Jaskeerat Singh, is a visual artist and a fourth year engineering student at GNDEC, he uses an alias to display his work, ‘Teddy’. He is currently based out of a small village on the outskirts of Ludhiana City, Punjab (India).
“I come from a very orthodox Sikh family so the freedom of creating content was never available to me. I found freedom in the shady hostel rooms during first year in college where I could be anyone I wanted to be, for 3 hours everyday before I got back home.”, says Jaskeerat. His affair with photography started around the same time. He mentions, “while growing up, the best part was that I got to watch new movies on our VCR, the first few were E.T., Jurassic park and Back to the future and the likes of it which kind of lay out the base for my love for popular culture.”
What got you started as a photographer in the first place?
Telling a story, isn’t that how we all start? The urge to tell a story has always been there, something that could give in to that feeling in the chest. I always love meeting new people because every person comes with a premium pack of stories to tell from reality and beyond, I wanted to document that and I think this is something that made me look at things as a photographer.
For how long have you been designing, creating art?
I started designing around the time when I started photography, which was almost three years ago. I would click photos in my garden, come into my room and try to draw on them. It would all make little sense while I thought about life and tried mixing two forms of art.
What’s your favorite art form?
I love to draw boudoir and photograph it as well since body is the only canvas I know perfectly. Also, i am really inspired by the raw style of Jean Michel Basquiat, which makes me push myself and learn.
How do you deal with ‘creative block’?
I think I have a creative block all the time, since I jump from one painting to another, from one project to another come back to later maybe, maybe not because I don’t know what to do with them. I have a lot of unfinished projects and a procrastinators curse. I carry on with life and I get ideas along the way, spill them out once I’m with the canvas again.
From conceptualizing to creating final art pieces, what goes behind the scenes? Can you describe what’s your process like?
Before I start a project, I think about what I can’t do. I think more about the limitations than about things what I can do, and then I try to use those limitations positively. Generally, I try to build the photograph/art piece around the story that I want to portray. I find a subject, choose the right colors and with little deviations throughout I see it coming to life. Sometimes I draw digitally and print it and add a dimension in physical layer and then photograph it. Sometimes I draw on paper, scan it and add dimensions digitally. The process of creating something depends on what feeling I want to achieve in the end. I carry the philosophy of ‘the less, the better’ while working.
What are your interests besides photography and creating art?
I love to watch movies, I like noticing camera angles and the way the light in a scene helps portray a story. I hope to join film school by next year. My favorite movie is ‘In The Mood For Love’ by director Wong Kar Wai. I also like to read about intoxicants and how they have shaped different types of cultures around the world and are still shaping the new world.
What would you prefer if you were to pick one – exhibiting your work at an offline event or posting it online?
I would prefer either till i don’t come in front of the people who are seeing my work. I think without knowing who the artist is and what’s the name of the artist and what he/she looks like, We get a response without the prejudice that the audience are bound with in their world.
What kind of art projects do you like to pursue?
I like the type of projects where there are multiple artist working, so this way you bring a lot to the table.
All images by Teddy.