We have all grown up reading and watching our favorite superheroes on TV and in films, and we still marvel at the various outlandish backstories and dream up an existence where all of this is real. The dream diminishes as we mature and slowly dies out while we are stuck living out our mundane lives, contemplating what could have been. We never act on our impulses to be superheroes, but what if someone did and succeeded? There is no one better than Jayesh Joshi to explain that feeling.
Jayesh's alter ego is Jayman. It is also the username that he uses for his Instagram and Facebook accounts. "Sadly, I didn't land in a space egg, get bitten by a radioactive spider or be experimented upon in a dingy science lab, so I didn't have any powers. As I grew up, I realised that I made friends and made people happy by drawing, and that became my superpower — to be able to draw well." Jayesh discovered his superpowers early on and has honed his skills over the years to develop it into a weapon of mass appreciation. "I have never been much of a reader, I absorbed [things] in very different ways — observing, talking, and listening for the most part. When it comes to the story bit, even as a kid when I would draw random faces, I would write a small piece for them, the characters. This piece defined them and told me and you both about them. I think I make stories up as I am creating a piece."
His pieces show the gradual change in his style, his eagerness to push the boundaries of his art and to always surprise his audience. He also deals with sensitive topics that could be classified as taboo in this walking-on-eggshells era of social media, but he has remained unscathed for the most part. "I've worked on issues like sexuality, religion, masculinity and even the human body, but nothing yet has triggered a considerable amount of scrutiny. Yes, I have been wrong at times with my research and I accept it — but I don't take my art down. My art is a reminder of when I didn't know, and now the next piece I will create, I'll know."
His intricate work is motivated by something very simple, but very powerful. "Noise. There's a lot of noise inside my head. I barely talk to myself in my voice and I barely ever have a moment of peace and calm. Yet, when I draw, there's nothing in my head. My head guides my hands to make lines that sometimes make sense and sometimes they don't," he says. He also cites music as one of his influences, which also leads us to another developing superpower of Jayman — rap.
"I feel like Jayman who raps is a braggadocio, arrogant and super narcissistic. He is a version of me, just like the Jayman who draws, who is humble, sincere and focused on his goals. Different versions. Funnily enough, I have a song coming up which talks about this very issue."
His take on how a lot of organisations and companies hire artists like him for heavy-duty projects in exchange for 'exposure' and 'experience' will resonate with a lot of people who have encountered the same situation. "There is a possibility that there may be no money, but a sad artist will still reach people, and that artist will never be happy cause happiness is internal. You live well, you feel well. An artist who creates art to be seen will always build a network. Some maybe slower than others, but there will be a network," he says.
A recent graduate from the Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, his graduation project was a long and tiring process, but it also resulted in one of his best works till date. The hyper-realism of this project matches the mystical quality of the Mahabharata to create immersive and beautiful imagery. The project, named 'undecided//', has been extensively previewed by him on his Facebook and Instagram accounts and the process of making the project is documented on his Behance profile.
Adapting quickly to the digital form of art and now working on projects almost solely on the digital medium, Jayesh is hopeful about the future of art in India. "With the start of so many design-centric initiatives sprouting in the big metros of India, not just digital art but design and art in general are being accepted. People have started to appreciate art in their lives, not just in museums and galleries. I honestly think there's only one direction to go, and that is up."
Updated Date: Aug 06, 2017 00:05 AM