Ann Landers said,
“It’s not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.”
In our #FridayFeature blog focusing on the #WonderWomen segment, we bring to you a woman who learnt a skill through her mother and has made that skill her success story today. Meet, Artist, Harshi Agarwal, whose specializes in Zentangle & Doodle Art. She is the founder of Brushes N Strokes, a creative venture through which she provides artistic services like Wall Art, Murals, Canvas Painting and Custom-Made Art pieces. Besides these, she even conducts regular art workshops under the same venture. So, how did find her calling as an artist and what made her turn an exercise in spending time together with her mother into a successful entrepreneurial venture? Let’s find out in her own words.
“A childhood dream of being as good, if not better, an artist than my mother and the pride of being a self-taught artist, is what got me into this profession which began as a passion. I have always been passionate about the arts and I’m convinced a future in this field is my calling. Learning and fine tuning my trade at a distinguished university is my key goal at this point. Art has always been a part of my life since childhood and we share a very fond relationship. I want to build on this relationship and make this association a lifelong one.
In order to do that, I need to be the best I can possibly be and hone my skills. The struggle with being self-taught though is that its not easy, especially in the beginning. Not only was there a lack of support from the family, but you also need to prove your worth to just about everyone, especially people who don’t understand art or its value.
It is often said that there is never a day you have to work in life if you do what you really like doing.
My paintings are bold and colorful showcasing abstract people or shapes, and I paint or click pictures to express myself. My work is often abstract and I invite the viewer to speculate. Each project often consists of multiple works, sometimes in a range of different media, grouped around specific themes and meanings.
During research and production, new areas of interest arise and lead to the next body of work. My work usually features a combination of water oil and Acrylic paints, pen and ink .
I am comfortable working with two media and love the vibrant colors I can play with and add different textures to my painting. One of the most exciting media I have explored is tanjore painting, a traditional Indian painting done using ceramics, gold and precious stones. I specialize in zentangle art, mandalas and doodles.
My work is a combination of zentangle patterns and mandalas put together to create a piece.
My passion for art and design stems from a number of events, people and experiences that have been instrumental in shaping my thoughts and ideas.
The strongest influence on my work has been my mother. I was born into a household that appreciated art and revered good art. My mother is a very talented artist, and watching her apply her skills in my formative years was inspirational for me.
I sought to be like her, to paint like her and to one day be able to paint together with her. What began as an exercise in spending time together with my mother soon transformed into passion for art and design.
I learnt the nuances of art from my mother, as well as from Mr. Nikunja Basumatary, a teacher of mine at school. These individuals were instrumental in shaping the way I approached art. One of the most challenging things about being an artist is to be able to work with different mediums to be able to express yourself exactly the way you want. But that is only an interesting challenge to have! I am never without a sketchbook. I am constantly drawing and sometimes the drawings are left in the sketch books and other times they develop into more in-depth ideas and detailed images.
I don’t like to explain a certain piece of work – if one has made a painting and that’s how one wants it to be – hopefully the work can speak for itself and whatever it says to the viewer is the message there as I believe there is no right or a wrong message. I like for each person to take something a little different from the picture. That is what I strive for.
Making place for oneself in the industry is a very tough task when you don’t belong to it already or don’t hold a degree in arts from a reputed college or university. Getting to paint more than 100 toilets for the promotions of the movie Toilet-Ek Prem Katha was the biggest turning point. Another accomplishment was clinching Bikanerwala as one of my clients and being able to revamp all their outlets across the globe through my digital doodle artwork.
These two projects really gave me confidence about my artwork and even got in the respect and fame I had been aiming to earn as an artist. My biggest motivation is getting to turn my passion into a career.
It is often said that there is never a day you have to work in life if you do what you really like doing. I have always been passionate about the arts and I’m convinced a future in this field is my calling. Hence, that’s what drives me to give my 100% in this profession. It’s been 6 years since the foundation of brushes n strokes.
The journey has been tough but fun and filled with new learnings, Brushes n strokes has ventured into lots of different sectors – corporate, hotels, the film industry, and now very soon launching Kaarii – an organic linen brand.
My biggest learning has been that,
“You learn something each day in life.”
But one thing that I really learnt in business is that
“You don’t always work on trust. You have to be professional and sensible while dealing with people.”
To drop in a message to Harshi, get out her amazing artwork pieces, inquire about or buy one of her eye-candy pieces, and to stay updated about her recent artwork projects, follow the links below:
- Brushes n Strokes Instagram page
- Brushes n Strokes Facebook page
- Brushes n Strokes YouTube page
- Brushes n Strokes Etsy shop
- Brushes n Strokes Twitter page
- Brushes n Strokes on Find Glocal
- Brushes n Strokes on World Art Community
Other professional pages and info:
- LinkedIn page
- Brushes n Strokes portfolio/CV (image below)
Harshi’s work through Brushes n Strokes has been featured in multiple newspapers and magazine. Follow the links below to have a look at these features