Published: 20th May 2020
No kidding! This Instagram artist really draws and makes things out of ordinary objects
Anand Muraleedharan Krishnan captures the ordinary through his work and finds a way to mould it through his deepest fears and anxiety
In lockdown mode, Anand Muraleedharan Krishnan’s Amma had been obsessing over DIY YouTube tutorials and making things on her own. On a lazy Sunday morning, she asked her son for an old CD for one of these creations. In his search for one, a drop of water fell on the surface of an old CD he rummaged out of their attic. And that’s the story, folks: boy meets CD, water falls on said CD and boy falls in love with the sunlight reflecting off of it and the droplet itself. It has all the makings of a hit rom-com, well in the art world at least. “I was so engrossed in it that I decided to get a mini water sprayer and spray some more water on it. I clicked photographs of the different patterns that emerged. If I have a process it’s this, I get fixated on small and beautiful happenings. I find beauty in ordinary circumstances, situations and things, and I try to make something out of it,” explains Anand who displays his art on his Instagram page @anand_draws_and_makes_
It was Anand’s late grandfather, Muthappa as he endearingly calls him, who first got wind of his obsession. When he was a boy, Muthappa would keep him occupied by drawing animals on the red oxide floor of their house. His parents were equally enthusiastic, never raising their voice on behalf of ruined walls or colour-coated sofas. He admits that their enthusiasm sowed the seeds of art. Currently a freelance graphic designer and illustrator in his hometown in Palakkad, Anand is a Communication Design graduate from D J Academy of Design, Coimbatore. Although he spent a few years ‘imitating’ others, he came into his own when he discovered that his greatest asset was his love for the ordinary. His work is an amalgam of everyday things, from chalk marks on an abandoned rock to paper boats floating in seas made of old denim.
“Anxiety holds a firm grip over everything that happens in my life,” he says, “The fact that every single thought goes through this used to worry me a lot. But over the course of time, I realised something. I could use it in my creative process. It granted me the luxury of gaining more clarity in what I do. I can no longer create anything purely for the sake of it. I overthink and it helps me express my thoughts with more finesse.” One of Anand’s latest cartoon sketches, the Appooppas series, was born out of a place of deep personal emotion and fear. Initially designed as a part of a project, it is based on characters who are imperfect, raw and fragile. He explains, “I was going through an emotional time and needed a creative outlet. I was able to use Appooppas as a medium because I could recreate the same vulnerability. Much like how most of us tend to be.”