March 28, 2009
For a 12 year old boy he certainly displays maturity beyond his age and his achievements at a young age live up to the early maturity he has shown. Basti Anand Shenoy, winner of the ‘Pogo Amazing Kid’ award 2008 (under Artiste category) lives up to his name and is a joy to be with. This soft-spoken kid truly gets animated when people talk to him about his clay models and clay animation and my surprise he came across as just another kid with oodles of talent and bundle of creativity.
Anand with Pogo Award
For every animation or clay model he creates there is a long story woven around it, often untold. Prod him a little and the information just trickles down explaining every character he creates and their characteristics, which often goes beyond the comprehension of those for whom ‘claymation’ is just Greek and Latin.
Anand Shenoy, the grandson of “Vishwa Konkani Sardar” Basti Vaman Shenoy, always had a penchant for clay models and his parents Basti Dinesh Shenoy and Shobha nurtured his talent by providing him all that was needed. Drawing inspiration from his own imagination and from close observation he created hundreds of clay models, some of which adorn his colorful showcase in his New Delhi home. He has created some imaginary faces, dinosaurs, faces of animals both imaginary and real, cartoon creatures- giving a glimpse of his vivid imagination.
Anand was drawn towards the amazing world of clay and clay animation just by watching his neighbouring uncle, artiste B M Kamath who used to be an ad film animator and was mesmerized. “When I felt bored at home I tried to do some clay models and got hooked to it. In the beginning it was just a pastime”, he says with his characteristic innocence. In fact his experiment with this intricate world of art began at the age of 8 and for the last 5 years he has shown maturity beyond his tender pre teen years culminating in winning the Pogo Award in December last in artiste’s category.
Claymation involves making clay models of the characters and giving movements to them and shooting every movement frame by frame to produce an exciting animated film. Gurudath Baliga, a family friend who has watched his progress from close quarters says “Anand’s every creation is a part of a huge canvass. Talking about the topic gets him excited and the whole story of his imagination comes out”.
Anand came out with his first animation film ‘the worm’ at the age of 9 and since then has come out with a series of claymation films such as flexi, hungry skull, nature’s melody etc,. And how does this all come about? “If I imagine something I can convert it into an animation film” is his quick repartee.
Clay Model of Peacock
Clay Model of Kitty, the Cat
Clay Model of Stan
Clay Model of Piggy
With studies keeping him busy he is able to set aside at least two hours a day for his favorite pastime. “I want to make a full length clay animation feature film”, he tells me as I quiz him on his future plans. This only shows that he has truly set his goals very high and is sure of what he wants to be. Having shown maturity beyond his age he does not have friends in his own age group. His closest friend is his mother Shobha, who has been instrumental in providing all possible help to help blossom into a young genius.
It is heartening to note that Anand has mastered his hobby on his own without attending any outside training. His father Dinesh Shenoy, who is into film production, has been supportive of his talents and always encouraged him to perfect his passion.
There have been accolades, publicity and recognition galore ever since he won the Pogo Award. Disney Adventures magazine, in one of its issues devoted 2 pages for Anand exclusively. NDTV and other channels have also caught up with him ever since he catapulted into limelight.
Despite all the arch lights Anand remains the soft spoken, bespectacled, simple boy next door who charms anyone by his “claymation”.
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