Tuesday, November 8, 2011

An Interview With The Artist: Prabal Mallick


We're back with another fantastic artist interview! This time we have Prabal Mallick, from Bangalore, Karnataka, India. I first saw Prabal's work about a year and a half ago through his blog and was instantly struck with how fresh and spontaneous it is. He is a watercolor artist who paints mostly plein air landscapes but he also paints figures, portraits, still life, and animals. And all of it has the same freshness, vitality, and spontanaeity and it is beautiful! He is an awesome friend to have in this blog universe. See more of his work by visiting his blog here.

Once again I will be speaking in blue, like this. And Prabal will be answering like this.

Onward to the interview! :)

So, Prabal, you are an extremely talented watercolor artist. Can you tell us a little about your path to becoming the artist you are today?

Crystal, first of all thank you. Those were really nice words. I guess my artistic inclination must have been spotted by my parents first as I used to keep drawing on floors and walls as a kid (Your poor mother! :).  And I must have got my first painting set as a result of this. LOL. Anyway I think it was in high school that my teachers thought I had talent. I got a lot of guidance and encouragement from my art teachers and other teachers too. And there I was painting in oils. After school I went on to do my engineering and during this time I did not even touch my brushes. After engineering I started to paint again. Yes still in oils itself. But somehow the old relationship was not working anymore. The spark as they say was missing. It was by a random chance that I came across some beautiful watercolor works of some of the masters and the spark was ignited. I wanted to paint again. But it was going to be watercolors. It was a little more than 3 years back when I started painting in watercolors. And since then the passion has only been increasing and every day I am learning.

Short Spell @ Church Street
22" x 15" watercolor by Prabal Mallick

You post new work regularly to your blog, which I think is very impressive. It’s not easy to be consistent about your work. What inspires you to create your art and how do you keep motivated when things get tough?

Actually I get inspiration to paint from all kinds of places. While taking a walk, listening to music, reading newspaper, travelling.. I mean it could be anything. But I think it is the act of painting, the act of watching colors flow on paper, the act of creating something out on a blank paper that inspires me most of all to paint. I just try to make the best of what I have, tough times or not and that kind of works most of the time. :) I love that, words of wisdom for all of us.

You paint some really gorgeous plein air pieces that I LOVE. The spontaneity and freshness is amazing. What is it that draws you to paint en plein air?

Thanks again. I really don’t know what it is about painting on location, but it is one of the most satisfying experiences. It is at the same time most exciting and most humbling. Being surrounded by what you are painting is a beautiful experience. Moreover a little memory gets created along with the painting.

Life as an artist is pretty awesome. But it’s not all glitter and rainbows. What do you think is the best part of being an artist? And the worst part?

The best part… Hmmm.. I guess it is the whole process of creating art. That is being able to see more beauty and meaning than what meets the eye in stuff, internalizing that beauty and feeling and creating that on paper. I think it is a kind of roller coaster ride of emotions that only an artist experiences. I think that is special. The worst part is not being able to really share this ride with anybody. Being an artist is a little bit like walking a lonely path I guess. There are others walking with you, but on parallel roads. That is. . . profound. I never quite thought of it like that before.

Food Court @ UB City
15" x 22" watercolor by Prabal Mallick

What has been your biggest challenge as an artist so far?

The best way to paint is to paint with the heart of a child and with the skills of an adult. Skills are external while the attitude is internal. External development can be achieved through hard work. But the internal purity, which enables one to paint without judgments and with innocence and awareness at the same time, has to be cultivated. And I guess this continues and will continue to remain the biggest challenge. Well said. Well said indeed. :) 

What is one thing you want viewers of your paintings to walk away with?

I just want people to be touched by my painting in some way. Sometimes people have been touched in more ways than one by seeing my works. Things that even I had not thought of while making the painting. That is a great feeling always. It really is isn't it? Gives us something pretty grand to strive for.

Let’s talk about artistic influences. Who has been your biggest source of inspiration? Dead or alive.

My first non-competitive award that I received was two art books. One of them had a section on Van-Gogh. Since then his works and his life has drawn me towards art. And of course there are so many other artists who have been inspirational. But for me my turning point in painting has come because of Mr. Milind Mullick whose paintings inspired me to start doing watercolors.

Afternoon At Puri
15" x 11" watercolor by Prabal Mallick

What do you like to do when you’re not painting?

Pretty much the normal things. Spending time with dear ones and friends, reading a good book, going for an outing sometimes. Nothing special really.

What are some of your goals for the future?

