The following article appeared in The Hindu’s Metroplus Hyderabad (September 8, 2012) and Bangalore (September 8, 2012). Read the original article here.
Inspiration is ‘always lurking about’ for Ramya Sriram, who will showcase her work at Comic Con Express, Bengaluru
In geometry, a line is defined as a set of points. In Ramya Sriram’s world, it is quite the opposite; all her points are made using sets of lines. It is an exciting week for the biotechnology student turned publisher who doubles up as a cartoonist; she can barely stop talking about the weekend when her work, which goes by the name ‘Stick Figure Cartoons’ will be showcased at the Comic Con Express Bengaluru. She is the only artist from Hyderabad to have a dedicated ‘table’ at the convention.
Comic Con Express is a travelling version of The Indian Comics Convention being held in New Delhi since 2009. Initiated by by Comic Con India Pvt Ltd in 2010, the convention is a place where graphic artists, writers and comic book enthusiasts come together. “It is a great place to network, see where you stand in the industry, collaborate or simply meet people,” says Kabir Shah, a Hyderabad-based illustrator and concept artist. Although she studied science and works in publishing, Ramya is happiest at her desk, stylus in hand, drawing life into stick figures.
Using stick figures to tell a story is hardly a new concept but much like the artist herself, Ramya’s characters are happy, cheerful little people taking pleasures in the little things — a three day weekend, good music, sleeper class train journeys. “I use stick figures because anyone can relate to. It is challenging to express in a minimalistic medium and I’m happy when I’ve said what I want to in a few lines,” she explains. Ramya has ‘been drawing forever’ but began to take herself seriously as an artist when she started doing a comic strip for Helter Skelter magazine in 2010. Later, she took her work out of the magazine and into her website, thetap.in , a name that has now become synonymous with her own. Now she takes orders for personalised comic strips and is also starting a line of merchandise, including coasters, bags and t-shirts which she is launching formally at the Comic Con Express.
Why the name ‘Tap’? “I just woke up one morning and felt like drawing a tap,” she says. Like her cartoons, her ideas are simple, direct and filled with spontaneity. “Well, it could symbolise flow of creativity,” she adds as an afterthought.