JJ Gregory talked with Prashant in Pasadena, CA on the final day of SketchKon. After years of being a travelling artist, Prash is set to settle down in the Pacific Northwest. They began by talking about the community experience of SketchKon….
Q:You have so many friends and you’ve built communities in a lot of different places. What’s that like?
A:Well, I feel super lucky and blessed for having what seems like family everywhere I go so I don’t feel displaced every time I travel. It’s wonderful. Family does require work too - I actually go through a routine in my morning meditation where I touch base with friends and family across the world as a mantra of names. Geographically I go through India and Europe and Australia, Japan, America and Canada. Even though I may not see these people for years I’m touching base every day in some way. That’s how I connect and it works to keep these connections alive. It’s like the old school way of communicating before we had all our devices. I will literally be thinking about someone and get a message or a little text back and it’s amazing. Now that I’m ready to stop being a wandering vagabond and put down roots in a place, everyone can come and visit me.
Q: Is that an invitation? You might get a lot of people!
A: Yeah! (laughing) It’s going to be a secret Island very difficult to travel to. But everyone is welcome.
Q: I love the way that you talk about nature being part of your community and I think it ties in to your desire to nest in the Pacific Northwest. You’ve talked about how all the living creatures of this universe are connected and that’s a beautiful thing in much of your artwork, too.
A: Oh my goodness. Yeah, exactly! It’s one of my greatest inspirations and I don’t know if it’s just because I was born by the coast but I especially feel like water connects us all. I’m definitely drawn to nature. I feel like I’ve lived in cities most in my life and feel ready to immerse myself closer to nature and that is very exciting.
Q: What’s next on your travel schedule?
A: I’m off to Toronto and then perhaps I will spend New Year’s break visiting my brother and his family in lovely Arizona. A little bit of warmth in the midst of winter and then I’m off to India in January. It’s usually a packed schedule while I’m there, but I’m taking it as it comes. For now, I will be starting off with a group show that bridges graphic novel/comic book style art with fine art. I enjoy the blurring of those boundaries.
Q: So as a closing question, what was the highlight for you being in Pasadena with the Sketchbook Skool Community?
A: Oh my gosh! Meeting and learning and sharing and partaking and yeah, just being inspired by so many incredible artists here. Some of the presentations and things that I attended moved me very deeply. The fact that I made so many new friends also, which is part of the ongoing growth of community, right?
Q: So you’re going to have a bunch of new people to check in with in your meditation tomorrow morning.
A: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That’s right!
Prashant Miranda grew up in Bangalore, studied at the national institute of design Ahmedabad and splits his life between Toronto and balmy India with an eye toward building his own home in the Pacific Northwest. A talented painter, muralist and award-winning animator, he was recently the subject of a National Geographic documentary about his travels across his native India as he drew the wonders around him. Prash teaches in Beginning at Sketchbook Skool and was recently a presenter at SketchKon 2018 in Pasadena.