Vishakapatnam born digital artist Praveen Yarramilli who is now based in Goa, has been capturing the essence of the tiny state through his vibrant artworks. In conversation with NT BUZZ
CHRISTINE MACHADO I NT BUZZ
When Vishakapatnam-born artist Praveen Yarramilli moved to Goa, he began to realise that there was much more to the place than just beaches and the party life.
“I was working in Gurgaon before this. Being a relatively new city there is a lot of heavy construction going on. Prior to that, I have lived in cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kanpur,” says Yarramilli, who has also worked as a user experience designer at Yahoo. Tired of the bustle of the big city life, Yarramilli and his girlfriend decided to move to Goa. The plan was to try it out for six months. Ten months later, Yarramilli is completely enamoured with the state.
“The biodiversity here is overwhelming. As a tourist, you don’t notice this, but when you start living here you begin to observe all these details. It’s an experience that you just can’t put into words,” he says.
Having some free time on his hands, post his Gurgaon project, Yarramilli began to start illustrating again. “I had begun doing a few illustrations of Gurgaon and enjoyed it. After we moved to Goa and found a place in Mapusa, we were informed that the Mapusa market was the best place to purchase groceries. As I walked through it really captured my attention and I decided to illustrate some of the market scenes,” says Yarramilli.
His first series which he shared on social media was based on the market. Done in bright colours, it consisted of five artworks like a fish vendor, a man selling bananas, a flower seller etc. This was followed by a series called Goa on the Surface which captured everyday scenes in Goa like a vintage beetle zooming on the streets, the ‘pilot’, and an old man enjoying a cuppa in his veranda. His latest series of 10 artworks focuses on some popular beaches in Goa and is his visual interpretation of the colours during sunset.
“When I start these artworks, I don’t really have a style in mind. I start with a visual first and then use it as a reference point to create a sketch. I then make the necessary changes to it and then begin to colour. Once done, I refine the colours and stick to a very limited colour pattern. I then use the same colour palette for the other artworks,” he explains. The whole process is usually very explorative as he discovers what works and what doesn’t.
But was it a conscious decision to not focus on the beaches immediately? Not really, he says. In fact, it was just about a general progression. Having first visited the market, it became his first theme to tackle. Walking around his neighbourhood and observing the sights, inspired his next series. Visiting the beach then prompted him to focus on the shoreline.
Having already sold some of these artworks at the Saturday Night Market, Yarramilli’s work can also be found at People Tree in Assagao. He also hopes to start selling at the Paperboat by this month. “I’ve had a lot of conversations with the people who I have sold my artworks to. The tourists are impressed and eager to check out this side of Goa themselves. The locals meanwhile like that I present the everyday life in a very different way and this really makes me happy,” says Yarramilli who has previously been a part of art events in Goa like The Story of Space, and Anticlockwise which was held at Carpe Diem, Majorda. He has also sold his artworks at the International Film Festival of India.
Yarramilli is now focusing on Fontainhas and has already done a few artworks for this. He also hopes to do a series capturing the beauty of the monsoons in Goa. “This is my first monsoons here in Goa and I have observed that the rain really changes the way Goa looks, “he says. Yarramilli also wants to delve further into the Goan scene. “I am still looking at Goa from the surface as I don’t belong to the place. Mario Miranda’s work has a lot of details and insights into the culture and things happening here. Similarly, I want to gain an insight into Goa, the traditions, the way people live etc. It will of course take me some time, “he says.
At the same time, Yarramilli also hopes that the beauty and uniqueness of Goa will be preserved before it is too late. “Goa is a lovely place and I am saddened by the direction in which it is moving it. It is being branded for tourists as just a party place. But there is so much more. Also, there are still a few beaches which are untouched by heavy tourism and I am thankful for that,” he states.