Indu Harikumar talks about how internet has helped her in creating art

Jun 07, 2018, 16:38 IST | Snigdha Hasan

At an interactive session, hear illustrator-storyteller Indu Harikumar talk about how the Internet has been her constant companion in creating art

Indu Harikumar talks about how internet has helped her in creating art
From the series #100IndianTinderTales. Pics/Induviduality on Instagram

"...I Recieved a postcard from where he was. Perfectly chosen, cute and referencing a conversation we'd previously had. It said only one sentence, 'Dear S, I saw this and thought of you.' The warmest postcard I'd ever received because of all it meant. My own [ex] boyfriend had never sent me something so personal as that one stranger did, even before I met him. It brightened up my day, and convinced me that there were still so many happy coincidences in the world that I shouldn't give up just yet," goes A Warm Tinder Experience, the 75th entry in the #100IndianTinderTales series by Indu Harikumar, which she published on social media in 2016.

"Happy coincidence" is also a good way of describing how the illustrator, storyteller and recycler's experience of putting a question to strangers on the internet turned out — a series of illustrations about people's deeply personal accounts of their Tinder encounters, which got press, Internet and radio coverage all over the world.

From the series #100IndianTinderTales. PICS/Induviduality on Instagram
From the series #100IndianTinderTales. Pics/Induviduality on Instagram

This Sunday, Harikumar will discuss how the Internet has affected her craft, and the relationship between the artist and audience through her experience at Junoon's Mumbai Local, a monthly interactive session with artists and scientists.
"When I asked people to share their stories, I didn't expect things to take off. Why would anybody let me in on such a personal experience?" says Harikumar.

But people — complete strangers, in fact — trusted her with her art project, as she began making an illustration a day for the stories she received. The overwhelming response gave her the confidence to embark on another crowd-sourced project, #BodyofStories, which she completed in 2017.

Indu Harikumar
Indu Harikumar

In times when social media has become synonymous with trolling, the platform has opened up new avenues for Harikumar. "The Internet has been my connector. There is a lot of give and take of respect," she reveals, recalling how her blogs on working with children were noticed by a well-known publishing house, and that's how she started getting more work.

Given the bold themes of her work, has she also received online barbs? "I do receive a one-off comment, but I have learnt to block them and move on," she signs off.

On June 10: 5 pm
At: Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Byculla East.

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