By Shubhra Chaturvedi
When you dream of a concept and how to execute it, and it wakes you at night, so much so that, you open your sketchbook and capture the thought. When you are walking through the hills and you see the charred wooden log and take a photo of it because its texture and color is what you want to bring out in your work. When you are served a soup in a ceramic bowl in a fine dining restaurant and you think, Wow that is a lovely glaze… That’s when art has been internalised.
Art, like any other career option, is totally time-consuming and you have to put in all the efforts that one puts in towards any other vocation. You have to have skill, thoughts, and ideas. You need to put in the industrious hard work with great thought, as it also needs to reach out to the right people and it needs to sell so that it makes your ends meet.
Painting As A Career Choice!
How then is it different from other career choices? Well, in any another career it is often just a regular job. You have a structured organization, and there are many such similar organizations, and you can move on from one to another. You often have a personal dream and to fulfil that you become part of the vision and mission of another person or set of persons. In return, you get paid handsomely and you get benefits that account for a comfortable lifestyle. Art, however, is driven by your own commitment to yourself, your own dream for yourself and one where you and only you are involved. It is a way of life that you have chosen. Remember whenever you get into it, sooner or later, money will never just come to you. It will be a struggle, a long winding one. One akin to a trek in the Himalayas, the road is uphill and strenuous but the view you eventually get to see is worth the arduous climb.
In this modern day and times, we are lucky that there are enough choices of fine art schools and enough vocational and skill courses that can help and guide us. We also have the advantage of social media, which helps us, artists and creators, to reach out to collectors and patrons in far off places. We can plan to execute and form our own brand and visibility, and we can plan our own events too.
Even Art Pays!
Artists, simply put are like entrepreneurs. This, however, was not the case a few decades back. So, being in the times today, life is a bit easier for anyone who decides upon entering this space. However, this ease of reaching out is often misleading too. The sales that come by or the appreciation by means of social media diverts the pursuit of art towards commercial benefits only. Art is a creative choice and the artist is only good if she or he is continuously challenging her own boundaries, if they are saying something new, if they are throwing some questions at the viewer, at the world, if they are leaving behind something that will immortalize them. Often the temptation to create artworks that work for a certain segment or to do what sells or to do what others are doing is immense. In fact, within the Art world, there are often agencies like branding experts, galleries, and curators who will try and tell the artist what to do, basis their potential artistic outreach & potential commercially rather than their own artistic creative point of view. As an artist, this is the thin line that one has to constantly to walk on- ‘to be commercially self-sufficient, and to be artistically relevant.’
I say this because I have been in this space for almost two decades now. Having worked in the corporate sector myself, I have seen that world and then experienced and lived through this other side too. Art didn’t happen to me as a career by choice when I was in my 20s. It came to me much later in life. It all first started out as an interest, which then grew to become a passion and ultimately and at some point along the way, became a way of life for me. That is when I submerged myself into it totally, and it became a career and my calling. This is what I do full time, and this is what gives me the most joy.
To all those youngsters out there who are interested in art and the not so young ones who have found their calling already, pursue art if you must. It is a very good space to be in despite all the struggles. Do all you can to reach out to the viewers, use the available social media tools, use online courses and attend workshops and go view a lot of art but remember always- ‘Art is a penitence and its only good if it’s always in practice,’ so “Riaz” is the key to a successful career. The going maybe good or the going maybe not so good, either ways, never stop practicing the art that you do. Make sure whatever you create lasts you out. That is what makes your creation and creative lifetime worthwhile.