Rhiti Chatterjee Bose in conversation with Siddharth Mishra about his dreams, desires and journey as an artist. Excerpt.
First of all tell us something about yourself, where are you from, about your family, your childhood, if you have any other profession.
I’m from Cuttack, Odisha, born and raised in this beautiful city, I come from a joint family with a packed home. Currently I left my job at Balco, Vedanta in order to pursue higher studies and in the hope to be able to do something for the society.
How did you start painting? What pulled you to the art form that you practice?
I have been sketching since the time I held a pencil properly. Be it Dennis the Menace or Popeye, I always liked to scribble something or the other on a loose sheet of paper. In the beginning it was all these childlike fantasy cartoon characters that I was elated at sketching. To be fair, I never realized that I had the talent and skills for art.
How did you teach/train yourself ?
It was a banal Sunday morning and my parents decided to take me to an art teacher. I was pretty enraged to have my Sundays wasted in ‘learning something’. I joined the art class and on the second Sunday the art master said ‘You will never learn to sketch/paint if you hold the pencil like that. It’s useless.’ As a child, I found the comment very caustic and immediately left the class never to join again. Since then, it’s only been me and my blank canvas. I have had no formal training. I just sketched what I liked. Digital Art has been a sea of opportunities for me. I sketch daily and art for me is like a therapy.
What influence has art had in your life?
The therapeutic aspect of art has been a loyal friend of mine. It keeps me focused and calm. My peers respect my style and this keeps me grounded.
How do you see yourself as an artist in the future, what are your plans?
I have been thinking to make something big out my talents. But this time, I am seeking guidance and assistance to aid me in my quest for passion. I plan to pursue M. Des course in India’s prestigious institutions and give wings to my gifts.
Tell us something about the style of your paintings, the genre and why did you choose to pick this style?
Most of my sketches/paintings have been portraits. With my skills I wish to re-create human emotion by the very index of mind- the face. So, undoubtedly portraits are always my favourites. I follow Andrew Loomi’s techniques and Barrington Barber’s ‘The Fundamental of Drawing Portraits’ has been my Bible all this time. Besides portraits I also keep myself occupied with landscape paintings, abstract art, doodles etc.
Any advice for future aspiring artists?
Everyone should sketch what’s on their mind. It makes things easy and helps vent even the most bottled up emotions. One should not care as to what people would think/say about one’s piece of work. Every scribble is worth it. Every smudge makes you a better artist than your previous work. Take it up as a hobby and you never know!