Visual Arts student profile – Nandhini Ramanathan

Written by Michaela Brighella. Posted in Newsletter

How did you get started with visual arts?

I got started with visual art very quickly at a young age. Visual art is a way that I can communicate my thoughts with an innovative perspective. Feelings overflow me, and art allows me to unload my heart and soul and help my mind to process my emotions. Art can be used to help spread a message of inspiration, making people achieve great things in life. It brings awareness to people, especially about common issues for the betterment of humankind. The only limit to art is my imagination. All these factors that art brings to my life are what got me started with visual art.

How long have you been creating art?

I have been creating art since I was very young. I used to do a lot of artwork at school in the Philippines. I used to do very simple drawings when I was little, and as I grew up, I just got very interested in it. I used to watch YouTube videos and go to art lessons to develop my knowledge about art. I never gave up even if I failed, I just kept trying to achieve success.

What’s your favourite art medium?

My favourite art medium is watercolours. I learned how to paint with watercolours during art lessons I went to over the summer in the Philippines. Before I took lessons, I hated using watercolour paints, because I could never get the results to look right. Either the paper looked very bent, I did not use the colours right, or the paints spread where I did not want them to. After I learnt how to use them properly, mixing colors became a large advantage while using it. Painting with watercolours is very fun and enjoyable.

What’s your favourite canvas and type to create on?

Watercolour paper is my favourite type to create on. I really like the thickness of the paper, it does not bend and become damp. It really complements the use of watercolors on the paper. I also like the material of watercolour paper; it is different from other paper. The paper is made up of cotton intertwined in its fibers. This makes the paper become more absorbent. I also like the grainy texture of the paper.

What do you like to paint/draw/create the most? E.g. portraits, landscape settings, etc.

I really like to draw mandalas. It helps me get rid of stress, meditate, and heal. I really like to draw mandalas because they bring peace and a feeling of calmness. It really helps me concentrate, focus, let my creativity flow, and brings a feeling of balance because it is mostly symmetrical.

What’s your all-time favourite piece of art and why?

My all-time favourite piece of art is The Royal Bengal Tiger by Thierry Bisch. I really like this painting because I love animals, especially tigers. I love how they look so majestic. Another reason why I like this artwork is that I really like the artist. His intention is to draw or paint endangered animals to bring awareness to people. I also like this painting because it is the Bengal tiger, which is the national animal of India.

How do you see yourself as an artist? How do you feel when you create/how would you describe it?

I see myself as an artist since I feel that art is a part of my identity. The most important thing is that I enjoy doing art. I believe pictures are worth a thousand words and even more. When I create art, I feel like it clears my head. It helps me make sense of my emotions. And somehow it makes me feel calmer and more relaxed. Creativity in itself is important for remaining healthy, remaining connected to yourself and with others. I think that art is like doing a regular workout, after making art, you feel tired, but happy and healthy.

What is your ultimate artistic goal?

My ultimate artistic goal is not that big and extreme, I do know that art will always be my hobby. But I have small, day-to-day artistic goals. Some of them include learning a new creative skill to open my creativity and have a go at new things. I would always like to do art better today than yesterday and make art better tomorrow than I did today. I will always aim to progress and develop my artistic skills.

Do you have to be in a creative mood to make art? Or can you do it anytime?

I have to be in a creative mood to make art because it really depends on my mood and what I feel like doing. If I am not in a creative mood, I feel very tired and blank on what I should do. I would not put much effort into what I am doing when I do not have the feeling or mood to make art and be creative.

Who is your artist idol?

My artist idol is Thierry Bisch who is 67 and comes from France. Thierry Bisch worked on his large paintings using mixed techniques, the basis was the use of dry pigments rubbed with foam sponges and hard brushes. He is my artist idol mainly because of his intentions and the message he wants to convey through his art. When he discovered the reality of the sixth extinction, he no longer painted simple animals, he began to paint those who are threatened with disappearance. He is trying to alert us to the damage to ecosystems.

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