When Rajasthan-based artist Suvigya Sharma, who hails from Kishangarh, and is settled in Jaipur, uttered the words “Yes! I am an artist, and I do not wear jholas”, it instantly reminded me of the popular dialogue by Shah Rukh Khan, “My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist.” Not that the two phrases have anything in common, but the way he said it, made me recollect the dialogue. “For many years we have recognised an artist, specially a painter, with someone who wears very modest clothes and hangs a jhola bag on his shoulder. But when I began as an artist, I did not want to adhere to such an image,” said Sharma, who has been in this field for more than an decade now, and added, “Even as a child I was always dressed immaculately, in fact I love to be fashionable,” she added.
The 33-year-old artist is among the new breed that believes in doing unconventional things. “Break the monotony wherever possible, yet keep respecting the deep traditions and cultural” He said. Sharma has created a niche for himself in various fields – be it that of a painter, a health freak, an entrepreneur, or a party animal. A peek into his ideologies as a modern-day artist.
An artist can look dapper
It is a popular belief that if you are an artist, then you ought to be modestly dressed. “I love khadi, but I am not comfortable the way painters are portrayed wearing them. That is not my style. For me it is the dapper look any day. I design my clothes and love to wear Nehru jackets.
“Times are changing and in my opinion, an artist should work on his appearance. If you are presentable you can make an impact and pitch your work in an even better way,” he said.
Networking is the key
One is a good artist, but then one should also extend one’s networking so as to reach a larger section of people. People think that poverty is conducive to art. But the truth is hard work and good work always pays off, but one has to make extra efforts to create a market for one’s work.
Sharma recently sold one of his works to Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt. He has created art for big shots in Bollywood like Priyanka Chopra, KanganaRanaut and RaniMukherjee, to name a few. “While I work hard to make a painting, I work harder to fetch work. I do not restrict myself, either to a particular kind of art nor to a particular section of society. My art is for everyone. And there is no limit to my dreams,” he said.
Create a market
“Marketing is yet another important aspect if an artist needs to get the right value for his work,” believes Sharma. Sometimes I come across artists who say that we respect our art and do not look at it as a commodity, therefore we do not believe in marketing our art. I too respect my art, but at the same time I need a living and by selling my art work I am not selling my art and talent. The talent still remains with me. And I can create more works. Maybe even better works.
“Besides, by marketing our art work we can create an awareness about the art that we work upon and also make our talent visible to a wider section. By doing so we inspire people to take up the particular art. Also, It is not a crime to make money using your talent,” the artist Sharma advised.
Revise traditional tales
“I have successfully created many a Picchwai, Tanjore, Miniature paintings. All of these have a strong root in our traditions. But at the same time I have created a 4D SiddhiVinayak and a few other fusion and contemporary works,” he adds.
It is important to be rooted to your culture and traditions, but at the same time it is also important to evolve in your art and blend with the changing times. Contemporary art and fusion works have a great market.
An artist can be an entrepreneur
“I am an artist and I am also an entrepreneur. I sell my art and do not shy away from saying so. When I am working I am an artist, a dedicated one. But once the work is completed, the entrepreneur in me takes over and I am on a look-out to sell my art,” believes Sharma.
Let yourself loose
“I am extremely health conscious and I workout every day and prefer to eat right. At the same time I am also a big-time party animal. I love to meet friends and party. You can say I follow the saying, work hard, party harder. By doing this I save myself from all kinds of stress.”