1. What sparked your interest in discovering the Artpreneur Program?
The IT industry provides numerous opportunities to explore the software world. However, the nature of the work often leads individuals to consider pursuing their passion outside this industry. While I volunteered for creative tasks like poster making, project booklets, and celebration posts, which were more interesting to me than my actual work, I wasn’t a full professional in this area.
I sought a way to turn my passion into a sustainable livelihood. I was willing to take any risk to start something new. That’s when my good friend Tousif suggested that his colleague had just completed the Artpreneur Program by taking a break for a year. I contacted his colleague, Artpreneur alumni Nikitha, spoke to her, and gained so much confidence and positive feedback that I could sense this was what I was looking for.
2. What is your career background?
I served as a technical lead in the IT industry for almost a decade.
3. Having established a solid foundation in IT over the decade, what factors influenced your decision to take a leap of faith in the creative field?
The life of a software professional can be demanding, often requiring long hours, dealing with tight deadlines, and navigating high-pressure situations. Job satisfaction may diminish for some due to burnout, limited work-life balance, and the constant need to adapt to rapidly evolving technologies. The relentless nature of IT work often prompted me to explore new paths that aligned more closely with my personal well-being and career satisfaction.
Upon exploring the program’s details and conducting research with the help of my friend, I discovered that the creative field was vast. I was surprised to learn that I could turn my passion into a career. This was the moment I realized that it was now or never to pivot my career. With no knowledge about the design field, art forms, and, more importantly, how one could have a career in the creative industry, I joined this program without a second thought.
4. What are you doing currently?
I am currently running my own studio, VIVE Studios, based in Bengaluru.
After successfully completing the Artpreneur Program, I transitioned into securing paid projects. The program proved to be a catalyst for my professional growth, equipping me with valuable skills in branding and illustrations. These two core skills expanded my horizon, helping me dive into vast creative projects. Thus, I was able to build a strong foundation for my studio—a happy place where a vibrant creative journey unfolds with colors. Here, I undertake branding and illustrative projects ranging from logo design, branding, packaging design to illustration for children's books and Indian folk art books, along with all types of invitations.
One of the significant milestones in my recent endeavors was contributing to the publishing of the first version of the GITA book, officially launched at the C-20/G-20 summit in Mahabalipuram. This assignment was offered to me by Janki, my friend and a co-artpreneur with whom I collaborated on this divine project. It was a tremendous honor to receive the newly launched GITA book from Shri R. N. Ravi, the Tamil Nadu Governor, alongside Swami Mitrananda ji, the head of Chinmaya Mission Chennai, on a distinguished platform. This experience greatly boosted my confidence and prompted a positive shift in my journey, supported by overwhelming acceptance from friends and family.
The Artpreneur Program not only provided me with the technical expertise needed for my creative endeavors but also empowered me with the confidence and visibility essential for establishing a successful and thriving career.
5. Despite having prior art experience, how has your understanding of Art evolved throughout your journey in the program? What new expertise have you gained?
As a child, I loved anything related to art, such as sketching, painting, craft making, pottery, etc. However, my early creations mostly involved replicating what I saw, deriving joy from the accuracy of my reproductions. A fresh expertise I gained is how an individual can visualize a concept and bring it into art. I learned how to incorporate this concept using Indian folk art—an essential milestone for me. The major takeaway is the ability to bring true meaning to my work through ideation and conceptualization, along with the specialized skill of mastering Indian folk art. This unique skill allows me to stand out.
Discovering and understanding the world of Indian folk art was an entirely novel experience for me. It's remarkable for me to comprehend that I have transitioned from being a learner to mastering various traditional art forms. Now, I even have the confidence to pick up and learn new art forms using the skills gained from the program. The Artpreneur Program has opened my eyes to a million possibilities to expand my capability.
6. As an individual who transitioned from a technical background to a creative career, what were the challenges you encountered, and how did you successfully navigate them?
Transitioning from a well-paid technical job after almost a decade posed a significant challenge. Doubts about leaving a secure position and starting a new career were overwhelming. Despite having artistic passion, I had lost touch during my career, making it feel like starting from scratch.
