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Keeping a sketchbook, linking my past to my current.

Updated: May 22

When I came to the UK from India in 1977 I had £20 of borrowed money but a suitcase full of dreams. Those dreams manifesting as sketchbooks of various papers. It formed a part of my portfolio but was by no means a sophisticated portfolio. I wanted to be student at the Royal College of Art in London but after multiple applications, I realised it had no place for a migrant artist like me so I resigned to settling in Leicester and adapted to career in graphic design.

All this time, sketching away, forming a world of my own In those little pages. Looking back, those sketchbooks became a lifeline, supporting me in those early days as a migrant. At the time, I didn't see the importance of keeping a regular meet up with my sketch book. A cup of Indian tea and a sketchê⁴ become a daily ritual. Sometimes I would scribble in one corner, other times I would create fully fledged coloured artwork. I would spend days on some sketches and ideas only to forget about it. All the while I was thinking about what I left behind, what I came to achieve and my apparent lack of progress. No matter what i was going through, that sketchbook kept knocking at my door,

Don't give up, keep a sketch book by your side and your dream will stay alive.

So I pulled at my fading memories of a time gone by and documented my world, the village, the city the monsoon the heat, the hope and anguish. 40 sketchbooks later, I have more stories now than ever before and these images have vivid bold symbols with purpose.

I sometimes wonder if that dream of success has now been achieved but i know what ever happens as long as I have my sketchbook and pencil I'm going to be fine.

Follow my story as I share my journey from sketchbook to artwork, from artwork to exhibition .

Follow me on Instagram @koriakamal


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