Swarathma’s Blog

Vasu speaks to Dixit: The Swarathma Album Inlay Design Story
July 21, 2009, 5:13 pm
Filed under: Album Design | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Dixit-Vasu copyIn an exclusive telephonic interview, our correspondent Vivacious Vasu catches up with Designer Dixit to get a hang of what went behind the much talked about CD inlay design of Swarathma’s Début Album. The kitschy Indian motifs inspired from the ubiquitous lorries, brightly painted walls among other things have caught the attention of aficionados and amateurs alike. Exerpts from the interview:

DOWNLOAD Swarathma Artwork

Vasu: So, Sir…how did…

Dixit: Sorry to interrupt, please don’t call me sir…makes me feel very old.

Vasu: Oh..sorry sir…err…Dixit…how did the whole concept for your CD Design germinate?

Dixit: Germinate? Well…we wanted to have a concept for our CD design after the album recording. So I guess it must have been then.

Vasu: Very interesting…You are a Post Graduate from NID (National Institute of Design), so does that make Design easy for you?

Dixit: Heh?  I really don’t know? If you really see the Album and its inlay, I’m not the actual designer; the real designers are the people who’ve done those painting on the trucks, buses and bullock carts. They are the real artists. I just got images shot of those works or designs which were already there and put it together.

Vasu: And yet you call yourself a ‘Designer’?

Dixit: Next question please.

Vasu: Hello…are you there…?

Dixit: Yes….I said no comments.

Vasu: So, what do you call this ‘art’?

Dixit: You may call it ‘Kitsch’ art or ‘Pop’ art. Or the ‘Kitsch of Pop’, if you’re feeling smart.

Swarathma Pg_5

Vasu: Are you saying that your music is ‘Pop’ Music?

Dixit: ‘Pop’ music means popular music. We aren’t very ‘Pop’ now, but soon we’ll be.

Vasu: Who are your target audiences, Truck drivers and Bullockcart riders?

Dixit: Well…it is for them ALSO. This art style is very close to Swarathma’s music, it has that rawness in it. It is unfinished and not perfect. And I like imperfectness, look at me! It is very bright and colorful yet naïve. It is an everyday art, same as our music

Vasu: Your bandmate Pavan Kumar shot those Images, How did you guys work together? What were his inputs in the design process?

Dixit: You must hear it from the horse’s mouth about that.

Vasu: Oh…you mean your ‘ghodi’ you use in your shows?

Dixit: NO. I mean Pavan’s mouth. In fact, he had lost his Camera few weeks before this project but he jugaadofied with a friend of his for a Camera and went in-and-around mysore in search of these wonderful pieces of art.

Vasu: So, you are also from Mysore, infact you’ve done BFA from CAVA (Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts), is that the reason why you went back there?

Dixit: If you look at the Kitch Art in cities like Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai it has become very modern and computerized. You hardly see hand painted posters, mudguard paintings and even on rickshaws. Mysore still has its tradition and naivety intact. It is painful to see it also changing, so before it vanished, I thought I should capture them. In a way this is my tribute to all those artists, who go unnoticed.

Vasu: Does you being a member of the band help or is it difficult, for designing?

Dixit: It is both. It is difficult because I never got paid by the band…grrrr…hope my bandmates are reading this. It is helpful because I’m partly involved in approving the designs (laughs).

Swarathma Pg_13Vasu: Your portraits on the CD Cover and the ‘Cut-out’ style paintings in centre fold are very interesting. Who is the artist and what was your brief for him?

Dixit: The paintings are done by a very talented passing out student for CKP (Chitra Kala Parishad), Bangalore, Manjunath. I gave him a lot of references from the 60s and 70s Indian Film Posters. The colors and techniques (brush strokes) were inspired from there. I asked him to follow the style and yet retain the characters of the musicians. I think he has done fantastic job.

Vasu: Some people say they are quite distorted. I mean look at Jishnu or Varun, the paintings hardly look like them.

Dixit: Ahem…ahem.. Actually that’s what we wanted. If you look portraits of Sharukh khan, Sanjay Dutt or Salman khan behind rickshaws and on its mudguards, you’ll find them disproportionate, they are a little distorted, but the characters are captured. And that’s exactly what we’ve also achieved.

Vasu: Is it a successful design then?

Dixit: Now you are talking like my Jury Panel at NID. If today you are discussing it, I would like to consider it as successful.

Vasu: That’s true. You’ve hand-painted all the lyrics in the inlay, I believe.

Dixit: Even I like to believe the same. This is for all my school-teachers who have got nightmares about my handwriting, and have given me a hard time. Hah! Who’s laughing now?!

Vasu: Why didn’t you use any fonts?

Dixit: I wanted to give it a ‘Personal Touch’.

Vasu: How touching!! Any message to young budding designers?

Dixit: “Dear budding designers, considering I’m a ‘blossomed’ designer all I can say is never lose your fragrance”. Was that a little philosophical or should I… ?

Vasu (interrupting): That’s quite enough, Thank you, Thank you, I’ve got all I need. Nice speaking you. Hope you come up…with much better designs in the future. Have a great day. <Click>

Dixit: But I’m not done! I have so much more to….hello…hello?

Written by Vasu and Dixit, edited by Jishnu Dasgupta.


9 Comments so far
Leave a comment

this is a fantastic concept vasu..& everyone in the bandh gr8 job…pavan gr8 pics 🙂

Comment by raghavendra

Mad people, you are! 😀

Comment by Aparna Gonibeed

Completely! Don’t know whose more insane out of the two, Vasu or Dixit! 😛

Comment by Anusha Bhat

Well, I’d say they are both definitely very coool! 😀

Comment by Hedi Tralla

hahaha! awesome one vasu 😀

Comment by Kaushik


Comment by CHETHAN

thank u.thank u .ur designs inspired me also.
it will inspire my designs and concepts too.
u made a nice job.
why didnt u use images from karnataka villages ?u like only cities huh!!
any way congrts man.

Comment by sajan

hehheheh. Awesome kitsch work, nice to read the story behind it. The golden shoes with pink laces make sense now. 🙂

Comment by Sindhu Shankar

hiiiii…. completely i do’t know but very inspire me. thanks……….

Comment by Vastu consaltent

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