From walls to canvas.

“The world’s like an empty canvas. It’s you who chooses the color to paint it with.”

– Abhishek Durani.

Abhishek Durani is an artist, musician, a traveller and an amateur filmmaker. He is currently studying architecture at CEPT, Ahemdabad. A conversation with this multi-talented artist, over a hot cup of coffee is what follows next.

“So when did you first start sketching?”

“As far as I remember, thanks to my dads permanent markers, I realized I could also be an interior designer with all the childish artwork I did on my walls. After a while, I started doing it in sketchbooks, making amateur family portraits. I never got any professional art training though. All the credits of my engagement with art goes to my art teacher in school,Mrs. Mini Puri. She always inspired me, motivated me and forced me to participate in random competitions, which made sure I was always engaged in art. I will always be thankful to her what she has done for me. God bless her.” He smiles.

“Is sketching just a hobby for you, or do you plan to take it to the commercial arena in the near future?

“Well..Sketching started off as just a hobby, but with the exposure to architectural perspectives and college activities it turned out to be much more than that. Yes, Im fortunate enough to be able to put my thoughts on paper.So Id like if other parties could benefit from it. Quoting Jokers wise words;if youre good at something never do it for free (He laughs.) Also, I’ve been trying to make my living out of designing t-shirts, since a while now. Let’s see what’s next!

“What is the source of inspiration for majority of your sketches? And, are they restricted only to travel sites?’

“”For me. it has always been the freedom of thought and the impact that you want to capture. The world’s like an empty canvas. It’s you who chooses the color to paint it with.

And, no. Travelling is not a necessity for my sketching. Sketching happens almost all the time, during lectures, while chilling in random places, all you need is a base to put your ink on or an app on your gadget.” He chuckles.


akbar tomb sketch?jantar manta, delhi?sun temple modhera


“Why did you choose architecture as the field for further studies?”

“Tired of answering this question time and again.” He sighs. And, further adds, ” Well, since the beginning, I was fascinated by art. However, I always thought I will end up in some stupid engineering college cause my parents always had a fascination of getting their child to grow up to be an engineer and work in an IT office with a good package. But I had different plans. I wanted to do something which I can relate to and get engaged with. Keep in mind though, that I was not bad at my studies, YES, I took non med, (he laughs a bit) .So when you combine art and engineering, you get architecture, et voila! This is what happened to me. Took a while to convince my parents though.”

“Being an architecture student, do you sometimes feel that there is paucity of time for you to follow your passion?”

“Hmm this one’s pretty ?tricky. It’s like..Architecture on one hand forces you to use sketching as a tool for observation and on the other hand it can also restrict you to the norms being followed. ?In fact, you know sketching has always been a hobby, from sketching superheroes to naked girls. (he smirks) However, joining architecture school has given my sketching a more defined direction and has made me realize my style.”

“What did you want to do as a child, if not become superman?”

(He laughs). I guess this question would have different answers at different phases of my childhood. If I sum it all up, from the worlds greatest musician to India’s best opening batsman, from a scientist to a high profile artist, I’ve wanted to be almost everything. But surprisingly, Id never imagined being an architect. In fact, I still don’t know what I want to be!”

“Now moving to travel, Do you prefer traveling alone or with company?”

“Umm..I try to find likeminded, but minimal company. If I fail to do so, I resort to solo travelling, which in itself is an exciting experience. This also allows for unexpected interactions with different and new people. ”

Meeting locals and new people, is in itself a passion for this lively, young at heart artist. He absolutely loves children. As the level of coffee in the cup lowered, the level of ?such interesting things, that started unraveling about him peaked to a amazing height. ?He is not only an architecture student, an artist, a musician, and a traveler, but also an amateur film maker! “I love exploring enigmatic surroundings and capturing them with my camera. It excites me to another level!” says he.

Dadar nagarIMG_20150204_114752

Do you have an emotional connect to any specific place/city or an architectural site that you have traveled to/have sketched?

” Yes..well..three months ago, I visited a place where every single thing around me could be sketched. I was free to move around wherever I wanted to, with the right company. The place was Cambodia. This was my first international sketching trip and it has been etched in my memory for life.”


IMG_4623 angkor wat, cambodia

On being asked, as to what he would prefer, if he were asked to choose between travel or art, the young artist, quite jokingly comments, “Let me ask you, would you prefer your mom over your dad? I hope this analogy answers the question!”

I giggled a bit and then continued:

“Are you an avid reader? If yes, is there a piece of writing, or perhaps a novel that you feel closely tied to?”

“I do read, I read all kinds of random and weird stuff. Ive never had patience to finish full length novels though. So Im a different kind of an avid reader. I love reading graphic novels and watching visual artworks, works of Joan Cornella, Moonassi and such others. This might give you an idea of my genre.”

Quite interestingly, Durani has always been an ardent fan of psycho thriller movies, which also seem to have an impact on his artworks.. that ? turn out to be “monstrous” and “gory” as he calls them. Lately, He has also been engaged in loads of clay work and makes sculptures and figurines.

ZombieIMG_20141210_234903“That’s pretty interesting. So, what do you think is art, in it’s truest sense, for you?”

“Hmmm..I think art to me has never been limited to something just on a canvas. It is more of anything,which is created and which you think is attractive in whichever way. Also,?Im an artist of sorts. I have been playing music since five years, as a bass guitarist in many bands, started with my school band FUSED playing some young indie rock and then venturing out into other genres. Plus I am bigtime sportsperson, always up for a game. Also a filmmaker, graphic designer and love mimicking people.And, since I travel so much, there are times when I don’t feel like sketching. So I just scoop out my camera and capture little things, and try to make funny short films on the spot. This too, I feel is art in it’s truest sense. So, art is basically, anything and everything. ”

“Finally, what is your ultimate dream?”

“Umm..I guess I would like to rephrase the question slightly, if you allow me to do so?” ‘Sure.’ I smiled.

“Well.. I don’t really think that I have an ultimate dream as such, like becoming the best architect or something, that’s our parents’s job. (he chuckles). But, if I try to picturize myself, I can see Abhishek sitting on a desk, sitting in his own built house, with beautifully designed interiors and tonnes of paintings and frames hanging, working on some project. It’s late at night, and he receives a phone call from his friend, reminding him that he’s got a gig on saturday with his band. By his side is his beautiful wife, who’s probably working too, and then spares a moment to make hot cocoa for the two of them. So yeah, basically I don’t want to lose hold of what I am doing right now. I am in love with my life and hope to fall more in love with it, get drenched it, as years pass. This would be my ultimate “dream”. He smiles.



To have a look at his work, you can follow Abhishek Durani at

  • Rabiya Batth

    17. Writer. Blogger. Theater artist. Avid reader. Hi I'm Rabiya. I'm a student, at Carmel convent school. Stage is my solace, and the pen and paper, my strength. Obsessed with birthdays, Charlie Chaplin and fire extinguishers.

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