Image:
Instagram.com/3rins

Abstract artist Erin Sandhu on navigating the world through her creative expression

By:
Roshni Rakshit (@roshni_rakshit)

 “Would U like to explore through my expression of everything?”

These are the first lines that welcome you to Erin Sandhu’s recently launched website, as we dive into her world of abstract paintings, birthed from her avid passion for art and adventure.

In a candid interview with 5X Press, Erin talked to us about the importance of exploring and embracing her true self, the importance of art in her life, and what catapulted and inspired her to launch her own website where she could showcase her paintings to the world. 

She noted that all of these endeavours had a common root: her curiosity.

“From a really young age, I was a very curious person and just followed the path of adventure. I did only what I wanted to do, whether it was colouring and scribbling on the walls, to chopping off my hair: I was just very curious,” says Erin.

“Whatever I felt I wanted to express I followed that. A lot of things inspire me, but it's not me doing something because it inspires me, it's me doing something because I’m a very curious person and I just want to know.”

When asked about how photography helped her in her journey as an abstract painter, Erin chuckled.

“I actually started off as a painter before as a photographer. I was already doing landscape, natural scenery and abstract art. My painting background has actually helped me in photography, such as when it comes to colour theory, compositions, etcetera,” she adds.

“I’ve been in photography for the past 7 years now and went to photography school, trying out different things. That is how I came back to abstract. Because I tried different areas and different mediums in art, what I felt was still unfulfilled was abstract. I didn't know much about it, it was something that felt right. So it's actually the other way around, painting has helped my photography. But photography also helps me with my painting -- they are both in the same category for me.”

In her promo video for her website launch, Erin talks about how she hid her paintings for years because she was waiting for the right moment, the moment that just felt right -- which she says comes to you when you are being your truest self. 

“A couple of years back I was going through a tough time, and it made me realise how badly I wanted to become an artist. I wanted to take that part of my life seriously and accomplish [in] those areas in my life before anything,” she says.

“I got asked all the time as to why I wasn’t showcasing or selling my paintings, or telling the world I’m a painter, but it just never felt right. I was still trying to figure out my voice. I already had a lot of self awareness from a very young age but it was one of those things when I realised that when you truly do become yourself, you start to walk the full path, everything else just starts to make sense.”

She says that she followed her gut, and did what felt right, decided that 2021 was going to be the year she put her work out. 

“I took my time to educate myself to a point where I understood what I was doing.” 

Erin says she had a tough time figuring out how she wanted to put herself out there because nobody else was doing it the way she had envisioned it. 

But that was her key learning point, when she realised there was nobody out there like her. 

“It’s my truth at the end of the day and nothing else matters,” she added.

Erin’s cultural background has had a big role to play in cultivating her interest and love for painting. 

“My culture itself already is filled with colours, patterns, texture and history. I take bits and pieces of that and channel it through my art, which is something I'm really proud of. India is my favourite country -- I have travelled there eight times and the art there is just so bold, rich and colourful. It has definitely had a huge influence in my art,” says Erin.

For those who want to pursue a path in art, but are afraid of doing so, Erin offers some advice.

“Whatever you do, just be very passionate about it.”

Everyone can be good at something, but when you are not passionate about something it means nothing. You can also not be so good at something, but if you’re passionate about it, it will eventually go somewhere.”

Life in general inspires Erin, but for the most part, her drive to do something is based on whether it feels right or not. 

It is a path that is all heart and soul, devoid of any terms and conditions that the society and the world imposes. 

It is one of beautifully expressing one's sense of identity that is embedded deeply in the love for adventure, art, beauty and being a curious student of life. 

And of course, the key lies in, as Erin says, to “Always Smile and Do U”. 

Check out Erin's art here.

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About the author: Roshni is a self-proclaimed Comedy Queen who specialises in laughing at her own jokes. Her hobbies include making people smile, watching movies and analysing them, reading books, practicing yoga (occasionally), hogging on well-cooked biryani and scrolling through dog videos and memes on instagram. Her love for writing stems from her love for art in general, which is fueled by her background in theatre. Catch on her instagram at @roshni_rakshit daily, where she regularly shares her experience with movies and occasionally offends people with her political sense of humor.

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