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Vimal Chandran Using His Time To Create Stunning Illustrations During Covid-19

COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown period has brought in mixed emotions amongst the people all over the globe. While there were anxiety and fear of the unknown, people also learned to embrace the new normal and cherished spending time with their loved ones more than ever. When the lockdown was announced in India, artist Vimal Chandran was at his home studio based at Bangalore. “This lockdown has been such a strange. Hopefully, this experience happens once in my lifetime. If you think of it from a creative perspective, new experiences create new stories. It’s like the entire world took a pause, everybody around the globe was stuck at home at the same time, and all of a sudden, our stories became globally connected. The phrase ‘we are all in this together’ never before had a more accurate meaning than now”.

Vimal Chandran created his lockdown stories and unveiled them on his social media handles. He started with his illustration series “Unposted Letters” and created new artworks based on the themes ‘social distancing’ and ‘quarantining.’ These illustrations are made in his usual style of simple strokes, surreal atmospheres, and a lot of hope. Vimal says, “I wanted to emphasize the social distancing & to stay home in a creative but hopeful way, it was the need of the hour, and it had to be instilled in people’s minds via all mediums.”

A pandemic is quite a good time to do a social introspection as well. According to Vimal, “As the world is taking a pause, maybe it is time we think and reflect upon the world we are living in and identifies its flows and ironies” These illustrations point the finger at the ‘system’ that we live in and are a part of. His themes include questioning the ‘normalcy’ in living the ‘cubicle life,’ tagging essential workers with the name ‘Superheroes’ and hyping them up but not providing them even adequate facilities/means for their livelihood, spending unrealistically on military equipment rather than providing for basic healthcare system especially at the time of this grave need.

His illustrations became more political when the lockdown created one of the worst humanitarian crises in India. The sudden lockdown created a panic situation and poor laborers’ death while the middle class and upper class of the country could quickly move to the “Lockdown mode.”The migrant workers from other states were forced to walk hundreds of kilometers to reach their villages from cities after the sudden lockdown. These situations are profoundly expressed as a political satire in his illustrations that distinctively shows the social class hierarchies


illustration of social distancing

An Illustration reminding people to observe social distance

Despite all these odds, Vimal Chandran’s illustrations spread hope and love in the middle of a pandemic and reassure the world to ‘stay strong’ as this too shall pass. “I hope people will learn the importance of things that matter in life from these situations, and the newfound unity might help the world to create a better inclusive place for everyone,” Vimal says.

Vimal Chandran is originally from Kerala and currently working in Bangalore as a visual artist, illustrator, and photographer. You can check out his latest works from his Instagram profile https://www.instagram.com/vimalchandran/ and his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/vimalpaintings and also on his website www.vimalchandran.com.

A marketing and public relations expert, currently India’s youngest digital marketer at the age of 17. I’m always looking to connect with like-minded and goal-oriented individuals and professionals to collaborate with in the future.

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