Art Is Taking Young Entrepreneurs Abroad, Journey Of Three Young Artists
How does India perceive art? In a country where copious cultural diversities cohabit, how much do Indians value art as a profession? By talking to artists that chose unconventional art forms to express and earn, we try to understand common Indian perception toward art as a profession.
L’art pour l’art in French literally translates to Art for Art’s Sake, a term coined by French philosopher Victor Cousin. Art’s purpose of only being expressed as art and thus negating its social, moral, political didactic has evolved with time. Today, art is being used as a tool of self-expression, as a means of living, and as a magnifying glass of the simulacrum society.
But how does India perceive art? In a country where copious cultural diversities cohabit, how much do Indians value art as a profession? By talking to artists that chose unconventional art forms to express and earn, we try to understand common Indian perception toward art as a profession.
While talking to doodle and mural artist Joyeeta Bose, graffiti artist Mooz, and writer and painter Rupesh Sudhansu, two characteristics emerged. One, all of them had to answer questions regarding unconventional path they took and second, the self-doubt made way for the passion to emerge as a stronger force with time, persuasion, and recognition.
These artists have touched hearts not only in the homeland, but overseas as well. Joyeeta’s first recognition came when all her works were bought by Toronto art enthusiast and since then she has never looked back. One of Joyeeta’s popular mural can be seen on the wall of a famous cafe in Kolkata— Calcutta 64. Rupesh channeled all his troubled childhood upbringing into his art. Rupesh’s work has been to New York, Sydney, Singapore, Malaysia, and Canada. Mooz (not his real name) was part of a four-member team that represented India for the first time in the international street art festival in Brazil.
In our first segment of Art for Art’s Sake, we look back at the beginning of these artists’ inspiring journeys.
Kolkata Artpreneur Joyeeta Believes in Spreading Joy and Art Together
Joyeeta, 25, an artist and entrepreneur, is successfully running her art venture ‘Joyeeta Joyart” with her fiancé. Her art is imbued in the spirit of Kolkata and has a bit of Jamini Roy/Pablo Picasso.
Talking about her successful venture, she says “I knew nothing about art. It started when I was a child. I got into Indian College of Art and Draftsmanship in Kolkata, and then I was completely determined to pursue it. The four years of art education helped me to mature my art form. The start of the brand Joyeeta has a different story. I started going public with my art which my college did not appreciate. But once I created my Facebook page, people started loving it. One day a person from Toronto came and bought all my paintings while I was still in college. By the time I finished my college, my paintings had already been sold in different places. So, that was an awesome start for me.”
“With my fiancé, who left his job to join me, we did our first mural together which got popular. After that, we started our merchandise line. I love to see my work in different places in India and abroad. What I love about sending my art abroad is people reach out and they show their love not only by writing beautiful words but also by buying my paintings. They say they get to know about my culture, about India and its people from my work.”
Joyeeta’s art is a beautiful fusion of doodle, artistic forms, and a bright amalgamation of vibrant yellow, red, black, solid strokes of blue and come in personalized forms on mugs, notebook covers, bags, brooches, accessories, home décor, and large wall paintings.
Rupesh Sudhanshu, The Procrastiwriter, ‘You Have to Struggle to Produce Honest Art’
Rupesh, pursuing his art degree from IIT Guwahati, stands out as an inspiration to a nation of young people, suffering from the agony of post-modern civilization. Rupesh says his practice of art largely came as a tool to escape reality and endear an artistic journey which has led him to his success.
Rupesh shares his journey with the readers, stating “If I must recall the first encounter of art that made me feel more than this banal existence, I would say it started when I was about six years old. It was a mere obsession, a fascination of this new discovered expression then. But later, I found myself getting back to it again whenever I was in a struggle against reality. I started to share the work in 2015 over multiple platform. Instagram and Facebook were the major help in this. Not in terms of selling but in terms of criticism which helped me question and push myself beyond my comfort.”
“It is through Instagram that I received a mail regarding my artwork. Someone from Singapore asked me for a commissioned work and that’s how it started. Later, exhibitions helped me increase my reach. My art has been to New York, Canada, Singapore, and Sydney. I have experimented with various mediums to express my emotions— be it through art, music or through words. When I failed with words, colors helped. In art, I find dealing with human emotions very intriguing; expressing the agony, the pain and suffering which no one likes to talk about or stay silent toward. I try to bring that in my work. There is a dark side to my art which I am sure reflects on my artworks”, the young entrepreneur told Little India.
Mooz, Street Art Artist on Representing the Country at Brazil Street Art Festival
For Mooz, the knowledge of graffiti came in 2011-2012 when he first saw it on TV but could not pursue it as spray cans were expensive. But once he got in touch with a graffiti artist and started painting with wall paints, there was no looking back. Initially, he used to paint commercials and got his recognition through events like ‘ IIT Bombay TechFest 2016,’ ‘Kings United’ and “Martian Manhunter.”
“Going to Brazil was a turning point in my life! Travelling to a different country was my dream since childhood and I had no idea that graffiti would take me to other country. We were representing India and there were over 200 artist representing different countries. This was a historic moment for Indian graffiti scene that four guys were representing India for the first-time creating graffiti at global level”, he said.
He added, “While the three have been getting recognition globally, they all had one thing to say: People ask them about their “real” profession and call art a ‘hobby.’ Joyeeta says ‘people in India have some misconception about art and they aren’t aware of art education and art as a profession.”
But as Rupesh says, “things are changing and there are people who see art and artist as they are without making any judgment. In the age of emerging millennials, the artist has a message for aspiring young artpreneurs, “Be honest to yourself. No matter who you are, how ugly you look like, accept it. Acceptance leads to realization and realization brings salvation within. And when that comes, express it and be bold about it. No one will tell you what you are getting yourself into. Not your admirers or even those who are the pioneers in this field. Your experience would be yours entirely. Make mistakes, learn and grow.”