Posted on September 10, 2017
Born in Palakkad, Kerala, Sooraj babu is a multi- talented artist and a mechanical engineer. He is presently working as a creative designer at Wipro, Bangalore. He is a renowned watercolor artist, known for his expression in various forms of art. He is a truly disobedient artist whose creativity defies all the conventional rules.
Taking watercolor as his medium, he specializes in landscape paintings. Today he creates stunning, even inspiring landscapes and paintings meant to trigger emotions and memories for each and every viewer.
His paintings have a stillness that reveals the timeless character of place.
Ques: What are your early memories about your drawings?
Sooraj: I started drawing and painting when I was about 2 years of age. I used to scribble things in the way I saw them. My early scribbles drew the attention of my family and friends and that kept me motivated. I actually never went for any professional training in arts but just painted things the way I saw them. Growing up, I remember taking part in various competitions, youth festivals etc.
Ques: Why did you not go for a degree in art after class 12?
Sooraj: After 12th, I had many options – NATA, a good fine art college, and engineering. I wanted to get a degree in art. But the condition of artists in India stopped me from doing so. I needed to secure my future with a job. And a degree in art did not allow me to do so. For me, engineering seemed a better option.
Full-time artists don’t earn much in India. Especially the young rising artists. So I took engineering to make my future safe which art could never offer.
Ques: Describe your life after graduation.
Sooraj: I always wanted to work in a creative field. A place where I could use my artistic skills in a better way. But I got a job that neither allowed me to use my skills nor did it invite any out of the box people. This was a challenging phase for me.
But this job offered me a very good salary so I thought it’s better to compromise with my ” skill needs ” and be with the good money.
I was told to do a certain job in a certain way and I did it.
After graduation, I joined MacWane – a US based firm. The package was pretty good too. But it was not the kind of job I really wanted. I wanted to explore my creativity and this job somehow stopped me from doing so.
So I left the job and joined WIPRO, Bangalore as a creative designer.
My current job offers me the flexibility which I need to work with my art. Though I am in a satisfying, creative job, I am not yet a full-time artist. So I have to keep a balance between my professional life and the life of an artist.
I have friends who have the same degree same qualifications as me and they are earning in lakhs. And here I am following my dreams. Trying to do something big, something huge. I hope it pays off one day.
Ques: Why did you choose water color as your medium?
Sooraj: It is because according to me watercolor is the most challenging and most spontaneous medium.
Part of my creative process is to complete numerous paintings and drawings on site rather than painting in studios or using photographic imagery. This helps in improving the overall quality of art as I am not restricted to paint outside. Everything is natural.
Ques: What is the source of inspiration for you? And what are your greatest achievements?
Sooraj: When asked about my greatest achievement as an artist I like to tell that being accepted and appreciated by people is my biggest achievement.
And about the inspiration: It is definitely my mother. She has always been there with me, supporting me through all the hard times.
Ques: What message would you like to give people who follow their dreams and dare to do something different?
Sooraj: Well, I have no message but a simple mantra that, I think, every single human should follow.
“Follow the process, but don’t leave your heart out.”
Follow your dreams, do whatever you want. Work hard to make sure that all the struggle, all the hardships are going to pays off some day.
At a young age of 26, his paintings have found home in countries like Australia, Canada, USA, DUBAI. Numerous exhibitions, so many workshops, and more than 1000 paintings have become a part of his journey now.
A self-made artist, Sooraj Babu, has been a source of inspiration for so many young people around him. He proves that following one’s dream and working hard for them does pay off one day. The boat of our art is waiting to take us on an adventure of a life time. All we have to do is to let go of our anchors of fear and insecurities.
About the Interviewer: Apoorva Singh.19 and pursuing engineering. “My hobbies include editing my life story, hiding behind metaphors and convincing my shadow that I am someone worth following.” A Rudy Francisco fan. Sometimes paint, sometimes books. Find her here.
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