Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rajiv Khilnani

Name: Rajiv Khilnani

What do you do?
I am a water media artist who paints abstract works on canvas and paper.

Where can we find your work?
The best places would be my website or my studio in Sunnyvale. I am in the process of finalizing multiple exhibitions for 2013, details of which will be posted on my website soon.

What inspires you to create and how do you keep motivated when things get tough?
My desire to share my creativity and people’s appreciation of what I do are two of the reasons that inspire me to create. As for motivation during tough times, I always remind myself that life is a cycle of ups and downs. Like happiness, struggles are a part of life and you have to learn to accept them, learn from them, and not get discouraged. You need to have the right mindset to deal with those obstacles when you encounter them. Nothing in life is easy so be prepared to work hard without worrying about the consequences.

What do you think is more important content/finished product or technique/process?  
For me technique is the most important thing in all creative pursuits. A sound technique will lend itself to a superior finished product. Learning proper technique is a process in itself. This process will push one to make better choices with respect to content, display, etc.

Who are some people who influence and/or inspire you?
I get asked this question quite often. I wish I had a simple answer because inspiration for me has never come from one person or thing. My parents have been the biggest inspiration because they have sacrificed a lot in life to see me and my siblings succeed. I am also influenced and inspired by my other family members and friends who maintain their individuality and as a result teach me something new all the time. As for art, I am inspired by any and all artists/art works I can relate to irrespective of the subject matter. 

If you could be any fictional character who would you be?
Time traveler-so I could meet the old masters and see them paint.

When do you get your best ideas?
When I am least expecting them. Most times I will see something by chance that might light the creativity bulb in my brain.

What materials/tools do you use most to create your work?
I use wooden blocks and plastic sheets quite often to create interesting textures and designs in my works. Lately I have also been using bits and pieces of some of my old mixed media paintings on paper to create interesting textures on my canvas. I also use palette knives, scrapers and pointy tools to create embossed effects in my works.

Are you self-taught or formally educated? How do you think that has influenced or affected your work?
I am pretty much a self-taught artist. I say “pretty much” because I never went to an art school but I did spend about four years being mentored by a local artist while I finished my business degrees. By not going to an art school I was able to develop my own style fairly quickly, something most artists aspire for in their artistic journey. The disadvantage of not being formally trained has been my minimum knowledge of art history and the many hours I lost not being involved in some form of creative process.

What would your creative work taste like?
Like SPICY Indian Curry as I use Reds and Greens in a lot of my works.

When you are not creating what do you like to do?
I work full time as an events/marketing person. Apart from work I play league tennis, hike from time to time and occasionally act in films and commercials.

How did you learn to access your creative talents and gain the confidence to put it out there for everyone to experience?
I was drawn to art from childhood. Every week I looked forward to my art class in school. Having and interest in art is one thing but being able to reach a point where I can call myself an artist is another. After high school I was fortunate to find a mentor who inspired me to draw and paint. My relationship with my mentor not only improved my ability to create but also helped me to develop a sense of belief in what I was creating. This translated into confidence for me to share my works with others.

What advice would you give others just beginning their creative adventures? 
Enjoy the arts and don’t stress over it. Be open to learning from others and practice, practice and practice, that is the only way you get better at what you do.

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