By Shruti Vij, 42, Gurugram
My path to becoming a full-time visual artist has been indirect to say the least. However, I wouldn’t trade my time of being an “artist interrupted” for anything.
I’ve always had a love for creativity from a very young age. From drawing, playing with colours and making play dough, to getting ticked off on my first day of school for drawing eyes in the word “look”, creative activities were always great fun for me.
Although I may not have fully understood it on a conscious level then, playing in order to bring something new and unique (and hopefully of value) into the world always brought me a great deal of satisfaction.
I trained in leather designing from National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), New Delhi. I got married after a short stint in the garment industry. Thereafter, motherhood became my first priority.
Soon, it became pretty clear that whatever else I did, my desire to draw, design and be creative in a professional sense wasn’t going to go away, no matter how hard I tried to fit my skills and personality into other areas.
I started visiting various art galleries in Delhi and participating in their painting workshops. This is where the seed of being an abstract artist was sown, permanently lodged into my soul.
Honestly, I didn’t know what to think of abstract painting until I started working on my first canvas. It was like a bullet hit me. I felt something connect.
The brushstrokes, lines, and dabs of paint made only with movements, gestures, and marks made complete sense to me. I simply understood the way to move paint, arrange surfaces, and how to express from the inside out. Purely expressive painting was natural, authentic and intuitive for me.
But it’s not just the creativity and continual development that I love. It’s the freedom that comes with working for yourself.
My career goal has always been to able to spend my time doing work I enjoy, but in becoming a freelancer I’ve come to realise that I actually enjoy the freedom of being my own boss and running my own business as much as I do the creative aspect.
The longer road with all of its detours has paid off in terms of rounding out my life experiences, making me more focused, determined, and extremely grateful for the opportunity I have in the studio right now. Waiting is a great motivator.
First published in eShe’s August 2019 issue