The World of Saptan Stories: When Past & Future Merge to Make a Stunning Present

An insight into the journey so far, the buzz and excitement of the teams involved and the artists' creative processes, inspiration and work spaces.

It’s hard to believe we’re in the final week of Saptan Stories. Saptan began as a unique collaborative arts project developed as part of the UK-India Year of Culture 2017. The project invited people in India to generate a unique story over seven weeks, which then got illustrated by seven standout artists from India and the UK.

Over the last six weeks Saptan saw an incredible response, with thousands of written story lines being submitted by the Indian audiences and some visually stunning responses being developed by the seven artists.

The images below give an insight into the journey so far, the buzz and excitement of the teams involved and the artists’ creative processes, inspiration and work spaces.

Delving into each of these artists’ social media channels provides a window into all their amazing work.

When you start out, every project can seem daunting.

Rendering my first piece for #saptanstories with #aardmananimations #ukindia2017 #britishcouncilindia

A post shared by Saloni Sinha (@morbidillusion) on

Your cluttered mind looks to declutter your workspace first.

Getting workplace prepped for exciting public source story project running for 7 weeks (As soon as I set up the cat promptly sat on everything.) #link for Saptan stories in bio ☝? #saptanstories #ukindia2017 #illustration #drawing #studio #desk #wip #comic #sketch #sketchbook

A post shared by Janine Shroff (@scritchproductions) on

You turn to close friends for much-needed inspiration.

Hi again! Here is some inspiration for your artwork or sketch. Send in your creative entries to the opening line using #SaptanStories and you can win a signed artwork from me @gemmacorrell. Don’t forget to submit your entries for the 2nd line too! Visit the link in the profile to know more about the project. Send your entries soon! . . . #UKIndia2017 #ArtistsofInstagram #Storyteller #VisualArt #Writing #Culture #sketch #Aardman @aardmananimations

A post shared by BritishCouncilIndia (@inbritish) on

Inspiration takes several shapes and forms.

I’m very proud to be one of 7 artists that are part of @inbritish’s Saptan Stories. It’s 1 story, in 7 parts, illustrated by 7 different artists, split between India and the U.K! ?? ?? This is my interpretation of the first line: “I found it hard to get over my broken heart, I thought I never would. Then one night, by the moonlit river, something happened that changed everything.” You, the public, get to write and decide what comes next! Check out #SaptanStories and @inbritish’s Insta account to get involved!! 〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰 #graphicdesigncommunity #designarf #illustration #? #adobephotoshop #designspiration

A post shared by Gavin Strange (@jamfactory) on

This is my first #illustration for #saptanstories with #aardmananimations and #britishcouncil. Stay in touch for more information on this on going project and sign up to my mailing list for a chance to buy the original piece ?www.mrmead.co.uk/contact #illustration #illustrationconsequences #monochromeart #penandink #penandinkartist #pen #ukindia2017 #fineliner #blackandwhiteart

A post shared by Mr Mead (@mrmeadart) on

And inspiration comes in the funniest of places.

Join @morbidillusion as she takes over the @inbritish account for a look into her exciting routine as an artist #SaptanStories. Stay tuned for 7 new artworks. ・・・ Hi everyone! ?I will be taking over the @inbritish account for this week and post daily updates about my routine and artwork for Saptan stories. I am starting my day to the beautiful sunrise at the Neelankarai beach ? along with Foxy and Indru ??. Join me to find out more about my work. Follow @inbritish to know more. #saptanstories

A post shared by BritishCouncilIndia (@inbritish) on

Hi everyone! ? I @morbidillusion will be taking over @inbritish Instagram account this week to share snippets from my routine and sneak peeks for #saptanstories. Here’s a doodle from today afternoon, where I inspire from reality ?and a bit of imagination✨. #ukindia2017

A post shared by BritishCouncilIndia (@inbritish) on

This is my 2nd illustration for #SaptanStories, bringing to life the second line that was written by Siddhant Nagrath, a member of the public: “As the moonbeams danced to a heavenly beat upon the silvery water, I gazed to the stars and contemplated my future. It looked bleak on introspection, when out of the water arose an apparition.”. Saptan Stories is a joint project by @inbritish & @aardmananimations, which is a Story, written in 7 parts, over 7 weeks, illustration by 7 Indian and British artists. You can write the next line, search ‘Saptan Stories’ for more info! 〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰 #graphicdesign #illustration #noise #spectre #ghoul #apparition #adobephotoshop #graphicdesigncommunity #designarf #designspiration

A post shared by Gavin Strange (@jamfactory) on

From nothing, erupts a hand, a head, a foot; An entire body.

Hello again! Rainy ☔️ Sunday mornings are best time to sketch. – @morbidillusion #saptanstories #ukindia2017

A post shared by BritishCouncilIndia (@inbritish) on

Collectively, we run through rings and blazes of fire.

And then the workspace looks a lot more unstructured in its beauty and creativity.

Suddenly, overcoming those demons takes on shapes and sizes that can be put to pen and paper.

Fuzzy pencil lines taking shape for 4th line #saptanstories with @inbritish @aardmananimations

A post shared by Saloni Sinha (@morbidillusion) on

Guidance arrives from all who believe in us.

The past and the future merge to create the colourful present.

Saptan stories week 5 #wip #workinprogress #illustration #drawing #ink #saptanstories #ukindia2017

A post shared by Janine Shroff (@scritchproductions) on

And time flies by.

Art, at the end of the day, is most beautiful when it brings together the collective efforts of many.

Join us in the final week of Saptan Stories to vote on the final line that will inspire the last set of illustrations.

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