“In art, there is no need for color; I see only light and shade. Give me a crayon, and I will paint your portrait” ~ Francisco Goya
Kekhrie Khamo from Kohima is an alliteration in itself to define the spectacular art that he creates through portraits and images he conjures on the canvas. Leaping from an academic-centric space into a world of artistic connection, was the courage he first drew. Now he draws images and hopes to inspire people from his art. Meet the 21-year-old who dares to draw.
- Share a little bit about who you are, where you’re from and what you’ve been up to?
My name is Kekhrie Khamo and I am from Kohima, Nagaland. I am 21 years old and I am currently pursuing my Degree in Animation at Dr. Beltran’s School of Animation and Visual Wonder, Bangalore. My passion lies in art. Anything and everything related to art. It wasn’t easy pursuing my passion at an initial stage. I come from a small town and it is only natural that parents and friends want you to delve into a safe profession for security; not an abstract field like art!
“Academically, I didn’t do well in school. I even reached a point when I stopped believing in myself and I had a very low self-esteem. Then, I moved to Bangalore and connected with a group that shared the same interest as mine; not just that, they believed in my work.”
Lately, I have been sketching a new portrait every day, and just recently I started my own production work with a friend, Rowang Debbarma. This, not only gave me the confidence to believe in myself but I understood the importance of connecting with other artists and making sure that I learn from their work as well.
- What initially sparked your interest in this field?
As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t have much interest in books and had difficulty learning despite my best efforts. The only subject that I stood out from everyone in my class was drawing. I failed in academics but in art, I always nailed it! I went on to win many competitions. Albeit, that was encouraging enough for me, it wasn’t very easy convincing people who loved me to let me follow the path full time, again, for the same reasons that their concern was for a secure future and not a sector that required risks.
“I’d never imagined that I would have a future in this field. That is why, I am thankful to some of my teachers who really encouraged me. Now, I am convinced and confident that I have to pursue this field whole-heartedly.”
- What do you do full-time? If part-time, how do you manage?
At present, I am pursuing my Animation Degree full time. I do a lot of different artwork like sketching, figure drawing, character designing, painting, and so on. I am also actively sketching a portrait every day; this started off with New Years Day 2018 and so far it’s going well.
- What’s your creative philosophy? Where do you take inspiration from?
God’s creation—I am surrounded by its beauty and it has taught me more than I’d imagined. As an artist, even the small things matter to me a lot. Also, the appreciation I now receive from family and friends is one of the biggest sources of inspiration.
“To have the same people change their perspective, all because of the art work that I created, is something I will be eternally grateful for.”
- What do you hope people take away from your art?
What I lacked initially was hope and what I am brimming with now is hope. That is exactly what I want people to take from my art. It is what has led me this far. You would be amazed to see what can come out of it if you give your very best. I also wish to inspire people and I want to be able to put a smile on their faces through my work.
- What gets you particularly excited about your art?
I love it when people love my work. That gets me excited. That inspires and motivates me to do more. The reaction of their appreciation generates gratitude, excitement and encouragement all at once.
- Can you single out an item from your work which you are particularly proud of?
For an artist, that is a really difficult thing to do. I don’t know those who can do it. Frankly, I cannot but I particularly enjoy creating portrait sketches. That is my favorite thing to do, as of now!