Honoring his roots & staying true

Published On: January 25, 2019 08:42 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

Sabin Bhandari comes from a family of artists. His grandfather, Kulman Bhandari is a renowned artist and sculptor. Also, his dad and uncles used to paint and sculpt as well. So naturally, looking up to them as a kid, he too started drawing and painting before finally realizing that he, in fact, had a knack for it. Bhandari, now 27, has mixed this very childhood interest with his educational background in computer engineering to create art and design in graphics.

Born and raised in Kathmandu, Bhandari’s creativity was bound to pen and paper for most part of his childhood. But around 2006, he found a new medium to express his skills: a computer. That’s when he started to toy around with computer programs like photoshop and illustrator. These programs were where he started to doodle, sketch and create designs that helped him cope with the stress from school, college and find some much-needed personal time and space.

Bhandari studied computer engineering because, he claims, to have been fascinated by the design of the software, web pages etc. from the time he was first introduced to a computer. Currently, he works as a web developer/designer but he hasn’t abandoned his interest in graphic art either.

Bhandari, along with his friend Ashish Acharya, started a t-shirt printing company in 2012 called Threadpaints that, in 2017, got them featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list. Threadpaints was one of the first online apparel stores in Nepal. The duo came up with the art and design that goes into the shirts and other accessories. However, Bhandari also saw the need to provide a platform for artists and designers who want and deserve recognition but aren’t able to start their own company or brand for various reasons. 

Keeping all this in mind, he started a separate company under the name Butta that features different artists’ works in several mediums ranging from t-shirts and hoodies to bags and other accessories. Another venture, to add to his list of achievements, is opening a souvenir shop called Little Things that sells quirky and personal cards and other stuffs, while also promoting local art companies and artists.

In this way, he has been able to incorporate his love for art and design in making a living for himself. And Bhandari cherishes being able to help others too through the same medium. “It’s great that I can play a part in bringing out artists and their magnificent work into the world with the help of Butta and Little Things. It’s a way of paying homage to my history with art, with things that aren’t just confined to a frame but on something more usable like a t-shirt, a mug or a bag,” he explains.

On his Instagram account (@sabin.b), one can see him trying to refine his artistic side. He has been following the annual trend called Inktober where every artist is challenged to draw every single day during the month of October. It’s been three years that Bhandari has been taking up the challenge. His illustrations mostly feature a wonderful play of colors, clever usage of song lyrics and mostly dwells on existentialist thoughts and depictions. “I hate being generic when it comes to creating art. If people are given a topic, all of us have the latest 10 common answers. I want to be able to put the 11th answer out there,” he says. 

Like many other artists, Bhandari finds art meditative. Being immersed in art is when he can take a breath and be true to himself. However, he claims he has a lot more to learn. “I want to give it proper time and focus to be not just good but great at it,” he reveals. He also wants to experiment with motion graphics that deals with mixing animations with music and other techniques to create illusion of motion or rotation. According to him, art is usually static but by mixing it with movement and audio the art can truly come to life and is able to engage the onlooker.

Bhandari’s future plans include collaborating with and inspiring closeted artists to bring forward their work and give them a platform to showcase their talent with the help of Butta and Little Things. He also hopes to be regular in his personal endeavor of refining his graphic designing skills with consistent practice. According to him, it’s always important to give one’s best at what one does and he takes this advice most seriously when it comes to himself. 

Bhandari is extremely grateful for the fact that he has been able to stay true to his roots and work in the field of art, be it directly or otherwise. He claims that passion is way more important than paycheck, and if a person is persistent, few years down the line, the paycheck will come automatically. “You are going to have to work anyways, so it’s important to be challenged yet enjoy the work you are doing,” he concludes.


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