Fork in the Road
By Jag Lall, Nov 5 2015 07:26PM
October was a busy month chiselling away at my upcoming graphic novel '1400' and starting to get in touch with organisations and showing previews to people. The response has been very positive so far, I have been humbled at how people have reacted to the preview pages.
However my graphic novel train was derailed unexpectedly when I came across the clip on BBC Sunday Morning Live which was when the moment that Jagmeet Singh on live TV gave an impromptu plea for media coverage on the killings of Sikhs in Punjab. India. There was something about that moment which left me very disheartened about the state of the Sikh voice not just on a national level but also a global level, are we as a community just a whisper of a noise in the whirlwind of the world? Hopefully members of our community can push themselves and their talents so that their voice can and will be heard, be it through the arts, sports, politics or wherever their soul wishes to go. Make yourself so good that the world will listen to you, don't let obstacles be an excuse for you to stop reaching for that pinnacle.
For me art is about expression and it is the platform for my views and for me to weave my stories and the art 'Time to Act' was no exception. I wanted to give the message that raising awareness is only half the battle, action also has to be taken. A lot of emotion went into that painting, I really have been humbled at how the artwork has resonated with people. It was actually one of the quickest paintings I have done, around 7-8 hours, but it was also one of the most deepest in emotion and narration with a lot of darkness merged in. I also put a lot of thought into the composition, there is an angle and perspective to the painting draws the viewer's eye from the foreground figures towards the crowd which is where the real narrative of the artwork is. I feel a lot of emotion poured out into the canvas.
I attended the unveiling of the Sikh WW1 memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum, it was a pleasure to be there and also it was a privilege to illustrate artwork for the souvenir publication as well as being asked to write a short piece on my artwork for the Sikhs At War project. I was very proud to see how highly revered Sikhs are in the military. To be part of something which will have a long lasting place on this earth was quite poignant.
In other news I finished up a commissioned painting of Batman villain Bane and I also wrote a short piece on the 1984 Sikh Genocide for LAFZ Magazine upcoming issue. I am due to start illustrating a children's book which will be digital and in a flat illustrative style - different to what I usually do but it will be a fun challenge. I also finished up a few book cover art and designs this month so it has been pretty busy.
I will start finishing my graphic novel now and I am really excited to see what type of impact it will make especially with the preview pages gathering a very positive response. So important to keep sketching and working away and day by day make progress.