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Designing the Endpaper

The Notebooks would feel context less if there was not a mention anywhere of why I took up the *Mishtis of Bengal* for my project. So I thought if I included a short purpose of the project on the endpapers along with the artwork and colophon, it would be interesting.

I designed artworks for the endpapers and experimented printing them on colored sheets matching the cover papers.

 

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Forms of Mishtis: The Final Artwork

After meeting Tarun with the previous artworks having reference with Bengali films and literature, he still told me to work on artworks wherein the interesting and varied FORMS of the mishtis come out and grab the attention of the users. So I used a rotting pen and black ink on normal cartridge paper. The following twas the result of the initial artwork that I had scanned.

Initially I thought I will keep the border as black, but after having a review with Tarun, he suggested me to make the color palette more warm and appealing and take out the taste and form of the mishtis. So I decided to change the outline color of the forms of the mishti to a reddish brown.

Forms of Mishtis: Rotring and Black ink on paper

Forms of Mishtis: Coloured with Black outline

Forms of Mishtis: Coloured + Brown Outline

After the artwork I thought of adding some functionality to the prints, so I thought why don’t I try and make notebooks with these since anyways for screen printing I would be printing a lot of copies and experimenting with paper. So I decided I’l make NOTEBOOKS with the prints. Tarun suggested the need of an identity of the notebooks.

So I decided to experiment with the notebook labels.

Exploring the Notebook Labels

The final artwork with the ‘The Mishti Notebook’ identity.

The Final Artwork with “The Mishti Notebook” identity.

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Durga Puja Times

In the context of Bijoya Dashami, I tried to recreate a scene during the hustle bustle on Dashami day, the last day of Durga Puja keeping Mishtis in context.

Soon I will upload the colored version of this.

Durga TImes – black ink on paper

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Bijoya Dashami and Mishti

Vijayadashami (Bengali: বিজয়াদশমী) also known as Dasara, is one of the most important festivals celebrated in various forms, across India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Dasara/ Dussehra is derived from Sanskrit Dasha-hara meaning “remover of bad fate” meaning remover of ten heads of Ravana’s.

It is also referred to as Navratri and Durgotsav. It is also written as DashaharaDussehra Bengali: দশেরা.

Dasara is celebrated on the tenth day of the Hindu autumn lunar month of Ashvin, or Ashwayuja which falls in September or October of the Western calendar, from the Shukla Paksha Pratipada, or the day after the new moon which falls in Bhadrapada, to the Dashami, or the tenth day of Ashvin. The first nine days are celebrated as Maha Navratri(Sanskrit: नवरात्रि, ‘nine nights’) or Sharada Navratri (the most important Navratri) and culminates on the tenth day as Dasara.

The day marks the victory of Goddess Durga over such demons as Shumbh and Nishumbh. It is a day when devotees worship Goddess Shakti. Shakti represents strength, ability and courage. This day also celebrates the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana.

On this day a lot of activity happens related to bengali sweets wherein the sales of sweets in shops increases drastically. Also in traditional Bengali families with zamindari lineage, the mishtis are prepared with great love in the kitchens in large quantities. Also families visit each other and gift sweet boxes to each other.

I took this context as an inspiration and developed the artwork. I wanted to concentrate on the activity wherein married ladies feed the Goddess the sweet to seek her blessings and bid her goodbye so that she can come back next year. This artwork was developed for a 2 color screen printing experiment.

The Bijoya Dashami Artwork in process.

Bijoya Dashami- Final Artwork

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Pather Panchali and Mishti

Pather Panchali: The Song of the Little Road – A film by Satyajit Ray

I thought of exploring a famous scene of Pather Panchali, wherein the moira (mithaiwala) visits the distant village of Nischindipur. The village is the abode of the protagonists of the film Apu and Durga both brother and sister who belong to a very poor family  and cannot afford to buy sweets no matter how delicious they are to taste. The scene shows the brother sister duo following the mithaiwala through a dense forest before he enters a palatial bungalow of an affluent family  to sell sweets.

Following are my explorations for the illustration.

Pather Panchali: From sketch to digital drawing

Explorations of Durga’s character

Pather Panchali: The Artwork in making.

Artwork Explorations:

After the first review of the sketches, Tarun told me to improve finer aspects of the drawings like detailing out the tree and the characters more. Also the balance of geometrical and hand drawn forms need to be in sync which was not happening. Experimentations of screen printing like over printing of areas needed further explorations, so I came up with the following artworks based on a similar style.

Pather Panchali: 3 colur screen

Colour experiment

Over printing experiment

 

 

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Khirer Putul Sketches

Khirer Putul, a story by Abanindranath Tagore is based on the mishti cheer wherein cheer doll is a key protagonist of the novel.

I explored the sketches that were already existing in the novel and tried to see if any screen printing experimentations can be performed on it.

Khirer Putul by Abanindranath Tagore

Khirer Putul by Abanindranath Tagore

Khirer Putul by Abanindranath Tagore

Experimenting with 2 colors for screen print:

Khirer Putul by Abanindranath Tagore

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Linking Gupi Bagha with Mishtis

In this phase I tried to focus on different illustration styles. I explored content where we find references of famous bengali sweets in bengali literature or iconic films.

REFERENCE 1: ROSHOGOLLA AND GUPI GYNE BAGHA BYNE – A film by Satyajit Ray

Gupi Gyne Bagha Byne: Part 1: In this movie the climax is a war scene between two kingdoms and the two main protagonists of the movie i.e Gupi Gyne and Bagha Byne stop the war with their infested magical powers and bringing roshogollas from the sky. Following are my explorations for the same.

Roshogollas find varied references in the film in particular. Following are the initial drawings I made on the film.

Lettering inspired from the film Gupi Gyne Bagha Byne

The King in Gupi Bagha who loved eating Roshogollas

The 2 main protagonists of the film- Gupi and Bagha

 

Vectorizing the artworks on Illustrator using the Wacom tablet:

Gupi Gyne Bagha Byne

Gupi Gyne Bagha Byne

Final Image