Interview: Vivek Patil

Question: You mentioned how you were once an engineer and you channeled your frustration into your art. Did you take art up seriously while you were studying or did you have an interest before college as well?

Answer: I always liked painting and sketching, I never learned Sand art professionally. I am self-taught, the only help I received was from YouTube videos. There is no conventional method to pick up these special forms of art like Sand art, light art, and glue art. It just takes practice and passion. Glue art involves creating a picture with glue and sprinkling glitter over it in the end to bring the picture to life.

Question: Among the three, Light art, Sand art and Speed art what do you prefer the most? Which one do you think resonates most with the audience?

Answer: My favorite would be light art, that’s because there aren’t any Light Artists in India and probably just 2-3 internationally. The constraints and the limitations pose challenges which make it my favorite form of art. For example, it’s difficult to see what you’re drawing in the dark and unlike sand art once you’ve made something it’s not possible to erase it. Whatever I end up with is my original work that isn’t referenced from anywhere, and I think that’s what makes it my favorite.

Question: Your second performance was simply mind boggling! How exactly does Light Art work?

Answer: Radium is charged by heat and light, the canvas contains radium and I simply use light pens to draw images as I vary the intensity and the distance from which I shine the light.

Question: In your past performances you have met several celebrities, would you like to share any particular experience you had with any of them?

Answer: Meeting Shah Rukh Khan was definitely one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I never thought he would be so polite, he spoke to me backstage and thanked me for making his portrait, in fact, he even took it home. Also, one time I performed for Sealed Air, a company that owns the generic trademark for bubble wrap. In my performance, I showcased how their product has affected lives and helped reduce the wastage of food. They were really touched and after the performance. they told me that despite working in the company for so long they were unaware of the positive impact their work had on the world. I only showed them the logistics of their job and when the performance ended I received a standing ovation. That was an unforgettable performance as well.

Question: After having performed for Entertainment Ke liye Kuch bhi Karega and India’s got talent do you feel more recognized and how has this affected your work?

Answer: It certainly helps with my outreach, the reality is that a lot of event organizers are looking for unique performers who are doing something different but they aren’t always able to find us. At the present, I don’t think I would be performing on any television shows as a participant but perhaps as a guest because as far as talent competition go India only has so many. Recently I performed on Zee Telugu and it was an interesting experience, that is one region of the country whose crowd has probably at least seen my work once and for now I am happy with that.

Question: How do you come up with different story lines for your act, where do you get your inspiration?

Answer: Usually we get a basic idea or a theme from the client and once that is taken care of we get creative. It’s not all fun, we have to research quite a bit and we usually send sketches and stories for approval before finalizing the contents of the performance. It is a week long process and it requires a lot of perseverance as well. Some performances become really sentimental too; for example, one time I performed at a cancer hospital whose founder lost his mother to cancer. I portrayed a rather sad story (parts of which I used in the previous day’s performance as well) and conveyed that because of his hospital people won’t lose their relatives to cancer since they’ll receive the appropriate treatment at the right time. This performance left quite a few members of the audience in tears and that is something that will definitely stay with me for a long time to come.

That said some high profile performances require a lot of attention to detail and it is absolutely important to get everything just right, this only the thrill of performing and it helps improve my concentration as well.

Question: After your performance, you talked about following your passion, what advice would you give to college students who want to pursue something unconventional?

Answer: The main problem for students is that their hobby remains as a hobby or is often forgotten. If you claim that you are passionate about something, it needs to reflect in your actions. When I involved myself in special arts (sand, light, speed or glue), it slowly developed into my passion. I feel good about a performance when I know that people from the audience saw me went back home and practiced something they could be passionate about. For you to touch your hobby after my performance is what makes me feel successful. It is really important for someone to not regret their choices later in life and that is why if there is something you wish to try or pursue seriously you should just go ahead and do it while you can