Speaker 1 (00:00):
Then you can paint from your heart and not your head. "You can paint from your heart not your head" means you don't have to think while you're painting.
Speaker 2 (00:08):
This is the Bold Artist podcast.
Speaker 3 (00:12):
You have answers, and you're expressing them in your art. Your art is important, and it needs to be seen.
Speaker 2 (00:21):
Welcome. And let's get started with today's episode.
Speaker 2 (00:29):
Good day. And thanks for being here with us at the Bold Artist podcast. Today we have a special guest for you. And this interview left me with tears in my eyes. The happy kind of tears. The guests we're bringing to you today is from oceans away from you. Bold color painter Mini Suboth is an artist from India, and we are so happy and privileged to have her here with us today, speaking into our lives and our hearts. We want you to know that the internet did not cooperate with Mini and I very well during our interview, since I'm located in Canada, and she's in India, we experienced some difficulties. So, here on YouTube, we've provided closed captions, and you can also find a link to transcription so that you can read the interview. You can find that in the show notes. Without further delay, let's go right on over and hear the interview with Mini Suboth. You will be so blessed to hear her heart and story from miles away. Good day, Mini Suboth. It Is so good to have you on the Bold Artist podcast. What's amazing about this interview is that we are oceans apart. You're in India, and I'm in British Columbia, Canada. For me, it's 7:30 in the morning. For you, it's late evening. Thank you so much for making this work for your schedule and for being on the show with this huge time difference and separation between us. We're so happy to have you here.
Speaker 1 (02:07):
Thank you so much. Thank you for inviting me for the show. Thank you so much. I'm Mini Suboth, I'm an artist by profession. I'm also a social worker. I'm founder of the organization, Akshayashakti Welfare Association, and in June. I'm living in Mumbai India.
Speaker 2 (02:24):
Yeah. Wonderful. And so you have had a connection to Charla and Bold School, and Charla has been so excited to have you on the show. She just speaks very highly of your work and the work you're doing in India. You have a studio there in India, and you work with teaching children, your social work, and we're just really excited to connect. Most of our audience is in North America, and I'm sure it will just be so good for us all to hear what life is like for a professional artist in India, in the culture that you live in, in the world that you live in. And so can you tell us just a little bit more about your life and even how you became a professional artist?
Speaker 1 (03:14):
Creativity and compassion, these are two things I always had, right from my childhood. As a kid, I was always interested in sitting at home and, uh, play... and doing a little bit of drawing rather than going out and playing. As a kid, uh, this, uh, drawing was my hobby. I never used to do any other outdoor activities. My, uh, family always felt, uh, art was not a great career. It takes a lot of time for one to become a successful artist. So, they felt that I should take up some, uh, other profession. And I had taken up banking, uh, uh, professional degree in banking. And it was not on my interest, at all. I was really frustrated. I was so unhappy. At one point of time, I decided that I will, uh, give this up, and I'll take up something of my interest so that I don't regret the rest of my life. Uh, so one day, uh, I decided to give up all this, and then I joined the art school, and I picked up art courses. Uh, picking up art courses, then that's how this journey for me as an artist started.
Speaker 2 (04:23):
Wonderful. I love how you opened that answer with creativity and compassion have always been so important to you. So, Mini, we would love to hear a little bit more about your work as an artist and as a social worker in India,
Speaker 1 (04:42):
Social work, uh, I was actually, as I told you a compassion and creativity, they're two things I had right from my childhood. And I used to be... as a kid, I used to be doing little things, helping the friends that I know. And the little things I used to do, you can tell if a child is compassionate, you know? But as I grew up, I was having this, uh, uh, like somebody invited one, one of organizations, invited me to conduct a workshop for the cancer affected kids of Mumbai -- Hospital Mumbia. So I had gone to teach Warli painting which is, uh, tribal art in Maharashtra. So I went to teach a hundred kids who were there, uh, so they can set pictures, and it was really touching to see them going for the chemo injections coming back again.
Speaker 1 (05:34):
Uh, they're smiling when they are painting. At the end of the workshop. I asked those children, uh, can you close your eyes? Think of something and just reproduce something which comes from your mind, can you do it for me, uh, on your paper. So it, I could see, uh, most of them had drawn a house with their mother and a child. So I could understand that all of them want to wanted to go home. That's what they wanted. And I, like, I was really touched by that. And, uh, I started going most often to these kids and teaching them painting and drawing. And I keep, I do keep doing that for them. And, uh, I, this is something I'm feeling 10 years back. And then, uh, eventually, uh, my, uh, with my like-minded friends, I formed the organization Akshayashakti Welfare Association. This works towards education, empowerment and health.
