Creating something new

Published On: January 3, 2020 12:15 PM NPT By: SITU MANANDHAR

Sanim KC, 20-year-old book and lyrical video illustrator, is known for his realist art of famous celebrities on Instagram. His painting of Lord Krishna won him an award at the Student Quality Circle conducted in Lucknow in India. 

KC, who started with pencil art, is slowing turning to other mediums like acrylic color, oil color and creative art like food sculpture and digital art. He says he wants to explore and find his own style and not be limited to one particular form of art. 

“I’m just exploring my interest at the moment and I have yet to find a style I’m comfortable with and want to commit myself to,” says KC adding that he wants to find out what suits him and where his interests lie and is currently doing that by exploring different mediums of art. 

KC recently won an intercollege competition at the Nepal Art Council. At the competition—Visual Expressions 2019—his unique nail art of King Birendra won the first prize and KC says that since the event was the first time he had exhibited his work, he is doubly glad about it. 

“I started this wood, nail and thread art project after our class 11 exams got postponed. I punched the nails in one-inch gaps and then used thread to create our late kings’ portrait,” he says. KC admits to being highly influenced by King Birendra and his works after reading about him and all that he stood for in his history classes. 

However, KC also focuses on well-known celebrities and movie characters. He says that he wants to improve and for that, he needs feedback, which is why he creates these characters that people can have a reference for and thus judge. “If people recognize the person I’m drawing or creating, then they can comment on my work,” he says explaining why celebrities and movie characters are his preferred subjects.  

It’s all about making it relatable and the same goes for the captions he puts up with his artwork. He usually makes portraits of movie characters and uses some of their famous dialogues or quotations to make it more relatable. Though aesthetics matter a lot to KC, he also wants to give his work a deeper meaning. 

KC mostly promotes his work through his Instagram and Facebook pages. Currently, he is also making YouTube videos so that his work can have a wider reach. “In this world that’s dominated by social media, I feel like we must make good use of it. Young artists need to have good public relations to promote their work and social media is a good platform to get that started,” he says. 

Before he starts on a project, he first chooses the subject. KC confesses that he is never sure how long it might take to complete a specific work. The process is long and tedious but it is never boring. That, KC says, is because he ends up developing some sort of emotional attachment with the subject of his choice. 

“Before I begin, I also research the subject and learn and understand all that there is to know,” he says adding that if he isn’t thoroughly invested in a project, he might feel the urge to drop it midway and he finds that immensely disrespectful to the art that he set about making in the first place. 

“Sometimes I take up two projects simultaneously so that if and when I get bored with one I can switch to the other one,” he adds.

As someone who has largely developed his skills by himself without any formal training whatsoever, KC credits his school art teacher and his uncle for providing him the necessary guidance. “My art teacher used to evaluate my art and correct my mistakes. My uncle, on the other hand, taught me about shadows and fading techniques in the art which I used in my nail art of King Birendra while spinning the thread,” he says. 

KC believes that it is his passion for art that has helped him better his skills. Ever since he was in school, he would enthusiastically try to sketch every picture he came across. His drawings and paintings were displayed on the school board and many students and teachers alike praised them. His work was so good that some teachers even took to giving him their passport-sized photos so that he could draw their portraits. 

KC had always been a good student but he admits that his grades did suffer a bit when he spent all his time sketching and painting. He confesses that he gave it all up to prepare for the SLC exams but he found comfort in the fact that he would pursue arts in college later on. 

“I did well in my SLC exams and was kind of forced to pursue science. That left me with very little time to draw and paint,” he says adding that he still regrets his decision to pursue science and that had he taken up art during his +2, he would have had the chance to learn so much and would have probably been at a much better place now. 

“But there’s no point wallowing in self-pity and being consumed by guilt. I have decided to pursue art academically now and thus there’s only looking forward from here on,” he concludes. 

 (Situ Manandhar)

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