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Anirban Jana

Winner of GAWA Annual International Watercolor Scholarship - 2018

From his works, it is evident that Anirban Jana has gained expertise in handling and rendering of the watercolor medium across wide range of subjects in a very short span of time. His style of painting in watercolor is highly impressive. His passion and dedication will surely help him excel in his career goals.
Anirban has the true potential to make a strong statement in the field of watercolor art. His artistic capabilities make him a truly deserving candidate for winning GAWA Annual International Watercolor Scholarship award. This award will give him much needed international exposure and also provide financial support to boost his artistic career.
- The Scholarship Jury Panel

Anirban Jana has won

GAWA Annual International Watercolor Scholarship award (Junior Category)
Cash award $300 USD + Art Materials of worth $200 USD + Certificate

Art materials will include
Pure Pigment set in Mission Gold Watercolors (17 assorted colors)
Lana Aquarelle Watercolor Paper Block (4 sides glued, Rough, 10" x 14")
Escoda Versatile Synthetic Kolinsky Round brush
Escoda Ultimo Synthetic Squirrel MOP brush

How will I get benefited from winning GAWA Annual International Watercolor Scholarship award:

In spite of making great progress in watercolor art, I could not do a good job of selling myself. Considering my standard of work, I am not getting enough opportunities as expected. Because of financial problems, I'm not able to participate in prestigious watercolor contests/juried exhibitions. Also because of limited affordability, I'm forced to choose cheap art supplies which is adversely affecting my work quality.

If I win the scholarship award, I'll invest it only for my artistic growth; for purchasing premium papers and for paying participation fees of annual events of prestigious watercolor societies. Getting selected in prestegious contests would really boost my art career.
I conduct occasional teaching classes for local children around my vicinity. I try to develop a sense of creativity in them and also get to learn a lot from them in return. This type of activities fascinates me a lot. If I win the scholarship award, I'll try to organize more frequent classes and extend my hands wider towards the needy kids.
- Anirban Jana

Artist's statement:
I was born in a lower-middle class family in West Bengal, India. I was very good at the academics from the very beginning. After excellent score in 10th and 12th standard I wanted to pursue engineering from the best institute. I got admission in IIT Dhanbad for studying mining engineering and completed my graduation in 2014 with the degree B. Tech. & M. Tech. in Mining Engineering. I got appointed as a management trainee in Tata Steels Ltd.
But the change had already occurred in me during those hostel days when I used to get a lot of leisure time and used to draw and sketch as a hobby, which really took a new turn when I lost my father in a road accident back in 2011 during my second year of engineering. On one side I had my helpless mom who couldn't imagine me doing a mining job in hardest field condition far from home and on other side I had a hobby turned passion growing day by day. I gave myself some time to contemplate about what really I want to do in life, something that I had never done before and I had only followed others and never heard my own inner voice. That was the most important and most needed change in my mindset that had set the platform of a future artist for me. However, I was not so confident at the beginning and it took some more time to be inspired enough to jump into arts full-heartedly.
This was the time when I discovered some of the best contemporary watercolorists from India and abroad and I was really moved by their art that had ignited some sort of spark inside me. This is why I quickly shifted from oil and acrylic medium to watercolors only. It was not even a couple of months, there was another sad incident in my family, my grandmother passed away. I took a long break to settle everything and then probably go back to my job. But that never happened.
It's true that there was a family crisis that made it difficult for me to rejoin my job but at the same time my passion for painting was at its peak. Finally I took the most important decision of my life - I will paint for the rest of my life. Since then I have started my uncompromised research, exploration & experiments mostly in watercolor medium and I will continue to do this for the rest of my life no matter what challenges life throws at me. 
How I gained expertise in a short span:
Behind every success, there are years of uncompromised hard work. I believe there are no shortcuts and I never seek for 'easier' paths for my own good in long-run. So ever since I made my mind to become an artist, I did consider it as a long-time thing and therefore consciously set my goals & priorities in short term and long term basis. Because of my academic background, I had not many options to professionally study arts from reputed institutes, I decided to dedicate the initial years solely behind learning. With least attention to my financial wellbeing, my primary focus was to learn the art of watercolor as quickly and in as vast as possible.

I dream big and I want to be among the bests. So I didn't think twice to deliberately put me in difficult situation, even though I am competent and eligible and had options of continuing art alongside a supportive engineering job or at least doing commissioned works if there was any such 'nothing-outside-art' thought in my head. But I was very firm and didn't compromise with my priorities and tried my best to continue my research, exploration & experimentation in watercolor in the freest and unhindered way I could envision, which was otherwise impossible simultaneously with some other activity for financial support. This is why I didn't embrace the instantaneous comfort in spite of continuous effort from my closer ones to persuade me. After months of deep contemplation, I reached to this decision of terminating my engineering career and satisfy my artistic aspirations for the rest of my life, and my decision was straight out of my heart. I believe I was right.

Artist's objective:
Despite having a different academic background than arts, I am currently studying and experimenting with Watercolor medium all by my own, specializing primarily in cityscapes/streetscapes, yet with a keen interest in rural & mountain landscapes, portraits & figurative arts, still-life, indoor studies, and even abstract arts. With a constant eagerness to gain knowledge and experience, as well as an eye for visual aesthetics, I am determined to pursue my ambition in the Watercolor world by seeking new scopes in diverse subjects.

# Finalist of '1st Universal Watercolor Exposition 2018' jointly held by IWS and Zhuji
Municipal Government, China
# Finalist in the Classic Category of the 'Premio Tláloc' by IWS Mexico
# 'Special Recognition' award in 'GAWA International Watercolor Online Contest 2018'
# Finalist of '1st Universal Watercolor Exposition Online Contest 2018' hosted by 'IWS
China' and 'IWS Magazine'
# Winner of IWS White Nights Watercolor Online Contest 2018; & won a trip to Saint
Petersburg, Russia
# 'Third prize' in the 6th International 'Zeugma Love, Tolerance and Peace through Art'
Watercolor festival and Golden Brush Online Contest - 2017 organized by IWS Turkey
and Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality; & won a trip to Gaziantep, Turkey
# 'Honorable Mention' award in the 6th International 'Zeugma Love, Tolerance and Peace
through Art' Watercolor festival and Golden Brush Online Contest - 2017 organized by
IWS Turkey and Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality

Anirban Jana

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