Sit Down With Our November '21 Featured Artist

Aakanksha Bhalerao

Instagram /  syahii_byaakanksha
Featured Artist / November '21 ScrawlrBox

Hi, I’m Aakanksha Bhalerao! I’m from India, currently living in Toronto! I’m a drug regulatory professional with a passion for art! I love creating things from scratch and feel that when you’re invested in the process, the artwork is always satisfying & beautiful. I love free flowing patterns & intricate line work, they help me to stay focused and even flaws add beauty to the final design - much like life! Art is a very productive and effective form of meditation for me!

Can you outline your journey as an artist up until now? 

I have always enjoyed drawing! As a kid I drew pencil sketches inspired from lots of books and magazines. From there, I really enjoyed experimenting with different mediums and subjects. I have not studied art, but I love the process of creating, so I have picked up tips and tricks on the way! I don’t earn a living with art, but it’s a real passion for me. It is definitely something that I turn to when I need to clear my mind.

What is your favourite medium to work with and why?

I love working with fine liners and brush pens! They are very versatile to use and offer a lot of precision and control. They’re perfect for creating clean, delicate lines and intricate designs which I find very satisfying to draw.

How do you decide on a colour palette when working on a new project?

I personally like to keep it minimal, using just two or three colours at a time. I usually draw with black or sepia ink and add a pop of colour to make the subject really stand out. I tend to experiment with colour palettes based on the general mood of the artwork or my environment. I think colour can really change the whole atmosphere of a piece so when it comes to colour I think less is more.

What is your approach to learning new skills?

I am a huge stationery buff, so often my love for new supplies leads the way for me to learn new skills! I like to try out new pens and paints myself first just to get a first impression of them and then I will try to learn more through online tutorials or interacting with and looking at other artists!

Do you have a favourite time of year? Is there a season/time of year that you find particularly inspiring?

I love the transitioning seasons, Spring and Fall! I find the rusty autumnal and the bright spring colour palettes very inspiring. I sort of look at these seasons as a reset for the mood, and that keep things interesting for the rest of the year.

Do you think your art style has changed/developed over time?

Definitely! As I mentioned earlier art is a form of self-expression and people are constantly changing and evolving as they go through life. I think there are many factors that will influence you as you continue to evolve, so I think as you grow your art will grow with you. 

Do you think emotions have influence on creativity? If so why?

I definitely think emotions have an effect on your creativity. I think art is a form of self-expression and emotions have great influence over the way your express yourself. But I also think art has the ability to influence your emotions! So I think they are interchangeable.

Do you have a favourite colour?

I love working with blue, green, and turquoise colours! 

How would you describe your art style?

My style is inspired from Zentangles and Mandalas. Zentangle is a method of drawing that promotes concentration and creativity whist also increasing your personal well-being and a Mandala is a geometric configuration of symbols. I love lines and really detailed, flowy designs, so these features are definitely incorporated into my artwork.

What is your favourite subject to focus on and why?

I derive a lot of inspiration from nature and patterns! So I find flowers and natural flowing shapes are somethings that I gravitate towards a lot in my artwork.

Do you have any tips on how to stay motivated?

To be honest, I don’t like to pressure myself into staying motivated all the time. I find that it can have more of a negative effect on my creativity if I am constantly forcing myself to stay motivated. Ultimately I draw because I love it and I enjoy that freedom! And that simply has kept me going! So I guess my best advice would be not to put too much pressure on yourself and just find something that you enjoy.

What do you enjoy most about creating art?

When I am drawing something I find it extremely calming and satisfying. It is something that makes me happy and whilst the world we live in is so busy and fast-paced, for me art is something that focusses on the peace and serenity in my life.

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Take a step back from your busy life and relax with this month's box.  Taking inspiration from our talented featured artist Aakanksha Bhalerao, we ask you to explore Zentangles and Mandalas in intricate designs to create an image representative of a calming mindset.  The November '21 box contains 2 sets of Bruynzeel Fineliner/brush pens (Tokyo and Venice sets), a Uni POSCA 1MR white pen, a Derwent slim eraser, a Faber Castell Ecco pigment liner, a Goldfaber 2B pencil and a Fabriano A5 sketchbook.