I really do not have any goals as such. The only goal is to keep painting, learning new things, honing my craft and finding peace and happiness while doing all this.

Let’s say life as we know it is about to end and you’re in charge of creating an artistic time capsule for the aliens who recolonize Earth to find. What art - both classic and contemporary – would you insist on including?

I think I’ll take at least one art work from every passionate artist in the world from all artistic fields. For the performing arts I’ll take records. Then I’ll compress it and put it in the capsule along with the DIY guide of uncompressing it. Let the Aliens know how it was. :) 
Indian Ocean
21" x 14" watercolor by Prabal Mallick

And finally what tips or words of advice do you have for beginning artists?

I am a beginner myself. But for whatever little it is worth I think I would say ‘Practice’, ‘Reflect’ and most importantly ‘Enjoy’ and find ‘Peace’ through your creation.

Now, on to the SPEED ROUND!!

Dawn or dusk? – Dusk (Waking up early is really difficult)
Sweet or salty? - Sweet
Winter or Summer? – Winter
Zombies or Unicorns?  - Unicorns
Dine in or eat out? – Eat out once in a while. But mostly dine in.
All-time favorite book? – ‘Jaya, an illustrated retelling of Mahabharat’, The entire Harry Potter series
All-time favorite movie? – ‘Leaving Home, life and times of Indian Ocean’, ‘Lord of the rings series’, ‘The Matrix’, ‘Andaaz Apna Apna’
All-time favorite food? – I am a foodie. I love so many things. It will be unfair to name a few. But some of the stuff that my mom and only my mom makes are just great.
All-time favorite song? – Almost everything by Indian Ocean, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, A R Rahman…… The list is never ending. :)

At Cannt Station (plein air)
14" x 10" watercolor by Prabal Mallick

Thanks so much Prabal! This was truly an inspiring interview! :)

P.S. And just to let you guys know, my blog (this is me Crystal, speaking again) has been featured at Artists.Blog.Critique and I was really honored to be included there. Hop on over and take a peek! 



  1. Another great interview. Wonderfully insightful and perceptive. Really enjoyed Prabal's thoughts.

  2. Wonderful interview with Prabal. You are really good at this, Crystal.

  3. pretty neat! Enjoyed getting to know another artist!

  4. Crystal, a very insightful interview. thanks for bringing in Prabal...i have been inspired by his water colours and have mentioned him in my blog recently http://artbymra.blogspot.com/2011/11/sheshadri-iyer-memorial-hall.html
    ! it is a coincidence that i read his interview! i wish parbal all the best!

  5. Crystal, you are impressive. I am a fan of Prabal's. Love his work and always check his blog. Also, you are an amazing portrait artist! Thanks for your kind advice, when I looked at your work, I was blown away. Just stunning. And last, I am most excited that I am a mom of 3 boys, too and I write with pink gelly pens! Again, thanks for your help, I am going to study your portraits a little more and try to execute your suggestions without making a mess.

  6. Wonderful interview, Crystal. I love hearing other artists stories. We are all unique, but definitely share many similarities.

  7. Merci de nous faire partager et de nous faire connaître de si talentueux artistes...
    Gros bisous

  8. He is great guy and inspiration for me.. I like his this words.. "I am a beginner myself. But for whatever little it is worth I think I would say ‘Practice’, ‘Reflect’ and most importantly ‘Enjoy’ and find ‘Peace’ through your creation"

  9. Wow! Lovely interview. Congrats Prabal. Congrats to you too Crystal. A very deserving for someone like you to be featured on on the Artists.Blog.Critique
    Best wishes,

  10. I just read the review of your blog on artists blogs critique and I must agree with every word of it.

  11. I know I say it every time, but I just love getting to know a little about the person behind the blogs! Prabal is so talented isn't he? I follow him too :0)

  12. Crystal,
    Thank you for the interview. It was a pleasure and absolute honor.
    I enjoyed the interview.

    And it is no surprise that your blog is featured in artist.blog.critique. Not only your art is awesome, but you write awesome too and this blog is great.

    Thank you for your kind words.

    1. I was wondering how come "Pyaar hume kis mod pe le aya" is not on the list of your favorite songs.. :P

      Prashant Sharma

  13. I've followed Prabal for a while now - and his work is stunning. Filled with light and greatly expressive. A true watercolourist xx

  14. i read the artist.blog.critique and it comes as no surprise that you are featured on it... great going and congrats!


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment they really do mean so much to me! Because not all bloggers have their email enabled so I can reply directly through email I will try to reply here in the comments. If I don't please forgive me, life must have been hectic that day! :)) Huzzah!!

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