INTERVIEW WITH TEJAS SONI
Tejas Soni, from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India is a painter, sculptor and a great renowned photographer. He has mastered in all forms of the painting and sketching techniques. It is no surprise that he is one of the most inspiring personalities for many amateur artists and photographers. He always quotes “painting helped me to learn the photography and photography is helping me to learn painting.”
He is here to share his artistic experiences with us.
When did you start your painting/sketch work? What inspired you to get into it?
Roots were always there, since my childhood I was attracted towards sketching, painting and sculpture as well. I can’t tell you the exact time when I started it. But as I have mentioned, my roots were always connected with the field of fine arts.
It never happened for me to go to any art academy to master those art forms. That’s the sad part! But I took it positively and started learning sketching and painting on my own.
To start with, I referred many anatomy books and started studying great master’s work like Rembrandt, Peter Paul Reubens, Michaelangelo, Ingres, Raphael, Leonard da vinci, Michaelangelo Caravaggio, Annibalcarrraci, EgonSchielle, Escher, Ruisdael, John Turner, Jacob van Rusidael, John Vermeer, Edgar Degas, Henry Moore, Rodin and Bernini etc. Their work always inspired me to see the world in a beautiful way.
Once I read a nice quotation of Constantin Brancussi
“Work like a slave
Command like a king
Create like a God.”
And I took that long road …!! I chose to work so hard and learn every possible aspect of this field.
So if you will ask what inspired me I will not be able to answer in particular? But, say it was that inner urge and sweet desperation to learn everything about painting and sketching!!
How did you learn this art? Do you have a Mentor? Who has been the biggest inspiration?
Well, as I have mentioned earlier I wanted to master the art of sketching.
I did my masters with English literature, but simultaneously I started exploring sketching and painting. I never got an opportunity to learn from particular mentor but in my journey I chose myself as a critique of my own work and kept refining it.
The task was not that easy. It’s like you are sailing the boat in the middle of the sea, and you don’t know where exactly you are heading!! But I am proud to say that it took the right direction and reached at the pleasant shore.
My inspirations like I have mentioned all those Great painters and Mother Nature kept inspiring me to work day and night.
What is your area of specialization in Painting/Sketch work? What inspired you to do specialization in that stream?
Pencil sketching is my first love.
I still remember I used to go to railway station for sketching. I really enjoyed and miss those days (those days were not of “Google”) only libraries and your own hard work were your guide. I am so glad I found the way I never tried to copy what other artist did, yeah I kept my close eyes on their work , not to walk on the way they created but to explore my own new way of learning.
Apart from pencil sketching I love charcoal, pen, watercolour, dry pastels, acrylic on canvas, oil on canvas.
Gradually, I started learning sculpture. I used to go to libraries and tried to learn from those books. Simultaneously I started working with clay. I did commission-work for many clients. I used materials like ferro-cement sculpture, mural (relief), wood relief, plaster of paris, welded metal sculpture, resin etc for various work of my clients.
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We have your wonderful photography work; do you think that there is co-relation between painting/sketch and photography?
Yes. I believe there is some or other connection between each element of this universe. Painting/sketching and photography has a very close connection. What I have learned from Mother Nature by observing closely, it helped me to learn Photography on my own. Once in my class I told “painting helped me to learn the photography and photography is helping me to learn painting” one student asked “sir …How? How photography is helping you in learning painting?” I told her that all art has co-relation. It has deep connection.
Which is your personal favorite painting? Can you write about the emotions related to that particular work?
There is no such painting or any creation but yes when I did my first sculpture (commissioned work) which was 12ft tall and was in ferrro-cement I was so happy. The reason of that joy was I didn’t know the basics of material though it was materialized.
One incident I would like to share here with you, couple of years ago my 7 years old nephew died accidentally and the trauma that incident created was so terrible. It shook me and didn’t let me sleep for many days. Then I started working on charcoal and created some paintings, and the pain relieved! So art worked like therapy at that time even today I do the same. Sketching helps in my well being too.
What kind of painting/sketch work you have not done but wish to try in future?
I have explored almost everything and there is nothing in my wish list. But yes I always wanted to do something like John Burglam did in South Dakota.
Would you like to share a few tips and lessons for the upcoming painting/sketch artists to learn and implement? (It could be from your area of specialization)
Magic starts from where the logic ends and art has nothing to do with reason and places. Like Picasso once stated “Painting is the blind man’s profession. A painter paints what not he sees but what he feels.” One just needs to express their own perception and feeling with the form of art may it be brush, pen, charcoal, camera, any musical instrument.
And second thing is, every art form needs gradual refinement. One needs to understand that if you want to master any art form you need to practice day and night.
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced 1 kick 10,000 times”
– Bruce Lee.
In my case sketching helped to learn painting, sculpture and photography too. I think that whatever is your field of interest and which you want to explore, sketching helps you to learn it better. I would like to suggest here, keep practising the art of sketching that will lead you to your own unique level of art.
Special thanks to Tejas Soni for sharing your experiences with us.
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