First of all a very big "Thank You" to all my loyal patrons, friends and collectors. It means a lot to me that you all keep supporting me always. Your support, in the form of reading my blogs, attending my workshops, even just visiting my site (it improves my SEO), and most importantly appreciating my work and purchasing it for your beautiful homes, all has been really encouraging.
This year was such that we all could not come out of the pandemic completely and were restricted indoors mostly because of a second wave in 2021 and now a third one in 2022 too. But as an artist, I can say it was still a pretty good year in terms of achievements for me.
The pandemic has brought a new wave of changes in the way people have started doing things. Most of the physical activities have been shifted to online options from the comfort of our homes. Online shopping has been one of the major changes experienced by many including me. We used to be very reluctant earlier, in buying things online as we were somewhere unsure about the product quality, the delivery timeline or even the return policies. But pandemic forced us to come out of our comfort zone and buy things online such that we now prefer this method rather than the physical shopping. Some of the major advantages being - saving time, easily filtering out options, getting unlimited choices at the click of a button, getting genuine reviews and testimonials by customers as well as easy exchange or return policies.
Due to this overall advancement of humankind, I too could achieve some major milestones in my art career:
"Art With A Heart" Competition
Online Art Competition
Art Exhibition VIAF: I had always dreamt of being able to display my artworks in a gallery or an art exhibition. But when I thought of starting my art business and growing awareness about my works, the pandemic started and restricted us to venture out completely. I was pretty disappointed initially. But then I started exploring about online sales and exhibitions.
India Art Festival (IAF) is a contemporary art fair founded in 2011. It provides opportunity to emerging, independent artists to get discovered and enjoy the attention along with the established artists. India Art Festival, the only contemporary art fair in India hosts three annual editions at Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru with a focus on both – art galleries and independent artists. Every year IAF hosts over 700+ artists and 50 art galleries from across India and Asian sub-continent. During the covid pandemic, they were compelled to find an alternative way to showcase art and reach to audiences in the safe environment of their homes and offices. Hence the virtual edition of India Art Festival at indiaartfest.in was created with an incredible experience of viewing art in 3D booth with immersive experience and online buying.
It was a dream come true for me. I finally got an opportunity to exhibit my works at India's biggest art fair and that too from the comfort of my home. Check out my artworks displayed at the Virtual India Art Fair (VIAF).
Online Art Store : Another thing which I explored was how internet has expanded the options of selling art without the need of physical studios or art galleries.
I did an extensive study of various platforms available for the same. Out of the numerous options, having one's own website was rated the most. So my next step was deciding on the options to create my own website which could be further expanded to give customers an easy navigation through my artworks, filtering out work based on their choice and most importantly having a reliable payment method for domestic as well as international payments. I first tried out a free version of the WIX website to test out its features.
After being satisfied, I finally purchased the WIX Business Plan with a GoDaddy domain and opted for two payment methods: Razor Pay for my domestic collectors and PayPal for my international friends. Taking the right product pictures to uploading them on the website with complete details for each was a time-consuming activity. And finally after a lot of effort, my Online Art Store with more than 200 artworks was ready. Do visit it once and let me know how you feel about the various filters provided and the overall look & feel of the art store. Any suggestions for the same are welcome :)
Skill Upgradation : I feel that learning is a never ending process and there is always something more that we can learn. The pandemic was advantageous to me in the sense that there were now numerous online courses available for all of us to upskill. Being a home-maker, it used to be practically difficult for me to attend such courses physically due to time and venue restrictions.
But now sitting at home, I could attend online art marketing courses, painting workshops, courses and webinars. There was a true value addition in my approach towards my business and mainly in my art creation skills.
New Collections : As an artist, my main focus was mainly to create more artworks. Not because I want to sell more, but because that is what gives me pleasure and peace of mind.
I spent a lot of time in learning new things and then implementing it too. This also included art marketing. Though it seemed an easy task, it was not. I spent hours and days in implementing what I learnt. At one point of time, I started feeling that I was missing on something "Painting". The main reason why I was doing all this was totally missed out. I enjoyed painting and I was not getting time for that. That is when I learnt implementing my time management skills. I started keeping a balance between both such that I am satisfied with what I am doing and not stressed by it.
When I sat down to get a statistics of the number of paintings I created in 2021, it was shocking for me to see the number. I was expecting a really low number as I take a lot of time to create each of my works with every detail and perfection. My target at the start of the year was around 20 to 25 paintings. But I created 50 new artworks in this whole year. Wow!!! Great achievement for me I feel. You can check out my latest works here.
Sales and Commissions: It was a great year in terms of Sales. I sold 16 pieces in all including 2 Commission works.
I sold 4 of my Flora paintings, 3 Fauna paintings and 9 Landscapes in this year. Along with these, 15 paintings made by my son Jay and daughter Tanya were also sold.
Really thankful to all my collectors for having trust in me.
Donation of Works for Charity: I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity to be able to contribute through the "Art for Charity - Shagun" hosted by the Lions Club in Mumbai.
I donated 3 of my works for the cause. An auction was held wherein all 3 of my beautiful paintings were sold for a good amount. The money collected by the Lions Club was then utilized for social service.
Jury of Online Art Jamming Session:
I was chosen to be the jury for an online art jamming session conducted by Innerdots. Numerous participants created artworks live in the given time frame. Since there was no theme for the competition, it was really difficult for us to choose the winner from a varied set of entries.
You can view the online jamming session here
Winner of Multiple Competitions:
Winner of "Art with a Heart" Competition: The Rotary Club of Madras Central hosted an online art competition for a wonderful cause. The winner's artworks were to be framed and displayed in a Children's Hospital in Chennai by the Rotary Club Anneates. I had submitted 2 of my paintings and I was fortunate enough that both of them were selected as winner artworks. I was so happy that both my paintings are now displayed in the Children's Hospital and will hopefully bring a smile and hope on the children's faces.
Winner of an Online Art Competition: An online art competition was conducted on Instagram by Inner Dots. I was declared as the First Winner. It was a really proud moment as it was the first time that I had won an online art competition after I started my career as an artist. I received an Amazon voucher as well as a certificate.
Womenpreneur Photo Challenge: I was also selected as the winner of a challenge competition "MeetTheWomenpreneur" hosted by ShreyaSharanPawar on Instagram.
The competition was a 7-day challenge for small business entrepreneurs. All participants were provided with a prompt list for each day. We had to post photos or reels related to our business according to the given prompt. I was declared the winner of the same by the host Shreya and the sponsor Mahek.
Do check out my posts for each prompt on my instagram page.
Other competitions: I also received loads of appreciation on multiple occasions in various other competitions. Here are a few-