3 Talented Calligraphy Artists From India You Should Know About

Creative, skillful, and oh-so-gifted, these Indian calligraphy artists will blow your mind!

Calligraphy — an art so ancient, its origins can be traced back to the very beginning of written language itself. Having grown in stature in India in the recent past, calligraphy’s importance is finally being recognised in our country, both as a hobby and a viable career option as well. If the gorgeous art form genuinely intrigues you, we’ve already written a comprehensive piece about calligraphy to help you understand the basics. However, knowing something in theory is one thing, and understanding its practical applications in the real world, quite another. And thus, we decided to speak to three of the most gifted India calligraphy artists in India, so as to delve into their lives, learn more about the wonderful art form, and hopefully, inspire many to pick up a pen and try their hand as well.

Anaroop Kerketta, 35

Hailing from a small district of Alipurduar in West Bengal, Anaroop’s love for calligraphy began at a young age, but has only blossomed into a full-fledged professional career two and a half years ago. A naturally talented artist, he holds a degree from Delhi College of Art (Bachelor in Fine Arts) as well as a Master’s in Degree in Animation and Film Design from Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay. Currently, he’s settled in Mumbai, where he works as an Independent Artist, as well as moonlighting as the official Calligraffiti ambassador.

Anaroop Kerketta

Calligraphy artist Anaroop Kerketta

The Beginnings

As a young child, Anaroop claims he always loved writing. “When I say writing, though, I mean writing words, names, letters — you know, the like. I didn’t know there was a term for it!”

Imperfection Is Beautiful – Poster by Anaroop Kerketta

Anaroop would particularly enjoy composing and designing his own name in different ways and styles, and people soon began to take notice of his natural talents. “My friends would ask me to write their names in books during classes, and I’d do it to make them happy. It was only much later in life that I discovered there’s a term for it, and also a variety of tools available to explore the same! I took to it like a duck to water, started developing my own styles of ‘writing’, and haven’t looked back since.”

Calligraphy In His Life Today

“In simple words, Calligraphy for me is not just an art, but also a medium of expression — which means, can’t be pretty and beautiful always. That is exactly why you’ll find that my works are almost always experimental. I mean, I generally don’t follow any termed calligraphy style form. There are a few influences, sure — spiral calligraphy, black lettering, and gothic family, to name a few. But I would like to christen my style simply as ‘Imperfect Calligraphy’ because I firmly believe that imperfection is beautiful.”

Where Does India Stand In The World Of Calligraphy?

“Honestly, it’s difficult to say where India stands simply because while there is no dearth of any real artistic and creative talent in this country, most of the people are not aware of the term calligraphy to begin with. However, what I’m sure about is that slowly but surely it is growing. I receive messages everyday, most of which are queries regarding calligraphy and its tools, so I would encourage people to follow the art if it appeals to them!”

Future Plans

Apart from the regular stuff like logos, music cover designs, and names, I will be doing some calligraphic murals on walls. And oh, I am also planning on laughing my own range of custom calligraphy clothing, so keep an eye out for that as well!

Check out Anaroop’s work here.

Sudeep Gandhi, 24

“My name has a balanced number of ‘Characters’ or ‘Alphabets’ — not too long, not too short. So while I sadly have no nicknames, my name is perfect for calligraphy!”

A 24-year-old Maharashtrian born in the Konkan district, Sudeep was brought up in Mumbai. He has been involved in Calligraphy professionally for about four years now, and continues to carry on doing the same well into the future.

Sudeep Gandhi

Calligraphy artist Sudeep Gandhi

The Beginnings

“I have been interested in Art since Childhood, it may be Performing Arts or Fine Arts. Of course, it’s my parents who found out this ability of mine and nurtured me in the same direction from the very beginning,” says Sudeep. “I was fortunate to learn and master multiple art forms, which allowed me to participate in various workshops and events in school days. One such event, called ‘Callifest 2008’ at JJ School of arts, was conducted by one of the most renowned calligraphers in India, Sir Achyut Palav. I was thrilled to see the beautiful artwork, including a demo created by Sir Palav himself. That was the moment where I realised that I have to learn calligraphy too — no matter what it takes!

“I learned the basics of Calligraphy from my Guru Shri. Ram Kasture while completing my graduation from Rachana Sansad College of Applied Arts and Crafts. It is here that my journey truly kicked off, allowing me to nurture my skill in advanced forms of calligraphy. Furthermore, I was lucky enough to be able to seek suggestions and guidance from few of the pioneers in this field from the country, while the Outstanding work of various Calligraphers from foreign countries has inspired me overtime as well.”

Calligraphy In His Life Today

“Personally, calligraphy helps me express my emotions through my art. It serves as a medium to convey a message with the right set of tools on the right surface which communicates the thought, by itself. For example, I follow this one thought in life written by myself in my mother tongue: ‘आयुष्यात आपल्याला प्रत्येक गोष्ट शिकता येत नाही, पण प्रत्येक गोष्टीतून आयुष्यात आपण काहीतरी शिकलं पाहिजे’. It means, ‘We cannot learn each and every thing in life, but we should learn something or the other from each and every thing in life’, which holds true for calligraphy as well.

