Passion, perseverance, painting–festival artists share insights from their creative experiences
In our fourth photo essay from Chitra Santhe 2024, 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.
The annual Chitra Santhe festival, organised by Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, is one of the annual artistic highlights of Bengaluru. See our coverage of the last nine editions of Chitra Santhe here.
Regarded as one of India’s largest street celebrations of art, it features artists from 22 states across the country. In this photo essay, we showcase more creative works along with artist insights on creative journeys, festival experiences, and failure lessons.
Purpose and journey
“Art is like using colors and brushstrokes to speak from my soul. It's a way of showing the essence of life on canvas, where each stroke tells a story of my emotions and experiences,” Bengaluru-based artist Honey Prasad tells YourStory.
She regards painting as her journey of self-discovery. “With each artwork, I try to capture the beauty and complexity of nature,” she adds.
“Art is a form of meditation, helping me connect with the deep, unspoken parts of life,” she says. Every painting is like a mirror, reflecting the outside world as well as inner feelings and thoughts.
Chitra Santhe is a vibrant platform for artists like Prasad. “Participating in Chitra Santhe was a remarkable experience. The atmosphere was filled with fellow artists and diverse art enthusiasts,” she recalls.
“Several pieces found new homes, and the positive feedback received was both encouraging and affirming,” she enthuses. Her artworks are priced from Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000 and more, depending on time, effort and emotion.
“Art is a medium to express our thoughts, feelings and experiences. In a spiritual sense, it is a divine journey to explore the way of life and to achieve the oneness of God,” explains Dr Rajeev MY.
He has an MPhil and PhD in visual arts, and has completed five solo shows in Bengaluru, Hampi, Chitradurga, Tumakuru, and his native place Hiriyur. He has also participated in over 30 group shows.
“I have completed more than 150 artworks in in oil and acrylic, and 500 artworks in water colour. “My artworks are currently present in many countries – namely Sweden, Norway, England, and Italy,” Rajeev proudly says.
“I got great feedbacks from many of the art lovers at Chitra Santhe. But in terms of sales, this festival needs to improve a lot compared with Mumbai,” Rajeev explains. His artworks are priced from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000.
“At Chithra Santhe, I came across many printed artworks, but this will be challenging for artists who painstakingly make individual hand-painted works,” he cautions.
For artist Shenaz SK from Chennai, this was the first time exhibiting at Chitra Santhe. “Art is an exploration of the soul. I can’t live peacefully without art and craft,” she says.
She started off her artistic journey as a hobby, but is now a fulltime artist-entrepreneur. “I left my job at a multinational company after my daughter was born. I have showcased my handcrafted works in more than five exhibitions now,” she adds.
Her works include miniature food magnets, key chains, resin art, jewelry, bookmarks, fragrant candles, keychains, and tissue holders. “At Chitra Santhe, people loved my miniature fridge magnets. They were a hit in terms of sales,” Shenaz proudly says.
The artistic journey can be full of setbacks and disappointments on the long journey to success. “Painters learn from mistakes and failures by seeing them as chances to get better,” Prasad explains.
“Trying out new ways of painting helps artists overcome problems and find their own style. They are perseverant, open to trying new things, and keep going from idea to idea with strength,” she adds.
“My failures taught me a lot in terms of doing artworks according to the purchasers’ need and price range. An artist may love to do freelance artworks, but this will not work when it comes to the commercial part,” Rajeev explains.
“Everyone has to learn from their own mistakes and keep trying. If not today, maybe you will succeed tomorrow. But don't ever give up on what you love to do,” Shenaz urges.
Tips and advice
The exhibitors also offer advice for aspiring artists. “Keep painting, practicing and exploring. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, they are a part of learning,” Prasad suggests.
“Find your own style by trying different techniques. Listen to feedback, but trust your instincts too. Enjoy the journey of creating – passion and persistence will help you grow as a painter,” she adds.
“Artists should always do their work with passion and creativity. If they want to fit into art as an industry, they need to listen to the customers and be open to their feedback. Above all, artists should enjoy the process of each artwork,” Rajeev 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.)