Meet the men behind art consultancy Happyccino Design Studio, four mechanical engineers who traded the spanner for the paint brush

Frontman Vijith VS says the quartet from Thiruvananthapuram specialises in providing ‘art solutions’

Art and cappuccino sounds like a heady combo. So it is for these bunch of happy art enthusiasts with a thing for the cuppa, who also love to let their creative juices flow. All in their twenties, Vijith VS, Anees SS, Abhinand SJ and Amal Nandan of city-based art consultancy Happyccino Design Studio are, however, as adept at wielding a paint brush as a spanner.

“All four of us are mechanical engineering graduates but we are perhaps more bound by our passion for arts,” says Vijith, Happyccino’s frontman. Whether it’s wall art for business establishments or branding designs, Vijith says Happyccino specialises in providing ‘art solutions.’

Though the idea for starting an art consultancy had been brewing in their minds, Vijith says their dreams took wing after participating in an open-for-all wall art event at Manaveeyam Veedhi during a charity run organised by the NGO Save a Rupee, Spread a Smile (SARSAS) two years ago. “Being art lovers, we swung by just to be part of the community event. However, giving a crack at wall art boosted our confidence,” recalls Vijith. The quartet then organised a few “informal” art workshops based on wall art and acrylic painting in the city. “The warm reception gave us the impetus to go ahead with our plans,” says Anees.

A vacant outhouse of a property in Peyad owned by Anees’ family turned handy in setting up a “rent-free” studio. “We wanted a simple and cute name but one that would relate to what we love in common. Back then, our art discussions inevitably used to happen at cafés during late evenings after work or on weekends and that’s how the idea for our consultancy name struck. It was Anees who suggested the name Happyccino,” says Vijith with a chuckle.

While Vijith and Amal hold jobs as designers with IT firms, Abhinand works as a mechanical engineer and Anees is involved in his family business. “So now all our meetings and discussions happen at night,” says Abhinand.

Vijith says “dividing the labour” helps them each perform their task with perfection. For instance, Vijith focusses on design conceptualisation and drawing up blueprint sketches while Amal and Anees take care of the finer details. “This way, we can save time as well as tap into each person’s strength,” says Amal, whose forte is acrylic and gradient painting. Abhinand says he looks after the “logistics and finances” when not painting.

Some of their theme-based wall art works are on display at Thachankara restaurant in Kazhakuttam and Mimosa restaurant in Nedumangad. “Our latest artwork was done at a saloon in Vattiyoorkavu, which was based on a ‘hippie’ theme,” explains Vijith.

A pet project of Happyccino’s is the ongoing Artflix, a three-month series of offbeat art workshops organised in association with online community WhatsAround Thiruvananthapuram and Space Trivandrum. “The main idea is to build a community of art lovers from the city and keep the momentum going,” points out Vijith.

The sessions feature wall art, pebble art, resin art, mandala and so on apart from bringing out ‘art journals’ based on the participants works. The next Artflix session is slated for July 23.

The young artists say they keep themselves up to date with new art styles and movements thanks to social media. For instance, Anees picked up the techniques of resin art from online demonstrations. For them, it’s art from the heart.

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