“Art is an extension and expression of the artist herself/himself”, says Sudeep Ekka, an Adivasi artist from Jharkhand.
The marginalization of Adivasis have restricted them, not only in the area of education, but also in creative fields such as art. The lack of resources has been the primary factor behind this. Nonetheless, the young Adivasis are beating all odds to pursue their passion and dreams. We got a chance to meet a budding artist from Jharkhand, Sudeep Ekka, who talked about the discovery of his passion and the role of technology in facilitating him to pursue his dreams; among other things.
Sudeep Ekka, discovered his passion and love for art in his early 20s. His mother Neelam Ekka is an artist who creates Sohrai paintings, folk art of Jharkhand. “ I grew up watching my mother, who was working for the NGO called Stambh, as an artist and in many ways inspired me to become an artist”, says Sudeep. The lockdown prompted him to use technology for showcasing his passion. As a result he started putting up his works on Instagram. His works can be found at Sudeep Ekka (@sudeep__basil) • Instagram photos and videos.
Sudeep did not receive any professional training. He taught himself through the resources available online. “I started with graphite pencils and transitioned into digital art. Digital tools helped me to learn faster. It allowed me to undergo as many trials and errors as was needed.” He acknowledged that being a self taught artist has many obstacles. For instance they lack professional feedback, which is important for any artist to grow. Also, it can limit the potential of an artist, in some cases. Sudeep generally works with portraits, which he learnt he was most passionate about. He stated that he has created many commissioned portraits. However, he knew it was not enough for him. “ I wanted to tell stories through the faces I drew”, said Sudeep.
Sudeep is currently pursuing Environmental Studies and is additionally learning Graphic Designing. He has been working on projects related to graphic designing. He has displayed his works on ArtStation, which is a showcase platform for artists. He also works as a freelance artist. ‘Observation’ he opines, is the key element in creating any art. According to Sudeep, one needs to find her/his own taste, while creating any art. “ Don’t trace references. You are going to regret it later”, remarked Sudeep. He discussed his journey of learning to create freehand art, and how it became his most cherished skill, although he started with the grid/tracing method.