For Indian artist Pallavi Saxena (@pallavi_art_), the path to becoming an artist wasn’t straight and narrow, but she wouldn’t want it any other way. Currently based in Taiwan, when she isn’t painting her colourful, abstract art, she’s also a mum, working a full-time job, proving that artists can balance their time and do it all.
Pallavi is on a mission to show everyone that it’s okay to be chasing more than one passion, whether that be running a business or painting in between day jobs.
How would you describe yourself?
My name is Pallavi, I make art – with paints as an artist and with logic as a tech marketer in the corporate world. I have a shared passion for two fields, and it keeps me almost always busy, all while being a full-time mum.
How did you get involved in art?
When I was growing up, I saw art as something I did to understand and uncomplicate the world around me. I used to make art to understand everything, even chemistry formulas – my notes were always diagrams/ art / doodles, that made the concept easier for me, it was like I was making art all the time every time, it was the only thing I knew.
What different styles do you delve into?
I have worked in portraiture and representational style for years. After which I was drawn towards landscape and florals. I have found my peace in florals and landscapes and have now started developing them into more abstract styles.
How has your style evolved over the years?
I feel like my art and me are in a conversation. As I make more art, my florals and landscapes are taking me on a journey where I am analyzing and further dissecting life. My art is now representative of emotions and thoughts, more than specificity of the subject.
Where do you work best?
I work best when I am consistent, and that is what I try. I get the best inspirations when I am consistently showing up day after day. I particularly do not need to move out for creative encouragement. For me it’s the people and how they react to me and their surroundings that become my inspiration.
How do you find your creative inspiration?
My creative process is as complex as it is intertwined between working a full-time, demanding, day job and being a mum. I’ve let my process become who I am so that my work can grow with me. What this means is, I do not wait for creative inspiration. Most of my inspiration stems from my daily life.
I mostly paint emotions and thoughts in my abstracts, and I think all the different personalities I interact with in my daily life, are such a great fodder to my mind, so are the tantrums that my child throws, they all become my inspirations.
Let me share an example. Let’s say a meeting at work is chaotic, that becomes my inspiration. The below painting is an inspired piece, titled “CHAOS.”
What’s your favourite Mont Marte product?
That is a difficult one, I love the artist grade canvas, I fell in love, the moment I put paint on it. I have never seen such good quality in pre stretched canvas boards, the pine wood is not only strong and solid, but also very beautiful and has a lovely shade. The canvas is pre gesso with the perfect grains. It has resulted in some of my most appreciated works, and I am always on the lookout for Mont Marte canvases, especially since their availability in India is quite limited.
How do you set the scene to create?
I think all artists have their rituals, for me it’s about setting my table. Deep cleaning my brushes, filling water, everything I do as I start my painting - it is very meditative and a part of my process. It’s almost as divine and pure as a prayer.
Where does your mind drift to when you paint?
I think it is a different world, it is Pallavi’s world, there are these weird shapes, extravagant flowers, larger than life shapeless forms, it is very colourful. It feels like an out of body experience, one day I would love to recreate it, probably an installation of sorts and take people on a tour. :)
Have you had to overcome any creative barriers? How did you overcome them?
While I see a lot of suggestions on overcoming creative barriers -- and I have taken a lot of courses myself as well, I think the only way to overcome any barrier to say the least, is to consistently keep showing up. If my life ever had a motto, it would be “Show up, Show up, Show up.”
Show up even when you don’t want to. Do less, be easy on yourself, but show up. It will be a big win for your mind and your heart.
What are you excited about for the future?
I think I belong to a very niche category of artists-with-alternate jobs they love. Not all artists lock themselves away in a space somewhere, to work their creations as it’s made out to be. Some prefer to punch a clock or run a business, stealing away to paint or write a few lines here, or a few notes there.
I strongly believe that that is the future. People having more than a single passion and chasing both. Almost always the two professions playing off each other in unexpected but gratifying ways.
This is what I am very passionate about for the future, breaking this stereotypical myth of “how an artist should be, or how we have to choose our single goal in life.”
We hope that you feel inspired Pallavi Saxena’s story. Show us your creations and #montmarteart or tag us @montmarteart on Instagram or Facebook, we’d love to see what you create. Or check out more of our featured artists.