INTERVIEW | Anoop Bhat
WEBSITE | http://www.anoopkbhat.in/store
Another one of those cool moments where we get to sit and chat with those unsung heroes behind your favorite bands and certainly releases – the almighty artist. This time is our bud Anoop Bhat out of India who recently was even recognized by Fuck The Facts on their facebook page for his recent logo design.
Check it out and gain some knowledge…
Hey Anoop! So I see that Fuck The Facts are stoked on your most recent artwork you designed! That must be such a rewarding feeling to get acknowledged like that!
It is incredible. I’d written to them earlier this year, I think around February. I was going through a difficult time. Their 2015 album really, really helped me calm myself down. I don’t know if I can pinpoint what it exactly was, but it was deeply reassuring in a way. That artwork came out of that. It feels great to be acknowledged. It was the first thing I read in the morning today. Totally made my day.
Well that leads me to go right into your thought process as you begin to create the art that you do. For this one in particular, you mentioned the music was therapeutic as you were going through something, so how does it go from music, to you picking up a pen and creating?
I don’t share most of it but some of the stuff I do for myself are things are like these. I draw lines or I make a million dots. It really helps me gather my thoughts, concentrate and relax. I’m not a violent person at all but stuff bothers me every and now then. Drawing is where I take it out.
Another one of my personal works that recently got public was the art I did for Crowhurst’s new album. Just a sea of lines.
So your medium, just to clarify, seems to be pen and paper? How did you figure out that this was your art style?Yeah, pen and ink on paper.
I really like working with simple black lines. I have drawn this way since a very young age so it was the most natural way for me to work. I just kept at it.
Typically how long does the process take from idea to completion?
It depends. As much as I’d have liked it to be this fixed thing, it never is. Some things are really quick. I’ll think of it and just in that moment, I have to sit and finish it and see how it comes out. The Gadhimai art was like that. I think it took a day. Vishal was in splits. Most things take time, say about a month or sometimes even more.
You see, I have a day job. So I’m mostly drawing only on weekends. I can’t work on anything during the week. By the time I’m home I’m already exhausted and I can’t work till you know, I’m in the zone. It’s quite ridiculous.
Yeah – we interviewed an artist named Chun World from Thailand who does a lot of art for hardcore bands around the world and has a built an insanely great name for himself who said the same thing. What are some of your favorite pieces you’ve created for bands that have seen the light of day?
I think I’ve seen his work on some compilation or something. He’s great.
About my favourites – they keep changing but right now, I think I’m quite proud of the piece I made for Dead Bhuttos’ upcoming EP ‘Democracy is the Best Revenge’. I had made the art some time last year, it was called ‘Surrender’. I spent at least two to three days on it and I was really happy with what I produced in the end. I wasn’t going to put it out just like that so I kept it with me waiting for the right fit.
Hassan (MxCx) had just finished recording the Dead Bhuttos EP and he was looking for a cover for. He told me about the songs, the subject matter and the title. I thought it was perfect so I immediately sent him this and right there, it was done.
Yeah I’ve seen it and it’s amazing! As you work with bands and create art for them, how open are you to their feedback and adapt or alter your vision to match theirs?
Haha, I’d like to believe I’m quite nice and reasonable to work with. I’m always open to feedback, I really insist on it. But that’s mostly stuff like “Hey, may be we should put the logo on the top”, “Hey, how about we change the font?”.
You know, I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with some of the nicest people/ bands. I have had complete artistic freedom. They really respect my vision and more than that, I think they’re very keen on how I chose to interpret a given concept. So I haven’t really dealt with scenarios where I’ve been asked to change or alter the artwork so that it adheres to their vision.
Well, except that one time when I did go an extra mile and try and do exactly what the band wanted and it was really bad. I humbly walked out.
Oh! You’ve actually turned someone down or had it not go so well and it didn’t sit well having your name associated with the project?
A bit of both, really. We did multiple drafts and I was made to follow a process I was really uncomfortable with but at the time I was all “hey, why not”.
It really bothered me and I couldn’t work on anything else because I’m always looking to provide the best to my clients. On top of all that, I wasn’t even proud of the work I produced. I just didn’t like the experience.
So yeah, I chose to put it to a stop. It wasn’t all nasty or anything, if that’s what you’re thinking. It was okay.
In terms anyone wanting to get into creating artwork for bands, or art in general, what are some things you want newbies to be considering before they begin?
Be sincere to your work, practise and strive to be excellent at what you do. Something or the other will come off of it. You just have to give it time and take things as they come.
So tell us about the store that you’re launching? What’s the idea behind this?
It’s been something I’ve been waiting to do for a while now. I never had the time or the money to pull it off. So I took my time, saved up and worked on it patiently.
It would have been great if I’d done it the time I’d done the Conan poster. That was last year but at the time the logistics were just no working out. Heck, I didn’t even have a proper website. So I just put my head down and got to work.
This time when I did the art for Nadja’s gig at Edinburgh, I was convinced I had to do it. The promoters had some posters for sale at the gig and apparently they sold out. So I decided to do an artist press edition and Aidan was kind enough to let me do it.
The idea is to keep it as DIY as possible. Go looking for good paper yourself, interact and find local printers and get a good job done. I really enjoy it and I’d love to do more as and when I find the time.
The store at the moment has two items, the 18″ x 36″ ‘Nadja’ poster and the 12″ x 12″ ‘Gadhimai’ art print. These are limited and they’re available worldwide. I’ll be adding more stuff in the beginning of December. I have a good inventory but I’m saving for a festival appearance later this month.
Isn’t it amazing that shit like this can happen so seamlessly now that we’re all so connected? A dude in India can design shit for shows and bands on the other side of the world overnight. It’s amazing…
Oh yes, it’s incredible. I’ll help you elaborate. An Indian dude designed a poster for a Canadian/ German band for their gig at Edinburgh (UK) organised by a Dutch dude.
I mean, I feel incredibly lucky.
Link to his artwork up for purchase: http://www.anoopkbhat.in/store