Artistic Path of Chadha Bali
The artistic path is not smooth; it is full of fears, challenges, doubts, and hesitation. In an interview with Chadha Bali, a young and talented artist from Munich, you will learn what are the main challenges and how important it is to follow your heart and pursue your dreams.
Impakter Magazine: Chadha, where did it all start? Is there a story behind how you became an artist?
Chadha Bali: My story began when I was 12 years old. That time I believed if you paint something, it should be exceptionally realistic. Therefore every time I was drawing, I tried to copy all details of my surrounding. However, my teacher from the art class was not satisfied with my approach to the painting process. Known for his love of freedom and imagination, he was against the confinement of your surroundings. He told me that a good painter should give himself more freedom to his imagination, fantasy and thoughts.
No one likes critics; unsurprisingly I felt quite sad, but I accepted his opinion and took his advice. Next time when I had an exam, and when I was asked once to paint clouds; I decided to paint something completely different. I painted bright triangular clouds, which impressed my teacher a lot.
Since that time we became good friends, and I attend his painting club every week, where I share new things for me, like painting on glass or combining different colors. Most importantly, I learned how to give freedom to my imagination and not being afraid of experiments. As a matter of fact, it is a continuous learning process for me; I am still open to new things and new techniques.
Your paintings are in an abstract style. How did you realize that this style is your niche?
C.B.: Well, at the beginning of my artistic path, I was trying almost everything: I was painting only faces, doing sketches, working with acrylic colors and drawing without pencils as well. I tried different styles, however later I realized that my soul wants more abstract paintings with bright acrylic colors and glass.
I chose the abstract style because I feel it gives me more freedom, and I am not attached to the particular objects, drawing rules or standards. I can express myself more freely, and abstract style gives me a great opportunity to learn something new. I have more space to add new elements, new materials and apply new techniques.
I feel that I don´t have any limits and I can do whatever my soul desires.
Every artist has something or someone that inspires them. What about you? Where do you find your inspiration?
C.B.: I can say that my first inspiration came from my painting teacher, who I have already mentioned, but my biggest inspiration usually comes from great artists like Gustav Klimt and Friedensreich Hundertwasser. I love their art styles very much, and I find them extremely impressive. Arabic calligraphy is breathtaking too, and I often find inspiration in it, as it is very curvy and artistic.
The Painting: Colorful Reflexions
Speaking of inspiration in general, it appears unexpectedly, when I feel that my soul wants urgently to express some ideas, thoughts or fantasies on a canvas. This inspiration flow gives me a lot of energy that helps me to paint until 6 am in the morning, and I don’t even feel tired or exhausted afterward.
My favorite composer, Vivaldi for example, sets a mood for a creative process too. However, sometimes I have days when I feel stressed or overwhelmed by work or emotions, but it does not stop me. Definitely, paintings would have an entirely different mood, but it is also great!
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Looking at your photos, it is not difficult to notice that you paint in two different styles: some of your paintings have ornaments, others have a colorful landscape. Which style do you prefer?
C.B.: These last two years I was painting too much in the first style with ornaments and colorful shapes. Besides that, I also realized that I depicted faces quite often, which might be probably explained with a new phase in my life when I finished my Ph.D. study and started working and meeting new people. I love combining faces and colorful ornaments and create an infusion of nature and faces.
I also admire impressionism. Once I visited Greece and I was impressed by its architecture, especially by the white houses. When I came back home, I created a painting with many faces, which reminded me of those open and friendly Greek people I met during my journey, and beautiful houses with small windows. The painting is called “Greek city,” that perfectly reflects my experience and feelings.
Indeed, traveling influences my style. For example, I spent a year in Asia, and I have noticed that my paintings acquire an Asian style. One of my paintings is about famous long-necked ladies who used to dress up in an entirely different way with unique kind of accessories. I painted it after visiting Padaung. I was also inspired by Tower Temple in Singapore and Malaysia which had also an impact on my style.
Many things influence your creativity: nature, travel, people. Is there something else?
C.B.: Yes, recently I joined an Olching Artist Club, where the artists organize at least three exhibitions per year. Because of this club, I started doing exhibitions.
In the Olching Artist Club, sometimes we have tasks, such as to paint in black and white colors. As you already noticed, I paint in bright colors, and at the beginning, I felt not so comfortable working with black and white colors. But then I looked at the situation from a different point of view and perceived this task as a challenge from which I can learn something new. So I have decided to add more ornaments, and I used more cracked colors and sprays, as compensation for colors.
You were doing your Ph.D. study and working. How did you find time for your paintings?
C.B.: It was quite hard. When I started my Ph.D., I had almost no time for art. Nevertheless, I wanted to paint, even more than before. It was just a feeling, an inspirational flow. Perhaps, the more I experience, the more drive and energy I have for painting. It gives a sense to everything I do. So I was painting during the weekends, so I could paint till the middle of the night.
I have a feeling that just achieving goals at work and be successful in your field is not enough. I believe we need to express ourselves more, make a pause from the daily routine and to be closer to our inner selves.
Every artist has fears and faces challenges. What about you?
C.B.: Speaking of fears, painting is the only thing where I have zero fears as I do it for myself and I am not scared that the painting is going to look unsatisfactory or someone won’t like it. I don’t have fears because I enjoy drawing and I find freedom and happiness in it.
Challenges? Time is one of my challenges, but painting itself is another challenge too. It is not easy to give a new life to the something entirely new, but if you don’t think a lot about it, you relax and just follow your feelings.
Hesitation and fear of the white canvas fades when I start painting.
Then nothing can stop me and when I finish one, I want to make the next one immediately. I wish I could paint every day, but I am living in a small apartment, and I have problems with space. I need more space for my paints, for canvas and for finished paintings too. One of my dreams is to have a big atelier where I can paint without thinking about small things.
Last year you had your exhibition in Munich, called “Colorful ornament.” Can you tell us how it was and what is your impression?
C.B.: “Colorful ornament” was my first exhibition where I learned a lot about the importance of lights, different effects, and first impressions. I have received useful feedback about my artwork that I need to continue painting and try something new with ornaments and combined colors.
Also, kids at the exhibitions were very excited, and they loved colors, and one girl at the exhibition was impressed by my painting called “Sisters, ” and later she painted the same painting at home, of course, with her style and her mom sent me an email with this picture. It was sweet!
Can you share with us, which plans do you have for the future? Any exhibitions? New styles?
C.B.: I have many plans and ideas which I want to try in the future. I am in a continuous learning process, and I want to learn more about sculpture, and I am thinking about combining sculpture with my style as well. Some people encourage me to make my accessories because they loved the shape of accessories I painted in some of my paintings. Also, I am planning to have my atelier, that will give me more freedom, and also create my website.
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