“I struggled with substance abuse and addiction for almost 7 years. When that episode of my life ended, although it felt like life would finally get back on track, my struggles were far from over. For a while, I worked in an automobile company where I repaired tyres. I also assisted a land survey team. I tried my hand at many jobs but they did not give me a sense of accomplishment and I couldn’t help but feel like I was only doing them to put food on the table.

After long years of battling addiction and about 5 more years of hopping from one job to another, I finally decided to give the artist in me a chance. Since my childhood days I was into sketching and painting. It had never occurred to me that one day my paintings could help pay my bills but all through school years I kept myself passionate about painting. The first few paintings that I made got displayed in some galleries and book shops. To my surprise, people bought most of them. I went on to do a couple more and they too caught the eyes of art lovers who immediately bought them. My artwork finding buyers in a world where the value of art is often neglected was enough to make me quit the job that I had then and pursue art full time.

Ever since, I have been an artist who makes art hoping that people can see the message behind and relate to them. Art is the most powerful medium of self expression. It is also therapeutic and used by people to cope with various mental health issues and to heal from trauma in the form of art therapy. I try to make more art on our culture, religion and traditions because I believe that in my own way I can preserve our culture through what I do.

There are many challenges of being an artist in Bhutan and they often take a toll on the artist. We are demotivated and often give up. But the trait that describes an artist the best is our strength. We face many difficult situations to which we have to adapt. However, artists just like others need appreciation for their work to survive. Art is a form of communication between artists and the people, and this relationship is very important to build the vibrant creative society that our country needs.”

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