Patience, a steady hand and a magical world of psychedelic wonderment are just a few thoughts that come to mind when viewing Arpana Rayamajhi‘s intricate illustrations. Rayamajhi is originally from Kathmandu, Nepal and is currently living between New York and Philadelphia as she builds her portfolio and determines her next creative moves. Not long ago, Bill Gentle shot a striking series of Rayamajhi for his infamous photography blog, Backyard Bill. It’s nothing new for an artist to be an inspirational force in every capacity, but at only 22, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this rising star. Check out our Q+A for a glimpse into Rayamajhi’s daily routine!
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PP: What websites and news sources do you generally start your day with-do you have a daily routine for news/blog/information consumption?
AR: I check my emails. I check my stats at Behance. There’s a lot of cool stuff to look at and it’s for everyone that likes to create so its a good way for me to share my work and also see what others are up to. I also keep a blog called Refill. It’s a collage of things that interest me. I like to collect images so I can refer to them anytime I want.
PP: How did you discover your talent and how has it evolved over your creative career?
AR: I’ve been drawing since I was a kid. The first work I saw was my father’s and I was inspired to draw and paint like him. Growing up, I experimented with different mediums, like music, photography, video…I also taught myself how to sew. When I met Bruno, he had his sketchbook with him all the time. This made me want to keep my own sketchbook and as a result I started drawing again.
In Nepal, traditional art is amazing and well taught, but I wanted to do other things. I wanted to experience another culture and a different way of learning so I enrolled as an art student at Temple University last year. During this period, I’ve had a chance to explore my ideas within different mediums. While my drawings consist primarily of pen and ink, I have started working with collage and paint. I’m also sewing on canvas now and excited to see how that turns out. Being immersed in a culture that is progressive and competitive has affected my work as well as my purpose of creating.
Right now, I’m taking a term off to build my portfolio and study in a different environment. I am constantly seeking change and transformation and this has become a part of my creative process. I could go on and on.
PP: Please explain your design process.
AR: I put on some music, and I start to draw. Most times, I have to be in the state of mind where I want to draw. That usually happens when I have a clear idea of what’s next. The patterns and designs are intuitive. Sometimes I plan the layout, though most times I just draw. I usually struggle when a vision that’s not mine is put in front of me so I refer to magazines and other peoples’ work merely for inspiration. If I think about it too much, it’s not enjoyable and I get very critical of my work so I try not to think too much, rather, concentrate on how I feel at the moment and enjoy that.
PP: What is your preferred method of design and how is it incorporated in your final product? (ie. collage, computer, handwork, etc.)
AR: Primarily my work consists of ink on paper. I like handwork. I’m stupid when it comes to technology so I don’t fiddle around with it that much. Like I mentioned before, I’m using different mediums and currently trying out collages and sewing on different textiles.
PP: Do you incorporate commercial trends into your work and if so, is this a factor that drives your design?
AR: I am still learning and not a working artist so I do not know much about commercial things. That being said, I’m always interested in what’s new and what people are doing. My surrounding environment plays a huge role in my work and I’m quite concerned about the loss of bio-diversity. While my drawings don’t portray the obvious plight, they do reveal my desire of survival. Though I may exaggerate the idea a bit, I believe it’s something magical. I’m also influenced by psychedelic art with bright colors and intricate designs and patterns and my work is quite similar as a result.
I draw to embrace the existence of others and this is fulfilled when the art has positive impact on things that I care about. This what I’m striving for.