“Stroking a brush on a piece of paper transports me into a serene and beautiful world; a world full of colours and unspoken words” says Prakriti. Prakriti Poddar is an artist who has given her heart and soul to the world of canvases, colours, and paintbrushes. Her specialty being Renaissance art, she takes inspiration from the natural world. Each of her paintings has a meaning and story to tell, you just need to look closely enough.
Prakriti, in her interview with Storiyaan, takes us through her artistic journey, tells us about her experience of living in London and how it enabled her to grow as an artist. Through this insightful interview, we get to know a lot about the mesmerising and exquisite world of art. Dive in and read to know more about the artist and her art.
Questions and answers
Can you tell us about the first time that you stepped into the world of art?
I started painting when I was 7 years old, and I’ve been experimenting and working on different styles. I started professionally as a fashion designer which was another breakthrough into the world of art for me. I used to paint prints for designs and in 2015 I started making proper commercial canvas art paintings. I had a mentor, Mr. Soumen Saha, who is an eminent artist in Kolkata and he trained me for three years.
Your art seems to vary from Renaissance to Modern art. What kind of research went into mastering this wide spectrum?
I paint a lot of renaissances and most of it is inspired by the masters. I lived in London for three years and met a lot of artists over there. Many of them were into modern and visual arts, and while I interacted with them, it influenced my work and inspired me to widen and broaden my understanding of art. Learning plays a great part in inculcating and incorporating.
What techniques and resources did you use to design your last few pieces?
The last few pieces I designed are a combination of acrylic and digital art. I started experimenting with this very recently. I used illustrator, procreate, and other tools to enhance my work. I’m still working and researching on them and I want to create more of this combination.
What is your favourite drawing or painting in your portfolio and why?
There’s this one painting I made back in 2016, acrylic on canvas. I named the painting Reminiscence. It took two months to make the painting and the end result was beautiful. When I see that painting, it tells me a story of the past as it has a bit of nostalgia in it. It can make people think of a different time. It’s a forest, there are thick trees. I feel like trees tell stories and that’s something I could connect with.
How do you get inspired to produce a piece of artwork?
My inspiration mostly comes from nature. I love the outdoors, and my paintings are mostly landscape. I love the texture of trees and flowers. Even people are a big inspiration as everything in society is connected and I try to show that through my paintings. I also believe that a part of us lives in nature. I love flowers, trees, mountains, and landscapes.
How do you deal with a client who continually rejects all your presented drafts?
When it comes to canvas art, the clients who buy canvas art, know-how painting works, and a lot of revision is not possible. I make miniature paintings for them so that they know the distinctive strokes and colours. They’re usually fine with it and they’re coming to me because they like my signature style. Digital painting clients need a lot of revisions so I provide them with four or five revisions as it’s very difficult to scrape out the whole thing because it takes a lot of time.
What are some of the tools used by you to create your digital illustrations and how long did it take you to master them?
I use illustrator, procreate, and other apps, and it took me a while. I mostly learned from YouTube videos and I practiced a lot and this is the legit method for me. How to create different types of brushes needed a lot of experiments. It’s very different when you’re doing it on digital. I mix illustrator and procreate sometimes but it took me a while and I’m still learning.
Since you also practice acrylic painting, what makes the physical touch of a brush in your hand different from painting on a digital platform?
There’s a huge difference. When it comes to painting with a brush, it is a different feeling because you’ve to use your hands to blend the colours, palette knife. It’s a whole different emotion that I feel while painting manually and I get into a trance. I miss the feeling of the texture of the colours against my hands. It’s a totally different feeling that will never be replaced by digital art.
Your art often borrows inspiration from your Bengali roots, such as the ‘Bhapa Doi’ and ‘Kumartuli’ paintings. Do you think art has the potential to bring forth the aura of a culture on a global platform?
Art is actually very powerful as it influences society in many ways. When people are expressing their culture through art, it becomes a mode of communication. Like in the case of Mughal art, what we know about it is only because of the culture which was communicated through art. Art is a form where people come together, share their worlds, even if they belong to different places. The signature style is what gets recognised globally.
How does art find a fit in your daily life as a Market Research Analyst?
It’s a part of me, so I don’t really have to find time for it. It’s like when you love something, you make time for it. During the day I’m overloaded with work so mostly at the end of the day and on weekends, I always find a few hours to get my time of relaxation, it’s like an antidote that helps me de-stress.
Despite being massively talented, a lot of artists remain underappreciated. How do you think we can help such artists who are even unable to get access to social media?
It’s very unfortunate, India is a hub of such amazing artists. Before COVID it was still easier, you could find them in book fairs. I met some amazing artists who made beautiful Madhubani paintings on paper. Right now, with the pandemic, it has gotten very difficult to get in touch with them. I feel artists need to be taken care of, their talent should not get wasted.
As a painter, was their any low point or struggle in your life? If yes, how did you get through it and what did you learn from it?
In 2014 I was going through a very tough time in my life as there was something wrong with my hand and couldn’t even lift a pencil. It was a very daunting phase as I didn’t know what the future held for me. After a couple of months, I started painting as much as I could. I met Mr.Somen during that time and he became my mentor. I painted six pieces at that time and was able to sell four of them. That was a very special moment for me as it was very close to my heart. It taught me that if you are really passionate about something, just keep doing it no matter what and never look back.
a. Creativity for you is?: Exploring and pushing your limits to evolve.
b. Best location to find inspiration for your art?: Nature and the outdoors
c. Favourite artist?: Vincent Van Gogh
d. When not working, you are?: Watching Netflix or going for a walk
e. Your greatest achievement according to you?: It’s not the greatest but in 2015, I put up my first acrylic painting exhibition in Kolkata and I sold four pieces of my art. It meant a lot to me.