumping. I just had to do this. All the work that you see here done by me has been inspired by Kam’s. I think when there is an immensely talented person to work with, it's easy to draw inspiration from them. So, whatever I have created has evolved out of Kam’s work.
I study the emotions, the traits and eye catching elements in each of her drawings and proceeded to work on my own interpretations. Once you know what really gives a portrait its true identity, making a story out of it comes naturally.
So, I'd like to thank Kam for giving me this opportunity to showcase my work and integrate it with her’s. She is a beautiful person. Cheers to new beginnings!
How can I follow on from that D??? Really though, how can I? haha.
I'm Kamaira (Kami) Anderson and I'm an ink-a-holic, in many, many ways! I live in the UK and was very intrigued one morning by a sincere and heartfelt email from the aforementioned young lady. Aren't social networking sites a truly wonderful thing? They connect people who otherwise would probably never have come into contact during their lives.
This whole experience has excited me immensely and the biggest thrill of all has been having someone to bare my soul to, despite having never met that person! It reminds me of the Penpal scheme they had at school when I was a kid.
D and I study architecture (well she's a real architect and I'm an architect for film and staging), which as a vocation, is extremely prescriptive. Our shared passion for fine lines and black ink on white paper was quite uncanny, but what was even more so was our joint yearning for a more 'creative' outlet... 'voila', Penfriend was born!
You see, in my free time I dabble in illustration and I simply love creating line and wash portraits of people I know. What's more, I love the reaction I get from those people when they see what I've come up with. So, naturally, when D unleashed her illustrative talents on me (in the form of her sketchbook doodles), I was simply in awe of her!
Her abstract linework was just so complimentary to my somewhat, conceptual and simplistic portraits, we came up with a few pieces that I could exhibit here in the UK. Dakshaja darling, for that I thank you! I'm now addicted and cannot stop, I'm pretty sure you feel the same.
This blog is going to be our platform or springboard, if you like, to showcase these wacky and wonderful pieces. As we develop and grow as a creative partnership, we'd like to document that process and share it with all you fine people out there. At the moment, D does patterns and I do people, yet we're constantly brainstorming and coming up with new ideas and plans, thinking about colour theory and integrating digital techniques into what we're currently doing.
Therefore, to second D's earlier notion... I'm so glad to have found my creative other half. Cheers to new beginnings!