We reached out to Indian artist Sonam Mishra (@nam_a.r.t.s) so we could learn a little bit about her job as an artist and find out what inspires her. From her creative environment to her favourite medium, we dive into all sorts of interesting topics. Read on to discover more and get inspired.
1. How has social media influenced your art journey?
I would say social media has helped me immensely in marketing my work & improving my art skills. There are millions of artists sharing their work, which pushes me to keep fine-tuning my skills more and more. Since I am a self-taught artist, I had zero knowledge about the art communities, social media helped me in this section a lot. I was able to build an audience of my own; I marketed my works here on social media and got to work with some of the most amazing people, brands, and companies. If it was not for social media, I would not be able to run my online workshop which contributes as a major source of my income.
2. Who would you switch lives with for a day?
As of today, I would switch it with any toddler. I would love to be carefree for a day. Toddlers don’t worry about anything and do what their heart wants them to do. They are like, you want to jump? Why not, go ahead with no fear of pain. Want to play with water? Yeah, let’s do it, who cares about catching a cold? Want to throw things around? Big yes, adults will take care of the mess. Basically, I would be switching off my adulting for a day.
3. When do you find that you’re most creative?
I am most creative when I have already completed my other work. I won’t be able to concentrate properly if there is something that I have not completed, or if there are other chores left. I like to focus on what I am creating so when there is nothing at the back of my mind, I can pour all my creativity into the piece that’s in front of me.
This is one of the reasons why I don’t have pending artwork. I only proceed to the next piece when I am fully done with the current one.
4. Do you have an organised home or a bustling home? What does your creative space look like?
I have an organised home NOW. But I feel like the area I live in is a very bustling area. There are a lot of noises coming from outside that I cannot control, so I usually plug in my headphones & listen to my favourite music while I am working.
My creative space is a store/spare room turned into a small art room. It was in a very neglected condition after the last 2 decades and just last year we renovated it to fit some (most) of my requirements. And I sometimes hijack my husband’s home office when I can’t clean my work desk and want to take workshops or be in meetings.
5. How did it feel when you started to show people your work for the first time?
Since I have been doing art from a very young age, showing (flaunting) my work is nothing new to me. It always felt good because I got a lot of appreciation. But when I started sharing it on Instagram in 2019, I was a bit scared coz I thought maybe I was not good enough. There are so many talented souls here showcasing their amazing works, that I started comparing myself with them. I got tired/sad when I didn’t receive the reach that I thought I deserved (social media is a tough place). But slowly, I made myself understand that all the artists are different and at different stages and there should be no comparison. I now can say I am a lot happier when I share my work with people.
6. When was the last time you had a buzz after you made something?
There is a buzz in everything that I create for myself because there is a lot of creative freedom in it. But if you’re asking about one particular piece, it would be a portrait of a little boy I made last year. That was my longest pending work. I usually never leave anything pending, that’s just not me. But for this portrait, I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted it to be flawless because the reference caught my attention (or rather, I would say it captured my soul). I spent months correcting it and even now I spend a good amount of time just looking at it. It’s not my best work but it is a piece of my heart.
7. What would you do if you had infinite time and money?
Oh, there is so much a person can do with these infinities. What I would do is:
1- with infinite money I would buy a sweet beach house at a peaceful location in South Goa (an Indian District known for its scenic beauty). I feel the more I would be at peace the better my art would be. And I would open a small space near that house where I would teach art to anyone who wants to learn and explore art. Won’t have to worry about the profits with infinite money in my hands 😉.
And 2 - with infinite time I would love to create bigger artworks (like huge), or to be more precise with bigger portraits. I usually draw on A5 or A4 size paper as it takes relatively less time to complete. I would create more artwork for myself, as currently, I make art per the requirements of the company or workshops. And of course, I would travel more often.
8. What time period or decade would you go back to for creative inspiration?
I believe we are currently in a very correct time for creative inspiration. Today, we have so much data available to us about everything we need to know. We have so many modern & ancient tools, so much variety & quality of colours, and a huge database of different techniques just a click away. We can learn about the best works from the past and get inspiration from them. We can look into the amazing works that people are sharing from all over the world. There are references available for each and everything we need. So, I am in the best period/decade for inspiration.
9. You have one art medium to choose for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Charcoals for sure. I love the chiaroscuro it produces. It is a natural material that does not cause any adverse health effects. It is cheap and very easily available. You can actually pick up a burnt piece of wood and start drawing. I love everything about charcoal: the art pieces it creates, the tones it gives, the ease of use, and even the mess it makes. My messy table after I am done with a charcoal workshop/artwork kind of gives me a very satisfied feeling, a feeling of achievement, a feeling of content. I also love how my hands look while using charcoals.
10. You’re at a party, what party food are you reaching for?
I think I am going to bore you all with my answer here. I am not a foodie; I am, in fact, someone who doesn’t like to eat much. I have a very simple taste in food. I am from India, and everyone knows how flavorful and spice-rich Indian food is, but I like my food to be simple, non-spicy and non-oily. I love salad with Roti (Indian bread/tortilla) and can eat it for days without any complaints or craving for anything else.
So, if I am at a party, I am probably there just for the lights, decoration, music, dance and won’t even look at the food section. If I had to eat something I would grab a slice of veg pizza or a veg sandwich. And if the party had coffee, I would be seen refilling my cup with caffeine many times and not touching any food at all.
Sonam’s passion for creating has left us feeling inspired and ready to take on our next project! She has taught us that all artists are unique and at different stages of their art journey, so there’s no sense in making comparisons. Just embrace your own creativity!
See more about @nam_a.r.t.s by checking out our gallery, where her art journey is featured! Stock up on charcoal and other sketching materials so you can get messy and feel content just like Sonam. If you feel inspired to get painting and drawing, #montmarteart or tag us @montmarteart on Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to see what you come up with!
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