Art is in his genes but then not all kids his age even with artist parents can create such mature and meaningful artworks which he does with immense ease and comfort. The Indore-born, who celebrated his 14th birthday a little over a week back, has already made up his mind to become a fulltime artist when he grows up. However, the class IX student of Vadodara’s Nalanda International School has kept the option of being a musician (he plays the guitar) open too. The yooungster won the first prize at the International Children’s Painting Competition 2018 where he skillfully brought out the beauty of God’s Own Country, Kerala, through his painting.
In his first-ever interview, Parth Joshi speaks with Saurabh Tankha about his artworks, his love for colours and shapes, his inspiration and more…
Since your birth, there have been colours all around you. When did you get drawn towards colours for the first time and what did you create?
Since my eyes opened to the magical world around me, the first thing I saw was different coloured liquid in bottles which my father applied on canvases using small handy scrub, paintbrush and a roller. As I grew up, I started imitating him behind his back childishly holding the paintbrush from its bristles. My first creation was a drawing of the famous cartoon and my favourite Ben-10 using crayons on a strip of masking tape. Those drawing of Ben-10 are still stored in a hard bound notebook.
Though these are initial years for you as an artist, is there any medium you feel comfortable with or closer to than any other as we have seen you trying out various mediums in your videos?
As I started getting drawn towards art field, I started up with crayons and sketch pens. Usually I am all up with gel pens for doodling but the most comfortable mediums are bonded sketching pencils, acrylic on canvas, pencil colours and brush pens on paper.
Between your artist parents, you get more inspired by – dad or mom? Any other artist apart from your parents you feel inspired by?
It doesn’t matter from which parent I learn from, as both are experienced from time and successful in their own styles and mediums. In fact I can learn from both as my mother (Trupti Joshi) paints in impressionism and does still life and my father (Vishal Joshi) paints abstraction in the form of spirals so I have a lot to learn. I am only at the seashell of one sea and have to travel the seven seas to gain all the knowledge of art and literature available in the world. At first, I saw the book collection of my parents and found an introductory book to the great masters of impressionism Vincent Van Gogh. I was fascinated by the thickly applied colour in the painting Sunflowers and just for a try and it turned out quite interesting. From that day, I started studying Van Gogh and am still trying to achieve the perfect stroke in the sunflowers.
Tell us about the Kerala artwork and how did you think about it and went about making it?
Bringing the Kerala artwork from mental thought to a canvas was tough. I started with a pointed pencil and as it touched the paper my all ideas were blown away as a feather. Then I started brainstorming, reading about the culture, history, food, traditions and about the works of youngest painter Edmund Clint, an Indian child prodigy. I finally got a sketch that would get me through the competition and wrote a short poem as description of my painting. I was reluctant to secure the first position as it would be first time I myself would buy a ticket to Kerala for my parents and me. But my wishes had been answered; the painting which I made left the judges in awe as told by them at the award ceremony at Thiruvananthapuram.
And also about Mondrian through Food… How did you get the idea for the same? Didn’t mom scold you for stealing her rice and pulses?
Talking about the Piet Mondrian project, first I saw all the compositions of the artist and then made a panel of my own taking the style of Mondrian and not forgetting to leave some places blank white which was quite a difficult task. I made the spaces bigger as it would take me less time and work to fill the places with food products. I borrowed some rice and pulses and dyed then in orange, blue and grey. My mother was not angry but happy seeing me works in a different mediums through the ‘Art Karo Na’ competition.
How much time do you spend with art in a day?
As I am born to artist parents, colours seem to fascinate me since I was four. When I join my soul with work, I lose track of time. Talking of normal days, I give one to one-and-a-half hours to art and during this lockdown period, three to four hours a day.
How are you spending your lockdown days, creatively and otherwise?
During this lockdown period, I was engaged in studies but took out time for art. I participated in the 30-day art challenge, Art Karo Na, organised by Daira Art Gallery, Hyderabad.
Playing guitar, singing, watching movies and reading books.
Book Grandma’s bag of stories, books of Devdutt Pattanaik (all which I have read till now).
Author Sudha Murty, Devdutt Pattanaik
Actor Tiger Shroff (for physical fitness) and Amitabh Bachchan (acting, language command, personality)
Colour Yellow (I started liking this colour when I saw character Bumblebee from Hollywood movie Transformers).
Shape Hexagon as I like the colour yellow which is connected with the honeycomb of Bumblebees.