Art can take a variety of forms, one such form is doodling. Intricate lines form characters and ideas thus chiseling out a whole theme within a single frame. Ruhul Iftekhar, who likes to call him colorBOMBER, is one such young artist, who, finds a way, to counter those destructive bombs falling upon innocent civilians across the globe through color bombs because, in essence, these bombs would make people happy. Saqueb Sartaz Khan takes his interview for New Age Youth.
New Age: I hear you take quite the interest in doodling- throwing colors on frames, pen on paper. Tell us a little about colorBOMBER.
colorBOMBER: Doodles and cartoons. I love to draw cartoons and doodles in random places, on random things and at random occasions of the day. And I think doodling generates highest level of fun during boring math classes.
New Age: As an aspiring artist myself, I know a little about the journey of an artist. To me, it means a life devoid of norms. It often demands, throughout the journey, things from you which might not seem ‘normal’ to other people. Do please tell a bit about your journey.
colorBOMBER: The journey with art, for me has started long ago, since my childhood. I never stopped drawing, it only varied in context. When I was studying architecture during my under graduation studies, the drawing was based on that and I was drawing less of human beings or creatures, and more of ‘sceneries and structures’. Afterwards as I changed my university and joined a business school, I felt a void inside of me due to my detachment from practices of art.
New Age: So I am wondering, what colorBOMBER means?
colorBOMBER: You know what the current scenario of the world is like, right? I mean all this chaos, all these people dying and all these bombs; Israel-Palestine, North Korea-USA and what not. That was rather upsetting for me, and I thought of a way to counter these destructive bombs through color bombs because, in essence, these bombs would make people happy. So that’s how colorBOMBER came to life.
New Age: I have heard about ‘Inktober’. Would you like to discuss it briefly with us?
colorBOMBER: At the end of 2016, inspired by Jake Parker, a rather conceptual artist, I participated in a challenge to create comic-art based on ‘prompts and ideas’ for each day of October. It is an annual celebration known as ‘Inktober’. I don’t reckon finishing all the 30 days of doodles, however, what I discovered about myself was that I was no longer unhappy. It was as if the void in me was somehow filled itself to provide me with content. As long as I am drawing, I don’t feel like I require anything else, anymore.
At first I was just into mindless doodling, but now I’ve moved on to much intricate designs, characters, ideas.
New Age: Talking about ideas and themes, do you work on political themes and ideas?
colorBOMBER: No, not yet, not as much, but I intend to. I feel my ‘caricature’ game is still quite weak. After gaining some more experience and expertise, I will definitely indulge into working on political topics. Talking about that, I participated with a submission of a caricature for Unmad’s 40th year anniversary, and my art got selected!
New Age: That is great to hear. Any other update of your recent work that you’d like to share?
colorBOMBER: Yes. Highly inspired by Mr Doodle, I’ve taken up a project called 7 by 2. So, it’s basically a 7 ft by 2 ft space that I intend to fill with characters and stories and yet somehow bring them in a harmonic synchrony. I find this kind of unique and spontaneous storytelling rather than compelling work. This project is also a practice grounds to see if I’m ready to hit the big walls. I intend to start with my room and move on to the world gradually, given I can.
New Age: What do you intend to do with your art?
colorBOMBER: The purpose of my art is to make people smile. You’ll see most of my doodle characters possess a smiley face. I want to spread happiness through my art, and make peoples’ lives more vibrant; maybe spread a little positivity in this intimidating and chaotic world.
New Age: I’ve heard many great people talk about the importance of being inspired; about inspiration. What does it mean to you? What inspires you?
colorBOMBER: Inspiration comes from a whole lot of places; If you want, you can get it from day to day life, while on the contrary, also get it from nowhere at all, or let the wild imagination of yours fly high.
New Age: Hmm, I see. But where do you mostly seek out and get your inspirations from. I mean we all have that one place we know we ought to visit for a shot of inspiration. I for one know where I ought to visit for inspirations. I wonder if you do too.
colorBOMBER: I get my drive from the innate desire to cover as much area as I possibly can, with doodling. People accept cartoons more than doodle. Also like I said earlier just the idea of being filled with and radiating happiness drives my passion for doodling.
New Age: I’ve had a friend once. He was a thinker, philosopher and photographer. We used to spend a major portion of our days, just walking; talking; understanding photography, philosophizing life and everything. He acted as a catalyst for my art and I for him. Have you ever felt that just being around artists inspired art?
colorBOMBER: Being around other cartoonists and doodle artists is a mind boggling experience. There’s a community called Cartoon People based in Dhaka, who organise a weekly meet-up session called Sketchbook Saturday. I’ve formed an endearing bond with the community, having paid recent visits and the circle is becoming a space for me to open up my mind.
New Age: So this is where all the leading cartoonists’ hangout?
colorBOMBER: Not really, no. I mean it’s a place for cartoonists and other such artists from all legs of the city, young and old to come together and share ideas. I’ve seen kids there also. It’s hard to put into words how inspiring these sessions are. All of us there are thinking in similar patterns, if not the same thing. I even know a few people who I’ve never met but that person and I keep in touch, only to share our work with one another. So I would definitely say interacting with other artists helps out with one’s work rather significantly.
New Age: As an artist, growing and developing is crucial in shaping the art and vice versa. You think you would want to add a line or two to that?
colorBOMBER: I was very constricted in the beginning until I started experimenting. 99 percent of things I try out these days are out of my comfort zone. I mean the 7 by 2 is a bizarre idea in itself, as experimental as it is. However, it is only the stepping stone of what is to become of the four walls in my room.
While working on the 7 by 2, I figured out that using markers are quite time consuming. I am learning from each of my projects and using that knowledge in the next. I always try out things which I am weak at. Practice is paramount in any art form.
New Age: The enthusiasm in your tone tells me you enjoy every bit of it.
colorBOMBER: Every bit! colorBomber started as my breather, breathing space and leaving a mark. This is also highly about my growth as an artist and exploration.
New Age: So, this is your expression? Doodling?
colorBOMBER: I’ve seen where word fails, cartoons don’t. I want to tell my story through my doodles.
Saqueb Sartaz Khan is searching for the light and an intern with New Age Youth.