BOOKS TO BRISTLES: A journey of an engineer to painter.
My love-like relationship as a painter and my life as an artist.
Everyone around me was settling down and I chose a path of struggle- I absolutely loved sketching and painting from the earlier days of my childhood, but that was just for fun, like all the other kids. I took part in so many competitions and never won any. It was a sign for me to stop, maybe? But I didn’t.
As we grow up, we tend to part ways with the things we loved doing, isn’t it? My high school went with the same ritual. Trying to keep up with the societal pressure, I started my journey in engineering in college, and then of course I had to join the corporate world. I still loved sketching, I use to take whatever time I’d get and draw my friends. You know, as they say, is it’s real, its never going to die. Similarly, the curving of lines, my fingers flowing in a rhythm, never left me. My friends saw in me what I didn’t. Looking at how wonderfully and with ease I use to draw and paint, they forced me to take my art more seriously and to pursue it more than just a pass of time.
So I started painting with more seriousness and dedication. I cut down on my sleep, social gatherings and what not just to give my full attention to something I loved. Soon I grew so serious into it, that I took this up as full time and left my steady job and income. Transitioning from an engineer to an artist wasn’t an easy choice I made. I didn’t know the struggles I would have to face while living the life of an artist. Coming from a middle-class family, it’s harder on your parents more than you. What about job security? How will you survive? Someday you’re going to have your own family, how are you going to support them? I didn’t even have sufficient funds for my art supplies as they’re a bit on the pricey side.
But the only thing that led me to this most important decision of my life was my self-confidence. I knew for a fact, that I could do it, if not now but eventually I would.
Nerolac paints and broomstick?
So I left everything behind and started pursuing painting as a full-time profession. I had only ten thousand in my bank account, had no clue where to start from, no one to guide me. The materials were so expensive that sometimes, I used Nerolac paints and broomstick bristles for my art. I was broke, both financially and mentally. The dark phase was entering my life and I was getting completely lost in it. As a naïve artist, no one is ready to work with you. There was no selling so I had no source of income.
I didn’t even study art, the reason why had no connections with any art school, or those who belonged to this community. Getting into this industry was the hardest. Wasn’t able to see any crack open to even pave my through. The only thing I knew was that I couldn’t give up. This is what I chose for myself than how could have I backed out. My struggling life has just begun. I started learning everything from scratch.
Self-taught struggler to a professional painter.
Soon I realized that every artist has its own style, concept, colors, that make him/her different and his work identifiable from the rest. I started working on my concept and style. After a while, one of my friends was hosting an art gallery event and asked me to showcase my work. I couldn’t have left this opportunity in the world because this is the very moment that my life took a turn.
In that very show, Sonal Ambani was present and she was absolutely amazed at my work. Soon she included Neeta Ambani to look at my work, and I am so honored to have my work present in her private collection. They also organized a show for me in Mumbai and promoted me on a national level.
I feel content, very much.
From there I started doing many shows, worked with many curators, everybody was enjoying my art. My life as an artist have been uplifted ever since. I have won so many national and international awards and it just feels so nice to be able to finally do something I love and monetize it as well. Sleeping at night has been peaceful ever since. I am now associated with 124 galleries across the globe, where my art is presented and auctioned.
This journey has been such an incredible one. One of the best things that ever happened to me was my struggle days. Life teaches you more than the education system ever will.
Instagram handle of Mrinal Dutt: https://instagram.com/mrinal_dutt_official?igshid=1k4goy6exd7cz