Artist Praaggya Sharma had been moving from one city to another from the time she was born at her uncle’s house in Bareilly, U.P until in 2010, she settled down in Bangalore. While her literal transition had come to a halt with her husband and a family of her own, she found a medium of metaphormosis- colours on a canvas! Painting, she realized was something that would keep her evolving constantly.
- Before you got into the world of painting and art, what did you do?
I have lived over many states, cities and small towns as my family kept moving. I was born in Uttar Pradesh and we moved to Rajasthan because of my father’s work. However we made another move to Delhi where I did my schooling and my two siblings were born. After I was done with school, we moved to Ahmedabad for a year. In 2004, my family moved again to Chandigarh where I finished my college. Then, I went to IMT Nagpur for my MBA. After that, for a year, I worked in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh and finally in 2010, I settled down in Bangalore!
I worked as an advertising professional until 2014. My husband and I had met while I was in IMT Nagpur. We started dating after a while and got married. We were blessed with a baby girl in 2015. With the new addition in the family, I decided to devote my time at home. A baby can be a handful and even 24 hours in a day isn’t enough. 3 months ago I went back to work on the client side this time, in a real estate firm.
- With your constant moving and your family, when and how did you find your inspiration? How did you fall into the world of art and colours?
I was always an avid reader but never saw art as my thing until I was pregnant. Of course I read a lot more books during my pregnancy as well. My pregnancy was a significant time for me as I was pampered by everyone in the family which made me realize the value and the sacred cycle of birth. It was during that time when I had love and solitude in equal measures that I took up a brush for the first time and started painting. I made two paintings. That was it. Nothing more and after two years, in March 2016, I went to meet my parents and stayed with them for about three months. In that space and time, I picked up my brush again and painted some more.
The artists’ community on Instagram was very supportive, in fact I made a few friends with whom I chat and discuss art outside of Instagram too. The feedback is encouraging. It is what keeps me going.
The bond that is born in a community brought together by the love of art is powerful and inspiring.
- So after you found your inspiration and love for art, how did you get it in motion?
I suppose the literal movement I’ve had as a child and a young adult must have subconsciously seeped into my soul. I never thought twice when it came to painting. It was a creative idea in my head and I knew I had to move that idea from my mind onto a tangible, physical surface.
I started with watercolours, loose florals mostly and then eventually shifted to acrylics. Once I painted an abstract painting, there was no stopping me! It used to be a struggle sometimes, making the colours work together, trying to blend them in the desired way, get the right texture, and most importantly bringing all the elements on a piece together. But that was the fun of it. The process, the obstacle and the motion!
- What were the challenges you faced when following your passion even after motherhood? What kept you going?
Art is a form of healer for me. I found art at a time when I was a stay-at-home-mom and would hardly find the motivation to even change out of my pyjamas. Art rescued me. It helped me stay on the constant journey of the real world and the abstract. And it was all the more necessary because my baby needed me to be there at all times, with the perfect composure. Painting was my outlet when everyone would be at work and there wouldn’t be anyone to talk to. So, when my baby used to nap, I used to paint alongside preparing her food and cleaning up the mess she’d make, clearing out the toys, etc. Even then, it was still more of a hobby. I watched videos on YouTube and Instagram so that I could expand my horizon and try out ideas that I hadn’t.
After a while, in February 2017, I decided to go back to work. At the end of the day, one has to have a steady source on income. It not only helped me fall back into a healthy routine, it also gave me my own network. I sold a few pieces to colleagues at work and gained some attention. I was now a selling artist, finally! The sold pieces caught some attention and others started enquiring about my work .
I have been approached for a couple of commissions and I’m considering taking one of those even though it’s not at all my style. But I figured getting out of my comfort zone will renew my passion to learn more, to keep getting better. What I have learnt is that life and art need to be in a synchronized motion so that the journey doesn’t end. We all need new paths, new avenues to be on the constant move so that we are inspired, so that we keep growing!
- How do you share your artwork? Is it up for sale?