Sunday, November 24, 2013

The muse named INSPIRATION

I'm sure every artist, every writer faces a slope down to rock bottom where it seems that the creative mind has gone AWOL. I can say this for I have faced it during my relentless quest to write a series of short stories. It doesn't give you any clue, but this total lack of inspiration just hits you home when you least expect. So, what was I supposed to do? Sit back and wait until my muse shows up? Well, that's what I thought I would do, and that's what I did.

Only two days later it started to grow on me that my muse, my inspiration, was not going to show up. All I had was two unproductive days. My guilt having half-eaten me by then, the third day I took the sheets of paper and pen, and rode down to the place where I always wrote my stories. That day I sat with the blank sheets of paper staring back at me with indifference. My muse didn't come. But, there was a sense of satisfaction nonetheless. The fourth day I went again, and again it was the same story. The fifth day however I wrote a few lines. The day later, a paragraph. And then, it turned into an outflow thereafter. The short-story that came out of it turned out to be a really good one after all.

The entire episode made me understand that the muse that I was waiting for was a really self-obsessed being. It wouldn't have showed up unless I impressed her with my incessant pursuit. Waiting for inspiration to hit you sounds really poetic, but I learned that this muse named Inspiration only reaches out to you halfway; the other half you've got to reach out. Once it's there you've just got to keep her occupied. She'll just sit there and polish her nails, run her hands through her hair, maybe even wink at you at times. But your bag of inspirations will be full as she stays.

You can't keep waiting for inspiration; just get a really nice bunch of flowers and go impress her. She'll in turn keep you happy, believe me.

~ RN

Friday, November 1, 2013

Art Hop and the people in it

The weather in Bombay (I still prefer calling it 'Bombay') was as searing as a frying pan this Sunday (Oct 27th, 2013), but somehow it only mattered for a small stretch of time as I settled myself around my paintings to display at Art Hop in Bandra in that late October morning. The excitement was building up inside me minute after minute. Technically it was the third time I was displaying my artwork to public. But, for me, it was first such display where people came only to take a look at artwork and nothing else. I wouldn't want to talk about the first two times now. You and I are going to have a long journey together, and that is when I'll slowly tell you the side-stories. For now, lets talk about what I felt at Art Hop.

It was only a day before the actual event that I realized how big a deal it was. People from various parts of the city hopped from one venue to another to witness and revel in the sea of artworks that consisted of paintings, photographs, installations, and what not. For an aspiring artist like me, this was an opportunity to know and understand the likes of people. I mean, imagine people coming from all over just to witness art, no other agenda. It sure sounds wonderful; and it was every bit wonderful as it sounds.


It was an overwhelming display of artworks at various venues spread out in Bandra. We couldn't visit all of those, but we managed to take a tour through two of the places. And, during those minutes we spent there, apart from the brilliant artworks that were displayed, what caught my interest were the people who had come. Plain, simple people. After a certain period, in fact I was more interested in observing them than the artworks. Oh, you're free to make your own assumptions about my credibility as an artist who'd observe people rather than the artwork. Still I feel you'd understand what I mean if you indulged in reading further.

I believe, we humans are very fascinating and we carry some sort of fire within us - a magical power that we don't realize more often exists at all. And studying a human figure and its action is quite like mesmerism. That is exactly what happens to me. I recently read a blog, 7 Strangers, written by a good friend. Her emphasis was on the fact that how often strangers have influenced our very life - "Every friend was once a stranger". I totally agree with her, for every time an art-enthusiast came to my paintings and spoke with me, that stranger no more felt like one. The flow of words was as easy as breathing. And, you could feel that this stranger carried similar fire within him too. I haven't had many chances to exhibit my art yet; but, now that I'm getting it, I get to converse with people who admire art and realize that they are immensely brilliant no matter how boring and dull they seem to be in the first go. All you've got to do is build a channel to connect, which is talk. So, it's not surprising how my attention got drawn to people around me despite the grand display of artworks.

My artwork didn't get sold in the Art Hop, but what I gained out of it is priceless conversations with equally amazing individuals. And, I thank us - we humans - for being the most fascinating creatures of this world.

~ RN

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Art, a business?

This was the question that made its way into my head when a friend of mine brought it up.

Being a student of an unconventional art school, FAD International, people (or rather artists) around me are quite open-minded, and listening to their thought processes making way to ceaseless discussions is a delight for someone like me. It was in one of those discussions when my friend said that Art is business after all. Before saying anything, for that one moment, it did cross my mind - Is it a business?

I wish I could agree with him, but I don't. If making money was my sole purpose of getting into art, I would rather have stayed and slogged as an engineer, eating dusty wada-pavs and sugary tea on site. In fact, as far as I can see, not one artist is into art because it will bring him money.

