An Interview With Pankaj Bhambri

Pankaj Bhambri is an artist and animator who loves taking up new challenges. Brought up in Amritsar, Punjab, he has a bachelor’s degree in Communication Design with a specialisation in illustration and animation from Symbiosis Institute of Design. He has contributed to major publications like Creative Gaga and AGI. Pankaj is the recipient of several awards for his illustrations and has also bagged the Artistic Excellence Award for his animated film Nirvair. Paintcollar got in touch with this enthusiastic young artist to hear what he has to say about his art and creative motivation. You can find his fascinating work at paintcollar.com/pankajbhambri

Daredevil by Pankaj Bhambri

When exactly did you realize you wanted to be an artist ? Is art a childhood love or a recently discovered passion?

As far as I remember I held pencil at the age of 7 and since then I never stopped. Colors, forms and shapes were fascinating to me since childhood.

You have studied communication design formally. But a lot of artists believe that formal training institutionalizes the creative passion. How has formal study changed or affected your art?

I agree to some extent as a creative person needs liberty and space for himself. But it has affected me positively. I have learnt the art of patience that is very essential for an artist. Formal training has honed my skills for sure because before that I had no idea about the industry and how design methodology works so it gave me great insight and exposure. I could draw and paint but I couldn’t do it efficiently before that. Under the guidance of experienced and well-versed faculty I matured more as a designer rather than just an artist who gives creative solutions.

You are currently a freelance artist. Do you have any dream job or workplace?

Yes I have started earning my bread and butter since college and it has helped me to be disciplined and work on tight deadlines. I am preparing for my further graduate studies as I want to learn advanced animation and grab my cubicle in a big production house after that.

Jim Morrison by Pankaj Bhambri

Where do you draw inspiration from for your artwork? Or more precisely, What makes Pankaj tick?

Inspiration is all around you. I put things which I see, feel and love around me on my canvas. Art blossoms everywhere so I try to keep my self uncaged and experiment with all media.

You have made an award winning short film as well. Do you enjoy telling stories through your work?

Yes, indeed. Being raised as an animator from Symbiosis International University, story/concept is the first and formost step for all creative fields. I believe everyone has something to tell, something to express and we have so many media available to do so today. My animation and art will always have something meaningful and they will make you think, cry and laugh.

Which media do you like to work with and why?

I love to work digitally as it reduces mess around me. Secondly it helps to experiment more it speeds up your workflow when you draw and paint. So thanks to technology that has made our life simple. I can sketch, brainstorm and try different color options digitally. I always try to emulate traditional styles in my digital paintings.

Tell us more about yourself. Beyond art, illustration and animation, what other hobbies do you have?

Like any other guy I love music, reading blogs and feeding animals. I enjoy life in all possible ways and I like to observe. I think all artist do this so it’s nothing fancy.

Jay Z by Pankaj Bhambri

As a young and upcoming artist, what potential do you think art has in India ? How do you think the field of art has evolved into what it is today?

India bleeds art and it has raised so many great legends in our glorious past. With time, art has also evolved from galleries and halls in such a way that it has been infused into our lives and it has become a necessity for us to express ourselves uniquely in form of basic amenities. This helped artists speak louder and globally with our art. Thanks to platforms like Paintcollar for making art accessible and affordable.

Do you have any artists you look up to or is there anyone who has significantly influenced your work?

I don’t have any particular artist I look up to as I love lots and lots of artists. I follow forums and art blogs where I daily find inspirational art that motivates me and helps me to become better.

Your art doesn’t seem to confine itself to any pattern, you have dabbled in culture, religion, politics, music and technology. We are curious about your thought process. What goes into the process between an idea and the finished masterpiece?

Yes, I try to be versatile as I love to experiment with new styles. My hunger to learn and explore new techniques is my key to motivation. It all starts with a concept or more precisely, an idea. I try note down whenever I get some ideas and creative thoughts so that I can work upon them later in my free time.


Watch Pankaj’s award winning short film “Nirvair”

You have achieved so much in terms of awards and acclamation in the field of your choice, how does it feel to be a young and successful artist?

It feels good when someone appreciates and reward your efforts. That’s all what artists want and strive for. As wise Confucius once said, “Choose a job that you love, and you will not have to work a day in your life”. Rather than being confined to a black suit and a gray workplace, designers get to fill their canvas and life with color. The ability to realize your ideas is deeply empowering for any young designer like me. Then work becomes inherently playful and fun. The ability to constantly challenge myself and explore the unknown is what keeps me going.

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