Image Credits: @ anjum_moudgil
Athletes don't always understand artists and vice versa, but for the Indian ace shooter Anjum Moudgil both comes in handy. For her painting not only keep calm from her high-stress, high-pressure lives but also has become more than just a hobby.
Room full of medals is the kind of collection you’d expect a young athlete to accumulate. But a quick peep at Anjum Moudgil’s Instagram page to recognize that this isn’t your typical 26-year-old’s pad.
Anjum Moudgil is currently world No 4 in 10m air rifle, was among the first set of Indian shooters to have secured a Tokyo Olympics quota place, with a silver medal in 10m air rifle at the 2018 ISSF World Championships in Changwon, South Korea.
Most of us know Anjum as a champion shooter, one capable of winning the Olympics medal someday. But not many have taken a deep look at Anjum about her art collection.
Sense of serenity and calm
Anjum might be born with a rifle in hand, but her interest in art develop over the time, “the earliest experience I remember with the arts was 7 years ago, when I did a painting for my friend’s T-shirt. I just loved it! My interest in art developed only when I started doing it and saw how calming it was for me to paint.”
The Chandigargh-based shooter is a self-taught artist, who also has a sports psychology degree under her belt says, “I did sport psychology to understand the mental aspect of any sport and also to study psychology part which overall explains the mind of a person. There is not much relation between psychology and art. All the paintings I do is all self-taught I have never undergone any training for it.”
Anjum spends as much time as she can in her home, incubating new ideas and creating new work.
On being asked what does her average creative workday look like and what precautions measures she has been taking to battle this Coronavirus pandemic, she says that nowadays she’s trying her best to utilize the lockdown time wisely. “These past few weeks I am spending positive and quality time at home – playing games, working out twice a day and also doing my dry training for shooting and making art works.”
“I am making sure no one goes out of the house unless necessary and who ever goes out should wear proper masks and gloves and takes all types of precautions,” said the 26-year-old adding, ‘nowadays, I’m trying to be more into best out of waste in finding things that can be used in proper way at home. I am painting every day such as diaries for the orders I got online.”
'Painting defines me'
Be it on and off the field, Anjum nurtured her inspiration over the years through continuous hardwork.
“Paining is something that I always have gravitated towards and just continued to work at throughout my life. My love for painting is also definitely a part of who I am.
If you look at few of her art works, one could say that it heavily features the color of blue – many of tad similar to Vaan Gogh. So, we asked, “have you always been interested in the color blue, or were you surprised to find this recurring theme in your work?”
“There is nothing specific about blue colour,” said Anjum.
“It’s just that randomly some of my good artworks are in blue color theme.”
‘Music enables me to connect’
To Anjum, painting is like a dance and music acts as a catalyzer to put on the canvas what she wants to express:
“For painting, you need a few things: you need to be passionate and you also need to be attentive and listening. You need to take it from inside and bring it out. What helps me a lot to paint is listening to music. While I paint, I listen to music 95% of the time, when you are painting, you are using your whole body. You are standing on your feet, moving back and forth, using your arms, moving your head. It’s like a dance. So, the music enables me to connect all of that.”
Anjum is no Georgia O’Keeffe, but she's got the content, colors, and sketchy technique that makes her work look almost perfection. “There's no such thing as a struggling if you're doing what you love and expressing how you feel through your art. There are many artworks I loved painting., I don’t think that you ever stop learning and honing your skills both as an athlete or an artist. I love working on artworks which are challenging for me.”
When asked about her personal favorite piece, “each new painting is an opportunity to ‘out-do’ myself. I love that all my experiences in life shape what I do. Looking back there are certain pieces that do stick out to me. I can recall ‘The Big Ship,’ I painted in 2017 is my favorite piece of my work so far."
On Tokyo quota
Finally, to the question “Rescheduling the Tokyo Games seems to be a right decisions but in shooting the quota belongs to the country and not to a shooter, so there has been a period of trials as well to ensure you stay ahead of the competition, does that add more challenges to you when the sports resumes?”, her answer:
“I am not sure about having more trials for selection of the team for the games but whatever will be the decision of the federation we will be with it and we will give our best in any upcoming competition,” she concluded.