News Minute ran into Roshni Bhattacharya, the mind and hand behind the amazing NoodleDoodle line of cartoons and illustrations. Correspondent Shilpa Mandal met with Roshni on a rainy Saturday over coffee and donuts to let our readers know what it is to be like her!Independent. Funny, and full of life. That’s Roshni in a nutshell. She lives life on her own terms and totally loves what she does. Introvert, yet an expressive artist.
When people are mostly afraid of pursuing their passion in life, Roshni showed the courage to get ahead with her dreams. She quit her job to take up doodling as a profession. When women of her age carry makeup boxes/vanity kits with them, she always has a sketch box accompanying her everywhere. Without further adieu, let’s hear it from the lady herself.
Q What made you take up doodling?
Roshni : It started when I was in the sixth grade. I used to sit on the last bench in class and during the classes, I used to sketch various designs for dresses.
One day, I got caught by my teacher. Surprisingly, she asked me to design a dress for her daughter. She also advised me to appear for the NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) entrance exam. As fate would have it, I applied and got selected.
After the completion of my course at the Institute, I got placed in a garment company in Chennai, that dealt with designing men ware. I was the Junior Designer there.
During office meetings, I used to keenly observe the facial expressions of my colleagues and used to draw them. Later, one of my friends from NIFT suggested that I start a Facebook page where I could showcase my work. That’s how I got into doodling.
Q What level of support did you receive from your family for pursuing art, given the fact that majority of parents in India want their children to opt for either Engineering or Medical field?
Roshni : My father always wanted me to be an Engineer but I told him that I would like to see myself as a designer. I faced a lot of opposition initially but after I got into NIFT, my parents supported me.
They even bought me a laptop and a mobile phone which would help me in my studies.
Q How have things changed, from pursuing doodling as a hobby to making it your career?
Roshni : Things have changed big time. There’s this saying, ” You find your calling.”
Perhaps I was born to do this. I don’t know how many people are lucky enough to understand this but I understood and this is what I came for.
Q I am sure your characters are inspired by real life people you meet or know. So, who has been the most fun character of them all? Also, tell us more about Pookie and Tony.
Roshni : Yes my characters are inspired by real life. I am a huge animal lover. I have a parrot named Pookie, a funny character to say the least.
My nickname is Tony. So Tony and Pookie are the characters on which my latest work is based. I closely follow Pookie’s behaviour and activities and try to remember it while doodling.
Guess what! I have never been to any art school.
Q So, tell us more about yourself. What would Roshni be doing if she is not working?
Roshni : I’m more of an introvert. I love to spend time alone and concentrate on my work. I just can’t live without doodling. I like doodling dark characters and music is my life.
If I wasn’t into this, I would definitely be a dancer.
Q Do you follow any specific pattern for illustration?
Roshni : I like to make funny illustrations. Tony and Pookie are my favourite doodle characters. I also love Indian culture, Indian folk, art and tradition and I like to intricately design my doodles. My topics of doodling are mainly based on feminine characters and also I’m a great patriot! Being an introvert, I like to express my emotions through my doodles. When I’m happy, my doodles have happy expressions .When I’m sad, their expressions are also are sad.
Q So, USP of News minute is that we focus solely on promoting positive news. We realize that inspirational and socially uplifting episodes have a better effect on readers than negative stories. So, do you plan to work on any social issue now or in the future to showcase such stories?
Roshni : Definitely. Through my doodles, I try to depict the cruelty on animals.
Also I draw people with physical disabilities (especially blind people) and there’s a reason for that. As an artist, I always have this fear of losing my hands and eyesight. I also love to plant trees and I want to work on it in the future.
Q What message do you want to convey through doodling?
Roshni : Start seeing more. I would suggest everyone to observe more and be kind to everyone. Live the day. I also want to portray Indian youth, breaking all stereotypes. In the end, I also want to spread happiness through my work.