Speaker 2 (06:28):
Wow. What a beautiful story. I love that you were able to see what through your act of compassion, doing art with the children, with the cancer patients, that you were able to see their compassion and their desire to go home as they painted the houses and the mothers and the children. And that's a beautiful story. Mini, we would love to hear from you, how you became a bold color painter of portraits.
Speaker 1 (06:58):
Uh, I was always a realistic artist, and I put, uh, I was an oil painting artist. I could copy, anything from nature, whether it is landscapes, portraits, or still life. I was very good at copying. I could copy anything. So, uh, people say public, or look at my painting. I said, well, you have done it already. It looks exactly the same, but I was very unhappy. I used to feel, what is the point? There's no creativity. Creativity means you have to do something from your, what comes inside you. I never used to sign very proudly. I wanted to learn something, and I wanted to produce something from my mind. So I started doing it, but I felt like it never came so well as what I am looking and doing. So, it so happened that it was Covid time, uh, lockdown time.
Speaker 1 (07:46):
Then I joined abstract painting academy. I had a lot of time on my hand. I joined abstract painting academy, and I learned abstract painting. The course was really helpful. I learned how to create, or I learn a lot about colors, color, harmony, uh, temperature, color, temperature, focal points, all these things I learned from that course. Uh, and I could create anything that comes to my mind. It was that time I saw, on Facebook about the, uh, the Charla's Bold School ad. And then I saw the Kenyan Girl -- so beautiful, vibrant colors. I thought why can't I learn this system, and this sort of abstraction -- figure abstraction. And I love portraits. So, I joined the, uh, Bold School. Actually, I will say that was truly a turning point in my art career because I am always so thankful to Charla because, for really teaching me the bold colors because I knew everything, but I never knew that colors have got values. That was a key, uh, that is really a turning point. Once Charla said, all colors have got values, everything opened up for me. I knew I can create anything that comes in my mind now. I don't have to copy now. I can make on my own any painting. So, uh, that's how I became a bold artist and I would always say, uh, I, after joining Bold School, I received a national award and two, uh, international awards.
Speaker 2 (09:22):
Mini, on the Bold Artist podcast, we're talking about bold color and bold moves, which are the risks that artists take, the big decisions that they make to do something bold in their art career. Could you tell us about a bold move that you have made as an artist?
Speaker 1 (09:42):
Um, bold move -- uh, I've already mentioned like how I have, uh, I, I had it, I think enough pay in my career in banking and, uh, then a professional degree in banking. At one point, uh, I was, uh, uh, really bored about the subject. Uh, my passion was art, so I left the whole thing, and then I started, uh, from the beginning, uh, by making art my career. That was a bold move. Uh, I also would like to say, that being a passionate about my art, uh, when I wanted to paint and nothing would come in front of me, nothing would stop me from painting because when I want to create something. Uh, as a part of my social work, I, uh, keep, uh, going out, or feeding, the homeless, and this was during the covid lockdown time. Uh, I happened to meet a little boy who is, who sits with the self, my fed dog under the firewall bridge.
Speaker 1 (10:38):
I always wanted to paint him in spite of all the restrictions. And we were not supposed to move out in society or the house because of the COVID restrictions, but I went out with my paints and brushes and then I sat under the bridge and did the painting of this boy with this dog. And I gifted it to him. he was so happy. He smiled so much, telling me, whenever I have a house of my own, I will definitely hang this painting on the walls.. So, uh, I was so happy for that. Uh, that is again, I feel I really, uh, I really wanted to paint and nothing could stop me from doing that. I always have taken bold risks that way.
Speaker 2 (11:17):
Would that be the advice that you would give to another artist is to not let anything stop you? Or what would you, what else would you say to, uh, an artist who is just beginning to find their voice and find their style, and they want to pursue bold color painting? What would you say to that artist? Who's just starting,
Speaker 1 (11:41):
What I would tell an artist is if you have a passion to paint, and if you really, uh, have that in you, you should go ahead. Uh, nothing should stop you from doing. And like, I would like to tell about an eighty year old, uh, a lady who came to my class to learn painting, uh, start painting. And she learned painting and she, uh, she, uh, went for an art competition, and she won the first place in the competition. Uh, so see age... she never thought that when she started very late, but, if that, uh, drive is there in you, nothing should stop you. Uh, and learning is one thing. The process of painting one person should really be to learn about colors, colors, color schemes, and basic theory. You should really know before doing. Then you should consistently paint. If I tell you, I learned bold painting from Charla.
