@artby_apoorva: a documented journey for an aspiring artist

October 6, 2021 — by Atrey Desai and Hannah Lee
Posted on Sept. 11, this colored pencil on black paper artwork commemorates World Fencing Day.

Browsing through the Instagram account @artby_apoorva, viewers see a variety of sketches and photorealistic artwork with subjects ranging from a simple apple to two fencers engaging in battle, accented by neon lights. 

The work is by junior Apoorva Talwalkar — created in the summer of 2020. The account has amassed 174 followers and chronicles Talwalkar’s artistic journey. 

“I like that I’m able to share my art with people who I don’t see in person very often,” Talwalkar said. 

In addition to six drawings on the account, she also started posting daily stories in October following a popular challenge within the art community called InkTober. 

During InkTober, participants must draw a designated daily subject in pencil or ink, ranging from concrete objects like the moon to abstract concepts like “fuzzy,” and post it on their social media with the hashtag #inktober2021.

The challenge, created by artist Jake Parker, focuses on “improving skill and developing positive drawing habits,” according to a FAQ on the InkTober website. For Talwalkar, the set schedule allows her to branch out to various subjects and flex her artistic muscles.

Talwalkar began drawing at a young age, with her first memory being at an elementary art docent.

“I guess I’ve always been drawn to art,” she said. “In elementary school, I would treat each project like I was painting the next Mona Lisa.”

Although she was interested in art “since being able to pick up a pencil,” Talwalkar only got serious about art in high school. This year, she is taking AP 2-D Art and Design outside of school and plans on submitting a portfolio for the exam.

To prepare, Talwalkar has invested more time into her art endeavors than in previous years. 

“I take a class once a week and am expected to spend time outside of class to ensure that I will be able to complete all my pieces in time,” she said. 

For classroom art assignments, Talwalkar starts each piece by envisioning the piece in her mind, making a few rough thumbnail sketches (miniature sketches approximately the size of a thumb), followed by choosing her medium.

“My favorite mediums to work with are graphite and colored pencil,” Talwalkar said. “I like them because they are portable and easy to work with.”

Following the initial drafting process, Talwalkar sets out to make the finished product by sketching the subject on the canvas. The entire process for classroom pieces usually takes around 10 hours to complete.

Outside of the classroom, Talwalkar prefers not to enter her art in competitions. Instead, she often creates recreational pieces for herself.

For these, she disregards thumbnail pieces in favor of drawing directly onto the final canvas. These pieces often vary in time depending on the intricacies of the medium and subject.

“Usually, I draw inspiration from who I’m with, where I am, or how I’m feeling,” Talwalkar said. 

As with any creative process, Talwalkar occasionally faces a mental block. Though this problem doesn’t have a perfect solution, she finds that stepping back and looking at the piece as a whole often helps reorient herself. 

“It’s easy to fixate on one part of the piece when another part needs some work or fixing,” she said. 

If that doesn’t work, she takes a break and comes back to the painting at a later time. 

Though her future plans are unclear, she still aims to continue to produce art in some fashion. 

“I enjoy art because it’s calming and therapeutic,” Talwalkar said. “There are truly no rules when it comes to art. You can draw whatever you are feeling in the moment and communicate feelings you can’t express with words.”

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