Rhiti Chatterjee Bose had a glimpse of the journey of Lakshmi Vishwanathan from the corporate to the world of art. Here’s what she got to know:
First of all tell us something about yourself, where are you from, about your family, your childhood, if you have any other profession.
I’m a Commerce graduate, a doting mother to a 7 year son, an artist, an avid jamming singer, a cook who doles out lip-smacking dishes, most of these passions which rekindled after quitting my corporate job after a decade of work experience. I was born and brought up in Mulund, Mumbai. My family comprises of my husband, the imp, parents, in laws and 2 elder siblings.
How did you start painting?
Art was something which I wanted to take up as my profession from my childhood. I gave my elementary and intermediate art exams and also tried to get into JJ school of arts, but I couldn’t get through. Also there were financial and personal constraints which made it further difficult. I have no formal degree in Art, but was ready to put in the hard work to reach a level that would help me convert my passion to profession.
I’m extremely passionate about painting. I sketched a caricature of Salman Khan for a competition at my work place, bagged the 1st prize and was felicitated by the star himself in 2011, which was a joyous moment. In 2017, I made a sketch for Bollywood singer Akriti Kakar for her YouTube channel. In 2017, I had an ultimate dream moment, presenting my sketch of Amitabh Bachchan to the mega star himself, on the sets of KBC. The feeling of shaking hands with him, hearing his words of appreciation and encouragement as he autographed the portrait was astounding, and it’s now a treasured possession that we cherish.
How did you teach/train yourself?
When I decided to quit my job 3 years back, I had only one thing in mind, that was to rekindle my passion for painting. I started casual sketching at home, joined hobby classes under the expert guidance and mentorship of Atul sir from Atul Fine Arts, Mulund W and posted my artworks on social media. In a short span of 3-4 months time, I had the opportunity to sell my existing art work, followed by requests for customized work.
What influence has art had in your life?
Art has therapeutic effects.Art is something that I cannot describe in words. It is like meditation to me. It helps me completely disconnect from all my tensions and worries. I do not even prefer to talk or get distracted when I paint.
How do you see yourself as an artist in the future, what are your plans?
I’m continuing to evolve as an artist, specializing in oil paintings while learning newer painting techniques. I participate in various online competitions. I’m working towards building a repository of my own original compositions. I would like to host an exhibition of my art works. I would also like to impart the knowledge I’ve gained to interested newcomers.
Tell us something about the style of your paintings, the genre and why did you choose to pick this style?
I have tried different mediums which started with pencil sketching, colour pencil, water colours and then oil pastels, charcoal shading etc. But the one medium that I am trying to specialize and what attracts me most is Oil painting.
I have done paintings which range between 6 hrs to 180 hrs spread over 8 months, especially the recreated European paintings which require a lot of skill and are considered a difficult genre. I have also done self-compositions, where I compile my own imaginations, sceneries via Photoshop and then paint them.
From your experience so far, what words would you like to share with your fellow artists?
Continuously learn and put in the hard work. Be patient and believe in yourself, since success might not come overnight. You need not do it for any monetary benefits or recognition but please do pursue it for your own happiness and well-being, as personal satisfaction comes above all.