Pramit Santra is a young artist from Raipur, Chhattisgarh. He had been working on drawing comics for quite a some time. He just got his big break from Yali Dream Creations to work on Rakshak, which got release this week. Along with that he also works on his own indie comics project Life-Time, issue #1 of which was released earlier in digital formats.
Pramit has developed a unique art style of his own which is reflected in his artworks of Life-Time and Rakshak. The way he draws actions and emotions has a signature of his own.
In an exclusive interview with Siddhant Shekhar, Pramit talks about his inspirations, projects and how he developed his art style.
Q) – Tell us a little about your childhood and education.
Pramit – Childhood spent partly in West Bengal and Chhattisgarh. Regarding education, I’m a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering. However, the use of the degree is also partial and is mostly used to fill up the criteria boxes on job forms.
Q) – How did you get interested in Art?
Pramit – My grandpa from mother’s side is a landscape painter from West Bengal. From him to my maternal uncle, to my brother and then to me. My father and brother taught the very basic drawing and structure. But instead of painting/suggestive art, I was only interested in comics, storytelling and anything that has a wider approach than only a suggestion. Which is why, my art style is more expression and less fine art.
Q) – Which was the first comic you read or the one which you remember?
Pramit – The first comic-book I remember was He-man. Small copies that came for 4INR in 1995, that my brother used to read. I didn’t know how to read Bengali, I just liked the pictures.
Q) – What was your practice regimen?
Pramit – I don’t have a practice regimen. Comicbook art and specifically Superhero genre is all escapism, it has no rules , just guidelines. I’m from an educational/technical background, so I don’t like the rules to be entered in comic art as well. But to each his own, if anyone thinks they should have a schedule for artistry, they should get it.
Q) – How did you get into drawing comic books?
Pramit – As I said before, my first drawings were He-man and wrestling figures. Later, it became more Disney Donald Duck, Gummy Bear, Transformers Armada under the influence of Cartoon Network. I drew my own comics with a dot pen, ever since 5th grade. I rarely drew superheroes and then in 7th grade, I got Jim Lee’s Hush. Things changed and after lots of back and forth in education and while jobs, I starter drawing comics for others.
Q) – How did you get your first break?
Pramit – I can’t say what is a break. Every new job is a new break. Saying one job means more than the other would be saying I like my new friend more than the people I lived with for 25 years. It took 21 years of drawing just to say that “someone is interested in hiring you for a project.” I’ll say my first break was in 2013 when someone asked me to draw 1 page for 10 $.
Q) – Who are your heroes in comic book art?
Pramit – If we specifically talk comic art, Jack Kirby and Jim Lee were the first two in the No Internet days. Then the list grew on to Adam Hughes, Stjepan Sejic, Marc Silvestri, Frank Cho, Ed Benes, Sean G Murphy, Art Adams and hundreds more in my fb/twitter friend’s list and follows. I admire all of their work me as I borrow something from everyone’s styles.
Q) – Which is your dream title or character to draw for?
Pramit – None and all. I’ll honour every tomato or egg thrown at me unless it’s absolutely rotten and tasteless for me.
Q) – What are your upcoming projects?
Pramit – Rakshak is on, I think. Yali will decide on that. I keep working with many writers and creatives who like my work on their projects. Most of my work is out there online, for websites, indie shorts. Publishing is a paramount risk, which is why, we should respect the courage of Indian publishers that they’re at least putting something out there for a public who goes to watch a movie for 200INR for just one time watch and deny buying a textbook/novel/comic book of the same price but much higher value and return, that they can read repeatedly and the knowledge and details will never end.
My own slow Sci-fi series “LIFE-TIME” is always in the making and is available digitally. I plan to release an Issue 2 as soon as I can make the time.
Q) – Any advice for the budding professionals looking to make it in the industry?
Pramit – For writers I’m not qualified to advice writers. But a suggestion, the key is collaboration and not dictatorship. Give the artists some creative freedom. We’re not Alan Moore, Jim Lee working for DC or Marvel. In modern commercial art, whatever works, works but also don’t forget your humanity . Find a balance. Readers buy for the artist, stay for the writer.
For artists, not qualified here as well. I’m myself a budding artist. So, my Professional suggestion to myself would be- Start drawing gibberish, people are looking for escapism, not confinement. There are many angles to success but how much of that makes anyone happy is unknown.
Interview by Siddhant Shekhar