About ketchup, mosquito netting, and 100 ways of drawing from a manager of Nazarbayev University

How do you usually use ketchup? As seasoning for food? What about nails – only for making repairs? How about mosquito netting - as protection against annoying mosquitoes and midges? An employee of Nazarbayev University Kanat Nurtazin uses ordinary materials, and sometimes food, to create his paintings. Last year, "Nickelodeon" an international children’s television channel was interested in his unusual hobby and some of Kanat’s creations are now part of the interior of Nickelodeon’s headquarters in New York.

Kanat Nurtazin, a manager of Nazarbayev University Center for Preparatory Studies, has been interested in painting with different substances and carving on different surfaces for about five years. In 2014, Kanat decided to challenge himself by using "100 techniques of drawing" –  currently, he has tried more than 50 techniques. Kanat posts photos of all his artwork on his Instagram page.

- Could you please tell us about your project (challenge) "100 techniques of drawing"?

- “100 techniques of drawing” is my hobby. I create images using different methods and unconventional materials.  Some of the many materials I have already used include nails, thread, tealeaves, tree leaves,  shadow, banana, Nutella, ketchup, dough and pancake batter.  My collection of paintings currently represents more than 50 methods of drawing.

- Where do you get inspiration for your works?

- There is no specific source of inspiration, everything happens spontaneously. For example, I can be inspired by a movie, some event, music, or by something that I see in the street.

- You are famous in the international arena. Tell us about your experience with Nickelodeon.

- The channel representatives saw my work on the Internet, and they especially liked the idea of carving into tree leaves. They contacted me via Instagram with an offer to cooperate and asked me to carve cartoon characters on leaves and after I finished, I sent the leaves by parcel to New York.

- When was your first exhibition?

- My first exhibition was held last year at the art center "Kulanshi" in the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation. The exhibition opened on September 25th, 2018 and the Palace’s administration decided to prolong the exhibition until December 25th, 2018. 

-  What kind of materials do you dream of using for future drawings?

- I have never painted with oil paints, but I definitely want to try.  I am also very interested creating installations that will use materials to make three-dimensional pictures.

- Does your job at Nazarbayev University affect the development of your talent?

- I mostly do my hobby outside of work, but my colleagues are very supportive of me in my endeavor.