I believe the moment you start measuring your art as business, it loses its meaning and your creativity becomes a horse with reins; the purity of art is corrupted and all you have in your hand is just a business deal. That being said, on the heals of it another valid point came up - How am I going to pay for my food? (There were many questions that followed this one simple question on my mind. But, nothing beats the food.) So, what am I supposed to do, now that art is not a business for me?

I'm not saying that I won't accept the money that I get out of my paintings. Money is definitely important to keep oneself happy; only, how much money should be the concern. Somehow, even after jumping from a good job to the life of student didn't disturb the fluidity of my life. Somehow, I managed to tune myself into it; thanks to the world of colours that I have got myself into. If art is a choice that a person makes, then there's nothing that will stop that individual from being happy in it.

Art has given me a way to let out my thoughts in more understandable manner. I'd rather let it mesmerize me instead of controlling it.

~ RN

Thursday, October 24, 2013

There's always a first time

There is always first time for everything - may it be the first time you rode the heavy motorbike up that hill, or falling down and breaking a bone or two, or that rush you feel while stealing the first kiss from your loved one. I wish I could tell you about all these. Maybe after we - you and I - get well acquainted. For now, I want to talk about that first painting I tried - that first time I felt the tingling sensation somewhere inside my head, that first time I knew where I'd be.

I had done a lot of sketches and drawings and even paintings as a child. So, it's kind of uncanny how it took so long to answer my calling. Maybe everything has its moment. Sometimes you've got to wait it out. My waiting period was horrible if you must know. Four years of engineering studies, two years of slogging on construction site, these are definitely not what waiting-period should consist of. Well, lets not dwell deep into it though. But those hard moments drove me to the brink of desperation where breaking free became inevitable. These moments of desperation are sometimes very important.

My interest in painting gathered vigour when I saw one of my friends, a fellow engineer, working on beautiful oil paintings. Not that the first one I worked on was a masterpiece. It was a small poster of this amazing movie I watched last year, The Avengers.


I know what you're thinking - any kid can make it. And I don't blame you. At this point, even I feel the same way. This one I painted in January, and nine months down the lane I'm at a much better place. Sheer luck? Not at all. After this one painting, I relentlessly kept at it, painting after painting. It was only in the month of May that I stopped and took a break. But, by then I had done a lot of paintings - first small ones, and then gradually dwelling into larger.

It didn't teach me anything that I didn't know before though. But then we learn a lot of things, don't we? What matters is which lessons you find important enough to heed. Only when I worked head-on towards making a better painter out of myself did I realize that nothing comes easy. This one kiddish painting formed the roots to my salvation after all. I have understood that the skill to make art is a gift - a privilege. It's priceless!

Here are some of my relentless pursuit to grow as an artist.

 



~ RN

My Tryst with Art

It didn't come late to me that I was very bad at blogging. My futile attempts to start one up until now has always met with stone-faced blank page or random meanderings of my chaotic mind. Nonetheless, it is about time I shared a few thoughts here. Reading or not-reading entirely depends up to you.

This is my first post, so I don't want to scare you away as of yet. I would rather indulge you; at least for a while.

This blog, this one here, is dedicated entirely to my tryst with pencils, colours, and whatever that brings out an art form from within me.

Human actions, its body movements have always caught my attention in one way or the other. The way our body moves and stretches even with the slightest act of motion, and the strong settled lines of the folds on our bodies while the body is still are something that always gathered intrigue on my mind. It didn’t come as a surprise when I naturally developed a liking for human figures in all my paintings – as a kid it was cartoons of superheroes, and now it’s the people around me who are heroes in their own ways. I want to capture the emotions of these people around me, the stories behind faces and postures.


The first bolt of lightning inspiration came from one painting named Alysha by James Needham. The subject is a blonde girl with tattooed arm. The strong emotion that it showed boosted my curiosity and I explored James Needham’s works fully.  Another artist that I got inspired from is Michele Del Campo. I follow the works of these artists very closely, and their style inspires me immensely. But, that was when I wasn’t aware of the evolution of art from Neoclassicism to Conceptualism. After having gone through it, of all the paintings, the one that stayed long after was the post-impressionism work, Absinthe by Edgar Dega. Gustave Courbet’s themes of Social Realism and Death of Marat by Jacques Louis David with the theme of Neoclassicism are also the ones that move me.

In future, I’m planning to achieve something that has above themes with my own signature style – maybe a bit of everything, or maybe multiple themes. I can achieve this goal by getting well-acquainted with the style of paintings that inspire me, and find my unique way to finish the artwork. Another goal I want to achieve is to make my own artwork with minimal reference from works done by other artists and photographs. For this, I have started to work on sketches and plan to dwell deep into the study of anatomy. As of now, oil is the medium that work well for me, as I like the way it behaves. But, I’m open to experiment and explore with other mediums too.

And, so starts my tryst with art. Let the colours guide me to my destiny.

~ RN