Adam Scott Carroll – Illustrator / Artist


I’ve been interacting with young designers over the last few years, on methods of working and preferred tools of the trade. There is a clear weighted shift towards digital software and tools – easy to use, easy to correct, and easy to share.

But Adam Scott Carroll likes to do things the hard way. He is probably the youngest artist I know who is really passionate about working with traditional rendering methods – using pencil on paper, brush on canvas. In other words, media that can be clipped on to his drawing board, or easel.

Rare these days, and ever rarer among young talent of his generation. After completing his tenth at Frank Anthony Public School Adam did a foundation course in visual art at the Kalamandir School of Art – a school that allows young artists to explore individual lines of expression. What Adam plans to do next is a degree in fine arts at the Chitrakala Parishat – a logical next step, he says.

Adam has participated in several art competitions and talent shows – one that he came first in was a televised award ceremony at Bal Bhavan in Bangalore. Even in the group exhibitions at college, what set him apart, was his choice of theme and medium of expression. According to him, there is a hard-to-match tactile appeal here that is an experience in itself.

Q – How do you describe your current focus area in art /illustration? (What do you like, or don’t like.)

Right now I would say literal realism in traditional mediums is my current focus area. And although I am interested in all the movements of art, I am attracted to the work of classical painters. Personally, I dislike photorealism and hyperrealism because in the attempt to achieve realism you merely reconstruct every minute detail – with a brief to resemble the original, as closely as possible. Well I might want to say that this can be limiting in a sense, because you can only make a comparison with the original – nothing more.

Q – What is the individual/unique technique that you bring into your work? (Style, treatment, rendering.)

Whether it’s in-depth knowledge of anatomy for arrangement of tones or good composition, one must understand that these fundamental concepts are paramount – skill or technique is secondary. It’s really hard to develop an individual technique without a thorough understanding of the aforementioned concepts. Having said that, I have been told that my style resembles the chiaroscuro technique of oil painting.

Painting as a subject of discovery, or study is something I haven’t explored adequately – there’s a whole lot I need to do, learn and discover in terms of style and technique. I’m still early in that curve, and currently happy in the world of acrylic, poster and watercolor painting – with adventures in clay sculpture, collage, woodcut prints, pen and ink.

Q – Instinctively, what materials would you like to reach out for? (Considering digital is not your go-to option.)

I prefer paper or canvas as it was also the preferred medium of the masters who attained levels of perfection that no degree of technology has achieved. What I reach out for eventually turns out to mixed media in some way or the other. Almost always, pencil lays the foundation that may be built upon with paint –shaded, or simply left as a line drawing. I love the magic of charcoal where the size and shape of each stroke follows the applied skills of individual expression. Deft variations in pressure can turn the most mellow greys into intense blacks.

As you can gather, there is no digital here. And looking at both historical and contemporary art from that perspective, you will find many people who share my view. There are artists who never did digital and have found success in today’s highly evolved and competitive world.

Q – Where do you usually draw your inspiration from? (Favorite artists, painters, illustrators?)

Yes, I have been lucky enough to have both my parents as artists. So the inspiration starts there, and competing with my sister who is brilliant at watercolor, makes me work harder. My dad is an avid collector of art books and images which have added to the learning experience and inspired me to a great extent.

Favorites include Francisco De Goya, Caravaggio, Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, MF Husain and of course Michael Angelo and Leonardo da Vinci. But Mother Nature is undoubtedly my biggest influence and inspiration. I am constantly trying to improve upon my work to meet her unrealistically high standards.

Q – Is there a wider choice for art students these days? (What can you do after college?)

In terms of a career, the scope is wider than most people realize these days – even with a simple Bachelor of Fine Arts. It opens doors in fashion houses, advertising agencies, and maybe in the film industry as well. With an ever increasing demand for good visual content, the possibilities are almost infinite.

I think that the concept of a starving artist is finally fading away.

Q – What do you see yourself doing after graduation? (Have you made any plans?)

