The Journey from an IT job to Asia's fastest Speed Painter | Vilas Nayak | ArtSoul Interviews

In the process of harmoniously uniting different talents and listening to their success stories, ArtSoul brings a new avatar called "A talk with the Artists".

Here, we let you read the plights and trails of successful artists from all over the space. Their stories may turn into your inspiration and interest you to passionately fall love in your own fields.

Today, we have the Asia's fastest speed painter VILAS NAYAK !!
Vilas, is an extreme talent who adds to the glory to not only our state but even our country. We were pleased to ask him the questions and ink them into words.

Vilas, when did you start painting?

" I started painting when I was three. I am a self taught artist. I spent most of my childhood in a village called Ujjire near Dharmasthala. At that point of time, we never had any of the electronic gadgets or TV as now a days children have. So the only thing we had is to go out and play with friends or pursue our passion or hobbies. So, we never had a chance to get distracted with anything unlike kids now have. And me being an introvert kid, sometimes used to spend almost 8 to 10 hours a day only in painting."

What inspires you to paint?

"Nature helped me to paint. The first and foremost inspiration for me to paint is always nature. Because Ujire is a place filled with greenery and a pleasant environment. I believe that nature already is an inspiration to all the emotions and feelings we go through. We must have the intuitive knowledge to look at it."

What makes you more of a person other than Art?

"When I was in college, I used to do live performances. In 2004, I did my first live performance and it was a challenge to me because I was always an introvert kid and to face the crowd it was a difficult task for me.

So, music became an integral part of my performance. It's not just the art I do but it's how I create an enthusiasm and interest in the audience. Music helps me derive these. Music has always been my passion. Even now I believe that if I wasn't an artist I would do something or the other with Music.
It's like, I'm combining two of my favourite things into one passion and performing things which make me feel happy. I believe that when these happens, you don't need to push it hard rather you start enjoying your trail."

What made you drift your career towards your passion?

"I always wanted to be an artist but, it wasn't so easy for me to take a shift over from my career to passion. Because I didn't come up with a rich background and I was very good in academics. I was a 7th rank holder from Mangalore University in B.A. and was the 2nd rank holder from Mysore University in Masters of Social Work. So all of them suggested me to earn a living so at that time I shifted to Bengaluru! So, I have a corporate experience of 1.5 years in a garment company and 5 years in IBM as a 'Human Resource Officer' . I was simultaneously following my passion. Especially when I was working for IBM, I used to reach home at 11pm and start painting till almost 3 AM or 4 AM and then head back to my office. Basically, my profile was Talent management. So when I was managing the talents of my employees, I realised that I wasn't utilizing my own talent properly. After a lot of introspection, life and my passion made me involve into Art more and more.

In 2009-10 there was a Kannada reality show aired in Suvarna TV known as "Super Star of Karnataka". That was the first time I learnt to face a camera. After that for an year, I was working and getting prepared for "India's got talent" and then, I was a finalist there. And later a new avenue which I was totally unaware of started to pop up. I never knew I could make a career our of my Art. And that's when I decided to quit the job. I didn't even quit it immediately. I took sometime and did some analysis and then I made a "CALCULATIVE RISK" and quit my job. I took this risk only when I was sure of making my career in this and wouldn't regret to take up this plunge. It's been 9 years now and there's no looking back. It's more better and interesting everyday."

Many of them are just muddling with Their jobs and they don't know whether to still cling on to their careers or make their passion as a career. What do you suggest them?

"To be honest, almost everyone has it. I've spoken to many of the top most Corporates and everyone of them have left their passion as of now. I do agree that it's not possible for all of us to quit what we are doing and follow our passion. I suggest everyone to keep in touch with whatever you like atleast once in
few days. Because you don't lose the grip in whatever you are doing. They give you happiness and it is very much required in this fast moving life which has too much of stress, addiction to technology and sometimes people have suicidal tendencies too. They are all a part of your peace of mind. They are all the ways of expressing yourselves. And, if there comes a time when you feel your passion is going better than your career then, think of it and do some real self introspection and then continue your passion. There are many of the Bollywood singers who have a corporate background and today are great singers.

If you are ready to take a risk, take it with a plan or else it's never advised. You never know what happens that's why it's very much necessary to take a CALCULATIVE RISK."

Do you feel Art is a Career Option?

"Because of today's technology and internet, information is available at your finger tips and you can explore tremendously in this space. But earlier, I'm talking about 25 years ago when I was a kid I thought being a full time artist could do Fine Arts or paint banners or statues that's all. But now there's a great scope for artists on digital platform. Now there are many streams like interior designer, fashion designer, product designer and many more."

