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Dr. (HC) Sonjaye Maurya, Contemporary Artist from Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

  Dr. (HC) Sonjaye Maurya, Contemporary Artist from Mumbai , Maharashtra, India. Q1. How did your career journey start? Or Who/What inspir...

 Dr. (HC) Sonjaye Maurya, Contemporary Artist

from Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.


Q1. How did your career journey start? Or Who/What inspired you to start this Art Journey?

SM: I’ll say artists are born. It’s a God’s gift. As a child, I used to spend all my time, painting. While in class 8th, 9th and S.S.C. I appeared for Grade Exams. Was a rank holder and won awards for many subjects. Every Sunday I used to participate in some art competition. At the age of 14 and 15 I was bestowed with Prime Minister and President of India’s Award as a Child Artist. I knew that completing my S.S.C. is essential, even if I have to go to an art school. But being a brilliant student, even without putting much efforts, I cleared my S.S.C in 1st class.

 

But due to the family circumstances and social thinking at that time, I was not allowed to study fine arts.

 

After completing my studies, I started my own Business. Life went on. But somewhere somehow, I was not satisfied with life. So shut down my business in order to pursue my passion. In Dec. 2014, at the age of 50, I made my 1st painting after school days. And thus started a new journey. I call it, ‘My Second Inning.

 

Q2. Kindly share some information about your Arts, products and services here.

SM: I am a multi-disciplinary artist. My works have a mysterious quality... a magical touch that makes them stand apart from the works of other contemporary artists. Everything that I paint has a deep meaning and message in it. May it be Buddha or even if I am painting fishes or a landscape. My works are many a times a transformation from realistic to abstract and vice versa.

I deal with artistic perceptions about the human feelings and the different realms of life. My works explore the artistic transition from traditional to modern in vibrant colour palettes. My paintings reflect on fantasies and dreams.

My works are a result of vast experimentation with medium, style and techniques, and in-depth study of the subject. Many of My works are neither realistic representation nor abstract. They can’t be categorised to any specific school of art.

I am also a part of growth and development of art scene. My works are entirely different from others with sensitivity and lyricism of poetry. I understand rhythm and harmony. My concentration is on creative pursuit rather than commercial aspect. There is no diversion of mind.

I also work extensively on subjects related to ‘Spirituality’ and ‘Buddhism’, and themes that help us elevate life.

I am also one of the pioneer Indian Contemporary artists working on ‘Buddha’.

My group ‘Creative Art Affairs’ is by artist for artist. It’s an initiative to appreciate and promote young and upcoming artists.

The group has Futuristic vision n trend setting goals. And have been tirelessly yet zealously working for the core development of art and artists. The events organised by the groups and artists launched on platforms of repute were well received and highly appreciated.

‘Creative Art Affairs’ help in its quest to discover new talents, providing them platform by organizing various art activities. There is continued effort on the part of the group to find and cultivate dynamic, young contemporary artists who have the potential to contribute substantially to the understanding of art given the right environment and direction.

 

The group seek to promote contemporary Indian art and strive to deliver this by creating opportunities for the artists. It’s moto is to promote excellence and innovation in all aspects of its work and explore the unique contribution that the art can make to our understanding of contemporary.


Q3. What kind of challenges did you face while starting/doing your arts?

SM: In the 1st year of my painting career, I just painted and made 36 paintings. I wanted to have a good portfolio of my works to show to someone. Then came the promotion part. In less than 2 years, I participated in 32 art exhibitions all over India. But didn’t like the way the things were happening. Had bitter experiences at the hands of commercial organisers. The events were not organised well. I found that for most events no proper promotion was done or people invited. It was like you go there, display your works, sit idle for 4 days. Then take down your paintings and come back.

                           
Q4. Are you an Art Entrepreneur?

SM: I am not a commercial organiser. But I have devoted my life to art and welfare of artists. My experience while promoting myself, made me think that someone has to come forward and do things selflessly for artist fraternity. Otherwise also I was doing social services. So I took up this task to help, guide and promote artists.

