Raj Hundal: Contemporary and Pet Portrait Artist

Question: Can you tell us about yourself/your artistic background and education?

Artist: From a young age I have always enjoyed being creative. Apart from my Art class at school, I never formally studied Art in a higher education setting.  Instead, I went on to study Sociology and Social Policy at The University of Warwick and later completed my PGCE in Primary Education.  However, whilst at University my interest in art never faded, and I joined the art society there.  

After many successful years of teaching, I felt something was missing in my life.  I realised just how much I missed expressing myself through the creative arts I had once loved.  So, in 2013 I began working as a professional artist in Birmingham, UK. My artistic expression has certainly evolved over time.  Over the years, as I have gained more life experience, my style, subjects and media have also developed along the way.  

I re-joined my artistic journey by creating oil paintings of people and animals.  I then moved onto acrylic pet portraits and animal prints.

Since 2020 I have been working on fluid art techniques.  Using this new technique, I’ve been able to create some striking and dramatic pieces of abstract art.  I’ve adapted this style into a mixture of media, including boutique jewellery.


Question: Can you take us through the process that you go through to complete your masterpieces?

Artist: I go through a number of processes before completing my acrylic fluid and resin art.  I often start by imagining what the final piece will look like.  The form then develops and changes as I explore my ideas further.  I then experiment with different materials, surfaces, and colours to make sure they work together (which is an important step for me when exploring new styles).

When I have all the materials ready and the composition in my head, I will start creating the piece.  Ideally, this happens when I am in good spirits and feeling productive.

Some of my pieces of art have been ‘happy accidents’.  ‘Glints of Gold’ was created as I had excess paint left from one of my acrylic pours, a pour that had been meticulously planned and did not turn out how I had hoped.  I find that with fluid art the outcomes can be very unexpected, but that is partly why I find it surprisingly joyful.


Question: What is it about abstract/Pet Portraits that draws you to paint them?

Artist: I have always loved animals and really enjoy painting pets for clients.  The smiles on their faces when they see their painting always inspires me to continue to create these portraits.  

The abstract fluid art I create has enabled me to work through a mixture of emotions, particularly during some difficult times.  I like to create bold, colourful pieces which often reflect aspects of nature.  I especially love the ocean and a lot of my fluid art reflects this.  I feel a sense of calm and purpose when creating these abstract pieces and I hope that those who get to see my art can relate in their own personal way.


Question: Throughout your time painting what has been the most important thing you have learnt?

Artist: Since childhood I had always been a perfectionist and I thought my art needed to be perfect.  Developing experimental art techniques has really helped me to let go a little and go with the process and whatever it brings.  I feel my best pieces of work are those that were not completely planned and more spontaneous.  I have learnt that it is ok to have flaws in your artwork as that’s what makes each piece so unique.  


Question: Do you have any art influencers? If so what are they? 

Artist: Many artists have influenced and inspired me; from my high school art teachers, to the ‘greats’ and contemporary artists who I follow on social media.  What inspires me the most are the reasons why artists create art and the stories behind their paintings.  


Question: What makes a good day for you?

Artist: A good day for me is when I first start a painting. Nothing beats laying down the first bit of paint on a surface.  I also love the excitement of unwrapping a new surface, priming it and prepping the edges.  All of the initial preparations are so important. They are time consuming but it’s worth spending extra time prepping.  Once a surface is ready, I immediately get going with it, and look forward to seeing the initial layers or markings of a painting.  I can often tell from the first day of work on a piece whether it will turn out well or not.  


Question: Do you showcase or exhibit any of your work? If so, where can we find your work?

Artist: Things have been quiet due to Covid but hopefully you will be able to see more of my work in public spaces very soon.  Some of my works have been exhibited in online galleries over the years.  I have artwork in museums across Birmingham and recently had a piece exhibited in The Ikon Gallery.  I was also commissioned to produce a piece for a specialised hospital unit that is currently on display. 


Question: What are your future plans, and how do you see your career as an artist’s developing?

Artist: I have had many people ask if I will do tutorials or workshops for my abstract art.  This is something I would love to do in the future.  I feel there is nothing better than sharing knowledge and techniques and seeing someone else express themselves creatively.  I would love to inspire others to create pieces of art that they can be proud of.

For now, I will continue to paint and enjoy it!