Respected Maharajas, Prabhus and Didis, Dandavat pranama. Jaya Sri Guru and Gauranga.
As you may know, Srila Gurudeva is continually translating and writing commentaries on our acaryas transcendental literatures and he wants paintings for all his books, just as our Srila Prabhupada wanted. Up to now I have been the lone painter, and as a result there is a great bottleneck. Sometimes others have tried to help, but it has not proved successful so far. Here is the reason: We began painting for Prabhupada in 1966, when we could barely paint at all, and yet Prabhupada accepted out primitive paintings for his temple walls and for his first books. Gradually more artists joined and together we did some very amateur paintings for his Krsna Book, Second Canto, and so on. Gradually, as we worked together, and as Prabhupada encouraged us that we were doing okay and should also try to improve, our styles became similar and also developed technically. Then, gradually, as the years went on, we came up to a professional standard. So Prabhupada accepted for his books whatever standard we were on, and encouraged us to improve, and now we have improved by his grace, and most of you are familiar with our work.
Srila Gurudeva is now continuing to train us, where Prabhupada left off, as Prabhupadas representative and successor. He doesnt want to start from the beginning, as Prabhupada did. This means he wants to accept only that professional standard, both in technique and in mood.
It is naturally extremely difficult for most artists to jump into that ocean and expect to swim. Still, we need many artists, so here is the plan
We are just now beginning to embark on learning computer graphics, so that we can try to do faster paintings in the computer. We have full faith that when we will know well programs like Photoshop and Corel Painter, this will be possible, but we also know that it will take awhile to learn. We know enough about these programs to know that even if a devotee is not up to the standard Srila Gurudeva wants in the paintings, if he is expert in these computer graphics programs, he can help tremendously and can at least work on parts of paintings, cutting and pasting photos and pictures from other documents and pasting them in the new painting document, and adjusting them to look like they fit in the painting. Then, either they or I will be able to touch them up so the painting looks like one unit. Also, if we think we have to change something of the color contrast in the computer painting, for example, we will be able to do so by pressing one key, instead of taking 2 days by doing it on a canvas outside the computer. And, if we dont like the change, by pressing another key, again the entire painting changes in one second. A graphic artist will understand what I mean.
I am quite a novice at this, and so I cant train graphic artists. We need expert graphic artists. They can help me with the programs and I can help turn their talents into paintings for Gurudevas books. At least that is our idea.
So is there anyone out there who would like to help with this? You would more or less have to be in the same place as me geographically, in which case you would have to be free to travel, or to stay in Vrndavana for a few months of the year, and we can also meet when we are in your city. We are presently working on paintings for Srila Gurudevas English version of Sri Gita-govinda, in the world outside the computer, and it seems to be taking forever.
Jayanta dasa prabhu has kindly donated an HP large screen computer for this purpose, and Jaya-krsna dasa prabhu has kindly donated the newest model wacom tablet, and Visvambara prabhu kindly gave a Painter 8 tutorial book. You would be able to work on our computer, and you can also bring your own.
Vaisnava sevabhilasi, Syamarani dasi
P.S. If any of you are expert in designing covers, that is also great.