Today we are featuring ‘Shiva Baraya’, an artist and a mom in ‘Creative moms’ series. Her story shows us that one can do anything if they have a passion for it. Coming from a science background, she is MBA in HR from Banasthali Vidhyapeth. But her passion led her to the world of art.
When did you start painting?
I was always interested in drawing and painting. As a child, I used to always send hand painted birthday cards to all my cousins and friends. From 2012 I started painting seriously.
How did you start your journey as an artist?
After doing MBA I got married and we went to the UK. I never got a chance to do a corporate job. I was always ambitious and wanted to do something but with small children at home going to office was a challenge. Moreover, I didn’t want to leave my babies at home alone with maids or in day care.
One day my dear husband gifted me a canvas, oil paints and a set of brushes. ‘Rediscover the painter in you’, these beautiful lines written on the gift, inspired me to find my new identity in life. Since that day I have never looked back. My husband and my daughters are my support system. They always encourage and motivate me to keep painting.
I did a few paintings on my own but took training in oil painting from a local artist for a month. I went on to learn different art forms like Tanjore painting and Kerala mural. By then I had started teaching art to small children from our society. It was quite fulfilling as I was able to satisfy my creative urge and at the same time look after my small children.
I conduct art classes from home, which I fondly named ‘Colour Fields’.
The aim of Colour Fields is not only to teach drawing to children but to ignite their imagination and nurture their creativity.
With years of learning and teaching, I realized that my true calling was in watercolors. I took it up as a challenge to learn and master this most difficult medium of painting.
Did you go to any school/college for learning?
Yes, I learnt the basics from Rashmi Soni who is a very talented artist herself, in her I found a wonderful teacher and guide, but mostly I learnt by reading books and watching online videos making mistakes and practicing more. I also attended water colour workshop by master watercolorist of international fame Prafull Sawant.
What is your inspiration or where do you get inspiration for your artwork?
I take inspiration from nature. Flowers are my favorite subjects to photograph, paint and sketch. I am fascinated by the village and countryside of India. I also find rusted metal and wooden doors intriguing and appealing.
What is your favorite artwork from your own work and why?
I had painted Locks on the old door for an art exhibition in December. This 22”X15” painting is my favourite in watercolours till now. It took a lot of hard work and time to give all the detailing in the painting. This work of mine bagged third prize in Chitra Kala Sangam exhibition organized in Venkatappa art gallery, Bangalore. The painting was also selected in first Quito International Watercolour Biennale, Ecuador (South America) 2017.
Most important tip for other artists or for struggling mompreneurs.
It’s not easy to be a working mother. Kids need their moms to talk to, guide them and love them. In fact, parenting challenges increase as the kids grow older. To all those women who dream to have an identity apart from a wife or a mother, I would say dream and never give up. Please find some me time and work towards fulfilling that dream. When the kids are in school and your husband is in office, do something that adds value to your personality, skill set or knowledge. Learn a hobby, you never know when it comes in handy.
For struggling artists I would say the practice is very important, so every day do some art, watch a related video or get books on the subject and hone your talent. Being slow doesn’t mean that you are not growing, so don’t stop!
What is your vision? How are you planning to grow as an artist?
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep. Once I started doing I realized it’s not as easy and simple as it looks. In the coming years, I want to develop my signature style in watercolour painting, participate in art exhibitions around the world and want my work to be recognized internationally.
You can see Shiva’s art work and know more about her art classes here. :Colour fields is the name of her facebook page where you can find her.
I will be featuring creative moms every month in this space. Get in touch with me here if you want to get featured or know someone who is a ‘kreativemommy’ and doing something creative that needs a shout out.