Artist Sruthi Mohan: I want to create awareness on mental health

As Jerzy Kosinski says, ‘The principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke’, Sruthi Mohan shares a similar perspective about art. As a digital artist from C I T Nagar, she creates art with an intention to change perspectives in the society. Managing between graduate studies and art, She is also very local about mental health and breaking the taboo around the issue. She constantly reaches out to her followers on social media to talk about pressing issues. Her latest project on mental health is 26-day lettering challenge that she took upon herself to educate people.

Excerpts from her interview:
Q: How long have you been drawing digitally? Why do you prefer digital art over conventional drawing methods?
A: It’s been surprisingly a year and a half since I started drawing digitally. When I initially started drawing, I realized that I’m an artist who takes pretty much a lot of time to create one good piece. Drawing digitally helps me to go back and change my art. I can undo and redo at any time. But I do like the idea of pen and paper.

Q: Can you talk about the process of your work from ideation to drawing? Where do you draw inspiration from?
A: Mostly if I have an idea, I write it down. I write how the structure, or the base of the drawing is going to be. After writing down the main elements, I move on to creating mood boards for the drawing, along with the colour pallete. I like the idea of having colour in my drawing. Then I open my iPad and I draw out a lot of different outlines. Whichever works and looks the best becomes the final drawing.

Q: What are some of the challenges that you face when it comes to digital art?
A: The challenges are quite minimal except for the expensive hardware and software that I had to acquire and then learn. I started using my phone and a phone stylus when I initially got into digital art but later I had to upgrade and adapt which took quite a lot of time.

Q: Your latest work is pregnant with ‘Mental Awareness’. Can you tell us about the importance of talking about mental health?
A: I have been very sound with mental health for the past five years. I have written blogs about it and I have made short films too. I feel like there was not enough people talking about it and there was always this stigma behind this term ‘mental health’ itself. I wanted to draw about it so that I could at least make people understand that it is okay to consult and get support if they need to. I didn’t want to limit myself to just find terminologies that people weren’t aware of but also tell them it’s okay to talk about it.

Q: What are some other areas that you want to create awareness about through your art?
A: I am working on my next project which is about our culture in general. Who we are as a collective community? and is quite unique. I want to make people look at my art not for only it’s quirkiness or my drawing ability but also learn something from it. Today we are consumers of information, and it is vital to learn something new for the day and share it among friends or start a conversation.

(Written by SADAKSHI K R)

NT Bureau