World as a canvas

Fresh strokes

World as a canvas

Some people are born with art on the tips of their fingers, while others choose to be artists later on in their lives. Both routes are amazing in their own way. But the difference lies in the passion for work one possesses.

Abhishree J Kumar feels that her paintings connect to people on a personal and social level and that is what keeps her going. The 19-year-old self-taught artist remembers that the first painting she ever made was of a fish in pre-school. Since then, art has always been a part of her life.

“Art is my everything — a friend, because no one can understand me the way it does; a lifeline, because nothing can clear my mind the way it does. In a lot of ways, it keeps me composed and sane,” says Abhishree.

The reaction from the audience, when they saw her paintings for the first time, inspired her to take her creativity seriously when she was 12 years old.

“I want people to think. I don’t want them to think the same way I do. I want them to look at my paintings and come up with their own interpretations. I want them to feel something when they look at it.”

Abhishree draws a clear line between passion and profession. Ask her if she earns through her paintings, and she says, “I actually thought about it initially. I thought I could sell my paintings and sketches and make some money out of it. But I just couldn’t bring myself to sell any, even though there was some demand for it. I kept thinking about how I’d never see them again if I gave them away. I think I’m emotionally attached to them. Art is my passion, and putting a price on passion isn’t really my thing!”

She initially participated in some of the local competitions and won prizes. But eventually she realised that one piece of art cannot be compared to another. She says, “How do you compare and judge them (art); how can one conclude that one painting is better than the other? This thought eventually led me to reduce my participation in such competitions.”

The beautiful and thoughtful subjects of her paintings don’t really come from a particular thing or person. Instead, her inspiration has always been something that can’t be seen directly in people. From the very beginning, her inspiration has always been feelings, reactions, emotions and the emotional growth of a person.

She looks at people in a very different way, “People are my biggest inspiration because they never think alike. Imagine having to look at someone and knowing that inside them there is a universe of thoughts and emotions — I like to capture those thoughts in my paintings.”

But canvas is not her only base. In her room, she has painted a wall which she calls ‘The Wall’. It was painted by her when she was 17 and she says that it was an impulsive decision taken by her to let her frustration out. This was after her 12th standard board exams, when, she says, nobody believed in her. “In a phase when no one believed in me, no one thought I had a plan, it was a my way of opening up and telling them they were wrong”.

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