“It was a long time back, I’m not sure when, but something about art caught my attention. Maybe that’s the beauty of it, not knowing when and how it all starts. Even during school days, me and my friends would exchange our homeworks and while I would do the drawings they would do the writing part. I would take my colour pencil sets and go to the woods and draw. In a way I was always fascinated by art. My father used to be a designer at the local newspaper agency. He was into graphic designing and would work on those old computers. I think that was the turning point in my life. Creating shapes and images of various shades of colour on a computer were so alluring to me. At that time, I learned basic computers and photoshop skills and that’s how it all started.

After I graduated from high school, I took a year off and did some internships and a few jobs here and there. There were jobs at Media Offices where I along with some friends were paid Nu.1000 to unload papers on our back. At that time, it was good money. I also interned at IT and circulation.
My parents wanted me to go to college. I decided to go for BCA (Bachelors in Computer Application), which was the closest to the digital field of IT that I wanted. At times, I doubted if I could make a living out of art. During 3 years in college, I lost touch with art and was only focused on studies. After college I interned at a renowned local newspaper agency. There, I worked in the IT department but the major step I took was in graphics designing. I was already familiar with photoshop so I learned InDesign. I can say that I learned everything there was to learn, during my internship.

Later, I worked as a Photo Editor designing and editing everything. I was paid around Nu.6000 but I had no complaints since I prioritized learning over anything else. After 6 months, I was promoted to a Trainer and then to Supervisor. I got to deal with around 500 different photos in a day and colour was a crucial part in editing. I had to edit and colour-correct photos, which is how I learned about colours. I worked there for 3 years. I then spent another 3 years learning the basics of animation. With each step I took, the more experienced I became in different fields. Everything I do right now is the result of my experiences working in different organizations. Now I do designing, photo editing and animation.

I started my Instagram page, named ‘Artwala’ when I was working at a private institute. It was purely out of self-interest.

The biggest push I got was from the recognition from His Majesty the King. My artwork of the Gyalsey bowing down to His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo became sensational. This gave me strong social media presence. People started recognizing me. I even changed the name of my page to ‘homebasedillustrator’. Before the creation of my page on Instagram, a close friend told me that the art can be done digitally as well. She showed me an artist’s works. I studied his works and references. While trying to copy his methods I discovered my own style. His work was way out of my league so I tried experimenting with colors in a similar manner.
In 2016 I started doing digital art with a mouse. Learning became part of work through experiences of trial and error. I got to work with a trackpad which was easier to use. So, I finally found my art style that could connect with people and I decided to stick with it.

People often tell me that I rarely post my own pictures. I believe that one should be known by their work and not necessarily by their face. However, that depends on the individual.

Basically what all artists, including myself want to do is tell a story through art. We are after all storytellers. A realistic painting of a dzong despite being so beautiful might not connect with people, and a flower that took less than a minute to paint might do. That is the spark where magic happens. So, if you are able to build connections, in the form of art, like poetries, videos, songs etc, that’s how you bond with your audience. Even if a single person is able to relate with your work, you’ve done your work as an artist.”

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