Musings: Interview with Ojoswi Sur, the ‘Painter of Oz’

It’s hard not to like someone who loves dragons. Add to that a die hard love for Nick Drake, and you will understand, why Ojoswi is an extremely affable and warm character. The ‘Painter of Oz‘ is influenced by music and literature, but takes on other subjects and does justice to his moniker.

We spent some time getting to know him as he talked about his work and how it all started for him. We also asked him about his fascination for dragons. In his own words – his past, present and future – transcribing directly from the land Oz for the benefit of our readers.


Tell us a little more about yourself.

There’s nothing much to tell really. I got into art mostly because I love drawing things. And growing up in a hostel, that somehow helped me escape the boundaries. Although I wasn’t really hopeful about this being a profession, but after a year in engineering and three more in philosophy I decided it’s enough, and took the shot.

Talk to us about your creative process – How long does it take from ideation to your finished product?

Leaving aside the time that I waste , I try to finish a piece soon after I come to think of it. And I try finishing the whole thing at one go, whatever time it may take, which is why I have a lot of WIP and shelved stuff. Coming back to the same piece seems like a test of patience for me.

Do you have any recurring themes that you live by in your artwork?

Umm..yes. I get back to doing works based on movies or literature; that’s been a favourite. But mostly fantasy would be the recurring theme I guess.


Coming to ‘The Painter of Oz’. A very fascinating name. How did you pick this name? Was the book an influence?

Haha. The name came up pretty randomly. I’ve been addressed as Oz by quite a number of people. And I love the book. Yes. So when the page needed a name, that was the first thing that popped up in mind.

Freddie Mercury by Ojoswi Sur | Cupick
Freddie Mercury by Ojoswi Sur | Cupick

There’s a snippet of a graphic novel with the lyrics of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir. Is that an isolated piece or part of a project? Do we get to see that any time soon?

Oh it’s just an isolated piece. Although I might get back to it.

We were told you lost a lot of your work when your system crashed. How did that happen? Have you tried recreating any of those pieces?

The machine I was working on was one with a lot of issues. So one day it simply decided to pass away and take everything with it. Generally, I collapse all the layers after finishing an artwork so that I don’t retouch. I don’t think I’ll be recreating lost stuff. With Cupick around now, I’m sure I won’t have to face this problem ever again.


What are your primary tools of use in creating artwork?

Mostly I use photoshop and a preset natural brush. Both for colouring and inking. But sometimes I do fool around with brushes from other artists. Traditionally, I have depended on inks and watercolour.

xviii by Ojoswi Sur | Cupick
xviii by Ojoswi Sur | Cupick

We have heard that you have hots for dragons. What is behind your fascination with this mystical creature. Is there a story there?

Dragons are fiery hot. And magnificent as fuck. Period.

So what has the journey been like? And what plans do you have going forward?

So far the journey has been only of learning. And that’s what I’m looking forward to.

The Way Back by Ojoswi Sur | Cupick
The Way Back by Ojoswi Sur | Cupick
01100010076 by Ojoswi Sur | Cupick
01100010076 by Ojoswi Sur | Cupick

Tell us a little more about your association with Cupick – how has the experience been like?

Cupick gives an opportunity to both share and sell ones artwork. And for people like us, it’s a really cool and fun platform. Also it helped me connect to some really awesome people from all over.

Do you have a favourite from your own artwork?

No, I think not.

Who are the top three artists alive that you draw inspiration from?

Sean Gordon Murphy, Enki Bilal and Dave Mckean would be my three.

If you could wish for one, and only one superpower; what superpower would you choose?

I’ve been asked this before haha. This may sound disappointing but I really wouldn’t want one. Although, I do have a soft corner for John Constantine’s abilities.

When You're Strange by Ojoswi Sur | Cupick
When You’re Strange by Ojoswi Sur | Cupick

What’s on your playlist at the moment?

At the moment its all Nick Drake and Guardians of the Galaxy.

If you could give one piece of advice to the community, what would it be?

Stop getting offended at everything and anything.

Visit Ojoswi Sur on Cupick to check out more of his work.


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