‘Use failures as motivation to keep pushing forward’ – artist-curator Subhakar Tadi on the long road to creative success

In our second photo essay on the Sonder exhibition, we showcase more artworks along with curator insights on resilience.

‘Use failures as motivation to keep pushing forward’ – artist-curator Subhakar Tadi on the long road to creative success

Sunday May 21, 2023,

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 700 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.

Growth, quality, and impact in artistic movements come not just from creative talent, but also from strong community bonds and the crucial role of curators. “As a practicing artist, I have always come across other artists who explore various mediums and materials in different ways,” explains Vadodara-based artist-curator Subhakar Tadi, in a chat with YourStory.

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“I see artists today becoming more valiant in their exploration of various materials, expression of their thoughts, and moulding perspectives into the characteristics of the materials,” he describes.

After closely following the works of a number of artists and discussing themes he had in his mind, Subhakar finalised the lineup of artists and artworks for his Sonder show. See Part I of our photo essay on this exhibition here.

Subhakar’s exhibition was organised by Vis-a-vis Art Studio, founded in Vadodara by Vijay Patel. In this series, we feature the artworks exhibited by the studio, at Cube Arts Space.


The artist lineup at the exhibition in Kochi, some of whose works are showcased here, includes Sajeesh PA, Suneesh SS, Vijay Kadam, Yogesh Ramkrishna, Satyanarayana Gavara, Seby Augustine, Akhil Mohan, Sajith P, and Jagesh Edakkad,

Subhakar also identifies a number of trends in Indian art today. “There has been a growing interest in contemporary and modern art forms in India. Artists are experimenting with various mediums, styles, and techniques, pushing boundaries, and exploring new avenues of expression,” he describes.

He calls for more art appreciation in India. “In the last decade, there has been good art exposure in India. Every new home and apartment we see has lots of new art and design,” he observes.


Subhakar Tadi

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“India, with its cultural diversity, has immense variety in all types of art forms. Moving forward, more governments and corporates could host city-wide shows,” he suggests, citing the Kochi-Muziris Biennale as an example (see our extended coverage of its recent two editions here).

More cultural and art centres should be started in small towns. “Providing funds to local artists for paintings and murals on buildings would bring life to towns and cities,” Subhakar advises. Schools and universities could host more shows of their student work. 

The artistic journey is not without its share of disappointments and challenges, of course. “Learning from mistakes and failures is an essential part of an artist's growth and development. Artists need to take time to reflect on the mistakes and failures they have encountered,” Subhakar affirms.


“Analyse what went wrong and why. Identify the areas that need improvement or alternative approaches that could have been taken,” he suggests.

“This self-reflection can provide valuable insights into your creative process and help you avoid similar mistakes in the future,” Subhakar adds. “Embrace experimentation and take risks in your artistic practice. Failure and mistakes often occur when artists push boundaries and try new things,” he said.

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This calls for patience and determination. “Recognise that mistakes and failures are part of the creative journey. Stay persistent and resilient in the face of setbacks,” he advises.

“Use failures as motivation to keep pushing forward, learn from the experience, and refine your skills,” Subhakar signs off.

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


(All artwork photographs were taken by Madanmohan Rao on location at the exhibition.)

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