People usually think of artists as very serious people, who work day and night to create masterpieces, and have no time for anything else. This guy is definitely not one of those artists. This is the story of Keshav Rathnavel, a boy who wants his art to tell stories, who gets really into the project he is doing and then starts forgetting stuff and getting existential crises in the middle of his work.
Like many other kids growing up in the 90s, Keshav was in love with the old school cartoons – Swat Kats, Dexter’s Laboratory, and so on. He was just 5 when he first decided to draw, to try to imitate what was on the screen and put it on the paper. This was a time when most of the children were on cartoons, and it was the cartoons that prompted Keshav to try to become an artist. It would all change soon, however, all thanks to a video game.
If you are a 90s child as well, you obviously know Assassin’s Creed – and have most likely played it at some point in time. Keshav was also one of the kids that got hooked up to the game. The graphics of the game were revolutionary for its time, and it presented Keshav with his next challenge – realism. Drawing cartoon characters were one thing, drawing realistic characters was something different. And it was one of the first stumbling blocks for him. In his own word, the first drawing he made for the game was just “blah”. But instead of being daunted, he took it as a challenge and improved his skills substantially.
Also, in 2010, he came up with the idea of starting his own YouTube channel and posted his artwork on it. Then, came Angry Birds. The game was a massive hit, and it was the same time when the first Avengers movie came out, and Kesh (that's what he is recognized as) made a video about his art, which was a crossover between the game and the movie. It spread quickly, and became pretty viral soon, amassing hundreds of thousands of views. He was filled with newer ideas now, and his block was gone.
He started creating newer characters, and stories to go around his characters. His art was not getting enough views, and he was not feeling satisfied with his art. This went on for days, until he decided to quit making videos altogether, and got a job. However, an old saying came back to haunt Keshav – You can take the artist out of the art, but never the art out of the artist. He was soon back, with his brush on the drawing board, and kept making artwork every few days. He started getting better at it. He started to like his own work again. And more people were following his artwork online, through Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
Keshav has taught himself what art means to him. He has hit many roadblocks along the way and even quit his art in order to do his job. But art always came back to him, and he always went back to it. He is someone who never tries hard, but instead, makes his art look effortless. And he lives his life on three simple words by Neil Gaiman: Make Good Art.
His favorite artwork is "The Story of 2 Wolves". " I like it because it represents choices. Good and bad and it's based on the story of two wolves" says Kesh.