We named our company Koonchi because we realize the importance of a brush in art. From crosshatch to a flat wash, we realize that an artist holds his entire energy along with a little colour at the tip of a brush but have you seen an artist holding all that at the tip of a ballpoint pen? Yes, you read that correctly. Art with a ballpoint pen. You will not see just a random artist pick up a ballpoint pen and start creating a masterpiece with it, or will you?
Suprio is an arts graduate from West Bengal with a beautiful hobby and a big dream. One of the most under-appreciated styles of painting is using something as simple as a ballpoint pen to create portraits and landscapes. The amount of precision required is beyond the abilities of a regular artist. It takes loads of dedication and patience to come up with a whole new concept which is rarely seen before. Recently, we interviewed this genius and asked him everything about his passion and his life as a painter and we are truly grateful to him for being very honest so as to give us an insight into his life.
Suprio has been interested in painting and drawing since he was a child. He grew up seeing his own mother paint and was quick to develop the same as his hobby too. Not everyone gets the chance to convert their hobby into a career but Suprio decided that he wanted to paint for a living and bring the paintings to life in a truly unique style, a style of his own. He started his formal training with his guru in West Bengal itself at the age of 16. He started out with learning the delicate art of watercolours. He also has some experience in oil paintings and created numerous pieces in these two mediums until one day when his neighbour introduced him to paintings using a ballpoint pen and he completely fell in love with it. He considers this medium very challenging and that is one of the reasons he decided to pursue it.
Suprio talks about ballpoint pen painting with so much appreciation for it that it sounds like he is describing a part of himself. He knows the medium backwards and forwards, mostly because there aren’t many people who are into this kind of medium and so he is creating and discovering it as he goes. He told us about the little games he plays with the colours such that even if the stroke is two dimensional, he makes the final piece look three dimensional. He mostly works with orange, yellow and brown hues just like his inspiration and idol, Samir Mondal. Suprio truly admires Mondal’s work and tries to get some of his styles into ballpoint art.
There are absolutely no resources to study this medium from and still, Suprio has successfully managed to paint unreal pieces that look like actual pictures rather than a painting. He exclaimed how amazing it is to paint a portrait, his favourite form because painting the details on a person’s face like the wrinkles and the creases is a herculean task. He uses supplies from companies like Staedtler and Bic to get his paintings to life. He buys his art supplies online and hasn’t left any source untouched to find the best pens for his work and makes it sure not to compromise the quality of his portraits by buying only the best. According to him, the throw of his technique is the same as the one used in portraits made by pencil. He also explained how there is no colour mixing involved in this medium but it is essential to keep the strokes delicate so as not mask the colours underneath.
His family consists of his mother who is his support system and has helped him through tough times, his wife, his brother, his sister in law and his nephew. He told us how his wife supports his work and respects his love for art.
Suprio when asked where he sees himself in 10 years, proudly answered saying, he wishes that when someone sees a painting made by him, they would automatically be able to tell it is Suprio’s work without even having to read his name signed below it, that is how much recognition he desires and we truly believe he deserves it.
He attends many local shows, art museums and exhibitions in his area to display his work and has pictures of his pieces up on social media but his only challenge with ballpoint painting is the lack of exposure and his inability to reach a greater audience of art lovers. So, here at Koonchi, we appreciate his talent and give him a chance to reach people who still believe in the magic of art.
Interview by Varun Maliwal, edited and scripted by Manasi Telang