Ntozake Shange says,
“I think art is a healing force, and if we give in to the joy that can be found in art, then we are able to sustain ourselves in spite of ourselves.”
In today’s #FridayFeature blog focusing on the #WonderWomen stories, we present a woman who found just this joy and even a source of healing through art. Meet, Lavanya Venkatesh, artist, entrepreneur and founder of Hastkrit. Hastkrit is a platform for all cutesy handmade everyday essential items from pouches to coasters and serving trays. What made Lavanya get into this artistic field, how did Hastkrit come to be about and what motivates Lavanya to continue on this artistic spree? Let’s find out in her own words.
“I suffered an ankle injury due to an accident and had to undergo surgery. After this surgery I was on bed rest for 6 weeks. During that time, I started drawing by seeing videos on YouTube and other digital platforms. Through these, I learnt how to do zentangle and mandala art. I continued drawing and realised the need for hand-painted products and so started drawing and painting on different products like bags, pouches, trays, coasters etc. The art helped me heal and become a better person and helped reduce my stress and pain.
Once or twice, I shared the photos of these products on my social media (personal) profiles and with a few friends. The wonderful comments like “These look great” or “Wow! Can I buy this?” made me realize the potential these products and my art had. Hence, was born Hastkrit.
The struggle is mainly about penetrating the market and making people understand the beauty of these products and such art. In India, people are not aware of hand-painted products and do not realise the time and effort that goes into hand-painting a design on a product. So, since my price for a product is higher, there is always comparison to a printed design on product.
My entrepreneurial journey has just begun, and Hastkrit is still a baby of sorts. Hence, I am yet to see or meet a turning point in my business. However, the positive reviews on my work and the products of Hastkrit, are what I consider the milsetones in this journey so far. And the turning would surely have to be that accident, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Hastkrit in Sanskrit means hand creation. It is a brand that I started in 2016. The brand is a way to create and make available handmade and products.My biggest motivation is the sheer passion I have for art and my hunger to keep learning and creating new products.
The journey so far has been gradual but fulfilling. I have been in business for the past 3 years. It has been a slow progress and I am hoping that I would be able to open a store or a boutique with exquisite hand-painted products.
A lot of people think I acquired my artistic skills through a known teacher or guide and even ask me who my guru is. But, here’s a proud open secret I’m proud to share; I have not learnt art or drawing or have never been to any classes. Whatever I draw or painting is just what comes to my mind. I am a self-taught artist. It has been a way of expressing myself and has given me immense peace and happiness.
There have been a number of learning’s in this journey. I have become a more confident person as a whole and
“I am willing to face anything to make my passion and brand a success.”
“I have also learnt patience and I have started to believe in my art.”
To drop in a message to Lavanya, have a look at her cutesy artistic products, and order (one or more) of these for yourself, please follow the links below: