Meet the Others: AnilKumar AK
The Game Changers. The Rule Breakers. The Innovators. Discover some of the fantastic emerging talent showcasing their work at The Other Art Fair.
The Other Art Fair London exhibitor AnilKumar‘s vibrant paintings are a contemporary combination of classic pop art and Eastern influences.
Tell us about who you are and what you do
I am a self -taught artist based out of London with an educational background in engineering. After graduating with a degree in Mechanical engineering from Cochin University of Science and Technology (India) I worked for 6 years in IT firms both in India and in the UK.
I rediscovered my love for art in 2012 after finishing my Master’s degree from Bradford School of Management and by 2015 took the plunge aka a career break to follow my passion. I now devote my full time in arts, exploring and developing new creative outlets thanks to the unique galleries, artists and the old cobbled alleys of London.
If you could describe your work in 3 words, what would they be?
Expressive, Intuitive and Tranquil
How did you first get interested in your mediums and what draws you to them specifically?
Even in my childhood, I found I could use colours to do unexpected things. What took time was to control the colours with minimal meddling and make them dance on a perfect line or a shape which I wanted.
Now, I think I am getting more comfortable with colours (Acrylics and Watercolours and Oils) which actually help me in giving any blank canvas an eternal life. With my currently exhibited work – ‘Koi-Series: Circles of Life’ I have used bold Acrylic colours to resonate with a viewer’s heart and fill it with energy. I am also very calm when I can control watercolours when making my miniature artworks which are smaller than a pound coin.
Having said that I haven’t restricted myself to only those mediums. As I love my Indian-inks, brush pens and Copic markers too – they have helped me in completing my first illustrated book about London, which is now in a hunt for a good publisher.
Can you walk us through your process? How long do you spend on one work? How do you know when it’s finished?
Strangely for me movement of things and associated sounds both play an equal role in creation of a piece. Most of the time the idea starts unexpectedly and its life begins in the mind way before it’s drawn for the first time.
Nurturing that concept is the longest piece of puzzle for me. It goes through various stages of iterations in my head and then on paper as scribbles along with the name (an artistic reference at times) for the piece. The final piece is to visualize the colours that convey that expression leaving enough scope of individual interpretation.
My currently exhibited work – Koi-Series: Circles of Life (a set of 10 artworks) was the offspring of me following the flow of Chinese calligraphy and the swimming of Koi Fish. Each piece took me around 20-25 days with additional 72 hours (per piece) for final resin coating and it was a yearlong project.
In the case of watercolour miniature works, it can take anything between 8 to 14 hours from concept to final piece.
I cannot explain, but I always feel that there is something missing from each of my artwork. It takes a hard heart and motivation to make myself believe that the artwork is complete and ready to be part of someone else’s discernment. I love to call it a positive incompleteness.
Has being in isolation affected your artwork practice in any way?
Being in isolation has been a strange one for me – As I work from a studio based out of my home it hasn’t directly affected my rhythm but given me more time with my partner who from time to time critiques my work and runs sanity checks on me.
The thing that has affected me the most is inability to visit art galleries and art shows – that are filled with newer ideas and spin on older works. For me they are inspiration grounds for emerging artists.
What is the best advice given to you as an artist?
As an artist just imagine your limit and then each day works towards breaking that limit – compete with yourself not with an outsider.
Shop artwork by AnilKumar and other trailblazing artists at The Other Art Fair’s Online Studios.
Introducing The Other Art Fair Online Studios, a new online platform offering art lovers around the world access to over 800 Fair artists. The Online Studios will keep our community feeling inspired, engaged, and continue to spread joy through art.