How the audience completes the journey of art – artist insights on creativity, appreciation, and livelihood

Three inspiring artists from Pune, Hyderabad and Bengaluru share perspectives from their creative journeys. Here are some pictorial highlights!

Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 555 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 18th edition of the annual Chitra Santhe art festival was held virtually due to the pandemic (see our extended photo-essay series here). Hosted by Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bengaluru, the festival featured over 1,000 artists from India and overseas.

See also YourStory’s coverage of six earlier editions of Chitra Santhe: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015, as well as compilations of Top Quotes of 2020 on Art in the Era of the Pandemic, Indian Art, Art Appreciation and Practice, and Beauty and Business of Art.

Nazima VK

Nazima VK

“Art is everything you need throughout the day for all of your life,” explains Pune-based artist Nazima VK, in a chat with YourStory. Art is a lifestyle, and gives hope, inspiration, relaxation and motivation at different times.

Nazima sees success in the satisfaction she gets from painting. “But like everyone else, sometimes even I look forward to recognition and fame to keep me motivated,” she adds.

“I always feel that especially the fine arts field is slightly tough to relate to for audiences as compared to other art fields like music or dance,” she observes. It requires much more effort for visual artists to connect with a broader audience.

“One way to bridge this gap would be to familiarise people with the true beauty of fine arts. Once one is connected with art, the connection will last a lifetime,” Nazima suggests.

Nazima VK

Her artworks span abstract as well as minute paintings. “The smaller works require a lot more effort, patience and time. Some are calm, others chaotic. The abstract works get me refreshed, and bring out the creativity in me,” she describes. Her artworks are priced from Rs 5,000 to Rs 62,000.

Nazima acknowledges that online exhibitions represent the new normal in the pandemic era, but prefers the direct contact in physical exhibitions. “I really want to know how much the person likes the work, it means a lot to me,” she says.

“I want someone to keep my painting with the same enthusiasm that I had while creating them. Only then does the painting get completed,” Nazima evocatively explains.

“Every artist is aspiring to get their masterpiece in front of the world. And once that aspiration dies, the artist dies. My only advice is to keep up the aspiration,” she suggests, as tips for aspiring artists.

Sourav Satpathy

Sourav Satpathy

“Art has been a form of therapy for me as far as I can remember. I am an introverted person and tend to be quite shy. Art helps me in expressing the emotions that are difficult to convey,” explains Bengaluru-based artist Sourav Satpathy.

“The basic happiness for every artist is minimal validation. Everything else is just the cherry on top, which can encourage you to learn more and explore better,” he adds.

“Success in the field of art can be a delayed process in the canvas of time. Until then, I would just be happy if the paintings sell sooner so that I can make more of them,” Sourav says.

He calls for more art appreciation in society, particularly in India where artists do not get the respect they deserve. “Unless you are a huge brand, you are as good as invisible,” he laments. Audiences need to appreciate the sensibility and effort spent on artworks.

Sourav’s paintings reflect his fascination with light and nature. For Chitra Santhe, his work titled Morning Glow was inspired by one of his early morning treks.

“The moment felt divine, as if it was meant just for me. It was spiritual and stirred my soul, and I painted it on a Saturday morning,” he recalls. His watercolour works are priced from Rs 250 to Rs 400, while acrylics are from Rs 10,000 to Rs 30,000.

As painting is an indoor activity, the pandemic only made him spend more time on his collection. He also completed murals for children. “I tried brewing my own beer, which was honestly a disaster. I also got married,” Sourav explains with a laugh.

He appreciates the broader reach of online exhibitions, but misses the audience interaction. “We live in the times of social media where engagement is everything. I have heard from people from all over the country that they might have missed Chitra Santhe this year if it were an offline exhibition,” he says.

“Patience is key. Hang in there because good things take a lot of time, like those beautiful oil paintings,” Sourav advises aspiring artists.

Uma Makala

“Painting is a constant exploration and a form of expression. Painting is a perfect tool for my longing for expansion,” says Hyderabad-based artist Uma Makala.

“I am blissful when I am able to express my thoughts and emotions perfectly in my paintings. At the same time, appreciation for my paintings makes me happy and uplifts my soul,” she explains.

Commercial success supports her and helps survive. “Basically, I love to go with Japanese concept ikigai," Uma affirms.

For Chitra Santhe, she exhibited works that portray her spiritual connection and harmony with nature. “It’s the oneness and blissfulness that I want the viewers along with me me to find in my paintings,” she enthuses. Her artworks are priced from Rs 10,000 to Rs 60,000.

Uma Makala

The pandemic ending up giving more time to artists like Uma for contemplation and expression amidst the solitude. She appreciates the convenience of online exhibitions as well.

“It reduces the burden of submitting the paintings by courier and worry about possible damage. But I miss seeing my paintings on gallery walls and interacting with fellow artists and viewers,” she laments.

“My advice to aspiring artists is to work towards it. After all, I am also one of them,” Uma signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and find new avenues to harness your inner creativity?

Sheelvanth Yadgiri

Madhukar Mahajan

Suresh Waghmore

Shiva Hadimani

K Jagadish Kumar

Sharmishtha Sinha

Ashalata V S

Nanjunda Swamy

Ajit B. Hullamani

Kanchan Rathna

Kishan Kappari 

Joydev Bala

Jeya Prakash

Jagdish Mohanty

Koyel Das Maji

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.

Edited by Megha Reddy