HOMEGROWN CREATORS- Art : A form of Therapy
Updated: Mar 29, 2021
As someone writing on art, I often meet so many wonderful artists but artist Shruti Bhosle, who I speak with today, comes from a family of artists, so it’s no surprise that her knowledge of all things art is par excellence. Shruti did her Bachelors in Fine Art (B.F.A.) from Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai and her Masters of Art-Fine Art, (M.A.F.A.) from Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, UK. She runs an art studio in Mumbai called ‘Aavad Nivad’ and today, she speaks with me on how she got here.
So let’s start from the beginning. How did you start your art journey?
I come from an art and music background and so I was introduced to art early on. My grandfather was a banner artist and my father painted with him too. My grandmother was an Indian classical singer and my mother’s side of the family were musicians. So everyone in my family was into music or art and it came naturally to me.
From early beginnings to now running a studio. Was it a straightforward journey?
I started off mainly creating drawings, paintings, murals and eventually got into the interior space. I also organised art camps, designed stage sets, music studios and residences. At Studio Aavad Nivad, I sell my art products, which include prints, envelopes, calendars etc.
Tell us about your studio. How did you come up with the name and what does it mean to you?
It took me a year to work to the concept of my studio, and I realised that the common thread between everything I do is the selection; picking out the things you love. Aavad Nivad is a Marathi word which means to pick out the things you’re fond of. I strongly associate with this concept and wanted my studio to reflect that. Apart from creating products, I eventually plan to share the space with people with similar interests and share talents and ideas by taking workshops and organising events.
Creating your own designs in your studio, what do you derive inspiration from?
Nature is a big influence; I derive my forms and subjects from nature and I love shadows, florals, leaves and the sea. It’s forms, colours and textural differences draws me to it. I also take my inspiration from nostalgia, stories of my history, culture and roots. My native place is Goa and I go back to it when I need some ideas. Food is also an inspiration as is Indian art and culture in general.
It’s well known that artists often create art for the pure love of it but is there anything you are trying to communicate to your viewer through your art?
Through my art I try to add beauty and aesthetic into a space. I like to invite the viewer to connect and notice what they feel looking at the colours in my paintings or what stories they remember seeing my floral drawing series. Most of what I create are the things I love. And it makes me happy to see that it can be shared.
How would you describe your creative process? Do ideas come to you instantly or do they develop more gradually?
The creative process depends on what I am making. I jot down some rough ideas in my sketchbook; it could be a word, a sketch or a colour combination. That could lead to a painting or a drawing. I sometimes get ideas when I am travelling or watching a documentary, so I save it, write it down or click a picture. Overtime I merge ideas and let it develop. When it’s comes to drawings, they are mainly minimalistic line drawings of nature based forms. With painting, I take much longer and the process is slow. I don’t like to rush it. I like my paintings to be bold and colourful and love playing with contrasts. While I consider my drawings to be observations and often find it meditative, I find painting to be therapeutic and expressive.
What about creative blocks? The first thing I do is clear out my space and organise my desk and studio. It really makes a difference and helps my mind too. It may sound strange, but love to watch food documentaries and series. It makes me feel good and always inspires me when I need to feel motivated, as does chilling in cafes and taking walks. Sometimes you need to take it easy and step back. I try not to think of creating, as a task. Some projects tend to get super overwhelming because of overthinking. What I do in such times is really breakdown the process and steps into really tiny doable tasks, and ticking off the list one at a time.
You’re in the unique position of being an artist as well as running a studio. Which must mean materials everywhere. What is your preferred medium? My favourite medium is pen or ink on paper as well as acrylic on canvas.I do digital drawings on Procreate. As I am getting into product, I first create the art using any of the above mentioned materials and then transfer it on to different things. The main materials I plan to expand my art with is fabrics, ceramics & paper.
What is your advice to the younger creative generation?
To the younger generation I would say, persevere. The variety and options available today are more than they have even been. So make use of it but at the same time, give yourself time. Apart from creating, there’s so much more that you will learn along the way, like material, pricing, selling your work, marketing it etc.
Share with us your thoughts on what the future looks like for home-grown artists.
I think it is the best time for artists, specially local and home-grown. After last year, I have seen tremendous support for small business owners. I have also seen a shift in the choices the consumers are making and how the tastes have changed over the years. People are going for indie and organic things and want to buy handmade, exclusive items, which is good news for us.
To wrap up, what's your vision for the future? I realised that I see myself in the lifestyle space because of all my interests. So I plan to combine everything I have studied/worked in, like art, fashion, textile, interiors, decor and all the things I love like aesthetics, Indian cultural wisdom, food etc. I am working on products for my studio which I personally like sketchbooks, mugs, ceramic plates and even saris with my drawings on it.
Shruti’s success in getting to where she is, is inspirational for so many young artists who want to learn and create side by side. Knowing her from a long time, I always thought art came to her so naturally and having seen her studio develop into a creative den is no surprise. Just like Shruti, following your dreams and accepting the pace of the process is so important and hopefully an inspiration to all the budding artists out there.