Published: 01st July 2020
These siblings in Coimbatore can help you fall in love with Japanese kawaii dolls with their workshops
Anisha and Ajith Kumar from Coimbatore have been conducting one-day workshops every month to teach the popular Japanese art style of kawaii
About a year ago, Coimbatore-based siblings S Anisha and S Ajith Kumar, both artists, were introduced to the Japanese art style of kawaii by their mentor SCD Balaji who has been guiding them since they attended one of his workshops. The two immediately became interested and following their enthusiasm, Balaji encouraged the duo to start attending classes to learn the style. But what is kawaii? Think Hello Kitty and the Powerpuff Girls — those large eyes, big heads and tiny bodies. Well, kawaii (meaning 'cute') depicts characters the same way. Yes, the island country has an entire style dedicated to art that is 'cute'. Now, this sibling duo has gotten so good at it that they conduct one-day workshops of their own to get others also interested.
Ajith and Anisha Kumar
Describing how their workshops are unique, 22-year-old Ajith explains, "We want to teach all our participants the art from the beginners level to the advanced level. To achieve this, every one of our workshops begin as early as 9 am and ends only at 7 pm. Our aim is to mould the amateur artist in a day." But what do they do for ten whole hours, you may ask. "We start with re-engineering," Ajith says, "Re-engineering is the process of shaping the artist in every individual. We try to mould that imagination and help them draw their thoughts. Then, we start with art gazing, which simply means that we help them imagine a normal photograph as art. For example, we might show them a photo of a person planting a tree. The same is to be drawn as a kawaii illustration." But the catch here is that each one has to illustrate using their imagination rather than copy what is shown to them.
One of their students' creations
Absolute pros at this style, Ajith who owns the branding and logo designing company Kalki, says, "Anisha is Class XI, however, she is the official kawaii designer of Quirky Invitations, the creative invitation cards company run by SCD Balaji." Now, we all know that anything different has its ups and downs. Ajith, a BCom PA graduate from Sri Krishna Arts and Science College, Coimbatore, tells us, "Most men do not like kawaii art because they feel it looks too feminine. Since kawaii is not very popular in India, people are yet to notice the artform. However, going by the participants' response to the programmes conducted in Chennai and Coimbatore, the acceptance has been great." Ajith informs us that they will be conducting similar programmes every month in cities like Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Coimbatore once the lockdown is lifted.