In Conversation with Tsetan Angmo, Visual Artist

By Stanzin Dasal Leh, Dec 26, 2020
Leh :

Q. Tell us about yourself. What made you pursue art as a medium?

I have always liked and enjoyed drawing as a kid, but at the same time, I was a very academic-oriented person. I thought grades are the only thing that matters in life, but little did I know that I was a toad in a well. Soon after, as I left Leh for my higher studies and was exposed to a new environment, the only thing that kept me sane was my friends and my pencil. I used to doodle a lot, a new escape that turned the table around. Soon, I realized where my strength lies and there I choose to take the creative path. That's where my creative journey began.

Q. Brief us about your artwork? What are the medium and process like?

Every artist develops a certain style after a period of practice and like that, it took me a great deal of time and practice to develop one. My artwork usually includes figurative drawings inspired by our rich culture and wildlife as well as from the nuances of our life. The medium I use varies with the kind of artwork I aspire to create. As a graphic designer, my work revolves around digital mediums and when I switch for illustrations I usually go for watercolors, it feels more organic and expressive. I also experiment with acrylic colors and would like to explore more mediums in the future since every medium comes with new excitement and feelings.

Q. Your first animation work is "No Eechu". Can you talk to us about it? 

In 2018, I created one animated movie inspired from a folk story "No Eechu" (Eechu means sparrow in Ladakhi) for the Bird Festival held at Ladakh Art and Media Organisation (LAMO). Animation was not my course study and I had very little information about the software. All I have ever learned during the process was through an online platform following tutorials and lessons. I managed to create a short animated movie where people welcomed and appreciated it on a great scale. It gave me immense joy to create it.

Q. What skills are most important for an animator?

As far as I know, as an animator you need to know how to give life to your characters, you should practice character design and know their expression as well as feel their emotions. These will help you to build up your characters which would later help in your animation. I think the basic skill which is essential for an artist is to keep sketching; it is the only asset that helps you in the long run and gives ultimate joy.

Q. As a young artist what would you say are the challenges to your creative energy?

There are different kinds of challenges one faces while creating work and it hugely depends on what kind of work you do. One major challenge that is worth mentioning here is the lack of proper guidance. Although I was fortunate enough to have met many skilled people in my life, especially at Ladakh Art and Media Organization and I am eternally grateful for it. In the beginning, I always wanted someone to guide me through my approach in the field of art or to tell me about income generation using my skill. Being an introverted person, I was always reluctant. But along the way, I realized how my personality became an asset to my work and accepted it as a part of my journey.

Sometimes artists also face creative blocks, sometimes it shakes your faith in yourself and makes you very vulnerable, and can even drive you to compare yourself with the other fellow artist or other artists on social media. I have also experienced them but through time, we get to know that these are phases and they will pass and we will create again.

Q. Where have you exhibited your work so far? What's next for you?

Until now, I have had the opportunity to exhibit my works at Ladakh Art and Media Organization at their summer art camps. I also got the opportunity to showcase my work at Gallery JIB in Tokyo, Japan. I am aspiring to experience and learn more in the future. I recently got my admission in the National Institute of Design, where I am pursuing Masters in Animation Design and I hope to learn more about the animation world and create more meaningful works in the future.

Q. What advice would you give to aspiring animators?

I don't know if I am qualified enough to give any advice, but one thing I would like to recommend to all the aspiring illustrators/ artists is that they should always keep a sketchbook handy with them and keep filling it with their thoughts, ideas, drawings, sketches and draw inspiration every moment. All you need to do is scribble, even if it is not perfect initially; the practice will drive you far and wide. Keep practicing and you will see how you will improve each day.

Message to the readers

“I would like the readers (specially the Parents) to show their love and support to the creative side of their kid. They are going to make you proud. And yes, it is a CAREER!”