 


Q5. How have you empowered other people?

SM: Any artist from anywhere, big or small can contact me anytime for art related help. I guide them with their work, studies, create opportunities for them. Promote them by referring to useful events, getting them published internationally, nominating them for awards. Even help them get jobs if possible.


Q6. What are your future plans? Or now what is your vision for next five years?

SM: As an artist explore myself deeper. Scale new heights. I am a Kala Ratn, Swami Vivekanand Excellence Award, Bharat Jyoti awardee. Am a world peace, brotherhood and humanity ambassador. But it’s just the beginning.

As an artist promoter, look for newer avenues and think of ways to promote artists more. Get them to show themselves and their works all across the world. As, in last two years I have already got made provisions to launch aspiring artists on big platforms for nominal fee, getting them the benefits enjoyed by established and sellable artists.

 

Q7. What would you advise/suggest new artists/entrepreneurs who want to start & sustain?

SM: For excelling in your work… Make more and more art. Practice… practice and practice. This is the only way to improve your skills. But along with making more and more art and practicing, you need to study as well. As you need to paint and create with a sense of direction.

Have a proper plan for your work in your head before starting off on the canvas. Though the visual, style, technique or treatment might change as the work progresses, as the brain is very imaginative and keeps working, thinking and flashing new ideas and images in front of you, and you think it will look even better. Never mind. The end result may be better than the one you had thought. Your work must have right path and progression. Learning is necessary to improve your skills and avoid incorrect practices. It’s important to keep a check and correct your mistakes in time, so that they do not become habits in long run. Without proper knowledge or guidance, you will keep on repeating the same mistakes. You cannot succeed by ignoring learning and just by picking up a brush and start painting. And it can be achieved too, even if you missed going to an art college and didn’t earn a degree.

We are fortunate to be born in this era of digital media, where a whole lot of study material is available on internet. Knowledge is scattered all around us. We should simply reach out and grasp it. Read books, blogs, articles, watch instructional videos and study works of other artists. We have a whole lot of great artists and master painters, who never went to art schools and or even started painting after the age of 70 and still succeeded. (Mind it they didn’t have internet or even computers). The simple formula behind their success was learning, knowledge and proper direction.

It is equally important to devote sufficient time to study various aspects of painting, besides just picking up the brush and colouring the paper or canvas. Explore various possibilities of different media, tools and technics. Study works of great artists. Know the material available in the market and how best you can bring it to your advantage. Find out things that can add a different style or effect to enhance the looks of your works.

Experiment how your drawing or painting effects can be enhanced by preparing, modifying or changing the surface you are working on. Possibly you can add some texture to the surface- soft or wild, depending on the subject and make your work look more appealing. This you can do with texture white, crumpled paper, using cement or anything you can think of. May be or simply scratch the surface of the paper with your nails or with some pointed objects. Change the way you use your paints by diluting, thickening, throwing, splashing, spraying, blowing and/or by adding some other medium or material, adding it texture, making it grainy, luminous, dull etc. Understand your tool. Handle it in a different way to see, if you can achieve different effects. Look around your place, for things that can be helpful for you to paint or create some new effects. Drawing and painting is not limited to pencils, brushes or spatulas. Learn about uses of various mediums like fixative, varnishes, gels, etc. for preserving and making your work archival and their effects on the paints used. Give proper thought to the presentation part. Appropriate mounting and choice of right frame can enhance the beauty of your works.

Exploring knowledge on History of Art, origins of various schools (styles) goes a long way in enhancing your art. A tall building can only be elevated on a strong foundation.

Being a self-taught artist, you have the liberty to choose to paint in the style you wish to. But you must give a direction to your style. Don’t let the monotony take over single minded subject or technique. Don’t enter a comfort zone. Experiment till you develop your own unique style. Over time you will discover that you are really good at some particular medium, style, tool or technic. The tools and the material obey your mind and hands. Regular practice and command over it will make you a brand in future. Just painting, probably you will be producing more work. But by painting and simultaneously exploring knowledge, you will be producing quality work.