The Artpreneur program's commitment to transforming beginners into masters provided the encouragement I needed to advance. The program facilitated a seamless journey, guiding every step and allowing for independent progress. For me, it was precisely what I was looking for.
The program boasts a very succulently structured syllabus that allows anyone with no idea about the design world to become a master. It is tailor-made to each individual, meaning every small detail in correcting my learning, my work, or even maintaining my disciplined lifestyle is taken into consideration to ensure I excel.
The curriculum promises to provide design learnings on branding, different forms of art, and tools like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, etc. But it doesn’t end there. Once you are into the program, you are immersed in a new journey that changes the way you learn, work, spend your time each day, and even think about every aspect of life, helping to elevate oneself. Another crucial skill I learned is the art of journaling and gratitude. This experience not only transformed me into a better version of myself but also brought forth profound self-awareness, offering a clearer perspective on my future vision.
The collaborative support of all these elements facilitated a seamless transition from my technical IT field to a successful career as a creative designer.
7. Beyond the technical skills, what are the impactful lessons or insights from the Artpreneur Program that has left a lasting imprint on your life?
The program emphasizes the significance of having a clear vision and purpose in what you do. It provides guidance on prioritizing and incorporating these principles into your lifestyle. This focus on vision and purpose is the main USP of the program. Participating in the program not only provided expertise in a specific subject but also developed a profound understanding of the importance of having a guided vision and purpose in life. This holistic approach sets the program apart by offering a unique and comprehensive educational experience unlike other institutions/programs.
8. How pivotal were the guidance of the educators and mentors in shaping your journey during the Artpreneur Program?
I learned the true meaning of a GURU in this program. Selfless knowledge-givers are all around you in this program. My educator, Anish, is a true teacher who wants students to flourish to the maximum extent. This field was completely new to me, and I felt like I was coming down from a bachelor's to primary school to restart, and the fear started to build up. Anish's guidance helped me overcome all of them. Anish truly molded me into this world. The technical details educators have mastered are exceptional, and no student can go wrong or lose track.
When I look back years ago when I started the Artpreneur program and compare myself now, I have come a very long way. In other words, an unimaginable transformation that would have taken many years to reach this stage. And this is all because of the founder, my mentor, respected SCD Balaji. He maintains such a close watch on every individual that even the slightest changes or mistakes are pointed out and guided in a highly sensitive manner, nurturing the creation of more imaginative works. This level of attentiveness is something I find rare, as a genuine teacher like Balaji sir wants us to flourish in our own unique ways and supports us deeply throughout this journey.
From being a founder to an educator to being a complete mentor, Balaji sir has proven that anybody can flourish with his wisdom and guidance on crucial stages of learning, along with the portfolio, which in turn takes us to the right career path. A program like this cannot be created just like that; he who has immense knowledge, passion, and wisdom along with a strong vision with consistency can only provide this to society.
The whole commune of educators, instructors, and co-instructors along with organizers are the core archetype of wisdom for this program. One has to enroll in this program to experience the quality education it provides to the world. I feel so fortunate to have been a proud Artpreneur. I wish one day this program goes international for the world to recognize and experience the magic.
9. Envisioning the future, where do you foresee yourself five years from now?
As an individual, I foresee being recognized as a quality brand consultant and a master illustrator cum doodler. I aim to master my skills in motion graphics within five years. The freedom to envision and aim in this creative journey within this vast ocean is possible because of the process I learned from the Artpreneur program.
10. Based on your experience, how likely are you to recommend the Artpreneur program to individuals contemplating a career transition into the creative field?
I 100% recommend this to anyone looking to explore a new path. With dedication and perseverance, this program will help you rediscover your new self. With zero knowledge of the design industry and the software involved, I dove freely into the Artpreneur program, submitting myself as a child. Trusting the program and experiencing a magical journey can help anyone discover the best version of yourself, just as I did. Adding to this, the program needs consistency, and focus throughout to excel in your vision. So, if you are ready to explore something new, exciting, with full enthusiasm, and ready to give all energy, then this program is for you.
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