I first learned to paint like any other kid, at home with my parents, and in kindergarten, where some of the kids painted everything but the paper in front of them.
While I had good art teachers in school, I had minimal interest in art since we did the same things each year – festival this and festival that and memory drawings. I did, however, love to sketch and draw, and put it to great use on the charts and in my journals as we moved up the years in school.
This love of drawing has never left me, and while I’m not the best at drawing, it still gives me a pleasure unlike any other form of art.
Except painting, after I started teaching myself in 2006.
My journey into art began when Devashish Guruji – a classmate from school, wonderful human being, a brilliant artist and an even better friend – dropped by during his break from college in Bengaluru (then Bangalore) for a visit, and saw my drawings and journals. He suggested I take up painting as a hobby, and I didn’t see anything to lose by doing so, and agreed.
That simple suggestion of his in the summer of 2006 took me on a year’s journey of researching art, teaching myself to paint, and going on gallery hops.
By April of 2007, I felt confident enough to start painting full time, and had picked my subjects in the Bachelor of Arts that I had taken up to support the art – Philosophy and Political Science.
I had the excellent chance of a visit to New York City in April of 2007, something which changed my life forever. Visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), The Whitney and The Guggenheim cemented my love for art and opened my mind to a universe beyond dreams.
Upon returning to Mumbai, I created my first oil painting as an artist. It was titled “Emotional Outburst”, and it is thus far the truest, most honest painting I have ever created, and I sincerely doubt I will be able to recreate those conditions again. This, dear reader, if you’re planning to become an artist is something you should pay attention to. You’ll know instantly when you create your “Emotional Outburst”, and you should fully experience that moment.
Submerge yourself in that memory and moment, because it is the start of something beautiful in you and your first step on the path to changing peoples lives.
From then on, I knew that I would be an artist until the day I could not learn anything more from art and artists.
Which basically means I’ll never stop being an artist.