The world of art, the artist and artwork through the lens of Theya Ahuja
In this special Art feature of UrbanAsian, we conducted an Interview with an up-and-coming artist, Theya Ahuja who discusses her journey in the art world, how her art aims to contribute to society and the plight of artists in India.
What does art really mean to you?
This is something that I can never truly fit in words. Art is life. Art is everything to me. I don’t think I can imagine doing anything else other than art to be very honest. Instead of defining art, I feel art defines me in ways I never thought was possible. Art is not just my creativity on a piece of paper but it reflects my ability to be better, to learn and to improve. It is water to my dehydrated parched soul as it fills me up in ways I can only visualize. Art is both something which can calm me but also fuel the fire within me. It’s the only thing that makes me as happy as family and friends do. Art is the purest thing known to mankind bestowed by the God on us. Art is immortal, you may die… but your work lives on forever. Your touch, your strokes, your thoughts, your opinions. You become immortal. Art to me is immortality.
How have you developed as an artist?
Over time there have been a lot of changes in my artwork. I feel as you progress through the years, you become more refined not just with your art skill sets but also as a person. As a person I wasn’t as open or accepting towards myself but through the years, art shaped me, molding me into a better person. In terms of skill sets, my skills in art and techniques have become better due to hours of practice. To reach a certain level in art one needs to practice art like a religion. Regularly, wholeheartedly and with patience, it takes time to reach to a certain level and to retain that level takes more and more practice. Every other artist will agree that there is always a scope for improvement. Hence even after reaching a certain level there will be more that one might find wanting to achieve. The practice never stops. It only becomes firmer and the result of that practice is completely worth it.
Do you create to understand or do you express what you have already learned? Or is it some combination of both?
Creation can be anything. It can be expression or understanding or it can be for practicing. Particularly in my case I feel it is a combination of emotions and curiosity with a state of understanding that creates art that can be said expressive and comprehension of what I have learnt earlier. Which I feel is a practice for something bigger. Something better. Something magical. It is actually impossible to create by just understanding for emotions is something that will always be reflected when you create something.”
What role does the artist have in society according to you?
In my opinion the role of an artist is to not only help common man be more acceptable to changes but also broaden their mindsets. Artists play an important role in crafting the personality of the youth and in helping the older generations see things in a different manner. Artists make the world a better place. We strive to create something that is either not present or bring up something ordinary that a layman might be oblivious to. It’s artists who can connect one soul to another and all the souls to the universe. Artists also make every individual feel that their existence makes a difference and that their life matters.
Does your art contribute to society in any way? If so, how?
To begin with, I feel all works of art contributes to society. In today’s pessimistic world where artists are not appreciated enough and there is high competition, so many people feel dejected and leave art as a whole. Having said that, I don’t feel art has to primarily contribute to society by creating solutions. Art shapes the personality of a person. It not only helps one express but it also allows one to understand another without using any form of communication. So why do we think in order for our art to contribute to the society we need to create something exceptional? You do not. You are art and every piece of work you create contributes to this society as a default. Speaking of myself, I do feel that my work contributes to society for what I create might give strength to so many others to create. What I create helps me express myself better and makes those who can’t express feel that can create to express themselves too. I contribute to the society as I am a piece of art just like every other soul on this earth.
What is your take on the arts being treated as inferior for a country that is so culturally and artistically diverse such as India?
I just got to know a very saddening news of my friend being forced to get enrolled into medical despite being one of the most art enthusiasts I know of. His enthusiasm for art reflects so well in his work and just because our society still doesn’t regard this as a line of work, he’s forced to do something he doesn’t even want to. Why can’t art be something that’s encouraged more than just a “hobby”? I feel so broken. I have had so many friends being snapped out of art just cause their parents didn’t approve. Don’t we deserve to choose to be happy? You work about 25 to 30 years of your life. Think living each day doing something you don’t love. Something that you got forced into. 30 years of unhappiness. 30 years of wasted creativity. If only that kid was told. Go live with passion in your eyes. Make the world a better place go create. That person would have been a more cheerful and a much polished and appreciative. Art is not just a subject. It literally makes you into a diamond from coal. It’s funny how we get pulled out of something we love by this one phrase our parents will say “I know what is the best for you. I’m just doing this for your happiness you will thank me in future.” So ironic. They pull kids out of their happy place just because “art main kya hi rakha hain?” (what even is there in art?) I wish people stopped seeing art as merely a hobby and see it as something which truly satisfies a person filling their life with happiness.
To join Theya on her art journey, follow her on Instagram: @artbytheya
Well there you go folks, an art special. We will be back soon with another special. Till then keep loving and supporting UrbanAsian.
Disclaimer: This interview was conducted by Esha Joshi (Instagram: @escapingtheordinary, all views expressed in the content belong to the content creators and not UrbanAsian.com, its affiliates or employees.