Why every young artist should check out Bengaluru's Reliable Copy if they want to get published

Nihaal Faizal, co-founder of the Reliable Copy tells about how they are supporting new artists and all forms of art get a headstart in the publishing market  
Nihaal Faizal (center) along with this team of Reliable Copy
Nihaal Faizal (center) along with this team of Reliable Copy

Usually, budding artists or writers find it difficult to get their work published and, of course, it isn't cheap either. But two people, Nihaal Faizal and Niharika Peri, are here to help them with their non-profit organisation, Reliable Copy. Founded in 2018, this publishing house is dedicated to publishing the works of new artists either on their website or as books, and heck, even on T-shirts and mugs. But a publishing organisation that's non-profit? That got us interested. "I started working on the idea of this organisation two years ago, but we got the Trust registered only last year. And we started operations in January 2019. I believe that exhibitions are not the only way to reach the audience through your artwork. It can be published in different forms like digital forms. That's when the idea of starting Reliable Copy hit me. We believe that art can be anything and not just paintings," says Nihaal, a Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology graduate.

Till date, Reliable Copy has published a unique work of artist which is titled A Memorial for the New Economy by artist Chinar Shah. It's about the people who died during demonetisation in 2016, Nihaal explains and adds, "As a society, we quickly memorialise the consequences of human conflict, natural disasters and even random acts of violence, but financial collapse and its toll on humans are often ignored or rendered invisible. When Chinar came to us with her work, we were quite happy and decided to publish it in the digital format on our website. We even got a quote from printer. Her artwork on our website can be downloaded and used by anyone. At least 350 people have downloaded artwork. We have got some good response till date."

Remembering them: One of the art works by artist Chinar Shah titled A Memorial for the New Economy

The team is all set to publish another artist's work later this year in the form of a book. Created by Ravikumar Kashi, an artist who works across painting, sculpture and photography, his work titled Flexing Muscles brings together essays written by him in Kannada and English where he reflects on his observations of flex banners along with photographs he's collected over six years. Last year, the High Court of Karnataka strictly passed an order to remove all flex banners and also, banned them from coming up again in certain locations. Their future projects are also equally exciting and unique. The team is in talks with an international artist, Mario Santanilla from Colombia to publish his research work on the technology of screen and lights. Another project in the pipeline is the 1 Shanti Road cookbook which will have recipes from curators, artists and all those who've used that particular kitchen. It will narrate their stories of why and how they practiced these recipes, 

Currently, Reliable Copy is equipped with a five-member team including two trustees, one intern, one editor and one coordinator. For Nihaal and his team, gathering funds has been the biggest challenge. "At present, some individuals come forward and support the work we are doing. We also accept donations as we have registered as a Trust. Once our books and artworks are sold, then we can have a sustainable mode of finance for a longer period of time and need not worry about where our salaries will come from every month." Prior to this, Nihaal ran a small art space called G.159 in his apartment where they screened movies that were banned, held discussions on politics, conducted live-model drawing sessions, exhibitions and much more. "These activities used to happen during my college days. Through G.159, I got to meet many artists and understood the concept of art in the broader sense," says the young artist. He adds, "Reliable Copy is not a new project for me. I feel it's an upgraded version of what I did initially during my college days."

Here are a few more non-profit publishing houses: 

Emily Books boasts of publishing weird books by women. They publish and celebrate the work of transgressive, passionate women writers, transpeople and queer

Pratham Books is a non-profit organisation that publishes children's books in multiple languages and formats to help children feel the joy of reading

Girls Write Now is based in New York City and it is dedicated to mentoring young women and encouraging them to develop their writing skills. It is one of the Top 15 after-school art programmes in the US 

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