Q1. What does Art mean to you?
For me, art is my life. I have always been into art, since I was a child. I wasn’t necessarily good at it until I met my teacher. Art was something I always did for my happiness. If I didn’t get good marks, I would grab a pen and just draw and pour my feelings out on the paper. My 12th boards were a depressive phase, waiting for marks, not sure of colleges. At that time, art brought me a purpose, a purpose that made me feel hopeful and happy.
Q2. What inspires you to draw?
I need to have a connection with something to be able to draw. It should just strike me, like a painting or an idea for painting. I usually also research well before painting, searching for ideas, penning down things that I feel like drawing. But in the end, I must have this inner desire to draw that idea, a soul connection almost. That’s when I will pick up the brushes.
Q3. What is more important, Creativity or Technicality?
Creativity definitely matters more. There is no rigid step by step guide to paint. The most beautiful thing about art is that there are no set rules to it, no procedure. Like every human on this planet, it is different, it is unique from each stroke of the brush to the emotion enveloped in it. Each painting reflects the personality and state of mind of its creator, and in itself is so varied.
Q4. What according to you is purpose of art and why do we need it?
The simplest is to express yourself. Making a career out of it, earning money is all secondary. The primary reason I got into it was to express myself. You will never find an artist who was forced into art by their family or pressure of society, it is always their passion that got them into it. It’s a profession of choice, and that’s why it is a pursuit of happiness for many. Life is already so complex, and Art is where I go to seek satisfaction.
Q5. Do you think your art is valued by those around you?
That is a very hard question actually. I still have many relatives who ask me when will I gift them a painting? They think it is a very easy task. Telling them that it takes me months to make a painting, or that I have to sit for hours in a place to the extent that I stop feeling my back, only brings in mockery. I remember once, I had one of my relatives ask me to gift one of my paintings to him. I refused and told him I only sell my art and give it away only when I fell like and not forced. So, he said, no issues we will draw one ourselves. At a later point though, he visited my home with some of my other relatives and when he actually saw my paintings he realized the effort that goes unnoticed. And I got my first order for a sketch from him only.
I was the once told never to give away my art for free to anyone, because when people spend money on something, they value it more, respect it.
Q6. You said it take months to make a painting, what are the challenges you face?
It is very difficult to stay patient for such a long time and had it not been for my teacher, I would have given up a long time ago. She is the one who taught me the virtue of patience. I still remember that after I had been her student for 2 years, one day I sat down to draw alone. I was working on a painting called ‘Dream’ I was so demotivated because I couldn’t draw anything good. When I told her that, she told me, “Why are you giving up so early when you haven’t even started yet? Fix it if you don’t feel it’s good, come to me with it but don’t give up.” I think that’s one of the sweetest things she ever said to me. I felt so optimistic after that. The outcome was so pretty, even though it was filled with technical mistakes, I was proud of me, proud of the fact that I didn’t give up.
Q7. Which one among your own artworks is your favorite?
This is a difficult question since every painting has a different meaning attached to it, reflects different phases of my life, expressing my different emotions. But yes, The Shiva painting I made is very special to me. It was not something I innovated, I found it and wanted to recreate it, but through that journey I learnt a lot. It was after finishing that painting that I started referring to myself as an artist. So of course, it is pretty special.
Q8. Is there any particular artwork by another artist that you would like to recreate?
It would have to be the paintings by my Teacher. I remember seeing her Buddha paintings a while ago and I was mesmerized by the serenity they possessed. So I decided to make one myself and that is the painting I am currently working on.
Q9. Would you like to share any event or experience that made you feel good about being an artist?
Last year, all thanks to my teacher, I got an opportunity to exhibit my artwork in a Teej Mela. It was the first ever exhibition of my life. The most beautiful part about it was that so many of my friends, my acquaintances, even my professor who taught me since school turned up for the event to congratulate me, promote me. It was such a wonderful feeling.
Q.10 What kind of resistance have you faced for pursuing art professionally?
Actually I got the complete opposite of that. I received unconditional support from my family, even when I used make blunders of a painting. When I painted my first canvas, my family posted about it on every social media platform, showing me off proudly. My relatives called me up, telling me how my painting was so beautiful. So it was that continuous love and support, that brought me where I am today.
Q.11 Do you think it is okay to be vulnerable and has art helped you in overcoming any vulnerabilities?
When I got into college, I was a reserved person. I had shut myself down from the outside world, I had no friends. Art gave me a way to express myself during this phase, and I gradually started opening up. Art has helped me through every low of my life, even when I completely stopped believing in this world.
Q.12 What aspects of life do you want to touch with your art?
Art has taught me to appreciate the little things in life, like the beauty of nature, one’s relationship with their pets, like I have started understanding and respecting these little sentiments more. And so this is one thing I want my art to showcase.
Q.13 Any message you want to give to the world through Prone?
Never Stop. That is only thing. We grow each day, give it time, you will become the person you always desired to be, just never stop. Do not let get others criticism or harsh words get to you, because when you succeed they will be the first ones to clap. Take pride in what you do, put in all the hard work and the outcome is going to leave you astounded.
Know the Artist:
Edited by Mehak Bhalla