Their heart is fond of art

A saying by Charles Horton Coole goes like this: ‘An artist cannot fail. It is a success to be one’. But what are the hardships that an artist has to face, without having a so-called ‘white collar job which pays well’? Metrolife speaks to a few talented artists from different fields, who have chosen to follow their hearts, by making a full-time career out of their passion.

Cedric Misquith has been drawing since the age of 7. Today, apart from being a tattoo-artist, he makes beautiful and unique carvings on leather and wood, which are loved by all. “Art has always been my heart,” says the man, who is currently creating The Last Supper on leather. “I can make my version of any product. Once I saw a toy car, and created my own model of it.”

In fact, he even created a tattoo machine out of a ball point pen and a guitar string. “This was before my cousin sister got a tattoo kit for me from the States,” he laughs. Be it putting art on a piece of paper, leather or skin, Cedric’s works have a unique charm. He feels that true art comes from paper and pencil, not from the advanced technological tools that are available these days.

Percussionist Arun Kumar comes from a family of musicians. “My father Sukumar is a drummer and I learnt the art from him.”

Arun started playing drums from a young age and learnt to play the mridangam later. He has played with popular Carnatic artistes like L Subramaniam, Ganesh Kumaresh and N Ravikiran. 

Creator of a drum kit for Carnatic music, Arun was the first artiste to play the rhythm pad for a Carnatic concert at the Chennai Music Festival. He also plays for a Layataranga, a band formed by him.

“I practice whenever I get the time and have been in this field for the past 15 years.”
Priti Vadakkath specialises in water colour paintings and has studied fine arts and design. “There are many aspects to painting. I start by deciding on the subject of my painting. Once I start painting, I paint continuously as the medium of water colours is such that it can’t be left undone. There have been days when I have painted for nine hours at a stretch.” The artist has exhibited in Mumbai, China and America amongst other places.

Rohin Unvalla is a young dancer with Lourd Vijay’s Dance studio. “I have been dancing since I was 12. During my college days, I used to go to the studio whenever I felt like,” he says. Slowly, Rohin became a part of the troupe and is now, a full-time dancer and instructor. Apart from Bangalore, he has performed in Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Hong Kong, USA and UK.

But how hard is it for a person to follow his or her passion full time? Priti feels that it is completely feasible. “If you have talent and the right focus, sky is the limit. Though I grew up at a time when academics was given a lot of importance, most of it has changed now.” 

Rohin believes that networking is extremely important for any artist. “People should know that you exist.” He adds, “Besides, if you know what you are doing and have the right guidance, then it’s completely worth it. You may even end up getting perks like travelling and meeting interesting people, which may not be available in a regular job.”  
Arun Kumar has been asked many a time if he has an alternate career. However, he can’t focus on anything but music.

“People ask me how can I earn a living only by playing music. But my point is that the capacity of an artist and his or her affection for the art should be recognised.”
 Cedric, who always longed for his parents’ encouragement towards his talent, feels children should be given an opportunity to exploit their talent.

“They may be excellent in academics, but that doesn’t mean you ignore their artistic abilities. Kids require the encouragement of parents more than friends,” he says.

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