Art has a unique way of forging our lives. It has the ability to transform the ordinary into something special. Every artist holds a unique relationship with art. Some use art as a form of expression whereas others use it as a means of escape. Regardless, every artist would attest to the fact that making art is the closest they have come to making magic.
For Kannan Chithralaya, art is something that has been with him as far back as he can remember. “I started drawing back when I was a child. I used every second of my day to draw and paint, even during class hours in school.
My teachers were kind and supportive for the most part, of course, occasional chiding is to be expected. As I began participating in competitions and winning them, I realized that I wished to become a full time artist,” said Kannan, recalling the beginning of his artistic career.
“Despite being unable to join art school, I opted painting as my career. I initially began working as a part time publicity artist; this is where I learned how to hold the brush and mix colours. My journey as an artist started there and it was soon my only means of bread and butter.”
But even as Kannan’s artistic abilities grew tremendously, the commercial artscene in the country took a turn for the worse. “I began receiving several opportunities but then the commercial art scene underwent a drastic change. Many companies began moving towards print media, especially with the advent of advanced print technology.
However, I refused to let this pull me down. Even though this affected my livelihood and my family, I focused on bettering my work by observing and studying the works of famous artists. I am still in the process of perfecting my techniques,” said the artist.
Kannan’s keen love for art and his determination to master it pushed him to widen his skill set. He produces fine works of art across almost every medium, including but not limited to watercolours, oil, acrylic, charcoal and many more.
“I love watercolours, I use round brushes, high-quality watercolour papers, acrylic, Canvas brushes etc for that. For abstract pictures, I use knife, pencil, soft pastel oil colours and charcoal.”
Upon the numerous paintings that the artist has created, he recalls his most favourite piece as the portrait of his grandmother. “If I must name one favourite piece I would say my grandmother’s portrait. She is the one who raised me & supported me throughout my artistic journey,” recalls the artist fondly.
His one stern advice to the aspiring watercolour artists is that they must remain firmly dedicated to the field. “Take art seriously and dedicate yourself.
Do not try to imitate anyone instead try to develop your own style. It is good to study the works of other artists since it will help you develop ideas and inspire you to improve your art.”