Interview with Rupesh Patric – Artist from India


Rupesh Patric is a self taught artist and a technology consultant for Microsoft from Bangalore, India. He works mainly with charcoal and one of his many accomplishments include presenting Bill Gates with a charcoal portrait that he had made of him.


You can connect with Rupesh on facebook or you can also visit his blog to find out more about him and to purchase his art.


View Rupesh Patric’s art portfolio. You can also view his artwork after the interview below.


ExtraImaginary: Please give us a background of yourself and your art.

Rupesh Patric: Where do I begin? Let’s see. I was born in this beautiful city called Cochin in South India. I knew from a very early age that art was going to be a strong influence in my life. I wanted to study Fine Arts but had to give in to my parent’s wish and joined an engineering college. I did keep the art alive even during those 4 years of engineering, contributing immensely to the college magazines and also the Arts Committee. Was campus recruited in the final year and that landed me on my first job as a Software Engineer. 8 years later, here I am, a Technology Consultant in Microsoft. Lately my art has started to define who I am – I never thought I would be able to dedicate so much time for art, being in the Software Industry. Generally happy, looking for the good things in life, I try to enjoy every moment of it.


ExtraImaginary: How did you begin with art?

Rupesh Patric: For about as long as I can remember. I was a quiet kid, and spent most of my time indoors reading, writing, drawing, and working on other creative “projects” as my mother called them, who often joked that I could amuse myself with just about anything. I’ve always been “making something”. Art has always been a passion of mine. I knew from a very early age that art was going to be a strong influence in my life and that I wanted to know as much about art as I could possibly learn. I never went to any formal art classes though. I still strive to learn something new every day.


ExtraImaginary: What is your most memorable experience as an artist?

Rupesh Patric: Hard question. Lots of great memories so far, difficult to pinpoint just one. For me, every time I get an email or phone call from a customer telling me how much they love what they have bought, is memorable. Each time it feels better than the last time and will never get old I think. Also, meeting some of my wonderful fellow artist friends has been so great. They will be my life long friends.


ExtraImaginary: What medium do you use for your art?

Rupesh Patric: My favorite is charcoal and sometimes graphite. Charcoal gives me room to express my thoughts and elaborate my subject matters and style. I also experiment with poster-paint and fabric-paint, but only black.


ExtraImaginary: Tell us about the process of creating your art from first inspiration to completion.

Rupesh Patric: The process starts long before I actually sit down in my studio with a blank sheet of paper. I cannot really tell how early the work evolves in my head. I have this habit of using my mobile to write down things that interest me. I call that note file “Charcoal Tales”. It could be anything – a random thought, a phrase, a catchy punch line, a television ad, a documentary, something I saw in a movie/play … the list goes on. Then when I have enough thought matter to start a series/work, I sit on it. Mostly a fine evening post 6. It’s challenging to sit for a long time on the work. It’s funny, but I like distractions. So a work that could ideally take 40 hours gets completed only in a couple of weeks. And the music, it plays an important role. And so does my pack of cigarettes 🙂 I also take time out, in sharpening my charcoal pencils/sticks and powdering the raw charcoal. While I am at it, the thought process continues (mostly on what I like the most about the work in progress). I also take photographs of the work in progress, almost every hour. I use these snapshots to compile the MAKING of the work, once I have completed it. The Making goes on to show how the work evolves from a blank paper to a charcoal tale.


ExtraImaginary: Do you have a favourite piece of art so far?

Rupesh Patric: Again a tough one. Mainly because, it keeps changing!! Almost every work has a story behind it. There are people who write to me always, telling how they relate to a particular work and thanking me for the charcoal. It makes me feel really wonderful!! Currently, I am working on this series called “What’s your story”. It is about nature and the things around us. There is this one work that I completed recently called “World’s Best Dad”.. It’s not just about my Dad, I think for all of us, our dads are the world’s greatest!! This work really means a lot to me. But again as I said, there are so many favourites 🙂


ExtraImaginary: Do you get creative blocks and if so how do you overcome them?

Rupesh Patric: I know this sounds strange but I “cloud watch”. I also have this crazy habit of taking photographs of Clouds using my mobile phone, while I am driving (risky, i know). I see everything from babies to elephants and everything in between; it will usually jumpstart something. Music helps a lot too, I’ll put on some music that really has a beat to it. Psy/Goa Trance would be the preference of course!! Also, I try to take a look at art that interests me, for inspiration and encouragement. Go to shop for new brushes, canvases, paint, paper — anything that looks brand new, or try some new media. And new styles you’ve never tried before. A great quote: “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it” by Salvador Dali. So try your best at being you without chasing perfection.


ExtraImaginary: What inspires you?

