From grit to gratitude – artists of the MayinArt platform share experiences and tips from their creative journeys

In a series spanning interviews with 28 artists from the MayinArt platform, we wrap up the year with pictorial highlights and artistic 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 540 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.

Singapore-based MayinArt, founded by Krish Datta and Avik Bandyopadhyay, is a digital platform to showcase Indian and Southeast Asian art. The artworks are priced from a few hundred dollars up to around $3,000.

See our extended coverage here, with pictorial highlights and artist insights. Images of the artworks have been reprinted in this article series with permission from MayinArt.

Provoke by Supriya Polley

Avik Bandyopadhyay

“Success for MayinArt is simple: more art being bought by new buyers. In other words, making the platform sustainable with a large pool of buyers and new artists joining us and offering their best works at attractive prices,” Avik Bandyopadhyay explains, in a chat with YourStory.

“Enjoy the art and appreciate it like good food. If the food is healthy and tastes great in your mouth, it is good for you,” he advises audiences and art buyers.

“Art should be looked at in the same way. Do you like to look at it? Will it make the place look good? These are the things you should ask yourself,” Avik adds.

Looking back at his experiences over the years, he expresses gratitude and happiness. “”During the last two decades, I have been transformed through all the mistakes made, failures seen, and the rise each time, emboldened by a phoenix-like grit,” Avik describes.

“If I retrospect on my journey, I would not like to change anything. Everything so far, both tears of happiness and sadness, have made me who I am today,” he adds.

“All this has helped push MayinArt to become a truly global channel where this brand can no longer be ignored by connoisseurs in my field,” he proudly says.

Soumya K Chakraborty

“Art to me is reflection of life. Our experiences and observations in daily life are manifested in art,” explains Indian contemporary artist Soumya K Chakraborty.

 

“Success to me comes from self-satisfaction and the sense of achievement. Awards and sales are certainly important as these recognitions help us survive. But without self-satisfaction, it merely becomes mechanical and meaningless,” he adds. 

Window to Himalayas 1  by Soumya Kishor Chakraborty

He says artistic style is indescribable. “It comes from within more like a signature. The style of work is always evolving. Work itself demands change, and with time and experience this change of style takes place,” Soumya says.

 

Though the pandemic was a tough period, he had more time in hand to explore his work. “The confined situation has really had a negative impact on my mind,” he laments. He advises aspiring artists to be committed to their pursuit of art.

Wage ES

“Art is the manifestation of anxious feelings, troubled minds and souls that are visualised in the form of works without leaving aesthetic values,” says Indonesian artist Wage ES. Based in Yogyakarta, he earlier worked as a ceramic designer in Japan and Taiwan, and now focuses on acrylic art.

“Success is when the sense of anxiety can be conveyed, executed, and manifested maximally in a work of art – which is then able to attract or be enjoyed by all people and art connoisseurs,” Wage adds.

I wanna go home by Wage E S

“My style is like a life journey. From my experience, I have done a lot of art experiments, but I always try to be original in my own style. I am always optimistic that my style will continue to improve and will not die over time,” he describes.

Though the pandemic was a tough time, he kept himself motivated and inspired. “Continue to work, continue to experiment, continue to socialise and build networks. Never feel satisfied,” Wage advises aspiring artists.

Subir Dey

“Art means to me the reflection of my life. The experience we get from society is reflected through my medium, and I share my observations with society,” Kolkata-based artist Subir Dey describes.

He sees success for an artist not so much through awards or sales, but through the relation between the artist and viewer, and the acceptance of art in society. “Sometimes the feelings of the artist are not clearly understood,” Subir observes.

Dream City 1 by Subir Dey

“Art is part and practice of each day of my life. It is a play of thinking of the mind and execution of the hand. Art takes time to invent our inner soul,” he adds. There is no end to improving one’s style either.

Though he managed to carry on his art work during the pandemic, the challenges and difficulties impacted his journey. “Everyone was struggling to survive,” Subir recalls.

