Published: 13th May 2020
Hiccuped and how: Why you'll love this Christ University student's super-punny art and videos
Rashmi Patil speaks to budding artist Sharanya Eshwar who conveys powerful messages through her simple paintings and also posts some pun-intended videos on her YouTube channel
When Sharanya Eshwar was asked by her college to write an opinion piece, she chose to paint a picture instead. The painting depicted the increasing suicide rate among farmers - an approach that led her professors to truly appreciate Sharanya’s idea. There was also a written message that went with it: Farmer is the backbone of our country but the government is spineless. Acknowledging that painting is yet another form of expression much like writing, her professor gave her the go-ahead to continue using the medium to voice her opinions. Since then, Sharanya has been painting and highlighting various issues that have been plaguing India, including the internet restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir, the recent communal riots, open defecation, public transport and so on. She says, "Though I am a Journalism student, I consider myself to be more of an artist than a writer. But this doesn't mean I can't write. I am not a serious writer who writes 1,000 to 2,000-word articles on various issues. If you observe my paintings, I include two or three sentences as dialogues between people or a comment which is equally meaningful. It makes my work more creative and powerful."
The USP of Sharanya's paintings is that she does not use any high-end software or painting material. She draws on a plain sheet of white paper and paints with watercolours. Humble much? The characters that she draws are quite simple as well and one may even feel like recreating these paintings. We were curious to know the story behind Sharanya becoming a self-taught artist and she obliged, "Doodling has been my favourite pastime in college and that's how my love for painting also began. Anyone can doodle and showcase their creativity. It doesn't require one to be a professional artist," says this student of Christ (Deemed-to-be University), Bengaluru.
Every time Sharanya paints a picture, she posts it on her Facebook page that goes by the name Hiccuped. Apart from a few serious paintings, there are also funny ones. For instance, a few months ago, the going price for a kilo of onions was more than `100 and people had stopped making onion dosas. Sharanya painted a picture of an onion chef crying tears of joy while chopping humans. The message that went with it read: Onions make you cry when you cut them, but now, they raised their standards, became pricey and CUT you off and you're still crying. She also shows her love for puns through these paintings. Another painting of hers depicts people wishing each other 'Happy New Ear' on New Year's. Get it? The message with this was: Only listen to what's important. Have a great EAR (or grow a pair).
Going forward, Sharanya wants to explore her creativity through the advertising and marketing field. She shares, "I am waiting to finish my final-year exams. There are two subjects pending due to the lockdown. Once I get my results, I will apply for a job. After a year or two, I will opt for higher studies in Fine Arts and pursue Comic Journalism. For now, I enjoy what I do." During the lockdown, she has been painting portraits of her friends and for people on social media who request for it through direct messages. "I have created more than eight such portraits so far and people are liking them. Hopefully, I will be able to do more of these paintings before the lockdown ends," she concludes.
Some of her extraordinary paintings