Soul-searching Psychedelic Art of Anwesha Kiran

Rhiti Chatterjee Bose had a conversation with Anwesha Kiran and here’s what she got to know:

Tell us something about yourself, where are you from, about your family, your childhood, if you have any other profession.

I’m Anwesha Kiran, from Bhubaneswar. I’m 21 and I’m currently completing my B.A. B.Ed from RIE BBSR. I’ve lived in Bhubaneswar all my life and have had quite a happy childhood. I love to sing and to paint and to read books. I do find myself very drawn to all art forms, and I’m one of those people who trust in feelings and emotions and matters of the heart above all else.

How did you start painting? What pulled you to this art form?

Right from my childhood, I’ve been artistically inclined, if that makes sense. Funnily enough, I never sat still as a child in art class. I’d roam around and watch everyone paint, rather than paint myself. However, as I grew older, I felt like painting was something that helped me with expression and kept me grounded. I’ve always been someone who prefers to not talk much, so painting helps me express myself in ways that I can’t, verbally, and I prefer it this way. This helped me most during my 12th boards, when I put myself under tremendous pressure to perform well. After my preparation was done for the day, I’d sit and sketch my heart out. It was then that I knew I wanted to do this, and since then I’ve never stopped. 

How did you teach/train yourself?
I did have some formal training, as in, I attended some art classes as a child, but I never really put my mind to it. I started seriously when I started using art as a mode of expression, and to train myself I’ve followed a variety of methods.. mostly exploring various modes of art, styles, imitating techniques and just lots of practice. After all of this, my skills began to get better, and how I end up with the end product is to use those skills to actualize what’s in my mind, in terms of the painting. Although I’m working with psychedelia currently, I’m also exploring new forms, such as portraits, adding some of my favorite pop culture subjects, doing collages. I feel that diversifying is the key to evolution.
What influence has art had in your life?
In the context of influence, for me, art is everywhere. Although my art is mostly on paper, in my life I think art is present in just every aspect. Art is present in the music of every band that I’ve ever loved that seems to transport me to a space that is just my own, in the masterfully woven words in a Kafka story, the meticulously designed patterns in a saree, the pastel surroundings in an early spring day, the closely followed colour palette in every single frame of a Wes Anderson film, a thoughtfully put together daily outfit, or the visually appealing clash of prints in a bohemian attire…my list just goes on and on. We could be here for years. My point is that I find art to be present in the smallest of things around me and from each of it I draw influence. To put it in a few words, the influence of art in my life is omnipresent.
How do you see yourself as an artist in the future, what are your plans?
Well, as an artist I currently only undertake to get better and better with more practice. Ideally, I’d like to evolve my own art style but also be good enough to never be confined by it.
Tell us something about the style of your paintings, the genre and why did you choose to pick this style?
Like I said, I’m currently working with psychedelia, but I’ve also simultaneously been doing some other works, with more…conventional subjects, you could say. I started off with water colours but I find that mixing mediums gives you a sort of uniqueness that cannot be imitated. That uniqueness is what I’m after. I’m not afraid to take on more unconventional subjects, and I find that these have a sort of formidable beauty to them. I’ve just really been trying to do justice to that. Even if you draw inspiration from something, make sure you add your own spin to it. That’s how I think one can produce art that is refreshing and new. In a way, I don’t choose what I paint. It just comes to my mind and I simply give it a physical form.
Any advice for future aspiring artists?
My advice to aspiring artists (I’m one myself), is that never, ever be afraid to try out new mediums and methods and techniques. Work with as many colours and types of colours as you can. Explore. Be unafraid to try and scale new heights in terms of variety. Don’t be too hard on yourself and leave space for mistakes. Find your own style, practice and always be open to criticism. Praise gives you confidence but criticism, when it’s constructive, will give you growth. And remember to always be kind. Good luck. 🙂

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