Sujata Sah Sejekan

Indian contemporary artist Sujata Sah Sejekan believes in supernatural energies and their effects on humanity. Her works reflect interconnections between all living beings, and call on people to go beyond their self-centred materialistic thoughts and focus instead on origins and infinite ends.

“Art is reflection of the self in relation to life. Your mind is a huge universe without any limitation. You are privileged to enter, dive, swim and explore within, and share these glimpses with others through your kindness and creativity,” Sujata evocatively describes.

“Your vision and limbs work like a projector, through devotion, compassion and sensitivity. The essence of every artwork should be unique,” she adds.

“Success for an artist comes from improvement of skills, creativity, intellectuality and accuracy. It comes from growth with every new work and becoming a better self,” Sujata describes.

She 2 by Sujata Sah Sejekan

Artists should cultivate sensitivity in study, and acquire knowledge from every tiny little thing around. “One must keep mastering the art of amalgamating the essence of inner and outer worlds and expressing them,” she affirms.

Artists should have gratitude towards the world and to God. “Gratitude gives you power and strength to achieve what you will be the best at,” Sujata says. Rewards will accrue through awards and sales.

“My style is myself,” she describes. Her themes in figurative, realistic, surrealistic, and symbolic styles reflect compassion, love, benevolence, affection, and divinity. “There are intricate details and love for the shape of diverse flora and fauna,” Sujata enthuses.

She was influenced by a wide range of art, ranging from cave paintings to historic monuments. “You can see the repetitive use of mandala motifs in my works,” she adds.

Dialogue with Self Meditation by Sujata Sah Sejekan

However, she does not want her art to be boxed into certain categories. “I wish myself to be free to work and even the expression of my works is in free style,” Sujata describes.

As a mother for the past six years, the extra duties of the pandemic times posed challenges for her in terms of time for artworks. She could do only a few paintings and some commissioned works.

"I wish I had 48 hours instead of 24 hours per day,” Sujata says.

“I will evolve full on for sure in the coming days. I have faith in my urge to work and discover myself. I have learnt more about life, I am more grateful to everything and everyone,” she explains.

“The pandemic hardships have taught me to be more human, more sensitive. I can see things more transparently. Overall, I have changed more and this will reflect in my works as well,” Sujata describes.

Mother Nature by Sujata Sah Sejekan

She advises aspiring artists to be more alert and commit to learning. “Learning is the process of a healthy mental state. Adore things around. Don't stay stagnant, think and visualise more to exercise your creativity,” she urges.

“Keep practicing, always keep a sketchbook. Be disciplined, respect your resources, live every moment, and have a connection with everything around. Be alert with all your senses,” Sujata adds.

“Keep travelling to historical places and amidst nature. Know your worth, understand your uniqueness, and make it your strength,” she advises.

Yurnalis Bes

“Art is an expression of taste that is manifested through media such as body movements, sound and visual media,” says Indonesian artist Yurnalis Bes. Originally from Padang, Sumatra he is part of the SAKATO artist community and is now based in Yogyakarta.

“Success in art is shown in consistency in making works and getting recognition from the community,” he describes.

“Inspiration for artwork can be drawn from the problems around us, including the pandemic. But on the other hand, the pandemic has also caused the art market to decline,” Yurnalis laments.

Preserve our earth by Yurnalis Bes

“Making artworks always begins with a feeling, whether happy, sad, and so on. But pursuing an art career must be done happily without any burden or coercion,” he advises aspiring artists.

“Make art a part of yourself that continues to grow and develop. If we love our works, they will love us back,” Yurnalis signs off.

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

Sisters by Shrea Ghosh

Guest #2 by Nugroho Heri Cahyono

Come Together by Ulil Gama

The seat by Shrea Ghosh

Sense of Purpose by Ulil Gama

Worried by Wage E S

Touch me, I'm feeling lucky by Ulil Gama

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

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