Recently I came across Tanu’s page on Instagram and while browsing, the super cute tiny watercolour paintings brought so much joy to me, I had to talk to her to understand her world of creativity. We see so much these days on social media, that something interesting rarely catches our eye. Her art is that special thing that intrigued me to know more.
Tanu, tell us a little about yourself, your journey?
In terms of education I am a post graduate in mathematics (though numbers and I run in opposite direction these days).
All my life, I have been curious about the enigma of any form of ART – be it drawing in school, doodling in free time, sketching for friends, cartoons on TV’s and comics in books.
During the last year of my post-graduation, I came to know about a field called " Animation" through one of my relatives (start-up industry at that time). Thanks to my parents who believed in my passion and encouraged me to pursue it post my graduation. I hold a diploma in animation from MAAC and have been fortunate to work with some of the industry leaders like Technicolor, Prana studios, Prime focus etc. where I worked on projects like Tinkerbell, Lego, Kung Fu Panda, & Penguins of Madagascar etc.
Presently, I am more of a hustler (a role that I am enjoying a lot) running behind my little daughter and my passion for arts is providing me with much needed me-time.
From animation, what led you to start with watercolours and move away from the intricacy of the digital world?
I think art starts with a hobby first and when you dive deeper into this magical world, it leads to endless possibilities. While all these years I have been into the world of animation but I always liked to draw (though it was not frequent) but never painted with any physical medium.
In March’20, one of my friends introduced me to @doodlewashed’s Monthly Art Challenge with him on Instagram. I was absolutely new to both IG and paints but I accepted the challenge. Since then, I have grown from 20 odd followers to 13K now and not looking back. I plan to convert this hobby into a full blown career option as of now!
This is something that intrigues me with all the artists, what inspires you?
In one word the answer is Happiness.
I feel liberation and joy with every stroke of the brush on paper. My belief and mantra is that love what you do and enjoy it fully to get that desired happiness each one seeks. To make people surrounding you happy first you should be happy from inside.
Happiness drives you, but what do you want to communicate with your viewers?
Through my paintings I aspire to spread happiness and positivity in my followers. I also advocate that art has an innate ability to unleash the human potential, thus generally I try to inculcate a message in my paintings.
Let’s get into the process a bit… What is your creative process?
Picking up a subject is most time consuming. I usually get ideas sometime from my surroundings, sometime from any movie, series or may be Google. Ideas are always around us, we just can turn them around in a fraction of a second or leave them unnoticed.
However, I try to have a minimalistic approach and paint simple subjects. I have an inclination for mini-paintings which I enjoy but I don’t mind taking few exceptions and go full throttle sometimes.
Keeping it simple is my mantra and let your mind and hand brush do the trick!
How have you mastered the most dared medium of watercolours?
Watercolours are unpredictable and have an associated drama around them when the colours blend. It is intriguing to observe it and what magic it leads to.
When I paint, It feels like I'm in a new world and creating magic with my own hand.
Recently, I am experimenting with Gouache as a new variation.
The most important question especially in these times when we hardly venture outside, how do you overcome a creative block?
Creative blocks are important as they unlock new potential and help to learn something new. Some of the things that are a part of my process are to do urban sketches which is another favourite subject of mine, watch skillshare videos, etc. when I face creative block. I don't paint at that time. I just relax without any pressure of painting at that time because I have experienced that painting without your heart gives the worst output which is devastating.
Mostly, I think creative blocks are more of a state of mind that every artist goes through but with such hacks one can get back quickly.
As there are many people who have started painting as a hobby and due to Instagram have a platform to showcase it, what is your advice to them?
I just want to say that don't paint for numbers, paint for your inner joy. The joy we feel after completion of any artwork is not comparable with any other thing. So please don't ruin that happiness by worrying about the number of followers or likes or comment. It is the completion of the project and the process of learning which is important. Keep focusing on learning techniques.
Making a schedule in my opinion is important, painting for at least 30 mins a day to increase your flow. Learn from sources on internet (skillshare, YouTube etc.) and make the most of the technology.
As an artist yourself, what is your advice to other homegrown artists at the brink of their career?
In my experience while art is liberating for one’s self, it is not a very lucrative option financially. It is an artist who knows what goes into making a creative masterpiece but the willingness to pay is not high. Gradually, as the world is getting connected, new opportunities are coming up and I am quite optimistic about the future. At the moment, I just want to go back and pick up a brush and paint!
As artists we are open to many sources for inspiration and we think our minds are free, but most of the times we are stuck between the walls of our mind and are unable to flow with the times and move on. With Tanu being a mathematician, to an animator and now making these super cute miniature paintings, there was a shift of thought and a process of adaptation, something that’s can be an inspiration to many and a sense of motivation for some.