Anshuman Agarwal is a fine arts photographer whose ability to realize photography from his vision alone has helped him in his success.
What are the next two things on your bucket list?
Nothing of the fancy sort. I would say one is, if I could, to do something really big on a social platform in terms of cleaning up our society. Waste management is a major issue and that’s the first thing I want to do in India - to effectively manage all the waste here and reduce all related problems. I want to take big steps to create change and to use our resources far more efficiently.
When did you find out that this is your passion? What made you decide to do this?
My major thing was to pursue arts. I would coalesce the whole thing into the broad category of design/arts. Rather than calling myself a photographer or a designer, I would say I am in mainstream arts. In my second year of college, I became immensely interested in the end-to-end process of designing things, creating things, which started in 2008 in Delhi College of Arts and Commerce based in Chanakyapuri. I dropped out in my 2nd year because I didn’t find the sort of exposure that I thought I would get. Thereafter, there was no set curriculum. I followed what I wanted to do. It was a decision that needed a lot of courage because my family’s financial situation was weak at the time. So it was a bit of struggle but I enjoyed that period. Transforming yourself from day to day is truly amazing.
What theme do you love in Photography?
I’d say fine art is its own theme. You can’t categorize it. I work in fine art and fashion. Fashion is for commercial purposes but fine art is what I’m born to do and it really gives me satisfaction. Fine art is something which is not genre based. It can be anything - a portrait study, a landscape study, general abstraction of one’s thoughts, or what one exhibits and then earns money from.
As a photographer, you must be travelling a lot to find new landscapes right?
No, actually I am not very influenced by the landscape. I am more influenced by aloneness. The solitude I get through travel helps me become more aware. And get things done. It’s my philosophy. My boredom takes me to another level. You get a different level of thoughts when you’re bored. I would recommend travelling alone; it gives you a new dimension altogether. That’s how I have evolved in my work. Most of my finest work has been in Allahabad and Leh. I have shot Leh in a very different way.
Would you say practical experiences are important?
Yeah. I mean you need to be confident enough, to be honest with yourself. I was convinced from day one that I was going to do what I wanted to do. That has been the key. I truly believed in making it happen. I’ve learnt that you really need to be convinced about whatever you want to do. It was my conviction that has brought me to my path today.
What is the best part of what you’re doing, your profession?
The best part is my fine arts photography. There are times when you see things, you get a vision, and it’s an excitement in itself when you can forecast that vision. And in the process of executing it, you know exactly how it’s going to happen. The special thing about me is I’m able to create the very things which I see in my mind. For example, if I think I want my lunch to look a certain way, or I want some abstraction in a story, I make it happen that way. What I see in my vision, I am able to recreate 99% of the time. Fashion is something which is commercial but fine arts is more liberal and you can go as far as you can dream. There are also exciting things in fashion but my own work, non-commercial work which is the best part, is the fine arts work. In fine arts I’ve been able to churn out more of myself.