HYDERABAD: Had MF Hussain not diagnosed his own potential and said ‘Óh! Art is not for all!’, India wouldn’t have had the opportunity to boast of having one of the classiest artists of all times. We all live in a disbelief that all we can do about painting is draw an angular ‘V’ and call it a bird, inverted ‘V’ and call it mountain, half circle between the mountains and call it sunrise. Little did we know that we could paint the canvas just like the way we paint our lives.
Unlike us, Sameer Nagi realised the fire within when he held his daughter’s crayons. Today, he runs an organisation that helps people acknowledge the inner artist and wake them up. This time around, he has collaborated with LV Prasad Eye Institute to help visually challenged kids paint their imaginations. Braving the misconception that painting is a visual art, Sameer Nagi and his wife Harsha Nagi are busy gearing for the event at Phoenix Arena on September 3.“The idea is to help visually challenged individuals also experience the magic of painting and create their own masterpieces,” they echo.
Sameer Nagi, an artist, founder, facilitator of ‘Anybody Can Paint’ was once a human resource professional. Passionate about creative arts, he used to dabble his hands in painting and music in his school years. After pursuing 12 plus years of corporate career, with his last stint at Microsoft, he decided to take the plunge and pursue his passion and spread the joy of painting to the world. He loves to invest his passion for painting and facilitation by crafting new art-based experiences for people/organisations to discover their hidden potential.
An alumnus of MDI-Gurgaon, his past experience includes a variety of leadership assignments in areas of HR, training and organisation development. Before starting up “Anybody Can Paint”, he was driving HR for one of the tech groups at Microsoft.“Soon after our daughter was born, she started receiving colourful crayons and colouring books as gifts. When I saw them, a powerful wave of creativity surged in me in a way asking me to re-embark on an unfinished dream. I picked up a brush and few paints after almost 20 years and attempted a painting. I was completely enthused about creating this artwork though I lacked confidence about my ability to finish it well.
After few hours of deep engagement, when I held that finished painting in my hands, the feeling was indescribable. In a matter of a year I had completed 100 paintings, dabbling in various art forms and subjects, all self-taught and inspired by various top artists’ work worldwide. I also realised that unlike rocket science, painting was not too tough or complex and that anybody could create a beautiful artwork with some guidance and encouragement. Most of my close friends and family members dreaded doing painting and that motivated me to try out if I could help them overcome that fear and in the process enable them to create a beautiful painting. That was the genesis of Anybody Can Paint,” he narrates in a touching fashion.
His wife, Harsha Nagi is also a HR, leadership development facilitator, a fitness coach and creative entrepreneur by passion. Before co-founding ABCP along with Sameer, she spent 10 years in IBM in leading various training interventions across businesses. She is also a alumunus of MDI Gurgaon with a Electronics Engineering degree from Mumbai University.With their background in human behaviour and psychology, they strongly believe that our biggest learnings can sometimes come from the most trivial experiences in life. “More than 3000 people have experienced the magic pf completing their own masterpieces in under two hours of time, with no past painting experience. The power and potential of our right brain is limitless and when we tap into it using creative experiences, we open the door to limitless new possibilities for ourselves and our organisations,” they opine.
Sharing their memories from the past events, with a wide smile, they say, “One particular participant shared how he was scolded in school by an art teacher for being a slow-learner of art. he came in with a strong inhibition, self doubt and pain into the session, just to go back with the most beautiful painting of that day in his hand. Today it adorns as our cover page screen of our website. One of the participants attended a workshop where we were painting a Red Raven Moon night scene; the background of the painting was a nice bright red. After the workshop we received a note from the participant stating how this experience influenced them to completely re-do their new home’s interior’s color schemes.”
“Till date around 3,200 participants across all walks of life and age groups have painted in our sessions. We walk them through a structured step-by-step guided experience, all materials included to create their masterpiece and in the process unearth the interesting tips and techniques involved in creating beautiful artworks. Our artworks include all genres like natural landscapes, florals, abstract painting and modern art as well,” Sameer shares.
Coming to their next event of having visually challenged to paint, they say people with vision loss don’t see that as a hindrance and like it when their potential is treated with equality with the rest of the world. “Like they say, when God takes away a sense, he empowers more of the other senses.”
He adds, “The same holds good when it comes to painting. It is an adventure ride for them where on one hand they are anxious about the resultant artwork, on the other they are also excited about learning this new skill and are motivated to go through the experience. Our job is to instill and communicate the self belief in all our participants that they all are creative and can create wonderful paintings and guide them through the process and rest they do the magic,” they inform with utmost joy.
“Many participants who have a vision impairment since birth need specific support in perceiving colors and comprehending their associated meanings and emotions. Some times they also need some support in developing spatial imagination of common life objects and beings, which sometimes can be as basic as a mountain or a tree. But with some raised line techniques and texture modeling, we are able to help them build that perspective, “they throw some light.The event is being held at Phoenix Arena on September 3. People can check out on bookymyshow.