Anjana Ram, born in Chennai and based in Singapore, is a self-taught artist who loves to create doodles and illustrations revolving around women empowerment and everyday experiences. She has been drawing since she was five and has always been inclined towards arts. The name "Doodle Kanmani" is a term of endearment also used to describe "beloved".
What made you choose this art form?
My grandfather was an artist and an exceptional writer. I believe that my passion was triggered by spending time around him while he painted beautiful landscapes. I would pick up the paints as a child and play with them. Ever since, there was no turning back; it has always been a part of me.
Most of my art forms fall under contemporary Indian art. My work is highly influenced by diverse Indian art cultures and patterns. I do try my best to refrain from falling under the same kind of art, and subconsciously I always go back to something purely Desi. My art showcases patterns, colours (which was a more recent addition) and of course, lots of lotuses!
Which is your favourite piece of art?
I have a lot of favourite artworks, but if I had to pick one, it would be "The Persistence of Memory" by Salvador Dali.
Define art in five words.
Art lights up the soul.
What advice would you offer to our readers who are budding artists?
As much as social media has made it easier for artists to showcase their works, the internet has become a highly competitive space, especially for upcoming artists. It might be very easy to let this affect the mind and hinder from creating work that’s authentic and reflects yourself as an artist, and steers towards creating content that work according to the likes of people. There are still times where I struggle with this, but for anyone who’s into art or anything in general, be original, be yourself, be passionate and most importantly, believe in YOUR work. Even if thousands of people don’t love your work, if you find a small set of people who adore your style, be extremely grateful and persist by creating more.
What was/is your inspiration behind your art?
When I was young, I drew just to escape from the madness from my Maths classes. I always found it therapeutic. I used to draw inspiration from stories and mythology, but as an adult, my perspectives and style have changed greatly, and I derive most of my inspiration from everyday experiences and patterns. Now that I’m staying home due to Covid, I find more time to browse through patterns from different cultures and read more about the history of how they came about. I then try to incorporate my learning into my artforms in my own style.
What is your favourite piece of art from your collection?
My recent piece that deconstructs colourism is my favourite artwork at the moment.
What is your most admired piece of art from the industry?
If it is related to Desi illustrations, I love Bhuli Art. I don’t have a specific favourite of theirs because I like all their girls.
What skills should one master to help growth in this field?
As an upcoming artist myself, I cannot comment on what exactly to master. I’d like to say what I follow: Strongly believe in your content and keep working hard, it might not be the right away, but some day, your work will get noticed! Practise, Practise and Practise – that’s the mantra!
What philosophy do you preach and believe?
Well! I feel like I could have done something solid by now if I had a particular philosophy in life! I was always randomly chasing something without a plan. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how important it is to have a plan and goal. So my philosophy that I wish to always preach is: Have a plan and keep going with it. Don’t stop yourself from trying out new things, but always constantly remind yourself of the end goal.