Soul, style, satisfaction: artists teach us about success in creativity

In this photo essay, we feature a wide range of paintings and installations from the exhibition, ‘Diverse Perspectives.’ The artists share insights on the power of creativity along with career tips.

Soul, style, satisfaction: artists teach us about success in creativity

Friday October 25, 2019,

4 min Read

Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 390 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.


The works of eight artists were showcased recently at the exhibition ‘Diverse Perspectives,’ at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bengaluru. In Part I of our photo essay, we feature some of the creative works along with insights from the participating artists.

The artist lineup includes Afshana Sharmeen, Aishwarya R, Kanthimathy V, Pramila Gopinath, Reena Kochar, Shamlee, Shanker Sundaram, and Vinitha Anand.

“Art helps me live in the present. It is a reflection of everyday happenings in the city,” explains Afshana Sharmeen, in a chat with YourStory. She grew up in Chennai, and was under the guidance of artist A.V. Ilango.

For the past five years, she has been working on contemporary cityscapes, using a range of material like metal and wood. “I am a bio-technologist by profession, and artist by passion. I have made art my full time profession as it provides me with satisfaction and a purpose in life,” Afshana says. She also teaches kids and young adults, which keeps her occupied.

She has completed over a hundred paintings so far in different genres, and participated in solo and group shows in India and abroad. “If you can satisfy yourself and grab the onlookers’ attention, and make them connect and relate to your paintings, you're successful,” Afshana explains.

“I have tried to attain the vibration of time and space by mostly using monotones. I am currently working on metal installations and trying my hand at printmaking,” she adds. Her artworks are priced from Rs.15,000 to Rs. 80,000.


Afshana urges audiences to talk to artists to figure out what they are trying to convey through their works. “Be true to yourself and work to the best of your ability without giving up,” she advises aspiring artists.

Artist Shamlee was earlier a dancer and award-winning child actor (popularly known as ‘Baby Shamili’ in South Indian films). She has featured in more than 60 movies as a child actor and did a few films as an adult as well.

“But art has been a major force ever since I started sketching and painting about five years ago,” Shamlee explains. “Art helped me express myself more than other mediums could, and most of my works are a reflection of how I feel and what I experience,” she adds.

She enjoys figurative artworks right now, with women as motifs. “I have taken to female forms to express what I feel and share my experiences,” Shamlee says. She is also setting up a film production company. Her artworks are priced around Rs 1 lakh.

She says she may also teach art in the future when she is ready to share her skills and knowledge. “Success is spending every day of my life doing what I love the most and spending my time chasing my passion. In my case, it has been art and dance and I leave no opportunity to learn and improve,” Shamlee explains.


One of her artworks features a woman sitting in a composed manner, unaffected by the clutter around her. Dragonflies represent the control and power she gains over life and everything that surrounds her.

“Another work has a lady with an owl on her shoulder, representing the wisdom that’s brought into her life while she stares away into the dark. The butterflies surrounding another lady represent the transformation she undergoes spiritually, emotionally and physically, and slowly begins to enjoy the freedom that comes with the transformation,” Shamlee explains.

Another work has a lady sitting on a chessboard lost in her own bubble contemplating whether or not to indulge in the forbidden fruit. “My works mostly represent celebration of life, freedom and the self despite what goes on around us,” Shamlee adds.

She also offers tips for aspiring artists. “Take up your passion sincerely. Learn and constantly practice and get better with your skills even if you are working or doing other things in life. So some day, when you are ready, you can and will take off the way you expect to,” Shamlee signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule, and find ways to do to connect to who you really are?



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