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From creating ads to recreating Rembrandt’s lost masterpiece, migrant artist looks back at his journey

Ankur's illustrations of Sikh men. Source: Supplied by Ankur Patar

Brisbane’s Ankur Singh Patar, an award-winning digital artist, has carved a niche for himself in Australia’s digital art world after he tasted success in his home country. A migrant from India, Ankur's experiments with digital art and sketches in his home country have won him several contracts with global brands in Australia.

Ankur Singh Patar is a young digital artist who uses modern techniques to express his art. But the artistic blood that runs in him is of seasoned vintage.

The son of Surjit Patar, one of the biggest names in contemporary Punjabi poetry, Ankur has used his modern skill and artistic inheritance to add variety to his repertoire, whether it is through portraits of Sikh men or a digitally-recreated work of Dutch master Rembrandt, for which he was handpicked by Adobe.

Ankur Patar
Rembrandt's painting (Left); Recreation by Ankur Patar.
Supplied by Ankur Patar

Highlights:

  • Indian-born digital artist Ankur Singh Patar excels in digital art in Australia
  • Ankur works on ad campaigns for big global brands, chosen by Adobe to recreate Rembrandt’s The Storm of the Sea of Galilee
  • He has won many awards including the Cannes Silver Lion in 2017

A resident of Brisbane, Ankur has created art for big global brands like Toyota, Adobe, Lenovo, Rio Tinto, Nike and Adidas over the last 14 years. He has also lent his digital brushstrokes to creating Punjabi movie posters.

“Digital art is one of the modern art forms, and right now, this industry is on a boom. My work mainly revolves around retouching and creating key art out of composite images,” he told SBS Punjabi.

Ankur says he works on digital elements in a picture and then moulds them into a portrait. 

Ankur Patar
Recently Ankur created digital art for Toyota Australia celebrating 70 years of Land Cruiser existence.
Supplied by Ankur Patar

His collaboration with Adobe to recreate Dutch master artist Rembrandt’s lost masterpiece, The Storm of the Sea of Galilee, using only Adobe’s stock imagery, was one of his most talked-about projects. 

Ankur was amongst the 4 chosen digital artists within the world to recreate lost masterpiece paintings with only Adobe stock.

“I was chosen by Adobe to recreate Dutch painter Rembrandt’s lost masterpiece and I was able to produce a near-perfect copy of the stolen canvas,” he tells SBS Punjabi.

The Storm of the Sea of Galilee, created by the Dutch master in 1633, depicts Jesus calming a stormy sea. This painting is said to be Rembrandt’s only seascape and was stolen from a museum in the US a few decades ago. 

Ankur Patar
Brisbane based Digital Artist Ankur Patar.
Supplied by Ankur Patar
Ankur was also awarded by the Brisbane Advertising and Design Club for his work with Lenovo in 2015 and in 2017 by Cannes Lion for his work with Adobe's 'Make a masterpiece campaign'.

Awards elevate your confidence

"Artists have a kind of insecurity about their work but such recognitions give us the security that we are doing something right,” he says.

Ankur Patar
Ankur created this image depicting Climate Change for Adobe.
Supplied by Ankur Patar

Ankur began his creative pursuits in 2003 and eventually turned into a professional digital artist in 2007.

"I started out in this field when it was not much heard of. There were hardly three or four known digital artists in India at that time. But in the last few years, there has been enormous change in the industry and now there are many remarkable artists," he says.

Ankur Patar
Ankur's illustration for Adobe's experience makers live event.
Supplied by Ankur Patar

Developing your aesthetic style and craft is a gradual and cumulative process

Retracing his artistic journey, Ankur talks about how he trained himself from being a novice to a professional who has won several awards for his work.

“Initially, I would sketch but now I create a picture in my mind as my artistic process evolved with time and experience."

“The main element of success in this industry is creating quality work but not at the cost of time”, he explains.

“Getting born into an artistic family atmosphere gave me an eye for quality. Subconsciously, it helped me recognise good art.

“Being surrounded by art lovers during my childhood led to the development of an interest in this kind of art form”, Ankur added.

Our language helps us establish our identity

His love for his mother tongue has perhaps spurred him to lend his creativity to Punjabi movie posters.

Ankur Patar
A poster of Punjabi movie 'Bhalwan Singh' created by Ankur Patar.
Supplied by Ankur Patar

Deeply connected to his Punjabi roots, Ankur has worked on posters for popular Punjabi movies films like Khido Khundi, Afsar and Bhalwan Singh amongst others.

Click on the player at the top of the page to listen to this audio in Punjabi.

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