Being Asia's Got talent and holding up that big pride. How do you feel and what are all the hardships that you've gone through?

"When I was invited to be a part of the prestigious reality show "Asia's got talent". I was very happy. I had no clue that I would reach there. As of now, I've performed in 35 different countries and several times there. The hardships then and now is totally the same. People might be appreciating my work, but deep down in my heart, only I know what I have to work to make things better day by day.

You've to analyse because you are your best Critic. Only then, you push yourself to do better.

Initially I've done many art works for free, because I would see an opportunity in that. But now a days I feel, many people don't have patience to work hard. They all want to become famous over night.
When it comes to Art, everyone wants to do speed painting. But it has to start from the very basic things. People need to do lots of colour pencils, crayons, paints, then on sheets of paper and then canvas. Only when your foundation is strong, you can do anything in a fling.
Personally, for me also there were many challenges initially and even now if I don't practice I won't be as good as I was yesterday. You have to always mend a knife to not let it go blunt."

You are now the world's fastest painter. Initially how much time did you take to complete one painting and now how much time do you take?

" I did my first painting in my college days on a sheet of paper. It was a small painting and I took around 15min to finish it. And now I take approximately 4 to 5 min in a huge canvas to paint. But in “Asia's got talent”, I drew "The joker" in 2.03 minutes.

But according to me, speed is also one element, but the way you engage the audience and how your art work is also very important. It is also very important to inspire people through your paintings with the message you spread."

We've seen that every Painting has its own meaning, is it so?

"If it is to speed painting, it's generally customised to that event. But if I'm doing at home it would be generally landscapes which is inspired by nature of course.
But when on stage, I plan a lot for things to work in its right place. Nothing is spontaneous. Everything, from the canvas to the colour combinations are pre planned and executed."

We've heard about your social causes linked with Paintings, can you tell us about that?

"I came from a village and not from a great family background. I went to government schools and I know the plight of it. Perhaps, there are many people in the villages who don't get privileges like the people in the cities. So I go there and perform for them. Recently, I'd been to the interior parts of Mandya, Coorg and Karkala and performed to a few government school children to inspire them to do something great.
I get many calls to perform in the biggest events. I get invited to perform for the Prime Minister to the president to the corporators. I just want everyone to see my art. I also participate in many of the charity events where my live art works are auctioned and then the money is used for different purposes. I've raised crores of rupees in this manner"
"It's very important for one to realise that they've to also give back to the society "

Vilas, there are many youngsters who are interested in arts. What do you tell them?

"An artist has to have a strong basic foundation as I told you. You can be famous or sell your piece only then. It is very much important to keep learning and upgrading your skills every now and then. The competition is very high today. But the most important thing amongst all these is to be yourself and not be a copy of anyone else. In this fast moving life, don't be someone. Be yourself. Give all the freedom to yourself and bring out the unique personality inside you. Then, no one is in line with you.

I have got these opportunities because no one has ever taken speed painting in this format that too on a television. I did a lot of introspection and then I'm here and realised my USP. That's how I became famous.”

Is there any painting which has been your favourite till date?

" Till date all of my paintings are memorable. But a few are always in my heart like Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam, Dalai Lama, Pele, Gabbar Singh painting that I did in "India's got talent. And of course, "The joker" painting I did in "Asia's got talent". The performance I gave in NBA halftime show in the US. All of these are very close to my heart."

Which is that one painting you're waiting to do?

" I've done a lot of paintings.
I always wanted to Michael Jackson. But unfortunately, he's no more. But I am waiting to do "ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER". I personally find him as my motivation and inspiration."

And that’s how Vilas teaches us that hard work can step up success


Abhigna Arcot
Author | ArtSoul Blog Section
Karnataka's first Art Inspired Merchandise Brand

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  • Indranil on

    This article is about a great boy I have known for about a decade now. Reading it made me time travel with Vilas. Very nice. Great job!

  • Vinod Kartavya on

    Fantastic Abhigna…..
    Keep rocking
    May be in near future there would be blog on you.

  • S.VeenaMathangi on

    Presentation of the article was great.The flow when reading it was easy,interesting and kept the concentration and enthusiasm going. all the best

  • Gowri on

    Nice to note that artwork being cherished and encouraged!!
    Good job Abhigna! Looking forward for more of these..

  • Deeksha Datta on

    This article is beautifuly scripted and crisp with inspirational elements .😃 Keep going girl!!!!!

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