About Promoting yourself… My young fellow artists, Rome was not built in a day. And if it was that, every young lad alighting at Dadar (Mumbai) with rosy dreams of becoming a star in Bollywood would become Dharmendra. Being successful as an artist (painter) is not easy as in any other field. Lot of struggle is involved. You have to prove yourself, make a mark and a niche for yourself. And if you are looking for someone to market you, first you have to make a brand out of yourself.

So make a brand of yourself. Prove your mettle. One movie of a new comer or struggler when becomes a hit on the box office, producers’ line up at his place to sign him/her up for their new movies. Have patient. Look at the bigger canvas. Success is not easy to come. But when it comes, it knows no bounds.

As I mentioned, paint with planning, in my article ‘EXPLORE, PRACTICE AND EXCEL AS A SELF-TAUGHT ARTIST', here I say promote yourself with planning. As in any other business, to sell art also you require proper planning and strategy.

So what should be done to promote yourself and sell your art!

 

Creating art and marketing art are two different roles. Many artists are not trained marketers. They would rather spend their time in their studio creating. But, in order to sell art, some art marketing and promotion knowledge is necessary. Organize and set apart art creation and art marketing time. As artists, we need to realize that just as much as time is spent in creating art, same amount of time needs to be spent in marketing and promoting it. Without marketing it may be very difficult to sell art and receive commissions. Unless you have someone else to do the promotion and marketing for you, you will have to schedule and organize your time.


Like any other product or service, art too requires good marketing. The only difference is that here the market is different and the clientele is different too. Everybody doesn’t buy art as it’s not considered a necessity. So the target audience is limited. It is essential to reach out to the prospective buyers. And how to do that!

The path of an artist is different. Some of us lose vision and determination. So if you want to succeed, uphold to your dreams and fight the good fight. Take advice of successful artists, navigate adversity and embrace self-discovery. Never talk negative about your art or express self-doubt. Believe in your product. This is the business aspect of your creativity.

For art buyers to reflect on your paintings have an Artist Statement. It should include primary theme of your creations, your artistic goals and ambitions, why you love to paint, draw, sculpt, etc. It should also include who your viewers or audience are, whom is your art intended for, some artists and styles that have influenced you.

Include Artist Statement with your portfolio. If someone wants to buy your artwork, wants to see some background of you as an artist, then you may present them with your Artist Statement. You may also post it online where you have an artist profile, or on your Facebook page.

Don’t limit yourself by following other people styles, take it as an influencing factor and rather be yourself. You are unique in your own way. Your style is your voice and is timeless. It will not dissolve or end like a trend. But will become your recognition.

People buy what they see. Visual connection is the key element of desire. We need to get art on display. Galleries, art fairs and websites can’t do it alone. People should be able to see your work not only in galleries, but public places, where captive audiences gather. Get published and make your reach wider. Be visible to the world.

Probably this may not work too. But taking steps is the only path to success. Don’t give up. You’ve dedicated years, money and countless hours into developing your skill. So if you’ve gotten knocked down, get up and keep moving forward. Why would you give up? Why put all that time, blood, sweat and tears to waste and just throw it all away? A common reason why artists fail is that they get caught up in other aspects of their lives, put their artwork on hold and, eventually, the creativity starves and dies. People who don’t give up, no matter what life throws at them, are more likely to make a name for themselves in whichever creative vocation they choose. Winner are not those who never fail, but those who never quit. The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. You shouldn’t have a 2nd option. This makes giving and shifting easy. It may take 10,20 or more years to succeed. But be persistent.

Network with other artists. Exchange ideas, knowledge and information and learn from them. Knowing people is more important than achieving a college degree. Whom you know is more important in art-world.

