‘Go after excellence, success will follow’ – how these artists describe the path to creative fulfilment

In this photo essay, three notable artists share perspectives from their creative journeys. Here are some pictorial highlights and insights!
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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.

Swetha Padma Oleti

Swetha Padma Oleti

“Art for me is interaction with my inner self and being with nature. I regard my paintings as a manifestation of the self on to the medium,” exhibiting artist Swetha Padma Oleti describes.

Art is similar to flow of thought in the mind. “It’s often fluidity of thought rather than a planned action, and an intention to rest myself in the loving care of Mother Nature,” she adds.

Satisfaction for her comes from the journey of simply painting for hours, and cherishing each artwork as a milestone. “Paintings act as an embellishment on thoughts, where I search for expression,” Swetha says. Appreciation and awards serve as motivation and signs to explore more.

Swetha Padma Oleti

For Chitra Santhe, she prepared works with colour pencil and pen art. Her artworks are priced from Rs 1,000 upward, though she says pricing is always a challenge and depends on the thoughts, efforts, mediums used, and results.

“The pandemic was a tough time, but it helped look at myself from a different angle – disconnected from society. That triggered some new thoughts and more ideas to create new art,” Swetha recalls.

Though she appreciates the opportunity provided by online exhibition platforms, she misses the true sense of appreciation, sharing and flow of a physical exhibition. “When I see a painting, most often it talks to me,” she describes.

“The sense of communication and exchange is the core driving factor which incubates the feel of appreciation. Talking to the artist completes the effect. However, the digital version can be seen as a process in progress,” Swetha affirms.

She also offers tips for aspiring artists. “Keep exploring and strive for inner satisfaction. Never wait for the right opportunity or external recognition, because art spreads across time,” Swetha says.

Mohit Verma

Mohit Verma

“Art is the very essence of my existence and a natural extension of my personality. It completes me and makes me who I am,” explains Mohit Varma, an artist who depicts Indian mythology themes in a realistic style.

“Art is the creative channel that connects me with divinity and elevates me beyond the mundane,” he adds.

Mohit is a fulltime employee in a software company, and is pleased with the public reception to his art as well. “My paintings have been bought by the erstwhile home minister of Karnataka, G. Parameshwara,” he proudly says.

He calls for more appreciation for art in society, and private and public sector support for artists. “With the real estate sector always on a high, builders can also play a crucial role in procuring affordable art from young artists,” he adds.

Digital and print media can help promote commissioning of major art projects in the form of tenders. “The best and most competitive applicants should get a chance to secure good projects in a qualitative way,” Mohit recommends.

His father is an artist as well. “Some of my talent is a gift and comes to me intuitively,” he acknowledges. His paintings are priced from Rs 10,000 to Rs 8 lakh.

Mohit Verma

Though the pandemic was tough for artists, Mohit was actually able to paint and draw more. “I was able to save commute time and was busier than ever. This period also gave me an opportunity to respect and value life as never before,” the adds.

“It reaffirmed my faith that each day must be spent as if it were the last, and must be invested into the pursuit of creating art that will live beyond my own life,” Mohit explains.

He appreciates the fact that an online exhibition is not bound by time and space. “It can accommodate a greater number of artists. It is more cost-effective for the organisers and comes with fewer management issues,” he adds. The exhibition duration can also be extended to help viewers enjoy the works of art longer.

“But the experience of feeling a painting, brush strokes, colour texture, and seeing a work in its full glory physically, cannot be compared to a thumbnail or even high-resolution image of what is seen online,” Mohit laments.

“Go after excellence, success will follow,” he advises aspiring artists. “Very few people in the world are able to realise the purpose behind their creation. If you have been able to identify that as an artist, you are very fortunate,” Mohit affirms.

Urvashi Thakkar

“Art to me is an expression of our own selves, of life, and its journey through various forms, colours and mediums,” explains Urvashi Thakkar, who has been practicing art in the US and India.

“Creativity, in any form of art, and the mysterious power of colours can lead us to our deeper self,” the Bengaluru-based artist says.

“Success can come and go. But to strive on despite failure, that is success. Success is a feeling of complete joy, freedom and satisfaction,” Urvashi describes.

“Happiness comes when you lose yourself completely in the process of painting, or any other work for that matter, which grips you with passion and total involvement,” she adds.

Urvashi Thakkar

She calls for more appreciation for art by people from all walks of life. Exhibitions, wall art, and social media help in this regard. “Beautiful images bring beautiful thoughts and those thoughts will bring a change in one’s consciousness,” Urvashi says.

“During the lockdown, I experimented with a different style, acrylic pouring. It was very liberating, joyful and natural,” she recalls.

Urvashi also offers tips for aspiring artists. “Aspiration towards the beautiful definitely leads to expressing nature in its various forms, colours and combinations with a creative perspective,” she says.

“The art of observing minutely can be cultivated; it leads to awareness and concentration. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and through that, we elevate ourselves,” Urvashi signs off.

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

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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 Teja Lele Desai

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