Working with a boutique art studio would be nice, but I’m sure, very hectic. I think a publishing house is nice too, and freelancing being the way to go. I guess I will need to evaluate all opportunities that come my way.

To answer your question, I might pursue painting and drawing over the weekends on work that is assigned to me. And during the week, you’ll find me working in my tattoo studio.

You can’t sign off on a tattoo, but hopefully I will make a name for myself.

Adam’s charcoal impression of Ah Keah Boat / Two Hatchet – a Comanche Warrior, and member of the The Kiowas. The Kiowas are a tribe of Native Americans.
















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Adam on Instagram
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Mitra Farmand – cartoonist & illustrator

Meet Mitra Farmand – cartoonist and illustrator living in Brookline, Massachusetts. In 2013 she graduated from the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT – so don’t worry, she’s certified to draw cartoons.

Mitra has a degree in History from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and her work has been published in The Funny Times, The Nib, Seven Days and yes, The New Yorker as well.

I chatted with Mitra about discovering talent, and finding your sweet spot – which is a confluence of what you’re good at and what you’re interested in – and here’s her side of the story. She tends to be understated about her work, but anybody can see that she’s big on talent.

Q – Did you want to become a cartoonist as a child? Were your doodles “inspired” in your growing years?
As a child, I never thought about being a cartoonist. I liked to draw, but I had no special aptitude for drawing. I wanted to draw things exactly as they looked and was frustrated at my inability to draw realistically. For years, the extent of my drawing was doodling in school and the occasional art class.

Q – Is there another side to Mitra Farmand? What makes you funny?
People often ask me if I have a cat and if I’m a vegetarian. No to both those things. Apparently I look like a cat-owning vegetarian. I don’t like the zoo or buttons. If you see someone wearing a button down shirt at the zoo, that is not me. I like supply closets, dogs, and bicycles.

As for being funny, I do think I am kind of funny, just naturally. I think you can get funnier if you are funny, but if you aren’t funny in the first place, I’m not sure it can be learned.

Q – For most artists, a life-changing moment is when you recognize that you’re talented? When did that happen to you?
I don’t think I’m talented at drawing. I’m not the sort of person who can draw everything and I’m constantly Googling things to find out what they look like. I’ve grown somewhat proficient at drawing things I like to draw (like cats and dogs) and struggle with things I’m not good at drawing (like buildings and cars).

I envy people who can just draw something simply and be done with it. I think that gives their art a really easy quality and it looks like they had fun making the drawing. I try to get my drawings to look like that, but I often fail. I get caught up in the details. I think the reason I can draw some things is that I’ve worked hard at it. And the computer really helps.

Q – When did you realize that you needed to zig, when your peers chose to zag? What steps did you take to move in that direction?
I’ve always wanted to zig instead of zag. I just didn’t have anything that I was interested in enough to zig for until I started cartooning. So I don’t think it was something in my life that made me go back to school – like being unsatisfied with my job. It was finding something that I loved to do that made me go for it.

Q – What was your second life-changing moment? Your enrolment at The Center for Cartoon Studies? Your cartoon for the New Yorker?
The New Yorker has been kind of life changing. It’s validating. It gives me more confidence. Even though I was trying to get into The New Yorker for two years, it still seems amazing to me that they published one of my cartoons.

Q – Tell us something about your store on Etsy? What products do you feature?
Lately most of my attention is on my shop on Etsy. I sell cards, stickers, magnets, dioramas, tote bags, garlands, prints, and temporary tattoos. I sold about 250 items in my shop in 2015, but that doesn’t mean I’ve made a profit. I’m hopeful that this year I can take in more than I spend.

Q – How would you take your talent to the next level? Where do you go from here? 
Lately I’ve been trying to Google all the things I do manually in Photoshop and I’ve found that most of the things I do manually, Photoshop will do for me. It’s kind of great and kind of awful to find out that something you’ve been doing manually, you can do with one keystroke. Oops.

Oh yes, I want to get another cartoon into The New Yorker.

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Mitra’s store on Etsy >
Mitra’s website >
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