A survey conducted in Britain in 2015 said that that the average worker spends a year and a half of their life just commuting. Considering the population and traffic status of India, this number would probably be inadequate. Commuting is one of the most mundane of things so imagine spending more than a year and a half of your life just waiting to reach somewhere. Damn! That sounds as boring as it actually is but what if I tell you there is someone for whom the most exciting part of the day is commuting in the Delhi Metro. Now I know the Delhi Metro is the hub of some hot gossip (exchanged between aunties and eavesdropped on by fellow passengers), crazy drama (SO many breakups!) and surreal stories but for Samar Khan the man behind the Metrodoodle Instagram account, it is where his imagination comes alive. I got into a conversation with the talented artist about his ambitions, inspirations, evolution, abduction (just kidding I got carried away!) (THERE WERE NO ABDUCTIONS INVOLVED IN THIS CONVERSATION PEOPLE!). Read on to find out if he’s really going to release some merchandise or am I just baiting you.
When did you start this Instagram account and what led you to do it?
Samar: I started the metrodoodle account in November 2016. I created my first doodle on my first day of job. I shared it on my personal Instagram account. It got featured by few popular pages, where I received wonderful response from so many people. So that was the moment when it hit me to have a separate account for it.
Is this account a hobby or does it extend into your professional life too?
S: It started as a hobby. In the initial days when I started, I did not expect it to grow so well. I just saw it as an opportunity to be working on my drawing skills during my commute, making some good use of time. But now, things have been different. I also work as a freelance artist now apart from my regular job.
What is your number one source of inspiration and what is your go to advice for people struggling with getting inspiration or original ideas?
S: My best source of inspiration is Instagram itself. There are so many artists on this platform. There is so much of inspiration and always so much to learn. I can suggest people to look at different artist’s work as much as possible. Be inspired. Find something unique and interesting for them. And just experiment regularly to create new content.
If say the Delhi metro did not exist what would the metrodoodle account look like?
S: Delhi metro in fact has been a reason for me to start this handle as I had to travel for few hours everyday in it. But if not metro, then it would probably be doodles on the usual roadside scenes or maybe a travel account with monsters and aliens everywhere I travel.
What keeps you going day in and out because I assume this is a time consuming art that demands utmost attention?
S: Yes, it is time consuming. It takes me around 3 to 5 hours in total to finish one artwork. Basically I create these to give myself a break from reality and let my brain imagine whatever it wants for sometime. It is very relaxing. But the biggest reason that keeps me going are the people that enjoys my doodles so much. It always feels so nice to make someone smile. And I make it happen for so many people.
What is your response when people ask you to ‘focus on more serious things’? And if you’ve never had this remark thrown your way please tell us how you’ve managed to avoid it all your life.
S: Well, Serious things are what we have to think about everyday anyways. When it comes to my doodling, I never want to be thinking any more about serious things, it takes the fun away. I want them to be silly, entertaining and enjoyable. I want to have a fun time creating it and fun time for the people viewing it on my Instagram.
One does not see much negativity in the comments section of your posts but what strategy do you have to deal with trolls or haters?
S: Honestly, there isn’t any strategy about anything when it comes to my handle. I just happen to have such amazing followers. I feel lucky to receive such an amazing support that it’s been a year but I still haven’t got bored of doing this at all.
Just for some laughs, we picked out some hilarious ones from the man behind Metro Doodle himself.
Where do you see this account and yourself in the next five years?
S: This is a tough one. A year back, I could have never imagined it to become what it is today. So, no idea. I am planning to probably launch a metrodoodle merchandise line. But, its just a thought for now. Even I am excited. Let’s see what’s waiting down the road for metrodoodle.
What is the strangest DM you’ve ever received on this account?
S: Nothing strange. I receive plenty of DMs almost everyday, all filled with so much love and kinds words. People sharing their feelings about how I have inspired them are the best DMs ever. I always feel so proud to have done that. Those DMs have always made my days.
What were the highlights of 2017 for you and what are your plans for 2018?
S: Highlights were me being featured in 3 national newspapers, a magazine and so many other articles on the internet. For 2018, I haven’t planned much, but one thing. I will be devoting a little more time to it from my permanent job and will see if something amazing can happen.