Magic in his fingers

Magic in his fingers

Creative strokes

Magic in his fingers

As the music reaches its zenith, Vilas Nayak works himself into a frenzy, painting with both hands to create a stunning masterpiece.

It would take a while for one’s eyes to see what he is making, so swift are his brush strokes. Thus, it is no surprise that his performances for programmes like ‘Asia’s Got Talent’ on AXN and ‘Got Talent World Stage Live’ have caught the attention of millions of art lovers across the world.

His art works have been appreciated by great personalities like Pele, A P J Abdul Kalam, Sachin Tendulkar, A R Rahman, Lewis Hamilton, Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Ranveer Singh, Virat Kohli, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Saina Nehwal, Mary Kom and many more. Rajitha Menon gets a glimpse into the life of one of the world’s most sought-after speed painters.

Tell us a bit about your journey till now.

I started painting at the age of three but I haven’t received any formal training in art. I had always wanted to be an artist but due to my family’s financial situation and because I was also a rank holder in academics, I joined a company and worked as an HR professional for six years. It was during that time that I got my biggest break in the form of a chance in ‘India’s Got Talent’ on Colors TV. Subsequently, I quit my corporate job to pursue my passion for art. Now I keep performing at various events all over the world. So far, I have performed in 23 countries.

What got you interested in ‘speed painting’?

It was a very interesting incident that marked my first tryst with speed painting. Once, when I was in school, I took part in a drawing competition. One of the judges came late and asked us to complete the sketch in five minutes. I got the first place in that competition and that’s when I realised that I can sketch really fast. My first live performance was in 2004 during my college day celebrations. From then onwards, I worked hard to improve my accuracy and speed. It does take a lot of practice and hard work to increase one’s speed while not compromising on the quality of the painting or the entertainment quotient for the audience.

Why do you combine music and art?

Music gives me inspiration. I believe there is a correlation between music and art. Apart from the fact that it boosts the audience’s energy, it also adds a meaning to the painting. For instance, if I am painting a picture that talks about helping needy people, I would play ‘Heal the world’ by Micheal Jackson in the background to give a greater effect.

Your inspiration.

Nature is my first inspiration. I grew up in Ujire and I could see the beautiful Kudremukh mountain range from my house. The greenery, the birds, the village life —  it all inspired me to recreate that beauty on canvas. My inspiration, specifically to start speed painting, have been artists Denny Dent and B K S Verma. I also adore Vladimir Volegov’s fine art works.

What has been your favourite live painting venue till now?

I performed at a most stunning venue on a hill next to Hudson river in the USA. It was surreal to immerse myself in the beauty of nature while I created live art works.

A compliment that you cherish a lot.

I really love it when kids compliment me. I love performing for them and I believe that their reactions are genuine and honest. So when they appreciate my art, it does mean a lot. Otherwise, the times when legends like A P J Abdul Kalam, Pranab Mukherjee, Pele, Sachin Tendulkar and Shahrukh Khan praised me are also memories that I would cherish forever.

What are your future plans?

My plan is to travel and explore the world and also perform in all places possible. I also want to dedicate more time to fine art and at the same time, invent new techniques in speed painting.

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