Thulirkal: Top Talents Visual Arts Awards Winner Shavumiyaa Chandrabalan!

Photo Credits: Ninaivukal

CTYA’s Blog has started a Feature on Fridays, Thulirkal. Thulirkal meaning bud reflects the young Tamil youth we will be featuring. These youth are the buds of our community, and are growing into strong, achieving young men and women! Each week we will feature a Tamil youth of the week. For more information or to suggest a youth to feature, please feel free to email us at!

This week, we’ve brought you Shavumiyaa C!

Shavumiyaa Chandrabalan was the recipient of the Top Talents 2012 Visual Arts Award. The Visual Arts Award is given to an individual who strives in building our community through outstanding ability and achievements in Art. As a student who’s in her final year at York University in the Business Administrative program, painting and drawing has been a leeway for her to relax. Shavumiyaa’s passion for art has been very well expressed through many different projects that have been completed to be showcased at countless community occasions. She had helped create banners for multicultural week, the front and back page of a book created for Tamil Rights week and offered her skills wherever she was able to. Shavumiyaa possess the qualities of patience, as she is a great teacher and is always willing to share her strengths with everyone around her. Shavumiyaa Chandrabalan is humble about her talent, and also contributes her talent for the good of her community!

CTYA Blog Team: Thank you Shavumiyaa for sitting down with us today. So, let’s get warmed up. Ok, now don’t think, just say what first comes to mind. 1, 2, 3…

Books or Movies? Movies

Summer or Winter? Summer

Three things you would take on Desert Island? Water, food, and my sketching book

Favourite Painting Medium? Acrylic

Role Model? Art Teacher

CTYA Blog Team: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Shavumiyaa: I am a fourth year student at York University doing my Business Administrative degree. I love volunteering and travelling. I love painting and being surrounded by positive people who love to support and encourage me to do my best. I am currently an art teacher, whom loves to see how my students look at art and their passion and love for it.

CTYA Blog Team: What got you interested in art? What is it about art that interests you and inspires you?

Shavumiyaa: Well, I began painting at the age of 10, and my desire to continue grew once I was able to understand and read a picture. While I was younger I became very fascinated with how painters would play with different techniques, blending colours and creating textures. Fuelled by fascination and passion I decided that I too wanted to be an artist. Upon this realization I started to see stories and meaning behind paintings; whether it was of landscape or people, my mind would have conjured a matching story plot.  I started learning different mediums and different techniques from a family friend of mine, who was a Visual Arts and Sculpture graduate. She helped me realize that art gives a person the opportunity to express their emotions and passion for anything they feel or desire. Art gives me the opportunity to expand my thoughts creatively on a canvas. It has empowered my growth as an artist. My paintings represent the world perceived through my eyes. I particularly love painting scenes of nature to show the beauty I see in this world that is more than often full of anger.

CTYA Blog Team: “A picture tells a thousands words.” Tell us a little about your favourite painting and the significance behind it. What inspired this painting?

Shavumiyaa: To me painting is like its own language. I paint many different pictures using the medias of water-color, oil and acrylic. My scenic portrayals of nature is to show its beauty, and landscapes, to show how breath taking the surface of our planet is before urbanization came to play. This particular painting is one of my favourite pieces – Pursuit of Happiness.

When I painted this piece, I thought about the place where I could escape to. If there was such a place, this would be that place. When the problems in the world become overwhelming, this paradise is what keeps me sane. It houses every happy thought, every happy memory and every happy element of my life. This is my happiness.

CTYA Blog Team: Art is a way to express and tell a story. What are some things you hope to achieve through your artwork?

Shavumiyaa: I value all forms of art for it is an expression of the inner self, expression of outer world, what it says, does, teaches and how it makes us feel. With my paintings I strive to express an emotion or feeling that consumes me while painting. It allows me to release stress and worry but most importantly passion, by reflecting them onto a canvas. Art is a very personal thing and no one person is entitled the right to judge what is and is not to be considered art. For that very reason it is based on interpretation that art is valued, and to be frank what one person views as extraordinary, another may perceive as poorly crafted. With that said, I hope to show the passion and love I have for art through my pieces!

CTYA Blog Team: Artwork can definitely be very time-consuming, how have you managed to pursue your artwork while maintaining your school and other extra curricular activities?

Shavumiyaa: Art is not just a tool for me; it is also a leisurely hobby. It is something I like to do for fun. I have managed to pursue my passion for art through any circumstances. I have done many paintings for associations, clubs, and schools. With that said, I had done a painting for The Analathivu Cultural Organization and had it auctioned; the collected money was donated to aid a school in Sri Lanka. I have done a tremendous amount of art work for the York University Tamil Student Association, varying from the Multicultural show, to the Maveerar Naal event at York University. This talent that I’ve excelled in has blessed me with the privilege of being able to contribute to my community and that’s been a very rewarding experience.

CTYA Blog Team: Finish the sentence. “To me, Tamil youth are..”

Shavumiyaa: To me, Tamil youth are strong and determined individuals who work hard and never gives up until they accomplish their goals. They are the future of tomorrow and the pillars to stabilize our cultural identity. Our Tamil youth are youth whom always want to make a difference and strive for the best!

For more information or to suggest a youth to feature, please feel free to email us at! Catch up with us next Friday where we’ll be bringing you another Talented Tamil youth story!


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