If you are an entrepreneur or aspiring to be one, Branding & Design Literacy is inevitable to grow yourself & your business. 
Being a creative entrepreneur for almost 7 years, Ketaki decided to invest 1 year into learning & upgrading her skills with the Artpreneur Program. What she thought as a sabbatical ended up to be life-changing! 
We, Atma Studios, had a conversation with Ketaki Kulkarni, the founder of Tongue-In-Cheek, to understand how the Artpreneur program helped her grow as an entrepreneur & as a creative person.

Conceptualised and Illustrated by Ketaki, Tongue-in-Cheek | Artpreneur Program Alumni 

2019-2020 | The Cocoon of Fireflies Batch

1. How did you get to know about the Artpreneur Program?
I found Artpreneur Program through an Instagram ad.

Conceptualised and Illustrated by Ketaki, Tongue-in-Cheek | Artpreneur Program Alumni 

2019-2020 | The Cocoon of Fireflies Batch

2. What were you working as before joining Artpreneur? 
I've been an entrepreneur for 7 years. 
I founded Tongue-in-cheek - a creative brand that provides customized handmade greeting cards & gifts. 
Before starting Tongue-in-cheek, I worked in the VFX industry for 3 years.

Conceptualised and Illustrated by Ketaki, Tongue-in-Cheek | Artpreneur Program Alumni 

2019-2020 | The Cocoon of Fireflies Batch

3. How did you start your creative business?  
Since childhood, my dad wanted me to play chess. I started playing chess when I was 4. But, I was always interested in art. 
I wanted to study fine arts, but I missed many entrance exams because of chess tournaments. So, along with my B.com, I joined an animation course since I felt it was a creative study. 
After the course, I started working in the VFX industry for 3 years. The job was not as creative as I thought. All the creative works were done abroad & only the labour work came to India. 
I wanted to start something of my own. Coming from a business family, my parents encouraged me. 
That's when Tongue-in-cheek started. 
Initially, I arranged small stalls in front of a store & sold handmade greeting cards that spoke true feelings with witty messages! Then we ventured into handmade gifts along with cards. 
Then slowly, we began the physical store. 
It was very different from the regular shops. It was wholly handmade & we give a more personalized touch to the cards & gifts.

Conceptualised and Illustrated by Ketaki, Tongue-in-Cheek | Artpreneur Program Alumni 

2019-2020 | The Cocoon of Fireflies Batch

4. Why did you choose to join the Artpreneur program while running your creative business? 
After the shop started, it was going great! Every day we'd get new orders and, I was creating something new. Our competitors were some of the big players in this industry. But, one mistake we committed was, we never went online.
At that time, many design merchandise companies began to boom online. That's when I felt lagging behind & I realized the need to digitalize all my works. 
When I saw the Artpreneur Program's curriculum, I knew I was joining. The curriculum is pretty extensive. 

Conceptualised and Illustrated by Ketaki, Tongue-in-Cheek | Artpreneur Program Alumni 

2019-2020 | The Cocoon of Fireflies Batch

5. How did you manage your business & the Artpreneur classes? What were the challenges you faced & how did you handle them? 
Since tongue-in-cheek is a physical store, it was challenging to manage the store & the session. If there was a festival, it used to be very hectic for me. Somehow I got holidays. But it was tough. 
Our classes began in August 2019 & in January 2020, I got pregnant. The first trimester of pregnancy was bad & so I took a break from my store. 
I was at home just focusing on my pregnancy & the classes.

Conceptualised and Designed by Ketaki, Tongue-in-Cheek | Artpreneur Program Alumni 

2019-2020 | The Cocoon of Fireflies Batch

6. Having studied animation & being in the design industry, how do you think Artpreneur Program is different from other design courses? 
Artpreneur Program is a platform that teaches you how to make your expertise into money. 
I learnt Photoshop at my animation institute, but they didn't teach me how to make a career with the knowledge. They just used to teach it as mere software. 
But Artpreneur Program is very systematic. It has a proper plan & vision for each student. We also have one to one call with the Mentor to discuss our vision & future career plans. 
Whatever we learn here, the Program aims to convert it into a career & earn through it.

Conceptualised and Illustrated by Ketaki, Tongue-in-Cheek | Artpreneur Program Alumni 

2019-2020 | The Cocoon of Fireflies Batch

7. Did Artpreneur Program change your perspective about business? How it helped you as an Entrepreneur & a creative person? 
Definitely, it helped! 
Before Artpreneur, I was not much confident about my drawing skills. After going through the course, I gained a lot of confidence both creatively & as a person.   
I learnt to value my time. From the business perspective, I used to price my products only based on the raw materials used. But from the Artpreneur Program, I learnt how to value my time & how to price our product/service.

Conceptualised and Illustrated by Ketaki, Tongue-in-Cheek | Artpreneur Program Alumni 

2019-2020 | The Cocoon of Fireflies Batch

8. We know you are just back from your pregnancy break. What do you do now? 
I published my first book 'Learning from Animal Moms' as a part of the Program. 
When the Program was over, I was in the second trimester of my pregnancy. I was not in a situation to commit to a project. 
I have just started taking up projects. 
And I recently published my second book, 'Kaveri celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi'. Both the books are available on Amazon.
9. Being an entrepreneur for 7 years, how do you think Artpreneur will help entrepreneurs? 
The focus of Artpreneur is very clear. The students have to be independent & build their creative career or a brand after completing the Program. 
For beginners, it is of great help. They will get to see real-life experiences. The industry, as well as the Program, is not sugar-coated. They will face very realistic things. 
They will learn that 'you put this much effort, you'll get this much result'. 
As an entrepreneur, the Program will change even small things, like building confidence, valuing time & discipline. 
10. Would you recommend Artpreneur Program to others? Why?
Yes. Because it is life-changing. 
It's not only about monetary benefits & building a career.  
Let's say if a homemaker attends this course, & maybe she didn't take up any projects. But, she'd have gained knowledge for her life. It will give her recognition. If it is a career, then it is an added advantage. You gain something huge & also earn money. 
After the Program, we really grow. Even my husband has seen me grow & he knows this Program has changed me. My friends say that too. 
It is for life, and it is worth investing in. 
A word to people who are looking to join the Artpreneur program...
If you have time & money to invest in, then definitely give it a try. You won't regret it for sure. 
Artpreneur Program is a give & take course. You put in 100%, you will get 100%.

Conceptualised and Designed by Ketaki, Tongue-in-Cheek | Artpreneur Program Alumni 

2019-2020 | The Cocoon of Fireflies Batch

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