Originality and resilience–Chitra Santhe artists share insights on creative journeys
In our second photo essay from this outstanding art festival in Bangaluru, we share more creative highlights and artist profiles.
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 740 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
Organised by Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bengaluru, the annual Chitra Santhe festival is regarded as one of India’s largest street celebrations of art. See our coverage of the last nine editions of Chitra Santhe here.
Artists from 22 states showcased a diverse range of art genres, styles, themes, and mediums. In Part II of our coverage, we showcase more creative works along with artist insights on creativity, festival impact, and resilience.
“The mega art festival featured more than 50,000 artworks displayed in one place. It was a great opportunity for us artists to showcase artworks for buyers, enthusiasts and fans,” Bengaluru-based artist Banani Kundu tells YourStory.
She calls for more art appreciation in society. “Corporates, builders and interior designers should be invited to come in larger numbers so that we can get more projects and sales,” she advises.
A longer festival duration could also help–it is hard to fully appreciate the work of over 1,500 artists in just one day. But the logistics can be challenging, since the festival involves closing off the entire stretch of the busy Kumara Krupa Road for the entire day.
The artist’s journey is full of twists and turns, and bouncing back from failure and mistakes is key for success in the long term. “While painting, an artist may commit a mistake, but mistakes are steps to perfection and should not be regarded as failure,” Kundu explains.
Artists should also choose the right kind of forum that attracts the desired audience. “Artists should not make the mistake of selling their artworks for low prices. Each artist has their unique style, and it takes time to get the right price,” she advises.
“Set your goals for art and improve on them each and every day. Try to learn to make your own style and improve the way you market your work,” she adds, as tips for aspiring artists.
Kundu defines her signature style in the way she makes rocks come alive in her paintings. “Stone sculptures capture the mystic sprit of our culture. They fascinate me,” she explains.
Passion, love and joy are captured in stone, but the feelings are sometimes invisible because stones are grey. “My paintings of stone sculptures are vibrant in hues. The images pulsate in thrill and joy on my canvas,” she describes.
“My canvas paintings of stone sculptures breathe, smile, laugh, and make love. Lights of passion dance over their rugged surface,” she enthuses, describing how this technique took rigorous research and years of practice.
Bengaluru-based artist Anjan S has also developed his own unique style, blending music instruments, installations, and sound. His artworks are priced from Rs 3,000 to Rs 80,000, depending on the materials used and duration of effort.
“Art is a mode of expressing myself. It helps to bring out my emotions,” he describes. His art journey commenced in early childhood, but he lost touch with it for a few years before rediscovering his passion for art at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath.
This reconnection spurred him to explore new mediums, techniques, and forms. “Given my background as a drama artist and photographer, I began incorporating those skills into my art. Despite taking baby steps in the art world, there's still much more to explore,” he admits.
He was involved in earlier editions of Chitra Sante as a volunteer and designer. “This opportunity was unparalleled, offering a different lens through which I could experience the event,” he recalls.
As an exhibitor, he had an altogether different experience and was delighted with the positive response his artwork received. “The enthusiasm from people was heartening, and I fielded numerous inquiries about my art,” Anjan recalls.
He also views failure and criticism as a source of learning rather than a setback. “In the realm of art, every outcome is an experience. Sometimes, people appreciate the work, and other times, they may not,” he observes.
“If I see the feedback as criticism, I am not learning. What matters most is the learning acquired through this journey,” he explains.
“My philosophy for progress is simple: don't let success or failure define your mindset. Instead, stay focused on the continuous process of creation. The key is to keep working and evolving,” he affirms.
Artists should enjoy their journeys, explore, and have fun. He advises artists to not be afraid to get out of their comfort zone.
“Learn new things and never be embarrassed to learn from everyone who knows better than you,” Anjan signs off.
Now what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and harness your creative side for a better world?
(All photographs were taken by Madanmohan Rao on location at the festival.)
Edited by Megha Reddy