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Jeewan Magar: A passionate painter

Jeewan Magar: A passionate painter

When we think of art, many of us will most likely always imagine exquisite paintings displayed at exhibitions, made by famous painters around the world. We don’t think of the art around us. Have we ever looked at our homes and considered it to be a work of art?

For Jeewan Magar, the walls of houses are blank canvases. His brushes add color and life to them. “People don’t think what I do is art,” he says. “For them, it’s just something that must be done to make their homes more habitable. For me, filling blank walls motivates me to move forward in life. It’s my art.”

Despite his wealth of experience and exceptional talent in the field of painting and masonry, Magar remains a remarkably down-to-earth mason-painter. With a career spanning over 15 years, the 38-year-old has honed his skills and expertise in the bustling city of Kathmandu.

Throughout his career, Magar has lent his hands and expertise to the transformation of thousands of homes, leaving behind not just the marks of his craftsmanship but also stories of dedication and hard work. His commitment to his craft and his humble demeanor makes him not only a skilled professional but also a beloved figure in his community and among colleagues.

Magar, who hails from the picturesque district of Kavre, has come far from his humble beginnings to establish himself as a mason-painter. His career has taken from him working from the traditional homes and structures in his village to committing his skills on the grandeur of architectural marvels in international locations.

With his expertise and dedication, Magar has contributed his craftsmanship in the making of stunning buildings and houses in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai. Each project he undertakes not only showcases his technical prowess but also reflects his passion for his work and his commitment to excellence.

“Despite getting more experience and the opportunity to go abroad to work, I never forget where I come from,” he says. “Even after all these years I still feel like a child from Kavre trying to make it in life. I’m aware of my origins and my sense of self. It’s not merely a feature of who I am.”

In Kavre, as a child, he’d watch the people around him in his neighborhood hustling away with their tools and craft. Magar recalls being fascinated by the people around him, observing with keen interest as they meticulously crafted and constructed with purposeful precision. These early experiences planted the seeds of curiosity and passion in him, setting the stage for a remarkable trajectory that would unfold as the years went by.

Magar says he was born with the ability to paint. His skills were not acquired through any sort of conventional training or mentorship from any professional but it emerged as a natural talent. For him, the disciplines of masonry and painting transcend mere profession. They are an integral aspect of his identity, intricately woven into the fabric of his existence.

“No one taught me how to paint, or sculpt or anything related to what I am doing professionally today. Everything I know how to do today is something I have observed from people around me,” he says.

“I didn’t have big dreams for myself,” he adds. “Growing up, my family faced financial hardships that made it impossible for us to afford higher education. While other children dreamed of prestigious careers and university degrees, I found myself grappling with the reality of limited opportunities and societal expectations.”

Despite the many challenges he faced, Magar refused to be held back by his circumstances. Determined to make something of himself, he turned to his skills and abilities, seeking out opportunities wherever he could find them. He took on odd jobs and worked tirelessly to sharpen his skills.

He encountered skepticism and doubt from those around him, who questioned his choice of profession and urged him to pursue something ‘practical’, something that would bring in financial stability. There were times when Magar wondered if he was on the right track or if he should heed the advice of others and settle for a more conventional life. But, he says, he knew this profession was for him. So, he decided to work even harder and overcome the hardship by persevering, adapting, and growing.

Magar’s hands, as a mason-painter, have sculpted and painted the walls of many houses and structures around Kathmandu. His skill goes beyond simply building things; it also involves converting areas into livable, character-filled works of art. Magar’s artwork displays his love of his trade and dedication to perfection.

Magar emphasizes the importance of honesty and diligence in your work, stressing that true satisfaction and fulfillment come from giving your best in every task you undertake.

Magar believes that a job well done is not merely about meeting deadlines or fulfilling obligations. It’s about taking pride in the quality and craftsmanship of the work produced.

“I firmly believe that if you aren’t satisfied with what you’ve accomplished, you haven’t done justice to your craft. Satisfaction is a measure of the quality and integrity of your work.”

Described by coworkers as a ‘happy soul’, Magar is known for his infectious positivity and unwavering work ethic. Despite facing inevitable challenges in his line of work, he approaches each day with a smile and a can-do attitude, inspiring those around him to persevere and maintain high standards of professionalism.

As he contemplates the road ahead, Magar remains committed to what he is doing and the opportunities it presents. He acknowledges the possibility of returning to work abroad for extended periods of time, driven by the demands of the season and the allure of new horizons. While he harbors a deep love for his homeland and the communities he serves in Kathmandu, he recognizes the practical necessity of seeking employment opportunities abroad to support his family.