Pete Seeger says,
“If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled, or composted, then it should be restricted, designed or removed from production.”
In our #MondayMotivation blog focusing on the #WonderWomen segment, we present a woman who follows this philosophy through her artistic pursuits and passion. Meet, Monali Mohanty, who is a biotechnologist by profession and qualification, and an artist by passion. She is the founder of RANG, a platform which deals in hand-painted customized home & office decor and utility products. They are also are into upcycling of old furniture and revamping them as per the clients need. Rang does corporate gifting and workshops as well. So, what led Monali to give up her love for science to pursue her passion for arts and how does she manage time between managing a one-woman business alongside her personal responsibilities? Let’s find out in her own words.
“By profession and qualification, I am a Biotechnologist and by passion I’m the Founder of RANG. RANG deals in hand-painted customized home & office decor and utility products. Also, we are into upcycling of old furniture. Revamping them as per the clients need. We do Corporate gifting and workshops as well. My father is a Doctor, so I always had this inclination towards the medical field. Hence, science is my first love. Though I loved what I did, I found solace in art. I have never had any formal training in fine arts which in retrospect I feel I should have had. My mom used to love painting and as a kid I have seen her paint and that’s the only training I had, which was “seeing her paint”
I quit my job during my pregnancy as it was a difficult one. And just to do something productive I used to paint in my free time. I had always loved to paint. I just feel at peace, all the chaos around me just seems to cease. It was a tray that I painted first, which a friend saw and ordered a few customized products for gifting.
And with God’s grace I haven’t looked back ever since. I never took it seriously that anyone will be interested in buying my products and always questioned my works, thinking, “Is it really good enough for someone to buy?” That’s when my family was a solid support and kept encouraging. My mom and dad, and my husband were always my rock and critic both. I got a lot of word of mouth publicity and gradually things picked up. That’s how RANG came into being.
Since I am not a trained artist, I was looking at making utility products. The painting was not the difficult part. But sustainability and finesse had to be there to compete with the digitally printed products available in the market.
And also, hand-painted products are expensive and have a niche market. So the major struggle was to understand how to go about making the products more sustainable , what base to use , what sealants to use , how to source material, networking , promoting the work, etc and I am a one woman show, managing my business and my little one altogether. When I had started my business, my daughter was just 1 year old and since we are a nuclear family it was a challenge to manage taking care of her as well the business at the same time.
But I guess it’s a gradual process where you learn from your mistakes. I also believe the process is more important as that will finally give you the end result you desire. No shortcuts!!
I always have this desire to try something new and keep exploring new things. There are so many different art forms, so many different ways that art can touch our lives and add colour to it. I guess that keeps me going. Being always on the lookout for something new and pushing myself to see if I can achieve it. I love the challenge. Self-motivation is the key!!
The journey so far has been great. Whatever small space I have built for myself I’m grateful for the same. But miles to go before I sleep. In this digitalised world I wish to keep the part of hand painting art alive and my ambition is to see RANG grow and venture into customized hand painted furniture, customized corporate gifts and wedding gifts.
This is purely because I believe that customised gifts add so much more value to gifting.
My biggest learning has been to
“Fall in love with the process and the results will come “
Because, if you wish to make beautiful things, you have to give it time and have patience.
“All beautiful things have their own journey to make before they become what they are. “
Unlike so many tutorials available today, and all social media platforms where now you can get advice from the seasoned artists, when I started in 2014 there wasn’t much of a social media boom. No one to ask and get answers. So, I kept trying out options to see what works the best for me and what makes my products look good and never did I get bored of trying or not enjoying what I did. And eventually the eureka moment came. It was a big deal for someone like me who knew nothing about this field expect that I loved and enjoyed painting!! And these learnings that I learned the hard way are something that I won’t forget all my life.
To drop in a message to Monali, check out her wonderful art pieces, or to inquire and order her products and services, follow the links below: