Those who admire innovative, genuine and imaginative art forms which are wacky but amazing, are mostly aware of Indian (Bengali) graphic illustrator and comic artist Charbak Dipta. His fantastic illustrations on ‘Alien Series’ on social media platforms made him a popular name in the art and comics ecosystem. Now, Dipta is all set to provide hobby art courses at his own art academy, The Charbak Dipta Art Academy (TCDAA) besides releasing his fourth graphic novel, The Spoiled Brat later this month. Dipta who has been travelling the world for his work in the comic and illustration space, conducts weekly workshops in some institutes, will now be guiding aspiring artists different techniques of making their work stand out. His art courses will cover the basic points like line drawing, still life, portrait, landscape, light and shadow, clothing, depth of field, anatomy, hand gestures, facial expressions and at a later stage especially on comics, pop art, doodling, story illustration, visualisation, caricature and so on. The special focus will be given on comics, cartooning and illustration. The courses will differ in terms of the students’ capabilities. If someone is a beginner, he/she will start from the basic line drawing and geometric shapes. For the advanced students, it will start from comics-making, use of thought and speech bubbles, creative speech bubbles, creative calligraphy, creative panel divisions, how to break the story into panels, page layout, translating stories from script to storyboards, the difference between the same artwork in comics and in story illustration, caricatures, doodles etc. The large collection of the school’s comics library will also assist the student in his/her journey. Said Dipta, “The Charbak Dipta Art Academy is an art school with a difference. Generally in art schools, we learn paintings, drawings, anatomy, comics, caricatures, doodles, illustrations and so on. But that is just a part of the curriculum there. So I was feeling the need for a complete pop art school for a long time, as comics and pop art is neglected in our country. As far as I know, there is no art school dedicated to these art forms. So TCDAA is trying to bridge the gap, and from that perspective, TCDAA is the country’s first full-fledged and specialised comics and pop art school where you can learn different aspects of the comics-making process.” Starting in January 2020, every Sunday in New Delhi, Dipta announced the registrations open from 2 December. Dipta has already earned his share of fame with his three graphic novels. His first book was The Art of Charbak Dipta which was a compilation of some of his selected works from the year 2014 to 2017. Then came Zero: An Indian Aliens Adventure which went on to win a Comic Con Indian Industry Award in June this year. In these two series the main protagonists- Mirarepa and Babusha, a scientist married alien couple goes to strange places to discover stranger things. In Zero, this couple visited an underground city to discover the figure Zero or ‘Shunya’- the biggest Indian contribution to science. Zero was a black and white graphic novel with traditional 12-13 panels per page, like a retro Franco-Belgian comics and took him a year to complete. In its sequel, Apes: An Indian Aliens Adventure, published this year, the alien couple again embark on a thrilling adventure to meet someone whose traces they thought is important. It is a science fiction adventure and also a social-political satire, whose angle is very relevant with modern Indian political mood. It also deals with the form of Comics and Visual Art themselves in its plot. In Apes, all 56 pages are intricately four coloured with experimental panel divisions with a more modern approach which readers are sure to enjoy. The upcoming, The Spoiled Brat is a short comic about the environment and how mankind is destroying the earth and whether he will get any more planet to live. With four books under his credit, his art style has evolved and is evolving with every passing day which he intends to channelise in the art courses he is going to conduct. “My art is evolving every day. I try to pick up everything that comes in my way and catches my fancy and I include that in my art. So my yesterday’s work is inferior to today’s work. Earlier the emphasis in my work was on the line works. The complex lining was the highlight of it. With time, I am being attracted to the use of expressive colour, that may be the result of my recent studies of Expressionism at the University of Oxford. With time, my line drawing skills has become more precise as I learned anatomy better. Earlier I maintained an earthy feel in my colours. Now it is going towards psychedelia and precise use of light and shadow. I am experimenting with different colour combinations. At least I think that way, rest the audience can tell what they think,” added Dipta. After Apes, he wished to write a third instalment and carry on doing more volumes for this series. But currently, he is concentrating on his hobby art courses, The Spoiled Brat and webcomics. He wishes to devote more time on the latter, as find this genre interesting and has lots of potential in the Indian context. Commenting on if it’s difficult to be in this profession in terms of finance, Dipta concluded, “Not at all if you are honest with your works. If you know you are in the right profession and have something original to bring on the table, the money and assignments will follow too. Of course, art is not your everyday object to sell, it has to find it’s niche audience to cater. But I know I have the capability to make millions of artworks. I have more than enough ideas for books to write in a lifetime. So I am not worried about finance. If you work hard and stay true to your craft, it can never be a problem.” We just wish him the best for his art classes and fourth Alien adventure.