Debanjana Chowdhury is an Indian Student who moved to Groningen in the year 2019 to pursue a career in Arts while studying ACM. Debajana is completely immersed in the practice of digital sketching. Jemila Burbach interviewed this very talented artist. Read their conversation below.

Jemila: You draw a lot of your friends. Do you enjoy drawing people who are close to you more?

Debanjana: Actually I just started sketching last year around September and I couldn’t really think of a subject I wanted to paint, so I drew my friends. As a portrait it is fine but I don’t exclusively draw familiar people. I also come up with ideas of people in my head and draw not familiar people for more commercial purposes. However, I also take a lot of inspiration from new photography art.

Jemila: Do you prefer digital sketching over hand drawing?

Debanjana: I would say in terms of making commercial portraits or advertising purposes, I definitely prefer digital sketching. That is super trendy and everyone wants it. But for portraits in general I like sketching by my own hand and experimenting with watercolor techniques.

Jemila: Does ACM inspire you in regard to your art or does it help you in the progress of making art?

Debanjana: I would say in terms of how ACM has helped me with my art history would be the fact that I wasn’t really aware of the art history and how different art styles developed and why. I didn’t know a thing before I came here. Once you sort of know where all the famous artists got their inspiration from or what they were trying to show and depict in their paintings, you also pick up one or two things up about the composition and the framing. You just understand art better and you develop an eye for what is more aesthetic.

Jemila: You started painting in second grade. Were you already interested in painting the female body back then?

Debanjana: Back in India and especially Kolkata where I’m from, children are basically pumped with culture. They are being said to learn how to sing, how to play piano or dance. So me and my sister were asked to learn how to paint, that’s how it began. And eventually, I got super interested but my genre wasn’t super common, I would say. Figure studies and painting was a common genre of art but at the same time, it was very tabooed. I had been sort of rebellious with this and continued to draw naked women. I genuinely feel that way that everyone is really beautiful. It depends on the personality and how they present themselves. That’s basically why I started sketching women.

Jemila: What motivates you as an artist the most in these corona times and how does it influence you?

Debanjana: I started sketching last year in September and I would say that covid did help me because I went back to India for a while. I began this as my hobby and then I realized that the Instagram market for digital design skyrocketed during covid. People started making a lot of money and really engaged with it. I started because I thought that this was something I might be interested in, not that I would be decent at it. So, I would say that covid helped me to focus on my art especially with being forced to stay inside more and not being able to do a lot of other activities. While painting, I can just sit and go on for hours and hours.

Jemila: Do you have other genres or projects planned for the future?

Debanjana: Actually, I have been redesigning my feed on Instagram recently. And I have decided that I want to merely focus on two themes. First of all, I wanna continue focusing on drawing the female body and the other theme will focus on drawing small animals and insects like lizards and snakes but in my style. And another thing I am still debating is painting dancers because I feel like this is such a cool theme. They are always in motion and that’s why I would love to cover dancers as well. But I am not sure if I want to continue painting portraits, we’ll see…

Thank you for reading!!

A huge thank you to Debanjana for sharing her love of art with us. Looking forward to your new creations. Check out her Instagram below.