Raj S. Paul is a self-taught, multi-award winning sculptor whose bronzes can be found in galleries and in private collections the world over. He is the artist behind DSC’s Peter Capstick Hunting Heritage Award and outdoor journalist Colonel Craig Boddington has called him, “America’s finest wildlife sculptor.”
Not bad for a man who immigrated to the United States more than four decades ago with only $15 in his pocket.
Paul’s love of wildlife and the outdoors was formed during his childhood in India. “I was always into wildlife and especially into hunting,” Paul recalls. “My first time hunting was when I was 10 or 12 years old. My dad used to hunt bustards, the giant birds of India, and he would sometimes take my older brother and me afield with him. We had a great time on those trips and since then hunting has always just fascinated me.” Those trips sparked an interest that led to almost an obsession once Paul made it stateside. “When I first got to Texas, I got introduced to deer hunting. I bought a deer rifle and got on a deer lease and really just loved it. It got to where I was hunting so much that I bought a taxidermy supply company just to write off all my hunting trips! I loved hunting that much.” Those hunting trips included over 20 safaris to Africa and trips to a host of other countries in pursuit of game – and inspiration.
“It was after I sold my company that I took up golf,” Paul continues. “I started playing up to five or six days a week. I loved it. But then many years later, a cold wet winter came in and I couldn’t get out and play for maybe a week.” Bored beyond belief, Paul began puttering around the house. His mind wandered and, for some reason, he recalled watching the artists at his former company create life-size taxidermy forms. “I said, ‘I always wanted to try this.’ So I went out and bought some art supplies and got so obsessed trying to craft something, a sable antelope, that I didn’t go back to the golf course for over six months.” That sable, by Paul’s own admission, wasn’t very good but in time he improved to become the artist he is today.
See more of Raj’s work HERE