There are more possibilities than ever for emerging artists to sell art. Just browse online and you will find hundreds of ways an artist can sell art. But, even though these opportunities are available, you need to explore strategies to use them and make your art visible and sellable.

Make long term plans to sell your artworks. The most important is to have a good portfolio, with a variety of themes, techniques, and styles. Your portfolio must have large enough collection that portrays you as a serious and dedicated artist.

Once you have a portfolio with you, plan to promote it. Set out to get your art seen. It helps to set goals of where you want to be in a few years’ time. It is said that a piece of art is your own voice. Do take your own liberty to express yourself. But be little considerate too, in order to make a sale of your art. This means your work should have a mass appeal - a style, a subject liked by many. Your work must have a subject, a theme, to which, people can relate themselves easily to. If you are not selling, and funds are what is needed to continually produce and promote art, some changes may have to be made. Look for general trends in the art world, and find out what people are buying and writing about.

Write regularly, about the artworks you are working on currently. Create an art blog and start blogging about random thoughts, processes, and works in progress. Whether it is a certain concept, subject, or theme, an art buyer will appreciate the piece more if they can know what it means, and why you created it. Have some of this conveyed through your artwork title, but try to enlighten an art buyer with a summary of what inspired you, so that they can easily explain it to others who will ask questions. Have a website to sell your artworks. It’s the most promising tool for selling in today’s digital age. If you cannot make a website on your own, spend some amount to hire help to create it for you.

Pricing your work entirely depends on what stage you are in your art career. Add value to your work. Good presentation, framing of reasonably good size enhances your artwork. Smaller is better.

A lot of artist (including myself) want to make big painting. Sometimes of a gigantic proportion. It’s a fantasy of every artist. But you have to think of practicality too. May be a big size painting allows you to give ease with big brush stroke to flow or your style of giving finer details comes through better. But small size paintings are affordable. They can be easily framed and hanged anywhere. Easy to transport or ship. High end art is only for an exclusive few.  

 Look at the prices of other artists in your stage of artistic development. Visit art galleries or search for prices online. Explain your prices in practical language to anyone who asks, and never base it on emotions. For example, tell them your painting took certain amount of time to create along with cost of materials involved, instead of saying you price it higher because it has personal meaning. Unless they know you, they will not understand the significance of your personal attachment to the painting. If you can convey that the artwork has a certain tangible value related to the time spent, artistic skill success, cost of materials, etc., the art buyer is more likely to buy the artwork.

When a person views an artwork, they often want to buy it because they see something in it that relates to them. They have an emotional reaction to the piece, which stirs them to want to buy it. There are a lot of things that contribute to the value of an artwork. How it is presented, where it is showcased, all helps to increase the perceived value. An artwork displayed in a gallery would certainly appear more valuable than one in a coffee shop. That is not to say you should not display in a coffee shop, especially if you are an emerging artist. It is effective for name recognition.

Look for what sells. If you are residing or operating from a particular area (and not in metro or cosmopolitan cities) which has a peculiar taste, culture adopt it in your art form. Say Thanjavur (Tanjore) in south India, or use of vibrant colours in central India. Folk or religious and mythological subjects in north India.

Bestselling subjects in Indian scenario are landscapes, seascapes, beach scenes, harbour, animals, birds, flowers, abstract, semi-abstract, impressionistic landscapes, modern art.

                   


Q8. Facebook profile URL link

SM: facebook.com/kala.ratn.sonjaye.maurya

facebook.com/sonjaye.maurya.art.world/

facebook.com/groups/creativeartaffairs/

 

Q9. YouTube channel URL link

SM: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1wSBfMh-UjkRW4JbvKqdiA

Interviewed By : Ms. Nisha Nikam Bhagwate
Editor – Interior Vista eMagazine
Mob: +91 7039923179
Email: 
nikam.nisha@gmail.com
Blog: http://www.nishanikam.co.in

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