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Barnali Bagchi (moonbeam1212): "To me art means beauty"

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It's known that when you're an artist, you are truly blessed. Do you know why? Well, because having an artistic background only comes natural to some of us, not all- unfortunately. So, I chatted with Renderosity member Barnali Bagchi (moonbeam1212) about her love for art!

What brought you to Renderosity?

While in the process of honing my digital art skills I was hunting for resources online. That's when a friend of mine, who is a regular buyer on Renderosity, recommended the site to me as a place to buy great resources. So I first came to Renderosity with the intention of becoming a buyer but I soon found myself selling on it!

What is it about art that you love?

I am a visual artist. My world is ordered into shapes, forms, colours, textures, outlines, light and shade. Everything I see, whether it is a glorious sunset from my window, a patch of bright flowers, the flash of a bird's wing or a painting or sketch by a kindred spirit - all of these fill me with joy and make me feel alive. This is not to say that I do not enjoy other forms of art: there's always something playing on my stereo. And, to my amazement, when I listen to a great piece of music, I sometimes see colours in my mind's eye, as if the music is morphing into an image inside my brain. My mind is so inextricably linked with art that it is my very life, clichéd as that may sound. And don't we all love life?

What does art mean to you?

To me art means beauty. I believe all that is beautiful in this world is art at some level. And it can be a myriad of things. An elegantly decorated house, a well-designed car, a beautifully composed photograph or a finely-crafted handbag - they are all art as much as a Picasso oil-on-canvass or a Cezanne water colour. If I remember correctly, it was the poet Keats who said "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." I feel the "beauty" and "joy" he is alluding to can be encapsulated in one word - art.

But beauty is often subjective. Sometimes, something not so apparently beautiful can still harbour great beauty within. A macabre piece of writing or music, even a grotesque visual image can all be beautiful in their own ways. It only takes a certain bent of mind to spot the beauty in the world around us in all its hues. To me, art is the filter that takes the mundane, everyday life around us and sieves the beauty from it.

How did you become so passionate about art and why?

I can never remember a time when I was not passionate about art. To me the process seems so natural. Ever since I started making sense of the world - or perhaps even before that - art has played a central role in my life.

I am blessed to have been born into a family in which artistic gifts abound. I am from India and I was born in a small industrial town called Jamshedpur. Almost everyone in my family is either musically inclined, can paint and draw or sculpt - and often all three together. These activities are shared family hobbies and I was encouraged to take them up from an early age.

My father was an automobile engineer in India's largest truck and bus factory by day but his real calling was sculpture, and he spent every spare minute he had in pursuing his passion for clay modeling and wood carving. Now that he is retired, he is a sculptor by day too! My mother is a homemaker but her second avatar is an embroiderer and needle worker. My uncle and aunt and my cousins are all musically and artistically inclined.

It was only natural that I follow in their footsteps from an early age, but unfortunately I did not have a gift for moulding life-like shapes out of clay like my dad or the patience to weave reams of thread into beautiful patterns like my mom. Instead, as a toddler I had the annoying habit of doodling all over the living room walls, so I was packed off to Sunday art school, which I attended for many years until well into my adolescence. That not only channeled my artistic streak but also stoked my passion for art, in particular visual art.

Would you consider yourself more of a hobbyist?

For a long time art was merely a hobby of mine. In my family, while it is mandatory to indulge your creativity and passion for art, it's quite understood that you will restrict them to only a hobby and not make them your profession.

So I went to university and got my Bachelor's degree in Information Technology with a view to making a career in the IT field. But I was too attached to painting and drawing not to take them further. So I studied it on the side and obtained a Higher Diploma in Fine Arts, of course still remaining a hobbyist.

Then I started working and, for the first time in my life, my art had to bow down to the demands of an IT professional's career and take a back seat. But not for long.

It was around this time that I got married, which, in hindsight, was the best move for my artistic career. It was my husband who suggested that I should take up art as my career and, with his encouragement, I am now a full-time professional artist.

How has art changed your life?

If it hadn't been for art, I may still have been pushing a desk in an office for a living even now. Although I was happy and proud to have bagged a job at Infosys Technologies - one of India's, and indeed the world's, largest IT consulting firms - I had no idea what I was missing until my husband insisted I try out a career as an artist.

Becoming a professional artist was the best decision I ever took. I now enjoy a sense of freedom and creative satisfaction that no other career could have given me. And I have art to thank for this beautiful change in my life.

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