Narjjis Bhargava remembers she was in grade two when she found a corner in her grandparents big, old house to escape to for drawing clouds. She would only draw clouds, maybe because deep down, she always felt like a free spirit. It is a central theme in her paintings, the free flowing strokes of mixed media in vibrant colours that come dipped into her imagination. She credits her Aunt with giving her the most important advice on art, “Never copy from anywhere, use your imagination”, a rule she follows till date. Starting out, she gifted her artwork to people who valued it, and never sold it until a wise friend who told her, “People do not value free stuff, so even if you have to charge one rupee, do charge.” The transition has been interesting and presently she’s working with charcoal on commissioned work with horses as the subject.
Ever the seeker, Narjjis felt the urge to learn more, travel and explore more. By then, she had been married for about five years and and her son was two and a half years old. A strong believer of marriage and children not being a hurdle in one’s life, and with the support and encouragement of her husband who is a part of her dream, Narjjis left for Christchurch, New Zealand to do her level 6 degree in Fashion and Styling. Finding a balance between her family and her passion has always been very important to her, and she does both with great ease and élan.
Her first art exhibition was at Kalaneri Art Gallery, Jaipur earlier this year. Organised to provide a platform for young aspiring artists, she displayed three of her modern contemporary works. Majorly oil colour based, she experimented with mixed media and received great appreciation by art lovers for her originality and technique. It was an immensely gratifying experience and has given her fresh impetus to continue to do what she loves. We sat down over a cup of great filter coffee to do our artist profile on Narjjis Bhargava, and find out more.
1. What inspires you as an artist?
Narjjis: I get my inspiration majorly from nature and music. But people too inspire me many times.
2. What causes you to get creativity blocks and how do you deal with it?
Narjjis: I guess every artist goes through this problem. For me, I have noticed that moving to a new place or an unfamiliar environment is the cause. I deal with it, by simply recreating my comfort zone, keeping in touch with my loved ones and giving myself some ‘me’ time.
3. What is your state of mind when you are creating something?
Narjjis: Every piece of art requires different emotions, so it’s difficult to pinpoint one. But usually, when I am completely relaxed, I paint.
4. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Narjjis: “Create from your imagination”, you can never go wrong. Also, paint for yourself and not for people’s approval.
5. What is your most important artist tool?
Narjjis: There is this brush, passed on by my father to me. It is made of horsetail hair (something that you do not find easily nowadays). I have to use this brush every time I paint.
6. What is your favourite colour?
Narjjis: I don’t know. I love all of them, but I do use a lot of shades of greens and blues in my artworks, and you will also find yellow in different hues too.
7. How would you like to be remembered?
Narjjis: “An honest friend”, but not every person I meet would like me, so it depends. Well, honestly I don’t care, I do my bit and forget.
8. What do you do to get into your creative zone?
Narjjis: It just happens on its own, especially when I am listening to music or when I am alone – it helps me to concentrate.
9. Which of your creations gives you the most pride/satisfaction? Why?
Narjjis: I do not think that I paint that great, so I am a very unsatisfied person as an artist. I think that the best has not yet been attempted.
The only other thing that gives me a great feeling of creative expression is writing poetry. I grew up in an environment where Ghalib and Faiz were recited all the time. So, it was only natural for me to fall in love with poetry and to write poems myself.
10. Who has been your biggest inspiration in keeping your creative energy going?
Narjjis: My children, family and friends. God has been kind to me and I have an amazing set of lovely people in my life, touchwood.
Picture Credit : Narjjis Bhargava