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The Artist – Ashwin Pillai

We got interested in local artist Ashwin’s artwork a long time ago. It was only a matter of time before we featured him on DIAF. Since he doesn’t reside in Dubai at the moment, we did an email interview with him. Read on…

DIAF: When did the creative bug catch you? When did you know you can create these works of art?

Ashwin Pillai: I have been painting since early childhood, so long ago that I can’t remember. I was always involved in sketching, painting, and all kinds of stuff at school.

DIAF:  Most artists say that their paintings depict / reflect who they are in some way or another. Please comment.

Ashwin Pillai: My paintings are abstract, and most of them are my own views on life, human behaviour, emotions and spirituality. Maybe the craziness of each painting is a reflection of the true me.

DIAF: You are a self-taught artist. Please tell our viewers how you taught yourself techniques / strokes that clearly look like someone who either went to art school or was a protégé of a famous artist! How did you teach yourself to paint?

Ashwin Pillai: Ok now I’m flattered! I am still learning. I have no doubt been influenced by many painters and their styles, but my learning is through experimentation, through a lot of trial and error.

What really boosted my confidence is a workshop I attended by a fellow artist, Ms. Neena Rai. Her works inspired me to take up acrylics and since then it has been a great journey. But at the same time, I cannot deny the fact that there has always been a divine guidance when I paint.

DIAF: What do you plan to achieve with your artworks, when you showcase them? Appreciation of course, but what else?

Ashwin Pillai: I want to be famous! I want to scream out to the world that I am here.

DIAF: What do you wish to communicate, with your work, to your viewers?

Ashwin Pillai: I would like people to see what they want to see. I want my audience to open up their minds, to stare at each painting and merge with it. To see what emotions each painting evokes, to feel it in their heart. And when that is done, the painting has achieved true glory.

DIAF: What do you do when you are not creating art?

Ashwin Pillai: Apart from painting, my job as a doctor earns me my daily bread. And when I’m not doing either of that, I write short stories. My short story ‘Away’ won the first prize in a creative writing competition “sketches by boz” organized by the British council. I have written quite a few short stories and intend to publish them one day. I’m also deeply into spirituality. I meditate regularly and am also a certified pranic healer.

DIAF: What do you paint on? Mediums?

Ashwin Pillai: I have been experimenting with various media and surfaces. I have worked on paper, canvas, wood, fabric, glass, metal, tube lights, egg shells, walls and more.

After a lot of deliberation and experiment in acrylic, I moved onto inks. The unrestricted fluidity of ink makes the painting process even more enjoyable. I let the ink takes its own course, merging with different colours and different paper textures. The result of which is before you.

My last series was all ink on paper. I’m currently working on combining my initial love for acrylics with my new-found ink romance.

DIAF: Your message to aspiring artists the world over?

Ashwin Pillai: I would like to tell all aspiring artists three things. One, be free and open minded, two, be happy and three, never stop.

DIAF: Art in Dubai / UAE. Your thoughts….

Ashwin Pillai: The UAE has been a wonderful place to me for the last three years that I have been here now. The kind of exposure one has to art out here is phenomenal. The huge range of affordable art materials has only made it easier for learning artists like me to experiment and learn.

I also delve in digital art on the ipad. I have created a few illustrations on it, an example of which is the mascot ‘KAI’ for  www.connectasianetworks.com

To view Ashwin’s artworks, visit his blog – http://www.artashvin.blog.com/ or you can also visit his Facebook page www.facebook.com/artashvin

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