Monsieur Monstro – Art taught me to rise above jealousy
Art has given my life meaning. Everything I do, I do it for Art. It has given me life and a spirit to hustle.
~ Monsieur Monstro aka Rohan Dayal
Rohan Dayal aka Monsieur Monstro is a young Indian artist from Mathura with wisdom that explores more than just the textbooks prescribed to students his age. A 12th standard student Rohan is famously known by the name, Monsieur Monstro. Stoned Santa talks with Monstro about his journey as an artist, and how he has managed to juggle between studies, art and his daily routine.
Despite the limitations of the Indian society, Monstro’s flair for expressing art is inspiring the whole artistic community to do more and be more.
How has your journey been as an artist?
My journey as an artist started as soon as I learned to walk and talk. It has always been a part of me and will continue to be for as long as I live. Extroverts express by communicating, I express my feelings and thoughts through art – on paper, canvas using pencils, colors and more. My journey as an artist has been great and will hopefully evolve and grow with each passing day.
The first instance of me picking up a pencil was out of jealousy, I wanted to be better than someone else. I was such a dumbo, I still am. Jealousy taught me art and art taught to rise above jealousy.
Why the name Monstro?
Monstro literally means ‘Huge’. The letter T is the Roman Satanic symbol, Cross of confusion which doubts the validity of norms and religion. The letter inverted R in my name’s initial – Rohan. It is placed just beside the Cross of confusion.
Monstro is the satanic self-image of Rohan.
What is art to you?
Anything that delivers meaning is art. There is a reason why I don’t appreciate the blur in modern art. I feel modern “art” conflicts with the very basic definition of art which is an expression that is comprehensive to the world. I feel if someone wants to visit the real forms of art, they will have to time travel to the Renaissance time period. I try my best to formulate my rough expressions into a perfect message.
Nothing helps me feel better, but my expression on a canvas.
What gave you the inspiration to not give up and to improve yourself as an artist every day?
Well, I never felt normal, always felt out of place. My parents and the crowd around me expected me to be different, ‘Normal’, if I may say. The only place I could be my true self-was with art. I could let my devils out here and there was no one to stop me. So, art is my biggest inspiration. It tells me every day that I don’t have to follow the rules that the society claims is the right way of living. The definition of "normal" set by the society doesn't resonate with mine. Art is my world where I am the ruler and I set the rules.
How has being an artist affected your personal growth and built you as a man in character?
Art has taught me discipline. It has given my life meaning, helped me focus and shaped my personality. I’m surviving school and getting through with it only because I hope to get into a fine arts college later and be able to pursue being an artist as a full-time affair.
How do you plan your work?
I lucid dream and experiment with concepts and colors. But since I'm not a natural lucid dreamer it actually takes me months to get to lucid. But once I'm in that state of mind I come up with hundreds of ideas at once. I then organize these ideas into my journal, I believe in recording my ideas on paper. Some ideas never make it into an artwork. Some dreams are incomplete and I fuse them with other dreams so that the final artwork makes sense.
Planning is very essential. When I work on my masterpiece, I plan my work months ahead. I refer to my journal for my previous ideas. I review my ideas, arrange them and fuse them together to create hybrids. It's fun fusing my ideas to create something entirely different. This strategy has always helped me run vivid experiments to create new art masterpieces.
Are your art pieces imaginative or fictional characters?
My work is a fusion of imagination and characters I observe around. Drawing fictional characters is pretty helpful, it helps you be more imaginative. I usually paint fictional characters to improve my skillsets. Creating master art pieces is the blend of imagination, skills and hard work.
Technology has taken over the lives of humans today. How has technology influenced art, artists and their process of creating art?
That’s true. Technology does play a major role in all aspects of society these days. Although, there’s one thing technology cannot achieve, It’s developing artistic skills and ideas in people. That’s where raw talent comes into the picture. From a bigger perspective, technology hasn’t made a huge difference in the art world. But it has helped a lot of artists showcase their talent and work to a wider audience using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest etc. Technology has made it possible for us artists to make our art reach out to more people.
What do you feel about the monetory outlook of art these days? Should art be commercialized?
Art is the most expensive thing in the world. Art is a part of an artist, what price can you place on it? It is a shame that some people ran out of their respect for art. I feel good about organizations like Stoned Santa, the forum is reviving the artistic community with respect.
Thoughts on the "Art Market"
Art market is a SCAM perpetuated by the rich to launder money. I know a hell lot of Lazy unartistic unskilled brats who create pretentious art for ELITISTS who buy it in an attempt to show how sophisticated, deep and artistic they are.
For instance a canvas by Robert Ryman fetched $15 million at auction creating a milestone in the history of white-on-white painting. In a record month for New York art auctions, one standout was an all-white work that sold for $15 million. Simply put, a blank canvas was sold by the holy art market for $15 million.
They call it art, I call it BULLSHIT.
Criticism and Monstro?
I’m sure every human, be it a doctor, an artist or a sportsperson gets good and bad reviews. I don't give a FUCK about them. I am what I am and I try to be the best version of Monsieur Monstro.
I love Stoned Santa, it has given me the confidence that my art actually has the ability to sell. I believe it is far ahead of other such art platforms because it focuses on more than just business. It focuses on the creator and the artist. More power to Stoned Santa.
What’s your most important artist tool? Something indispensable.
Graphite – The very first medium I was introduced to. A pencil, though a simple object is most necessary.
Who is your favorite artist and artwork?
I believe in myself the most. I am my favorite artist and my art pieces are my favorite.
How do you relieve stress?
I turn to other forms of art. Music, sculpting, and poetry. It helps me focus and get back on track.
What's your advice to the upcoming artists of the generation?
Work harder than anyone. There’s no other alternative or shortcuts.
What are your thoughts about Stoned Santa and how has your experience been working with us?
Stoned Santa is family. It has given me the confidence that my art actually has the ability to sell. I believe it is far ahead of other such platforms because it focuses on more than just business, it focuses on creating a community of artists to make art great again.
Editors Note - Prathiksha Ravishankar
It’s always hard to balance out between things. Being a student and working as an artist might be hard to balance and prioritize. But a class 12 student, Rohan Dayal, a.k.a Monsieur Monstro, makes it seem like a cake walk! He seeks inspiration from within himself and has a profound sense of discipline. Kudos to many more years of Monsieur Monstro spinning the pallet around.
Monstro has been working with Stoned Santa for over a year and has made personalized art for over 30 people. We are glad to have him work with us and we hope to achieve great artistic feats together.
Are you an artist and want to work with us?
At Stoned Santa, artists associated with us have the complete creative freedom to work on their projects. Join us and let's make art great again.