When Passion Fills a Canvas
By Khalidha Naushad
Ceylon Today Features
Practice and hard work are two things that all successful people adhere to. It can take you places and help you build the skill you’re working on. Talk to any artist and the only thing you’ll hear is how much commitment, hard work, sacrifice, and practice have helped them grow.
Often times, society tends to overlook the fact that talented individuals too, are required to dedicate time and effort to further develop their skills, even if they are innately gifted. It is the hard work that people put in; allow them to fully enhance their ability.
Nowadays, in this highly competitive world, teenagers are pressured to focus solely on their education, making it even more challenging for them to focus on improving their other skills because it is seen as less of a priority.
However, 20-year-old Jegaraj Vinoshan, is one such teenager who has had to deal with ups and downs before turning out to become a great artist at such a young age.
You can’t help but fall in love with his artwork, especially the smooth and satisfying process of his sketches which he has shared online. What drew me in was his digital art of the Indian film composer, A. R. Rahman. And of course, as we know that having a lot of patience and dedication to perfection in order to produce such a master piece isn’t easy, Teen Inc reached out to him to give him the recognition he deserves.
As Vinoshan comes from Manipay, Jaffna, a rural area of the Island, it’s no surprise that he claims he didn’t have many resources or a strong platform to rely on. He attended St. John’s College, Jaffna where he successfully completed his Advanced Level education in the year 2020.
Vinoshan’s passion for painting began when he was a child, “I’ve always loved art and design,” he recalls. However, he started drawing in his primary years of schooling, in which his mother also played a role. “Mothers are the first teachers for every step we take, and it’s the same for me.” He is a self-taught artist who developed his skill after leaving school.
Everyone has a hobby, and everyone enjoys doing it. In certain circumstances, your hobby is what transforms you into a talented person. In his case, art has always been Vinoshan’s hobby; “I started drawing as a hobby.”
Vinoshan, as a teenager disliked partaking in activities that he felt would be a waste of time in the long-run and not benefit him in any way. “So I studied myself, my talents, and eventually decided to pursue art professionally,” he said.
Being a professional artist comes with its own set of challenges. You need a bigger reach and audience and sufficient promotion to get the recognition you hope for.
Turning professional, he decided to launch his own business. “I started an online business named Click Shot Art in which I get customised orders.” He began with pencil sketches and expanded his artworks to the point where he completed over 200 unique pieces.
He is skilled in a variety of disciplines, including colour pencil art, ink pen drawing, computer art, string art, and pyrography (a sort of wood-burning art).
“When I first started my business, I received a lot of negative comments. And it took a lot of guts for me to overcome that and keep going,” he confessed his completely human reaction when he dealt with negative feedback when he first began.
However, he has his support system to help him when he falters. “They are proud of my work,” he continues, thanking his principal and teachers for their encouragement. “They were continually encouraging me and the younger generation to develop our latent abilities.”
Apart from all of the feedback he receives from strangers online and from friends and colleagues, he also gets a significant response from foreign countries.
Vinoshan is also skilled at pyrography, a form of wood-burning artwork made by hand. “There is another art in progress which is likewise pyrography - but something adds up here,” he continues, “Using Sunlight in the artwork, I converge the rays of sunlight with the use of a hand lens to burn the wood for pyrography.” He claims he wants to take his artistic abilities to the next level.
Patience is a crucial element in art. A lack of patience, as far as I’m aware, can ruin a drawing or painting. He admits to having a lack of patience in the beginning of his career as an artist, saying, “I always listen to music when I sketch and it helps me to calm my mind.”
Vinoshan is highly conscious of his work-life balance, therefore he meticulously plans his days. “I take custom works according to my schedule. I spend my nights and late nights drawing and painting. I believe it doesn’t affect my work-life balance.”
“I get good quality tools from outside because Jaffna doesn’t have many resources and unfortunately, not even a platform for artists like us,” he adds when questioned about the materials he uses for his work.
Art has changed in tandem with the world’s transition to a digital era. According to Vinoshan, there are many different types of art, ranging from conventional to digital. “The majority of the equipment and goods utilised in digital art are pricey. I was able to overcome it by using the profits from my business.
Art is therapy
“Whenever I am depressed, art is like therapy for my soul.” It is the best way to control our mind without getting deceived by anything in this society, this is why every artist should keep art alive.”
One of his dreams is to introduce the younger generation to the world of art, “and especially I have a dream to hold an exhibition just for the hard work of all independent artists in Sri Lanka, especially to people like me – the younger generation.”
“My parents didn’t want me to start a business that is solely focused on art,” due to no professional platform for artists in Sri Lanka he notes. Thus, “we should work together to bring out each and everyone’s talent to show the world that there is nothing without art”.
“I always make use of every opportunity. We have to use the chances efficiently and we have to sacrifice something to achieve bigger. So make use of every opportunity and don’t give up on your passion.”