Sakshi Khullar Gupta | Changing the fate of Art in Jammu

With over a decade of self-directed learning, Sakshi Khullar Gupta, is now a well-known artist in Jammu. She cannot be pinned into one artistic category. Her paintings capture scenes from Banaras Ghats, ancient Indian architecture, random scooter parked in the streets of Delhi to eclectic, colourful yet thought-provoking elements. Read some excerpts from the interview, Jammu Links News did with her:

Q1. How has your childhood been like?

I have had a wonderful childhood with great interest in painting, but I was clueless about universe conspiring to make me an entrepreneur.

Q2. Share the moment when you took the plunge to become full-time artist?

Professionally, I am a commerce student who later finished MBA from SMVDU, Katra. I worked in the corporate sector for almost 3 years but oftentimes, I would find myself doodling my thoughts venting out stress on paper. Array of such incidents, feedback received from colleagues, family and friends solidified the decision to finally quit my job in 2014 and give a shot to my dreams.

Q3. Whom would you consider as your support system?

Most definitely my father, Anil Khullar and my loving husband, Adv. Aditya Gupta. Both motivated and supported me immensely through this journey.

Q4. Which artist inspires you the most?

Since, I opened my Studio, I have been experimenting with different art-styles like texture, moulding, acrylics, oil etc. but I am more inclined towards water-colour and resin artwork focussing on themes like nature, real-life scenes, Indian history and abstract. So, in that genre, I look up to Kim Rose, an LA based resin artist and Raghunath Rao, watercolour artist.

Q5. When did you launch your studio and what was the vision behind it?

Studio Into Art was launched on 18th May 2020 with the aim to build a comfortable space for both amateurs and professionals. The goal is to help people express their creativity through potpourri of art forms. And I have a dream of opening franchises across the country and converting this Studio into "School of Art".

Q6. Can you share details regarding artwork done in Jammu?

Yes, I have done 12 wall murals for KC International and one 20-feet artwork for another organisation. I am currently in talks with two major clients from Jammu for which work will start once corona is over. I have also done a piece for Radisson in Delhi.

Apart from this, I have also done 14 exhibitions in various parts of the country. And I am grateful for receiving the award at 8th All India Women Artists' Contemporary Art Exhibition held in Chandigarh last year.

Q7. How is the regular workday for an artist?

Well, I am the mother of a beautiful 3-year-old girl, Sara Gupta and she is also a big part of my day. So, I start with reaching to Studio, sorting things, and taking two sessions of 2.5 hours with one break in between. I work on my commissions in the evening and return home by 8:30 pm. All in all, the whole process is fulfilling and engaging for me as an artist.

Q8. Did you have any apprehensions before opening studio in Jammu? Is there any struggle to sell art in the city?

Yes, I was not expecting such positive and warm welcome that I have received. I had my notions which quickly faded as people queued up for workshops. I still have more than 40 people in the "waiting list" which makes me happy.

But apart from workshops, selling art in Jammu is extremely challenging. Clients come to the studio, select, and stare at paintings but after enquiring about the price, they start questioning the material used for it rather than the creativity which is sad. It is an unpleasant truth but selling art in Jammu is difficult as people bargain ferociously. People appreciate art but are unwilling to pay. Convincing majority of the clients is a task, but some genuine art admirers buy whatever resonates with them without bargain too.

Q9. Share any message with our readers?

Do not give up on your dreams, persistence bring results and failures help us to polish our skills and pave way to success. Pursue art as a form of therapy during this pandemic and stay happy.

 

 

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Author

Hardeep Bali