ARTIST INTERVIEW : Mana Santhanam
Name: Mana Santhanam
City: Bangalore, India
Profession: Website maker/ Content writer/ Customization Artist/ Singer (sorry, but they’re all my jobs!)
Tell us a bit about your work
I do a bunch of things really. So work would involve primarily three things—Website/Content creating, Custom Art and Singing for a choir called The Choral Riff, with the duo Bryden-Parth.
How did you get into art/writing?
THE CUSTOM ART:
It started when I was really young. My sister and I used to paint on our old jeans and shoes, and walls even. Art has always been a part of our lives, and it was something we did for fun. I revisited it a few years ago when one of my favorite and the most ancient pair of shoes needed some desperate saving. I did some tweaking and brightening up and didn’t think too much of it at the time. This was way back in school.
A few years later, that customizing streak returned and continued onto a bunch of shoes and T-shirts, and college notebooks. It was around this time that friends started asking me to customize their stuff too. And with those requests came the realization that I could do this for more people, anyone who wanted anything customized really.
And that’s pretty much how it took off. I started putting my stuff up and the orders have been coming in ever since.
I’ve always enjoyed writing, and unlike the Custom Art, which just sort of happened, I always knew I wanted to pursue some form of a job that involved writing.
When I finished my Masters, I was introduced by a close friend to a few people in a tiny and gorgeous little design firm called The Random Lines, and I jumped right in.
The current form my website making and content writing has taken is an evolution of what started there. Since then, everyone has moved all over the world (it was only five of us, a couple and two brothers) but I keep saying this, the experience there was so perfectly customized for me, I’ll never be able to work in another firm. Or it would be very rare to find something similar.
I’ve been a part of a choir called The Choral Riff for six years now.
It started off as a concept for the album launch of the Prog Rock band Slain, and has since evolved into a support musical/experiential act for the duo Bryden-Parth. (Bryden is also one of the guitarists of Slain, so that’s the connection). That was a result of cultural activities into college, and the duo happens to be dear friends apart from people I sing for.
Everyone in that setup, Bryden and Parth, the band and the choir, are all friends, along with being the highest quality professionals. So it’s really a pretty great privilege.
(Their website is one of the first I created when I started doing this solo).
What are you working on next?
I seem to have to always break it down into categories. 😀
A couple of exciting orders, involving music as a theme, and also Game of Thrones. That’s a popular one.
WEBSITES AND WRITING:
I maintain the blogs for both Toit and Permit Room (Permit Room’s website was my very first solo website, for which I got to do writing, photography and developing), so that’s always fun because I get to shoot great food and beer, and sample it 😛
I also meet a lot of fun people.
We have a bunch of shows lined up for May, and that usually also involves travel, which is always fun. I’m looking forward to that.
Any advice for younger artists?
I’m just about two years into what I’m doing, and still discovering my art, so I’m not entirely sure I’m qualified to give advice.
But I will say this: just go for it. If you have an idea, and it’s something that gets you up excited in the morning and keeps you happily up at night, then don’t sweat the other details.
Just put in the work, be disciplined, customize a plan for yourself as you discover the process and you’ll be set.
What are your inspirations?
I have a whole bunch of inspirations—artists, musicians, friends, family, the Universe. The list is endless. And I think the great part of being an artist or creative person is that we draw inspiration from varied sources, in different degrees.
I’ve been hugely lucky to call some of the best in the business my friends, and their mastery and approach to their craft have always been a driving force.
And in just the same way, the image of galaxies and forces of nature stir something equally strong somewhere inside.
So everyone from my best friend to Bill Watterson to Jane Goodall. Basically, people who are passionate about what they do, and are damn good at doing it.
To Discover more of her amazing Custom works and get in touch, follow:
Facebook: Mana Custom Art
DISCLAIMER: ALL THE IMAGES SHOWCASED HERE BELONGS SOLELY TO THE ARTIST MENTIONED ABOVE. IT HAS BEEN PUT UP WITH THEIR PERMISSION AND MEN OF COMICS HOLDS NO RIGHTS OVER IT.
A Business Analyst by profession, but more a traveller who is trying to analyse millennia of history, culture and stories across the world more than often.
I like to collect things – coins, stamps, books, autographs, and most of all action figures. Comics and pop culture has been an active influence to shape my life goals. In my free time (which I have very rarely) I like to do pencil sketching.
Secret wish – to visit every (real/inspired) place Tintin visited.