24-year-old Jai Ranjit holds the title for being the first person in the world to have auctioned his work on Twitter. A self-taught artist, Jai first started painting in 2007, after giving his class 12 exams. With no specific background in art, he did a six month apprenticeship under Brinda Miller.
Soon after, he had his first solo show in December 2008, and a second one in September 2009. The six-year journey, however, has not smooth sailing, as is the norm with things in the art world.
For him, the art world is one of extremities. “There are moments of either severe depression, when you feel nothing is happening or joy, like when you sell a painting,” he says. Jai’s portfolio of work has been anything but consistent. While he has a lot of abstract paintings to his credit, the focus and source of inspiration for all his works are philosophies or ideas that were written over several centuries, and the ground they hold today. His approach is to interpret people’s thoughts and perceptions to things in a riot of colours. A true believer in constant innovation, he can be found working on several different types of paintings at the same time – be it abstract, figurative, landscape or still life.
The challenges of flying solo, without any gallery representing your works, are several, especially when most of your work consists of abstract paintings. “The audience you seek to share your work with and sell to is much smaller than that of, say, landscapes in watercolor or figurative paintings in acrylic or oil on canvas.”
For young people wanting to make a mark in the art world, he says that they should be willing to experiment and adapt. Jai gives an outlet to his creativity by painting custom shoes, bags and tees. For him, education holds the key in the spread of the art movement to the youth. He also organises gallery hops in Mumbai every Thursday, where he takes a bunch of art enthusiasts to different galleries in the city. When he is not painting, he juggles as an art teacher, a photographer and conducts workshops.