Harun Robert aka Rob: Never thought I’d make a career out of art

By Siddhi Jain
New Delhi, Feb 7 (IANSlife) Harun Robert, popularly known in his kids’ icon avatar of Rob from Pogo’s DIY program M.A.D., was part of the ongoing virtual edition of Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (KGAF) on Sunday. The DIY kid’s show host and artist has a YouTube channel with around 3 million fans and feels that the digital medium allows people to meet and create art together, while being safe.

An IANSlife interview with Harun Robert:

Q: You are part of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. How excited are you for this virtual edition this year?

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A: I am super happy to be a part of this festival. It is very exciting. I hope everyone else is also as happy and excited as I am. I know, this time we do not have a physical event and it is virtual, I think it’s really cool that we are unlocking this festival digitally. You see, we can still meet and create art together and that too from the comforts of our home being safe and with our families. I think that’s incredible so kudos to the entire team.

Q: You have been part of DIY kids’ programs back in the day. How did that happen? Tell us about your show experience.

A: It was an awesome experience! Back then there wasn’t any art-based television show at least not in this format. Everything was conceptualized from scratch and I was lucky to be a part of the planning team right from inception. Also, me being a Designer and having studied art helped me quite a bit in creating the content for the show. The channel went on to create over 100’s of episodes of the series mainly because of the response it received. I now feel lucky and blessed to have been a part of this show, which helped me launch my career.

Q: From then till now, what has kept you busy?

A: The last 10 years have been great. There has been a lot of learning and I am still learning. After Pogo, I decided to give television a break and create content for digital as YouTube back then was a medium that was gaining popularity and was growing exponentially. I started the channel with a handful of subscribers and in a year, I only grew to 1500 subscribers, which was pretty disappointing. I initially thought that my popularity on television would automatically translate to digital, but it didn’t. I had to unlearn to learn how the digital medium actually worked. I feel I am in a great place now on YouTube as well as Facebook and Instagram. My internet family is now almost at 3 million fans and we are still growing. It took me a while to get a grasp of things and I can now say that I do understand the medium pretty well and I am constantly learning. Having said that my content on my digital platforms is constantly evolving as I learn. I tend to focus on trending topics to keep my audience engaged. Also, with digital being such an interactive platform I do receive a lot of feedback from my fans, and I try to incorporate their ideas as much as possible in my videos.

Q: You are a super popular figure when it comes to Art and DIY activities for children. What do art and creativity signify to you?

A: I was always a curious and imaginative kid but honestly, I never thought I would have been able to make a career out of art back then. It felt more like a hobby and something fun to do. I used to not just draw all the time, but I was also fond of building and creating things with stuff lying at home be it DIY racetracks for my toy cars to creating my own superhero comic books to even creating my own version of the statue of liberty at age 9. I was kind of the neighbourhood hero and the hero among some of my cousins as I used to be the one completing all their art homework, some of which they have even won prizes for. So, now after pursuing it as a career, art and creativity is a way of living.

Q: Please share with us glimpses of your life in lockdown. How did you keep yourself engaged?

A: I think the lockdown has been tremendously tough for everyone and keeping oneself occupied creatively has made a huge positive impact on most people. It’s basically focusing your energies on doing something worthwhile. Something you feel proud to have made which brings you nothing but satisfaction at the end of the day. It helps relieve stress and anxiety that could develop having to spend most of your time at home practically locked up. I myself was involved in conducting live sessions, webinars and online workshops to teach families and kids at home how to create cool art from simple everyday stuff lying around the house using material that they did not have to buy but was readily available at home.

(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at siddhi.j@ians.in)

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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