Sudeep Gandhi‘s limited edition art inspired by calligraphy – Aksharnirmiti Calligraphy Art.

“I started by learning scripts like Foundational Hand, Chancery Cursive, Old English, Copperplate, and Brush Script, eventually proceeding to master the Devanagari and Gujarati Scripts. Calligraphy at an advanced level can be categorised as Conventional and Unconventional Calligraphy. The conventional form is quite rigid, but the unconventional form gives you the liberty to bend the rules and trust your imagination and art. I am well versed with both the methods, and I hope to learn about many more forms in the near future.”

Where Does India Stand In The World Of Calligraphy?

“According to me, India is developing in calligraphy with a great pace. The use of it is increasing in advertisements, publications, and the like. The internet has created a sort of an awareness about the art, which has caused the average man to sit up, take notice, and admire the art. Also there are forums, groups, organisations which growing by the day, who work not only to educate the layman about calligraphy but, also help in promoting it socially. We mustn’t forget that India is a treasure-trove of some of the most gorgeous scripts and written languages known to man. So, instead of using foreign scripts as inspiration, it’d be more feasible to tap this trove that we have inherited. Not only will it serve our interests, but it’ll take Indian Calligraphy to an another level in global market.”

Mischievous Monkey - Calligraphy Art Canvas Print

Sudeep Gandhi experiments with Zoomorphism using Latin lettering to create this Mischievous Monkey – Calligraphy Art Canvas Print.

The Future

“Currently, I am too young, so I’m sticking to learning and experimenting for now. Along with exploring calligraphy in its various forms and tools, my goal is to learn all Indian and foreign scripts, which would allow to me start my own design studio specialising in typography, hand lettering, and calligraphy. From a commercial angle, I am looking to collaborate with Agencies, Design Studios, and Publishing Houses to produce quality calligraphy work for them. And of course, once I am satisfied with all that I’ve learnt, I would love to teach and pass on this great art to future generations!”

Check out Sudeep’s work here.

Dimple Pandhi

Hailing from Mumbai, Dimple is a Polytechnic-Commercial Arts graduate from Nirmala Niketan. Having specialised in typography, hand lettering, and calligraphy, she worked as a freelance artist, and worked with brands to create the most elegant calligraphy for their products.

Dimple Pandhi

Calligraphy artist Dimple Pandhi

Now an entrepreneur, Dimple runs a business of hand-calligraphed products and services called Dsignz.

“My experience has made me realise that the calligraphy I use for various products has made them incredibly unique and highly valuable for my customers,” she says.

The Beginnings

“Right from childhood, you could always find me staring out the window while travelling, observing the different styles and fonts used in the name of shops, hotels, buildings, or any commercial complexes passing by. And when I was home, the only thing I’d be interested in was scribbling everywhere with pencils and pens! You’d find me writing my name in different styles as well, so I guess that formed the basis of my love for commercial arts, as well as the subject of typography and letterings.”

Calligraphy In Her Life Today

“For me, calligraphy is a platform to create your own writing style, that is beautiful to you. From a professional sense, however, since calligraphy is a visual art related to writing, it is the quality of design and the execution of lettering that marks the difference between good and great. I’m well-versed with many calligraphic forms such as Italics, Roman, Devanagari, and pointed nib modern calligraphy, but there are so many art styles that there’s always more to learn!”

Where Does India Stand In The World Of Calligraphy?

“The amount of sheer artistic talent that lies in this country is simply unreal. So while calligraphy here is still nascent, we boast a few great calligraphy artists, which will hopefully inspire many to pursue it as their career, thereby helping the calligraphy community in India grow more as well.”

Dimple Pandhi (Dsignz) creates some great accessories with her calligraphy. Featured above is her Personalised Signature Necklace.

The Future

“Calligraphy helps instil traits like patience and creativity — which, if you ask me, are required today’s generation! I’m also of the belief that if you take technology and mix it with art, you will always come up with something innovative. And that is exactly why I will continue creating innovative products as an entrepreneur.”

Check out Dimple’s work here.

Check out great work from these artist and more on our Calligraphy page.

Rameez Shaikh

Rameez Shaikh is a twenty-three year old writer. With a degree in journalism to his name, he's an aspiring author with an absolutely astounding admiration for alliteration. Leisure propels him to read, dance, pen fiction and gloat about himself in third person. On weekdays, he works as a features writer. On weekends, he's a Manchester United fan.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Snehha Rawther July 12, 2017

    I recently attended dimple’s workshop in mama’s cafe. She got really good talent of calligraphy i have even placed 1 order with her

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    ambika Sukumar August 07, 2017

    Loved the details … Iam art curator , Have been in art market from last 12 years now … We have started a start up in India which has VC funding … Iam looking for calligraphers specifically who are in Islamic calligraphy … would like to collaborate with artists .. if you know any body mail me [email protected]

    Reply

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