Vikrant Shitole is a well-known visual artist famous for his beautiful watercolor paintings. He graduated with honors in Fine Arts from L. S. Raheja School of Art. He’s skilled in various painting styles, mediums, and techniques, choosing the best approach to capture what he sees in person on paper.
He has showcased his art in both national and international exhibitions. Notable achievements include awards from esteemed organizations like the Istanbul Watercolour Society, Palm Art Awards in Germany, and the Prafulla Dahanukar Foundation Award for Emerging Artist of the Year.
He has also traveled and worked in Europe, learning from the renowned artist Mr. Alvaro Castagnet. He has conducted successful watercolor workshops in several countries. His talent has taken him to prestigious events and exhibitions worldwide, including those in Italy, Turkey, Russia, and the UAE.
He’s currently serving as the Secretary and Chairman of the Art Society of India and is actively involved with the International Watercolor Society in India. His artwork has been featured in prestigious international publications.
Q) Why did you choose to be an artist and get into the field of visual arts?
Vikrant Shitole: In Marathi, a saying translates to ” You can recognize a child’s passion when he’s born”. From my early childhood, I was very fond of colors, and shapes, like if I see a puddle of water, I used to see shapes in that. Before learning the alphabet, I started doodling on walls.
So I spent a lot of my early childhood in my village and I was very inspired by the beauty of raw nature. I used to visit jungles, fields, and many places; slowly, I developed that interest. A lot of people ask me who inspired me to draw because I have never seen anybody’s drawings to get inspired; so everything came naturally.
My parents knew that I was very fond and passionate in the field of art and they supported me. They encouraged me to participate in a lot of competitions during school time. After completing school, I wanted to do hand work so they admitted me into art school and that was a life-changing time for me; it was like heaven for me.
Earlier, I used to paint for myself but there, it was an environment where everybody was painting and I could learn a lot from them. It was such a wonderful time and here I am today.
Q) What is it like being a visual artist and art mentor?
Vikrant Shitole: There are many types of artists and visual artists are those who create interesting visuals. It can be in any form, a drawing, painting, sculpture, or animation. whatever. Whatever we see visually comes under visual arts.
I started my journey as a traditional artist animator and spent almost a year in the animation industry. I worked for a lot of movies and ad prints. I also produce my films, which have been awarded in many countries.
But animation is a very huge field and requires a lot of effort. It would help if you had a huge team for it but I did not want to be dependent on a team; I wanted to single-handedly do what I wanted. Being a visual artist allows me to have a vision where I know what the final results will be like but in animation, there is a slight limitation.
A few years back I never thought I would be known for my work worldwide but now a lot of people are following me and want to learn from me. I never wanted to become a mentor but a lot of people inquired about me so I thought to start sharing my knowledge with them.
I always wanted to be a student only because if you become a teacher, you are answerable to all, and eventually, your progress stops a little. So the life of an artist is such that you always have to keep experimenting and learn something new.
Q) How important do you think handmade art is in today’s world and where does it stand?
Vikrant Shitole: This is a very important question! When I started my profession in the early 2000s, computers first arrived in the industry; before that, they used to paint portraits by hand. After this, the camera came and we all thought about the importance of handmade art.
But I would say, nothing changed. At these junctures, artists learned and art kept changing from time to time. Currently, technology is booming, and with the growth of AI, everything is getting tense because AI is doing everything.
I also want to talk about various technologies that are trying to replicate art, but handwork is handwork; everyone knows. When we do exhibitions, we sell real paintings on canvas Many people can’t afford them so they start taking pictures of them and printing them. It has affected the business of art but a duplicate is a duplicate.
Q) You have been associated with UNESCO. Tell us something about that
Vikrant Shitole: I have been associated with a lot of art organizations in India. I was the Secretary and Chairman of the Art Society of India and I am currently also part of the Art Association of India by UNESCO. I represent India in all the events that they organize.
15th April is World Art Day. So last year on that day, we organized a lot of group painting sessions. This is what we do to uphold the name of art in India.
Q) What is something you love about being a visual artist?
Vikrant Shitole: There are different fields in visual art. In artists, if someone is doing painting, then he will do only paintings for his entire life. But I don’t feel like that because if I’m a visual artist, it is very important to justify my creativity through different mediums.
I have done animation, illustration, filmmaking, and painting, and I’m also doing sculpting. So I think a true artist can do the best with whatever material comes to his hand and make something creative or innovative out of it. I want to do it on a larger scale. I am aware that as an artist, it is my responsibility to raise the standard of Indian art.
Vikrant Shitole aims to uphold Indian art in the global forum. He also urges youngsters to not fear taking art as a stream of education. He wishes to continue learning and adapting to the current trends in the art industry without compromising on his roots.
Check out the insightful conversation with Vikrant Shitole on our YouTube Channel.