Arun Suryawanshi is Academic Director of CANMAS - Contemporary and New Media Art School in Pune, India. He has also worked for, among other companies, Toonz, India, Jadoo Works, and Toonskool. Mr. Suryawanshi was educated at North Maharashtra University. Arun is a well known Indian artist.
CG Today : Welcome, Arun, to CG Today.
Arun : Thankyou.
CG Today : Being Academic Director of the CANMAS - Contemporary and New Media Art School must feel like a dream come true for you. Can you describe how this new venture came about?
Arun : Yes, it was my dream and it has come true…but yet, there are miles to go… let me prove myself first as I am still going through a severe struggle Anyway, from last 13/14 years, I have seen tremendous ups and downs in the animation field. Some day, you will get to know that there will be no payment for the next few months due to funds not getting deposited OR suddenly a 200cr turnover company will shut down with no reason…how one can play with an artist, is completely beyond my understanding It means something is lacking there in the industry and it is the seriousness towards art, which is again completely baffling There is no system to care of it in India. Yes, there are big businessmen. There should be a serious education system which can produce the animation genre and supply to the industry so no one can play with Indian Animation Industry and a new era can evolve that’s again hope and there are giants working towards it. My story is negligible compared to them and I trust in Vaman avatar…so the venture took its birth.
CG Today : Would you explain the term “New Media” to those who might not understand this term?
Arun : Yes, I have started CANMAS- Contemporary and New Media Art School under registered society in Pune. I have deliberately adopted this name as an Institution that indicates a new era after www and CG’s birth. It was ancient art in stone-age and we developed with a lot of changes till today. Today it is completely computer oriented society working around. We can see the cave paintings and Monalisa, impressionism to pop art…in the journey of development of art or one can say the creation and presentation of an art, new tools have been involved to create or express and terms like Modern art and Contemporary art came into existence. Simply when we use the computer as an essential tool in any kind of CREATION…it’s NEW MEDIA ART AGE…
CG Today : What criteria are you looking for when selecting students for your school?
Arun : I have great criteria to select a student but as we don’t have even 1 year experience, we are not enforcing them as such…but for next year it is highly likely that there would be some criteria…
CG Today : There are several other animation schools in Pune, Maharashtra. What do you think sets CANMAS apart from the rest?
Arun : Yes, there are several others…Let them do their work. I believe in giving my best I have some students from all those well known institutions for gaining more…but I am not in the competition… I am working as part of the movement I am seeking others’ help to spread common objectives/motto for of the industry. Otherwise EKALA CHALO RE…
CG Today : You seem, from your bio and blog, to be an artist first. Can you tell us about the artwork on your Sketching the Thoughts blog site, and how your artistic bent fuels your teaching?
Arun : It’s not much on the blog. It is really great and works if you are a devoted person in the same field while you teaching. You will not have to explain more…just work in a step by step manner daily and students will follow you.
CG Today : You were a story board creator at one of the most admired advertising agencies in India, O & M, India. What skills does it take to generate an outstanding story board?
Arun : Actually, I didn’t know Story-boarding when I was doing it at O&M… but my Art director and other colleagues were liking it very much and they suggested me to go to Animation… thanks for your comment too. It is sad that in India there are very few art schools that teach an Art in real sense with potential sources. I was a victim who had to complete BFA through self-taught methods. We had only two teachers for the entire five years with no knowledge of the field where I was studying…
CG Today: Tell us more about working on the animated film Jai Hunaman.
Arun : Actually it is the same with all the studios here in India…Usme drama hota hai, tragedy hoti hai, action hoti hai aur suspense bhi hota hai…It is all Indian society. But the best thing was we had Mr. Samant sir, a real Animation guru. Some say that an Artist always behaves eccentrically, but the great Indian Animator Mr. Samant is a real mentor. He taught me Animation. Yes, he started the production of Hanuman with coaching. His main concern while doing Hanuman was “wo jamin bhi apani hogi, Banduk bhi apani hogi aur uski goliya bhi apani hogi”. He taught us first, that we are Indians, and we wouldn’t take support from outside, the story is from India with Indian producer and Indian artists and the post production will happen in India too. He made history. I got a chance to work in a family environment there in Silverline and so we, the SILVERTOONIANS stay connected.
As a skilled Animation professional, I can say I am the Product of Mr. Samant sir.
CG Today: Toonz, India, where you worked as Senior Background artist, must have been a stimulating workplace. What professional skills did you learn as a result of being associated with Toonz?
Arun : Toonz gave me the precious mantra of the Industry that it was always about timelines and deadlines.
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