Embracing Art: A brand new series begins
Nothing ever comes easy. We usually come up with quips to many subjects or tasks like, “This is a piece of cake” or “this is extremely hard for me.” Everything that you ever encounter in life has been new to you at least once. It seemed unfamiliar at some point, maybe even scary. But then, when sticks and stones may never break your bones, and you finally get it done, it seems easy, right?
This is where people come in. People who can motivate you, people who will tell you “just one step more, and you are there”, people who believe in you. Sometimes these people are the ones whom you can relate to as they are in the same boat as you are. They empathize with you and you realize maybe, just maybe, you are not alone in this world.
I, as a writer have gone through this a lot. My careful notes, writing, editing and re-editing was not always encouraged. Words like ‘easy’, ‘walkover’ ‘child’s play’, ‘ boring’ and hurtful comments like ‘any Tom, Dick, and Harry can write’ or ‘your blog is only about fancy words’, sometimes even ‘how come you are so dedicated to something so mundane’ can actually hurt your self-esteem. So what do you really do? Cry? Give up?
That’s not how my readers work, right?
With this in mind, I am starting my first ever series on Embracing Life called Embracing Art. Embracing Art highlights budding and aspiring artists in and around India and creates magic. Artists/painters/doodlers/sketchers also face the music just like writers do. Little do people realize that what they create is more beautiful than the sky in the night, it’s like seeing complete galaxies with just your naked eye.
If you ever felt you were going through some stigma, some stereotyping or maybe a smart alec comment from someone about what you are passionate about, then here is the place you can rest awhile. Feel comfortable and relate to those who went through the same.
I’ll begin this series with the girl who gave me an answer in the affirmative when I talked to her animatedly about Embracing Art.
Srishti Dass is an experimenter. No no, not the kind of image you have in your mind of a girl in a white lab coat surrounded with test tubes and wearing glasses, but the one who is dabbling in different arts, be it painting, music, or even her hair (SHE HAS BLUE HAIR, BLUE) ; just to satisfy herself. She will soon be pursuing illustration from the School of Visual Arts, New York.
The passion for painting started in her formative years.
“So I’ve been painting since 5th and it started out as just a kid doing useless doodles. By 8th grade I found that I always went to the art room in school or to my “journal” when I didn’t have anything to do or I felt alone. After gaining some insight, I feel there is so much I want to tell people about me and what kind of person I am or talk about social issues, and the best way I know is through art. Art gives me a platform to be who I wanna be and talk about what I wanna say.”
Obviously all this came with a lot of backlash. But from Srishti, I felt strong vibes, much like my own. She would not have let things get to her easily. What intrigued me was whether such incidents will be similar with all the artists I talk to, and this is what she tells me.
“So growing up in a country like India, it’s very easy to find people (especially from the older generations) telling you that being an artist is not a “profession”. Thankfully, I’m the kind of person who doesn’t care about what others think. I was told, after about 30 minutes of explaining my grandmother why I want to pursue art, that “Umm, that’s alright but what are you going to do in future? ” Except these orthodox taboos, I’ve been told several times, even from people my own age, that getting in an art school or just generally creating art is an easy job and anyone can do it if they put their mind to it. Along with this, there are a lot of wrong stereotypes about artists such as all of them do drugs or every artist likes to read books or listen to only “indie” songs.”
You may call yourself indifferent and strong, but these things can eventually get to you. It is hard to pursue something you love, moreover into a career when people around you have strong disbelief in it. Being sad and ranting about the fact that no one supports you may not create a difference, but if you make others see your side, it can create a tiny ripple in the ocean.
“I am a person who likes to portray art in any way and thus I really like tattoos. I have two already which I designed. My paternal grandmother on the other hand thinks that people who have tattoos are valueless. This made me realise that there are still such narrow minded people in our society who think there’s a right and wrong way to portray art. I couldn’t really do anything but explain to her why tattoos are an upcoming form of art. I asked her questions which challenged her way of seeing this situation. I can’t say she’s fully convinced but at least she’s become more open minded. I realised that telling people to believe in something will never lead to success but making them question their own beliefs will.”
And as she mentioned above that painting is a way for her to make other see what she is, here is her artwork describing what art means to her, and how she is learning to embrace it.
Her main goal in life is to travel, do street art and get to a point where it will be called Art and not Vandalism. One does not have to look, talk, dress or be a certain way to be artist. Being depressed or having a mental illness will not make your artwork more beautiful. She strongly believes that art does not have to be sad/negative for it to be beautiful.
Art is what you are.
Hey, do you feel lighter? Better? Fresher? Relieved?
Whether you are a writer, painter, musician, coder, doodler, debater — anyone with overflowing passion, I hope you do not feel alone in this world anymore. It took you a lot of time to find your love, why not fight a little bit more to make others love and accept it?
Just like Srishti ignited my fire even more, maybe Embracing Art has started igniting yours and made you more powerful.I’ll come with more artists next time to light up it up even more.
You’re made for something astounding.
Embrace Art, Embrace Life!