When did you first become interested in art?
It all started when I was 10 years old and was spending my summer break at my grandmother’s isolated house in a country I visit only once a year. I am not complaining but spending a little over 30 days with only one person to talk to, nowhere to go and nobody my age to play with, things can be a little too stressful to handle. So I did what any kid would do when the only thing he has in abundance is pens and paper, I drew!
From then on, every time I was bored, may it be the waiting in a line or a boring chemistry lecture at school, I always turned to drawing.
What style of art do you use most?
My style of art is tribal. I have always had an obsession with patterns, and have enjoyed working on patterns for as long as I can remember. I guess there would be no other way to describe it anyway.
Has your style changed from when you first began as an artist?
My original style has not changed since I perfected it at 7th grade. However I have added a few new styles to my collection of art I have done over time.
What medium do you use?
I use ink on paper.
What made you choose that medium?
As I mentioned earlier, I started of with pens and paper. And I find it very convenient, as items required are available anywhere I go. This is why I have never struggled with packing and travelling with my art equipment, all I have with me are my skills.
Do your ideas come from life or imagination?
To be honest it depends on what I am in a mood to draw. I have worked on art projects where the idea has come from the social life of a foreigner and I have worked on art projects purely from my imagination when I made illustration for my favorite poems or short stories.
How do you choose your images and colours?
I start off by making color combinations on a rough paper and use it while working on my artwork. But what I have enjoyed the most is working with just one color, which is the black ink. I have found it very interesting, the challenged I face while working with just one color, I end up making patterns I never thought I could make before! I later use a graph book to make those patterns again and practice until I have perfected it for later use.
Do you work in a studio? Tell us something about it, photo if possible but not necessary
No, I do not have a studio. I work from the comforts of my own bedroom. My parents haven’t really liked me working on my art either, so finding space at home other than my room can be a bit of a problem.
Who is your favorite artist?
Vincent Van Gogh. I think he had a unique style and someday, I too want to be known for mine.
What is your favorite piece of work by yourself?
I wouldn’t say it is the best piece done by me, but I guess my favorite piece is the James Bond Tribute I did. That character has been my role model. Not only that, while announcing my name as a winner at the Indian are festival, I got nick named James Bond by the jury! It is a little funny but yes, James bond tribute I did was my favorite piece of artwork.
How much time (on average) does it take to complete a work?
It can take me a couple of dedicated hours to a week. Depending on the size of the project and how passionate I am about that theme of project.
How well do you take criticism?
I don’t complain when I am criticized. In fact, I have to thank all the critics and feedback I got from people over the years that actually helped me come up with fresh new ideas.
What do you do to overcome a ‘block’?
Obsession and practice!! Doesn’t matter what others say but practice with passion and have an obsession or a drive to do something. That’s what elping me right now.
How do you know something is ‘finished’? Is it easy to walk away?
An artwork is over when I think the picture looks perfect. Doesn’t matter how it ends, but when I think a picture is perfect, that’s when I stop.
Have you had exhibits in galleries?
I have never exhibited in a gallery but I have had 2 art exhibitions in an Indian art festival in Jeddah. That’s where I won the special jury award and got invited to join the Dammam exhibition.
Have you any exhibits in galleries planned for the future? (details if possible)
Yes, I have been invited to do two more exhibitions at Soul of India art festival (one in Jeddah and one in the capital city of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh). Which is why my preparation is in full swing these days.
What are you currently working on?
I am only working small projects to add variety to my art profile. But i hope i have time to work on large size projects again.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to complete my mechanical engineering and then get into any field related to art. I have been raised in an Indian family, and the mentality of my parents is that boys are supposed to either engineering, medical or business. Nothing else exists on their radar. And the reason I chose mechanical engineering is for my love for math and physics.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
“God let you feel emotions Raiyan, use them.” My art critic gave this.
Have you done any courses to help you?
On and off, but nothing that helped me in the style or medium I use to work, i think i developed my skills on my own.
What do you do to market your work?
Nothing at the moment.
Do you use social networking in your day to day life?†(If so please add a couple of your addresses for people to follow you on)
Yes, I use facebook and fineartamerica.com to help me connect with other artists and get their insights.
Are you available for work (commissions)?
Only if I get to work from the comfort of my own home as I hate travelling.
Have you got hobbies?
I love reading books!! I once spent an entire summer reading 14 novels!! (Yes! I was at my grand mother’s house)
Where are you based?
I am an Indian currently staying in Saudi Arabia. But I intend to go to Malaysia this July to start my mechanical engineering course.
You can contact Raiyan Talkhani on [email protected]