It’s no news that Pakistan is home to some of the most creative minds and the broadest assortment of artistic talent. One of these artists is ‘DigInk’, a self-taught Pakistani digital artist, known for all the ‘makeovers’ that he gives to icons across the world through digital art, attempting at a cross-over between Pakistani and Western arts.
In an interview with MangoBaaz, the artist revealed that he is a 21-year-old boy who moved out from Pakistan at the young age of 16, traveling between countries including Australia, the UK, and then Turkey ever since. As a student of medicine, he currently resides in Istanbul and remains passionate in his pursuit of the medical sciences.
By placing Pakistani icons like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Abida Parveen in ancient British artwork and vice versa, DigInk generated a hype amongst Pakistanis, all of whom were commending him for his amazing style and excellent timing.
One of his most popular projects includes a four-portrait series of images, inspired by the British Royal visit.
By featuring some of the most prominent Pakistani musical legends, he mimicked the paintings found in British mansions. People were quick to react, and very soon he became popular for his impeccable political commentary through digital artwork.
Currently, DigInk stated that he is continuing to work on a number of photo manipulations, still attempting to add humorous tweaks and references to desi culture, which he says has always been his biggest motive. He also opened up an online shop, where he sells apparel for the various images he makes.
“I don’t have a set vision in mind when I sit down to make images,” he says.
“Like I obviously have some rough idea and a few guides here and there, but otherwise it’s always a unique trial-and-error process for me”.
Despite being appreciated by thousands of viewers, the artist says that he still does not “know art”, and just goes into the process with the goal to make his work original and relatable.
One particular image that is close to the artist’s heart is “samosa hills”, in which he attempted to replace the Margalla Hills with huge samosas – and that too, during Ramadan.
He believes that his timing and the response the picture received really changed things for him and his career as a digital artist, even going as far as stating that it was the exact picture that “kicked everything off” for his brand and brought him tons of encouragement when it spread so widely.
“Even my dad’s school’s WhatsApp group had it!” he told MangoBaaz.
“I’m very unconventional when it comes to my art”, says DigInk.
In response to being asked what his inspiration is for each project, he told MangoBaaz that his friends and family have a huge role to play in sparking ideas for his work, and often even pitch themes themselves, around which he builds various “series”. One thing he claims to pay attention to before going into a new project is the theme: “It has to be one I can get three images out of – for my Instagram feed!”
Although he really enjoys the work he does, DigInk still finds his studies in medicine to be his first priority and hopes to become a doctor soon. Nevertheless, he wants to take his digital art forward on the side, and looks forward to someday featuring in exhibitions and take on multiple physical projects in Pakistan too.
Pakistan is almost overflowing with emerging talent and in this age of social media, more and more people are stepping forward to showcase their art and passions. It’s great to see young minds utilizing the digital sphere in such a mind-boggling way.
Cover image via @_digink_/Instagram