Artist Spotlight features the best and brightest artists in their respective fields. PortPrep interviews each of them as they discuss their experiences on how they got into the arts, what it was like studying and getting a degree in arts and design, and the important traits necessary in becoming a successful artist. Click here to check out other interviews.
PortPrep have launched the Best Art Portfolio that features that best artworks that we can find online for the different art studies. The more we feature the different works by artists through the Best Art Portfolio, the more we see firsthand how art knows no boundaries. We have featured artists from all over the globe that excel in specific art studies. One of those people is Rhea Ahuja from India, whose artworks we featured in our “10 Best Art Portfolios by Fine Art Students.”
We have had the pleasure to interview Rhea as she discusses her progression from being an art lover to currently an art student at Srishti School of Art and Design in Bangalore, India.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Rhea Ahuja. I am a painter at heart, but a designer by profession. My favorite Art-time period was the Renaissance. Leonardo Da Vinci is my idol. I enjoy sketching, the most, because you can focus more on capturing the details of the features rather than the color.
How did you know that you wanted to study arts?
I could draw and paint since I was a child. I never really attended any classes for my basics, but I did take Fine Art in my school, Bishop Cotton Girls School, which was my first platform for presenting my artwork to a larger audience. It was there that my talent got recognized and I started entering many inter-school competitions, side-projects, etc. My Fine Art teacher from school really pushed me to reach my potential. Art made me happy and that’s how I knew.
What college are you currently attending in? Describe your experiences in the arts program so far.
I am currently attending Srishti School of Art and design in Bangalore, India. It’s been a very challenging, yet fun roller-coaster ride. Ever since my school days I’ve always been trying new entrepreneur ideas for my art. I started a summer camp for kids with my friends in the summer, started painting for people, painted murals, graffiti, chairs, etc! Explored as much as I could. Thought I’d done it all, but then I came to Srishti where I met very interesting people with completely wild, crazy, fun and new ideas. I started exploring Psychedelic Art in Srishti and then began to express my love for music through my art. That’s when I got my first job in a company to sketch A3 sized Rock band posters for them and then held my first painting exhibition.
Srishti encourages facilitated learning. So I came across very talented people who I learned a lot from to incorporate more in my art and grow as an artist.
Did you have to create an art portfolio as part of the requirements before studying arts? How was that like for you?
Srishti required us to present an art portfolio, just like any other art university would. I tried to kept it as diverse as possible. I included works from my school days, since those were the days I painted the most. I feel that a strong artist is one who can apply him / herself to any form of creativity / art, as art is expression.
I enjoyed building up my portfolio, it helped me learn more about my skill-set and made me challenge myself even more.
What were the most important lessons you learned while studying how to practice the arts?
That’s a vast question to answer… I learn’t about attention to detail in my school days along with shade, texture and tone, the basics. I learned how to paint for others and for myself. Sometimes an artist has trouble getting people to like his/her works, but that is what challenge of understanding oneself is about.
I took Psychology and Philosophy in my younger years which helped me become an expressive writer. Widening my creativity level, in turn, gave rise to new ideas about expression through my paintings. My concepts became broader, I began to incorporate layers, include symbolism, etc. Though one may be a painter or a designer, I feel it’s very important to touch base on all kinds of fields and keep an eye on what’s going on in the world, because that way half the challenge in painting for others is overcome.
What are some of the obstacles that being an artist has to overcome before becoming a student in college?
Like I mentioned above – about painting for oneself and also for others. A designer, especially, has to work for clients most of the time and requires ample patience and an open mind for accepting criticism. Criticism is a major obstacle I had to face. I used to be terrible at handling any negative remarks about my art, since it’s very precious to me and, as you know, artists are sensitive people. But, over time once you learn to accept the criticism you’ll learn from it and learn about your client too.
Art universities are known to hold group reviewing sessions of student’s art so as to hear from their peers and learn to take criticism. But, don’t worry, as long as you love your own work no amount of criticism is going to bring you down. That’s the beauty about art, it’s very subjective.
What are the keys to success in becoming a great artist?
Believe in yourself, that’s the most important thing. Make sure you always keep an eye on your competition, like Da Vinci to Michelangelo. Keep exploring new forms of art, don’t be stuck inside your comfort zone all the time. At the end of the day experience is most important and your journey, your grades come second. When you go out into the world the companies want to see your progress and your creativity. So go out there and knock them out!