Speaker 1 (12:42):
And in a month, I did 75 paintings after learning from her. In a month's time. So, you should consistently do, and then you can paint from your heart and not your head. "You can paint from your heart and not your head" means you don't have to think while you're painting. So, as you think, uh, obviously you will become fearful. And your creativity will stop. So it's very important, uh, to reach that state and start creating with a lot of pleasure and happiness instead of thinking too much. You know, when you think your creativity stops. So, paint from your heart and not your head. That's what I tell.
Speaker 2 (13:22):
Wow. Wow. I love that advice to paint from your heart and not your head. And I have felt that too, that when I'm thinking too much about what I'm doing, that I, I don't enjoy it as much. And so when we learn and practice, we, Charla often says that we automate those skills into our creativity. And, and I love that you brought that up today with us. Mini, what attracted you to painting faces in particular?
Speaker 1 (13:55):
I love painting faces because, uh, it's, uh, I love the expression. I love the eyes. I'm able to reach a person's mind through the eyes. And I love that expression I'm able to do and bring it in on a painting. And I think once you paint the uh, right expression on the face, uh, it catches a person's eye, a viewer's attention so much.
Speaker 2 (14:22):
Mini, would you share with us a little bit about the process that you use in your paintings, how you approach your palette and your canvas?
Speaker 1 (14:33):
Once I decide upon my subject, I normally think about a subject, which is really, really interesting for me. Once I, uh, think about the subject, I actually close my eyes and think for some time. I just try to visualize how my painting is going to look. And then, uh, I think, uh, what, uh, how it's going to look. And then, uh, I study a bit about how the light shadows are going to come on the picture and how was the values of the values come. Once I, uh, study the whole thing, then, uh, what I do is I prepare a gray, uh, color palette, a gray color string. I prepare. Then I start blocking in the color on the palette, and sorry -- on the canvas -- uh, with the gray, gray, gray color. So I get all the values right on my canvas that day.
Speaker 1 (15:28):
So once that, uh, value gray values set on my canvas next thought is, uh, uh, now I've defined my color scheme. I might go for the triadic color scheme, which is one of my favorite color scheme or tetradic, or maybe complimentary color. I decide upon the color scheme and then my next thought is, which is going to be my dominant color in my painting. Uh, next I decide, which is a nondominant color. Then I decide, which is going to be the focal point or say accent colors, what I'm going to paint. And once I decide upon all these things, uh, now I'm ready with the whole picture on the canvas with the gray color. And my palette is also ready with the color scheme. Now, I won't think anything, I just play. I just paint, my infusion follows. And I just paint form my heart and not my head. I don't have to think then.
Speaker 2 (16:19):
Mini, as an artist, what has been one of your greatest aha moments,
Speaker 1 (16:25):
Regarding color theory. Um, I mean, I learned that, uh, colors and each color has got a value. Uh, my understanding was something that was something new. I never knew that each color has got a value. So that was totally one of the aha moments. I would also try to tell about the gray color. I always felt gray color was quite dull, boring. This is what I thought about gray. But the neutralizing property of gray color -- like two colors, bold colors are together and nearby, and, uh, they're really not friendly with each other, and when they are nearby, you paint gray in between how the paint starts calming, as a tool -- they start speaking to each other, interacting with each other. That is truly an aha moment. You know, it's really nice to see that how the gray, the property of the gray works to neutralize any colors. So that is how the vibrant colors you put in a bold color painting, the grays come in between and just start interacting with each other. And it's really nice to, uh, it's really an aha, totally an aha moment for me.
Speaker 2 (17:39):
Mini, I can't thank you enough for being on the show on the Bold Artist podcast. We've had some interesting internet glitches doing this over the ocean. We have started our call about seven times, and you've been very patient in reconnecting with me each time to finish the questions and share more about your life, your heart, and your work as an artist in India. Thank you so much.
Speaker 1 (18:12):
Thank you so much. Thank you so much. It was really nice.
Speaker 2 (18:12):
Thanks for listening and watching today. Everyone, I feel so blessed and privileged to get to hear the heart and life stories of artists around the globe. Artists who have the desire to help others, to reach out of their comfort zone, to be bold, and to be brave with their talent. And so thank you again to Mini Suboth for being here with us, even though we had all of those internet glitches. Following the show, we got an email from Mini reaching out and expressing gratitude towards Charla, my cohost, for all that Charla's done through offering, uh, painting classes at Bold School. Mini also went on to share with us in that message. I want to read to you what she said. She said, "I've sold a lot of my bold paintings and the entire proceeds have been utilized to feed the homeless pavement dwellers and the needy COVID patients." Mini, thank you for sharing with us. We're so blessed to have you as part of the artist community. I want to remind all our watchers and listeners that you can find us on Instagram at Bold Artist podcast. You can leave us messages and even topic ideas there. We'd love to hear from you. Until next time, keep creating.
Speaker 4 (19:46):