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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Meet Karan Acharya, the Bengaluru artist whose mythological images of common people are going viral

The graphic artist came into the spotlight in 2017, when his vector work of Lord Hanuman became a sensational hit.

Written by Janardhan Koushik | August 29, 2020 5:40:20 pm
karan acharyaAcharya receives 2,000 requests for digital paintings on a daily basis on social media. (Source: karanacharya.kk/Instagram)

Karan Acharya, a graphic artist from Bengaluru, has become an internet sensation after several of his digital artworks went viral on social media.

The 32-year-old’s muse is the common people. He has the ability to recreate any ordinary picture into a stunning visual art, depicting people as mythological figures or whatever they want to be.  His recent work, wherein he turned a family picture of daily-wage labourers into Lord Krishna’s family, has caught the attention of netizens. So far, the picture has received 24,000 re-tweets and 159.7K likes on Twitter.

Acharya has been editing photographs for some time, which, once done, find their way to his social media pages. Like, a person wanted a picture of his brother’s son, a special child, as Lord Krishna in a battle. Another person wanted to see his deceased brother in a BSF (Border Security Force) uniform.

The artist says he receives 2,000 requests on a daily basis across his Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages. He charges for some of the artworks while others are made free of cost.

“I have been drawing since childhood. I did my schooling in Kerala’s Kasargod. My mom is an artist, so from my early years, art has been part of my life. I don’t know anything but art. I used to sketch every day or do canvas paintings. I used to read a lot of mythological stories, maybe that’s why a majority of my works are set in mythological backgrounds. It comes to me naturally,” he said.

The graphic artist came in the spotlight in 2017, when his vector image of Lord Hanuman became widely popular. So much so that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mentioned it during an election rally in Karnataka. “I did the vector work of Lord Hanuman in 2015, but it got viral, all of a sudden, in 2017. I never expected that to happen. At the time, I was in Kasargod teaching Photoshop in a private institution. I was underpaid there, so I quit the job and was doing freelance works. After the Hanuman image went viral, I started receiving many projects,” he said.

Karan derives inspiration from legendary artist Raja Ravi Varma, he said.

“I am currently working in BYJU’S as a concept artist. I work from 9:30 am till 7 pm and then I do these artworks. A few months ago, one person sent me a cloud image and said it looked like Lord Ganesha and asked me if I can transform that. I did some work on it and once I uploaded the image, I received a very good response. After that, plenty of requests started pouring in, and I try to deliver them as soon as possible. I do these works in my free time, so I don’t charge for them. But some people want their artwork to be done immediately. Those creations are done at a certain cost.”

Acharya also doesn’t have an issue with others using his work. “I don’t have any problem with others using my images. Except for that Hanuman work, none of my works are copyrighted,” he said.

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