Surinder Singh Sambyal
Creative Director settled in Australia
Surinder Singh Sambyal is a member of:
Initiative to develop a country
I personally think professionals owe a lot to the society as they have the power to use their respective professions to bring the change they want in society.Starting at the grass root level professionals can help create an awareness of the issues that need change in India and are stopping it to become a developed nation.Targeting the youth of India will be a good starting point as it's the youth of today that will lead us to tomorrow. If professionals can conduct a meaningful dialogue with today's generation about India's progress,we are on our way to becoming a developed country.
My role model
I have been always inspired by the people who made a difference in the society. Late Nelson Mandela has been my role model who inspired me through his honesty, fearlessness and patience. His heroic struggles and long years behind bars have been unable to change his stance of achieving a just society.His victory in the end is reminiscent of how righteousness wins in the long run.. I was so inspired by Nelson Mandela that I decided to show my solidarity through an exhibition dedicated to the cause of anti apartheid.` A Tribute To Nelson Mandela` that was hosted at United Nations Library, India International Centre, Parliament Annexes.Although the great leader is gone now but his heroic struggle will always light up our journey and inspire us.
Couple of years from now
Painting and exploring new paradigms in visual art and experimenting with new mediums.I see myself involved in various projects to enrich the world. I would like to share,learn and create by working together with great artists all across the world.
Degree that I recommend
You always evolve as a learner and any Degrees /Certifications that add up to your knowledge and skills are more than welcome. But I am a strong believer in gaining skills through experiential activities.With internet revolution world has become an open learning stage and there are far more opportunities today than what was available to us earlier.Illustration and hand drawing are my strong points but it's amazing to see how digital media has revolutionized the art of creating.I believe that creativity is not dependent on certifications rather it's there in your DNA-ready to be tapped whenever you are ready for it.
Looking back and reflecting I would say I always listened to my heart and followed my inner wisdom. All of us have a guiding spirit inside us if only we can quiten the noise outside and listen to it.I never followed the path that society laid for me I made my own and am glad that today I live in peace and contentment.I chose to become a creative artist whereas there was tremendous family pressure on me to go for a traditional career.I am glad I took that decision and have excelled in my field.
More about myself
I was honored by Late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi for my veteran initiative to put a solo show of 12 paintings on anti aparthied movement to show my support to Late Nelson Mandela. I designed a poster that became part of the famous ‘London March’ in Britain on the occasion of Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday. The same was adapted to a Greeting Card sponsored by United Nations on the occasion.
Later on the eve of the visit of Dr. Nelson Mandela I participated in an exhibition at LTG Art Gallery and was personally honored by Dr. Nelson Mandela for my commendable support by being part of the struggle against apartheid.
I have illustrated books and designed book-covers including Dr. Karan Singh’s book titled ‘ HINDUISM ‘ , Steven Darwin’s ‘A Ganges of The Mind ` and Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s ‘My Truth.’
In 2009,I painted a portrait and was honored by 'Duke of Edinburg'appreciation certificate in Melbourne.
Brief description about me
An an artist, cartoonist and a keen photographer I have more than forty years of rigorous work experience to look back .I completed my Post Graduation in Applied Arts from College of Arts & Crafts Chandigarh with merit scholarship for the years 1972 to 1975.I worked with established Design Houses and Advertising Agencies as Senior Designer and Art Director for more than twenty five years before starting my own company Fantasia Graphics Pvt. Ltd. in 1990. As Managing and Creative Director in Fantasia Graphics I worked with established national and international clients on Brand Development and Corporate Image building.
My interest in art and society based issues goes much beyond my professional career.As a keen painter I participated in numerous exhibitions and in 1984 put up a solo show 'A Tribute to Nelson Mandela' sponsored by United Nations Information Center to show my solidarity with the Action against Apartheid Movement.I am now settled in Australia working on my paintings.
Thoughts on Education system of our country
Having been a part of the education system in India where I gained my post graduate qualifications I think it’s time to make some major changes in the existing system.
No doubt India has produced highly skilled professionals to compete in the world but we should be laying more emphasis on practicum and real time work experience. We should address the transition from education to work and the disconnection between the two.
To make progression towards a developed nation we should educate our students to become highly motivated citizens with solution driven approach. The education system in India today needs to move beyond cognitive skills and adapt a holistic approach in curriculum design.
My family background
My parents belong to Samba district in the state of Jammu & Kashmir in North India.My father was a humble man who taught us to be honest and rightful in life.I regret that I could not spend much time with my late father Thakur Kartar Singh whom I lost in 1982 due to cancer. My mother is a very religious person and in her eighties now she is living a very dignified life and spends eight hours every day in prayer.I am happily married to my wife Sunita from 34 years and am blessed with two sons who are Australian citizens.
My strongest skill
Concept development, visual merchandising, Corporate& Product Identity,illustration and photography.
I take pride in the fact that I have achieved tremendous professional success in my career.I ran a successful business venture as Managing Director for two decades before migrating to Australia.I have been able to balance the delicate line between commercial and fine arts. I have earned my living working as Creative Director and have engaged in creative pursuits through my paintings and artworks.
I am proud that I undertook the mission of raising voice through visual arts by joining hands with African National Congress to produce specially created artworks. The director of United Nations Information’s Centre came forward to sponsor the exhibition created to reflect the images in a caste based society. The exhibition ` A Tribute To Nelson Mandela` was hosted at United Nations Library, India International Centre, Parliament Annexes and one of the work became a part of the World Youth Action Against Apartheid.
Presently through my creative works I continue to give back to society.
Important lesson learned
Never get possessive about your work. Yes, that’s the most important lesson I have learnt. As an artist I think it’s your duty to contribute to the world through your visual expressions and sometimes you get stuck with your own style. It’s important to constantly evolve in what ever you are doing otherwise you stagnate. I am reminded of a Japanese quotation ‘The fire burnt my house now I can see the rising sun….
The recent break in and theft of my collection of 18 paintings/art works from my home has taught me this important lesson. Initially it was hard to come to terms to this loss but then I started looking at the positive side. May be it was time to change my painting style to which I was clinging. Now I can start afresh! So two key lessons, one don’t be too possessive, second always look at the brighter side of life.
Qualities needed to become a successful leader
Be true to yourself and that way you will be truthful to the society. I am a strong believer of moral values and think honesty and hard work is the best combination to lead the way.
Living a life close to yourself and your principles will forge the right character and then you have nothing to fear. When you are on the right path you are fearless and this state of fearlessness makes you a leader.
As the saying goes “behind every successful man, there is a woman” My wife Sunita has influenced me most in my life. Her resilience, far-sightedness and above all her true companionship had huge impact upon me. I have been able to achieve my goals because of her. She not only believed in my capabilities but encouraged me to achieve my dreams.
In my sixties now I am doing what I always wanted to do– exploring new art forms working in different mediums. As a keen observer I am fascinated and intrigued by Australian Aboriginal art forms and am working to incorporate some elements of this amazing heritage into my own works.I participate in ongoing exhibitions and keep myself updated with the latest.
I have been a Rotarian since 1992 and during 2008 when I joined Essendon Rotary Club in Melbourne and contributed one of my works to support Fund Raising Auction Event for Victoria bush fire and drought victims.I feel blessed and fortunate that through my visual expressions I am able to contribute and give back to the society.
I am painting a series of canvasses that has new influences of Sydney and it's art. As member of Sydney's Museum of Modern Contemporary Art, I keep myself updated with latest art scene and it's nuances in society.