LIFE OF AN ARTIST: CHAPTER I

People call me a passion. I call myself artist.

Name: Sultan Baig

Age: Can’t recall the precise figure

Currently exhibition at: Ahmedabad Haat, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Working since: Class VIII, around 22 years

Type: Family Business

Place of birrth: Udaigiri (Mysore, Karnataka, India)

Master of: Woodwork

Ever since I can remember, I have watched my father caress small but sharp pieces of wood with a loving smile. 

Like a mother feeds, plays & teaches its child. My father used to cut wood, paint wood, create wood out of wood.

I inherited this love for wood from him.

A lot many things I wanted to say to the interviewer, but they asked the limited. 

How many exhibits I have done? Difficulties I have faced in business? etc etc

How could I face difficulties when I do the things I travel so far for even if I do not have the money to return home.

How could I face difficulties in creating unique pieces of wood art even if people do not purchase it.

Life is good.

To what they asked me:

Yes, I have done 185 individual exhibitions of my work. Business is not a guarantee in each of them.

Like here, in Ahmedabad, it has been 3 days & I have not earned even 1000/- Rs.

I have no money to go back home & that is why I am waiting here every day for someone to stop & buy instead of

stop & inquire indifferently.

What I can say is I am satisfied. I provide employment to 3 more like me, someone who loves his work, but never learned how to sell them.

It takes around two & half hours to make 1 small piece of art. The instrument I use to cut & polish wood is a

sharp string tied to a C shaped wood. I feel like Amitabh Bachhan of movie Coolie.

I too give my blood & sweat to create what others give Rs 100/- for.

I am currently making a temple, a mode of devotion. People worship gods. I worship work.

(Written by the interviewer from what he heard & saw in 2 rounds of interview)

Price of his current work:

Woodowl big size – Rs 190/-

Woodowl small size – Rs 140/-

A joint of woodowl big size – Rs 350/-

A joint of woodowl small size – Rs 275/-

Idol of Ganesha & Krishna – Rs 375/-

A rural house – Rs 200/-

A snake – Rs 75/-

Keychain – Rs 20/-

Round Container Small – Rs 20/-

Round Container Big – Rs 30/-

Keyholder – Ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 300/- (depending on piece to piece)

Penstand – Rs 100/-

From the interviewer:

The artist is a regular worker of Belapur, 200 kilometers from Ahmedabad, near Mumbai (Maharashtra, India)

He loves the place where artist like him gather a market on the roads & exhibit the colourful wonders of life.

Business may or may not happen, but a round of laughter is guaranteed amongst themselves.

If art is not the soul of life, then I don’t know what is…