I had the pleasure of interviewing Swarada Mayekar, a passionate and heart-warming artist about her art and her journey with the same. I have known Swarada for almost four years now and I have always been in awe of her, as a whole. The portrait which I am using as my display here and on Instagram are created by her. She has completed her post graduation in Economics and is as passionate about her subject as she is about her art. This interview gave me strength and made me reconsider some of my perceptions about my artistic process. This interview provided me with a lot of comfort and I hope it does the same for you. Here is Swarada in all her glory!
1. Tell us about yourself
I’m a self-taught artist from Mumbai, India. I make digital portraits and illustrations. I also like painting skyscapes and galaxies and occasionally doodling.
2. How long has it been since you started your journey?
I don’t remember exactly when, but I’ve always been into creating, I guess. Even as a kid, I used to doodle on the walls and then on the sides of my notebooks or my friends’ hands (any canvas would do). Later, during my college days, I came across digital art. And with the help of my brother and some online tutorials I learned to use different design software. Ever since then, I have been creating digital art. But recently I have started painting more, little by little. It helps me to stay off my phone and computer and have a quiet time.
3. Who are your biggest influences?
My father and my brother have always been an immense influence on me. Growing up, I have watched my dad do glass paintings, and my brother just sketching all the time and everywhere. I don’t think I had any innate talent, but watching them do all these creative kinds of stuff made me feel like there must be something in me as well. I just needed to find it and work on it.
4. Since you’ve been practising both digital and traditional, which one do you prefer or lean towards more than the other?
Digital art. It is my semi-professional hobby. One of the reasons for choosing digital art is that you don’t have to part with it even after selling it. Traditional art is a hobby for me and I love trying new things and buying new materials to use and it’s just relaxing for me to do.
5. What is the one lesson you wish you would have learned sooner?
How to stop comparing yourself to other artists online, as it is a waste of your time and thoughts. It is better to get out there and create some fantastic artwork that you love and reach your version of success and contentment, whatever it may be.
6. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Focus on the process, not the final product. Do not let perfectionism kill your creative process. I believe when you emphasize the final product; you start idolizing the result. You begin to imagine it as this perfect end, which isn’t what it’s supposed to be, nor is it what will most likely take shape.
7. What do you believe is your most important skill as an artist?
I guess – patience. I believe it’s one of the most essential tools in art. Be it the one art piece you are working on or your entire process of becoming an artist, if you are not patient with yourself and your work, you will end up ruining it. While I have not yet entirely mastered it, I believe I have made some progress. I believe it also helps you to connect with your art.
8. One of the dumbest things you’ve seen someone do.
Sticking a banana with duct tape and calling it art.
9. If you had to describe your view of art in three words, what would those words be?
Sublime, Tranquil and Unique.
10. What does your creative process look like?
It begins with a random inspiration striking at some odd hour. After that it just involves constantly thinking about it, scrolling through Pinterest/ Dribble to find other works related to similar ideas and then developing on those. Then it is just mapping out the whole process in the head for instance; how I want to go about it, what tools are necessary, do I need to sketch this out or would I be able to paint it directly/create on software, etc. It’s virtually a whole creative blueprint. Once it’s all done, I have a clearer idea of how I have to proceed with the work and then I move on to the technical aspects of the work, general composition, colour scheme and light. After that, I work on the details and add the finishing touches. Sometimes it doesn’t turn out the way you imagined it, but sometimes it turns out even better than how you have originally planned it to be.
11. Do you think art is “in-born” or can it be attained with practice over time?
I believe art is a learned skill for some and innate talent for others. While some may have a natural inclination for those things, others can be taught the skills necessary to do them. I think it mostly comes down to having the desire to practice the art and being willing to invest the time into developing and perfecting the craft.
12. Do you ever experience a creative block where you cannot make art at all? If yes, How do you deal with this?
Yes, all the time. Most of my creative blocks are not lack of inspiration but having a lot of inspiration at once. You feel paralyzed by options. When that happens, I leave it alone and do something else altogether and let the subconscious mind take over, as they say, you find it when you’re not looking for it.
13. A lot of people believe that art only ever comes out of pain, what are your views on this?
I believe that there is no rule saying artists have to be inspired by their pain to make art. An artist doesn’t need to turn their suffering into their art. Pain can inspire artists to create art, but it is not necessary. Artists need to be able to experience and create art that comes from any emotion they may feel, whether it is positive or negative. I think that art comes from all different sources and that meaningful art can be born from happiness and contentment as well.
14. When you look at people from a field of art, different from yours, which do you envy the most and why?
Writers and poets! I guess I envy them because they can paint you a picture without colours. They can create a whole new world and take you there. Writing can also be memorized, recited, it can be expressed to other people, rather than just shown to them. More than envy, I adore the way they put down their feelings and emotions into words.
15. Lastly, what does art mean to you?
Art is more than just a relaxing hobby. It’s escapism. In an ever-busy schedule, art is an escape from the constant chaos and pressure. When it comes to actually explaining what art means to me, I cannot exactly put it into words, but all I can say is that when art is on my mind, I feel happy and serene
I would love for you go and promote her art on Instagram here: @awwrt_brush, I believe her art has the power to calm and warm both your mind and your heart. I cannot thank her enough for doing this and being patient all this time with this process.