Interview with artist Ramya Sadasivam —
1. Who are you and what do you do?
I am Ramya Sadasivam, a freelance artist from Chennai. I am a full time artist. My work as such involves only practicing art, doing commission and customized works and to apply for awards. I am also in the process of preparing videos for tutorial and also planning workshops. Hopefully both the projects will be up by March.
2. Why art?
I do not know how aptly to answer this question. Maybe how I started this would answer this question better. When I was in my 7th or 8th standard I saw my mother do a water color work. She did a princess with a crown. She has a natural talent for artworks and craft. I found it very interesting and I wanted to try it. My first work was a pencil work. Did a skeleton and added some shading and for a first work it was ok. That is how my practice started and I also realized I was able to immerse in it completely. This is something I realize when I look back. Even now I paint whenever I feel annoyed or depressed or frustrated. This is a therapy that cools me off completely. What once was my hobby is now a platform for me to make my living and also fame.
3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist?
This was in my 6th or 7th when my mother did her artwork(the princess with a crown – watercolor) as I was fiddling with something in my hand and loosely running around her. She never burdened me with any household work and I had enough time to be independent and free and observe her. Even before that trigger would be my time in School when my drawing master Ibrahim Sir did few sketches in our class in 5th standard or something. He would use one of the students of our class as a model and draw him/her. My other childhood inspirations came from my fellow mates like Imran and Stephen. They were the boys from North India who settled in our school hostel for their studies. I am happy to say that fate has united me with my friends through Facebook and these boys are happy at my growth.
4. What are your favorite subject(s) and media(s)?
My most favorite medium is oil on canvas/masonite board and sometimes pencil. Favorite subject would be anything like capturing emotions of one individual or 2 or something of that effect. I want my art to convey some sort of story, be it big or small.
5. How do you work and approach your subject?
Frankly speaking, right now I do my paintings with a reference in hand. I go around on tours now and then. There can be nothing as beautiful as villages in our country. I do sketches in the tours of the things, scenaries and the situations that inspire me. I also take photographs (a lot of them). I take reference both from the rough painting I did and the photographs I had taken too. This would be the technical aspect of approaching a subject.
Psychological aspect of it is that, I do not want to paint a posing man or woman. To me everything should be natural. I am a big fan of genuine emotions. When 2 individuals (be it 2 humans, 1 human 1 animal, 2 animals) are put together, they do not fail to entertain you. There is some sort of non-verbal conversation (sometime verbal too). I consider myself a secret admirer of the situation and I try to capture their emotions. Even when an individual is alone by himself/herself or doing some sort of errand, there is a beautiful sincerity that he/she displays towards the situation or the work he/she does. That is something I always like to admire and hence capture.
6. What are your favorite art work(s), artist(s)?
SM Pandit ji from India, I love Vladimir Volegov , Serge Marshennikov, Jeremy Lipking, Cesar Santos, Daniel Gerhartz. The works I love – “Warm evening in Cadaques” by Vladimir Volegov, “With Love” by Daniel Gerhartz, “By the River” by Suchitra Bohsle. I love a lot of artworks but as I am in India and all the artworks I love belong elsewhere, I am only able to admire them online.
7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
The best response is that someone said “they are able to connect with my works.” They are reminded of their childhood life in their village when they come across my works. Jeevananthan Sir of Coimbatore, a local art veteran of our state said “There is life in my artworks. With good practice that it is going to take me places.”
8. What do you like about your work?
I have a very long way to go. Having said that, I want to try a lot of lights – morning, evening and afternoon lights. I want to try outdoor paintings. As I said earlier I so love to capture the sincerity of a situation. The best I like about my work is that I do not make them from a sales point of view. And I love to be bold as that would be my basic character. I like my bold strokes.
9. What advice would you give to other artists?
Just please do not give up at any cost. If you do not have the whole day just allot an hour a day. If that’s too much, just allot an hour in 2 days or an hour in 3 days or a week or whichever you think is possible. Just please do not give up at any cost.
I see a lot of bad works in the market. I guess that is because those artists believe in marketing more than their own works. As much as it is important to practice art, it is equally important to promote oneself. Promotion leads to revenue generation, money leads to better resources (art materials and art trips) and therefore better practice and eventually better artwork.
10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Right now I am doing one small work 16 x 20 inches a week. I would like to do artworks like Vladimir sir with a carefree and fast approach and yet giving an excellent, outstanding and an astounding outcome.
I have many awards in my mind. Indian awards are Camlin, Lalit Kala, Bombay Art Society and several others are there on my list. The international ones are Portrait Society of America, Bold Brush, ARC and awards along that line. Better practice, better works, awards and fame
My Blog: http://thepleasurepainting.com/
Facebook (oil paintings): https://www.facebook.com/116711421695827/photos/?tab=album&album_id=924669640899997
Facebook (sketches & pleinair): https://www.facebook.com/116711421695827/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1288930554473902
Fine Art America: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/ramya-sadasivam.html