A Life Suffused With Colour
Ask any artist, and you’ll hear that a blank canvas can be both exciting and scary. For Vedavathi, it spoke of unlimited possibilities. Funnily enough, her first canvas was her biology record book in college. She discovered her love for art as she pored over reproductions of plants and animals in her biology course.
“I would sit for hours to draw and make the best record in college. This interest led me to delve into the field of art. I took drawing and painting classes from a teacher near my home. With her, I explored many media, like watercolors, oil pastels, Tanjore paintings and others.”
Once she got started, Vedavathi continued to create art everyday, after marriage and kids too. In 2009, she completed a Diploma in Artist program where she learnt more about different media. After moving to the USA in 2011, Vedavathi enrolled for a degree in Graphic Design to explore the digital world. In time, she learnt to combine handmade art and digital art.
"Since moving to Michigan, my inspiration has come from nature, mostly flowers and from my surroundings. Michigan is a wintry land and I look forward to spring and autumn for inspiration. But sometimes the whites have their own charm too! Although I love this place, I always go back to my roots for inspiration. You will always see a riot of colours in my mixed media and pattern work.”
We ask her about her early creations and triumphs. Vedavathi reminisces about a reproduction she painted of Raja Ravi Varma’s ‘Malabar Lady’.
“When I started painting it, I thought I wouldn’t even go half way, but my passion and interest kept me going. I was very happy that I was able to paint such a difficult subject. As for my first exhibition, it was in 2010, at Chitra Santhe conducted by Chithrakala Parishath, Bengaluru. I was so happy just being a part of it. I sold more than half of what I made and my happiness knew no bounds. ”
When asked what creating means to her, she says:
“Creating brings a sense of freedom and joy. It is the time where I am just being me, my thoughts flowing on a canvas. When I am happy, I create. When I am stressed out, I create. Quiet time with a cup of coffee and good music in the background is when my ideas and thoughts flow the best. I write down all my ideas and inspiration in a book. When I actually start off with a painting, I refer to this book.”
Considering how long and hard she has persevered in this journey, we wonder if she has any hacks for creative slumps. She says that unwinding with her family, traveling, or even just visiting a library usually helps her tackle blocks. Talking what's keeping her busy these days and where she wants to go next, she says:
“I teach acrylic painting to kids and adults. I make customized paintings for clients in mixed media, and would like to license my patterns and designs on home décor products, wall papers, fabrics, fashion accessories and greeting card companies.”
We ask her what’d she like to tell people who are starting out on the creative path. She says:
“I genuinely believe in this quote by Jack Canfield: “Don’t worry about failures. Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try”. So, definitely take the leap! If you love doing something, do one thing a day related to your interest and give it your best. Don’t do anything because you expect something back in return. Do it because you love it and the rest will follow!”
We hear you, Vedavathi! We hope you find loads of success and meaning doing what you love, and that you continue to inspire those around you!
In the past year, Wwe've featured the lives and works of many creative souls in this space. We've been inspired, awed and humbled by their journeys. With this final post, we want to thank all of you who took time out to share your stories with us.