Inspired by the beautiful landscape and the vibrant unique culture of Nagaland, 28-year-old Among Venuh from Kohima has a habit of awing people through his visually stunning creative art pieces.
Identifying himself as a freelance, self-thought Artist, art is his passion and his profession. Art has stuck with him since he first picked a crayon board, paper and charts when he was just six years old and ever since, winning in high school and college painting competitions was nothing unusual for him.
Moreover, unknown to him, he could see that people were willing to commission him for his paintings and his artwork calling it unique which encouraged him largely and even went on to win at International Hornbill Festival 2019 for best show and best landscape, which he says is his favourite subject to paint.
Currently, stationed in Delhi, Among also simultaneously runs a YouTube channel where he shares videos of him painting the hills and mountains he sees in front of him.
Here is Mokokchung Times trying to know the artist and his craft.
MTimes: So Among, thanks for the opportunity. Let me start with, what does art mean to you?
Among: Art plays a big role in my life and it’s a part of my life. To me, art is an expression of my thoughts, emotions, intuitions and desires. Artists change people’s minds and concepts as their work continue to reach numerous audiences and share their imagination with an unlimited audience. But it is even more personal than that because we have often experienced how we fail to communicate intimately or when our thoughts don’t get reflected by our words properly and thus, it’s the only art that helps us express all such.
MTimes: Why have you decided to become an artist? Was there a defining moment in your life when you knew you were an artist?
Among: Art was there in the first place and the reason I choose to be an artist was that I found peace, love and freedom through it. I wanted to be unique and live life in my way.
Life doesn’t always go like we want it because sometimes it brings you pain, hurt, loss and a lot of concussions. But in my life, one of the most impactful and influencing moments was when I meet my dear girl who always mentored and guided me, supported and encouraged me, and always had my back when I was confused and lost. She took me to the path where I rightly belong and I suppose that’s my defining moment of what I want to do.
MTimes: What was the strongest influence you had when you were growing up?
Among: Artist is influenced by just about anything in our life, environment, childhood, schooldays and other artists. Everything we see and experience in life influences our art in some way, as I clearly remember during my school days when I was like 8 to 9 years, I use to make my comic book so that creativity and influences too tagged along as I grew up too.
MTimes: Is there something that you have designed that you are most proud of?
Among: In Every artwork I make I put lots of effort and creativity. I want to keep taking my art to another level so what I found interesting is making my stroke and painting the landscape and reminding myself that this God’s gifted beautiful nature is a reminder of the vibrant and rich culture and heritage we have.
MTimes: What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Among: As an artist, I love to experience different mediums and experiment with them but the most important tools in my studio are brushes, canvas, colours, and easels…those are the stuff I can’t live without it.
MTimes: Is there an element of art you enjoy working with the most? Why?
Among: Creating a landscape is what I love the most both in reference and fictional. There is an element which plays an important role when it comes to art tine, colours, shapes, forms, texture, space and perspective.
A work of art without an element is incomplete whether in drawings, paintings, and sculpture. They help communicate ideas or feelings.
MTimes: What are your ideal working conditions?
Among: Somewhere I can be productive and live a comfortable life.
MTimes: Do you agree that an artist as a career is possible in Nagaland? How do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Among: Artist as a career is possible but it depends on how they work or how they communicate, in my experience it’s not always been easy; it takes time and effort and all we have to do is keep trying and focus on our goal.
In the next five years I want to be successful in my field and want to be more skilled, more efficient and professional as art has no end and limit; the more you learn the more things will come by.
MTimes: Any last thoughts or messages for our readers?
Among: To all the readers, I just want to request you to keep supporting artists, encourage them, appreciate them and keep supporting them. Your support and love are what keep us growing. Thank you.