Rupesh Patric: Although most of the time I create for myself, but the embrace from viewers is the greatest motivation. Also, curiosity and excitement of discovery. I like to experiment. I categorized my work by the subject matter, seldom the style, because, I tend to go beyond the limitation of a specific style. My work reveals contradiction, which is my favorite way of sketching, from very fluid charcoal shading techniques to textural sketching with graphite. Besides that, the female body, the world around us and things happening in and around my life, influence and dominate the topic and subject of my work. I love to tell stories. I create characters who tell stories. At the same time, I try to give these artifacts a sense of purpose as well as a renewed sense of belonging and hopefully, beauty. Aesthetically, I enjoy the beings that are created in the process (which is good because I have to live with them), but it all becomes meaningful when I deliver a story that I’m moved to tell. When people show appreciation for my work, I somehow feel that they are appreciating the real me, or at least something closer to my soul. It is true, that as an artist, I naturally desire and even crave recognition. I have never really felt comfortable with personal compliments or lavish praise, especially in a public setting, but on the other hand, if someone heaps praise upon my work, the focus is more comfortably on my work and not directly on me. And I appreciate the thought that my art is hanging on walls of people who may glance at it daily and smile! Creating art sharpens my eye and makes me look at the world through a new lens. I do believe art transforms people, their environments and communities. So I believe I am participating in the world to add a little extra beauty and perhaps encourage others to think with my art.


ExtraImaginary: Tell us about your meeting with Bill Gates and what it meant for you?

Rupesh Patric: Meeting Bill Gates, “the Billion dollar hand shake” is what my friends call it. Surely, it was very exciting. The original plan was that our Microsoft Director will hand over the Portrait as a memento to Bill. I was present in the hall during that meeting, but way back in the crowd. All of a sudden they called my name, called me over and made me gift Bill the portrait. It was flattering!! A memorable moment for sure!!


ExtraImaginary: Does your work at Microsoft have any influence on your artwork?

Rupesh Patric: I recently completed 5 years at Microsoft. I must say, it’s been a wonderful journey!! From an Art perspective, the Bill Gates charcoal is surely a milestone for me. As for the influence of Microsoft in my art, I really don’t know what to say. Yes, my job takes up a lot of my time and mind share. But I somehow manage to find time to keep my passion for art alive. Also, I like to highlight that Microsoft supports a lot of my charity work. Every year I make a desktop calendar with my sketches, for the Charities I work with (Dream a Dream, Sneha Nilaya, Asha Niketan). Microsoft buys them for all their employees here and help me raise the fund for the NGO.


ExtraImaginary: Who are your favorite artists or who inspires you?

Rupesh Patric: Almost all art has some effect on me so it must affect my work at some level; it’s the essence of creating that inspires me most. Over the years, I’ve learned to look deeper into art and the message of the artist and enjoy just about anything created. Major influential artists in particular include: Medieval and Renaissance artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Modern Surrealists such as Salvador Dali. I am also a fan of the modern Indian Artists like Ajay Gulati and Ajay De.


ExtraImaginary: What are your goals with respect to your art?

Rupesh Patric: Creating art sharpens my eye and makes me look at the world through a new lens. I do believe art transforms people, their environments and communities. So I believe I am participating in the world to add a little extra beauty and perhaps encourage others to think with my art. My dream/goal would be to learn and pursue ART, full-time. Hopefully someday soon, I will be able to realize that dream.


ExtraImaginary: Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you?

Rupesh Patric: Just that I am happy to be considered an “artist” at all. I think I always thought that to be a real artist, one’s work had to look a certain way, following in the path of the realists perhaps. What I’m just now starting to realize and celebrate is that my art is my art, for better or worse. It looks like my art, which is why I think I never quite accepted it, something I am still working on. What I’m learning is that like a fingerprint or a snowflake, each artists work is unique, and that is how it is supposed to be! It may not fit into the current “market” of what sells and what doesn’t, but rather than try to moderate, or adjust, or change it to conform to that, I’m finding a lot of happiness and personal sense of accomplishment accepting mine as it is and letting it grow in its own unique way. I think being exposed to so many great artists, and finding so many wonderful collectors interested in supporting my work, has really helped me with this. Thank you all! I hope that the passion I have for art and the passion I have to tell stories through my sketches is reflected in my work.


ExtraImaginary: Thanks Rupesh. You’re ExtraImaginary!

Speed, Weed, and Birth Control

A Little Thank You in Black

Taboo

The Awakening

Dream a Dream

What’s your story

Miscellaneous

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  • wonderful interview, rupesh…
    found it real interesting…
    you are very clearheaded about your priorities too..
    beautiful works…..keep going , man…! all the best

  • Manmit M

    Congratulations, Rupesh!
    It was interesting to read about the thought process behind your artwork… and its obvious that you will only get better. You deserve all the recognition and praise that you are getting, and I wish you luck for the future. Thanks again for sharing your work with us… as always, we look forward to your next masterpiece.

  • Azaz Rasool

    Wow … brother your art work is amazing like your personality 🙂 …

    I always feel proud sharing your work with my friends and colleagues…Your calendar of Dream-A-Dream collection is still in my desk…Keep up the great work…I am waiting for the next masterpiece

    Azaz

  • Great, and really feel proud about you my friend!

  • Jaishree Karira

    Nice to know your “other” side.

    I always feel proud to have a great artist as a friend and colleague 🙂 The paintings are really beautiful.

    Keep up the good work.

    Best of Luck!!!!

  • Dr.K.KALAIVANAN

    GREAT WORK DUDE………….. ::))
    BILLION DOLLOR HAND SHAKE ::))