I e-met, Lakshmi Viswanathan through another friend. When she shared her paintings with me. I was shocked and had literally no words to express. I wanted to know more about her. If you think that only degree from a reputed college at the so called right age can help you succeed in life. Then this story will prove you wrong. A good college degree helps but you need talent and determination along with it. Here is something that I learnt from Lakshmi.
Can you please help us with your brief background.
I’m Lakshmi Viswanathan, a Commerce graduate, a doting mother to a 7 year son, an artist, avid jamming singer, a cook who doles out lip smacking dishes, most of these passions which, rekindled after quitting my corporate job after a decade of work experience. My family comprises of my husband, the imp, parents, in laws and 2 elder siblings.
I’m extremely passionate about painting. I had sketched a caricature of Salman Khan for a competition at my work place, bagged the 1st prize and was felicitated by the star himself in 2011, which was an overjoyous moment. In 2017, I made a sketch for Bollywood singer Akriti Kakar for her You tube channel. In 2017, I had an ultimate dream moment-presenting my sketch of Amitabh Bachchan to the mega star himself, on the sets of Kaun Banega Crorepati. Shaking hands with him, hearing words of appreciation and encouragement as he autographed the portrait and now treasured possession we cherish.
Can give us more insight about your art work.
I have tried different mediums which, started with pencil sketching, colour pencil, water colours and then oil pastels, charcoal shading etc. But the one medium that I am trying to specialize and what attracts me most is Oil painting.
Did you consciously decide to take up art as a profession or it just happened .
Art was something which, I wanted to take up as my profession from my childhood. I gave my elementary and intermediate art exams and also tried to get into the prestigious Sir J.J. School of Arts, but I couldn’t get through. Also there were financial and personal constraints which, made it further difficult. So When I decided to quit my job around 3 years back, I had only one thing in mind i.e to join hobby classes for art. I always thought I wanted to showcase my talent to everyone and also did not want to let go off this opportunity of pursuing it again. I did not have any formal degree in Art, but I was ready to put in the hard work to reach a level that would help me convert my passion to profession. To my surprise everything happened very soon. I started casual sketching at home, joined hobby classes under the expert guidance and mentor ship of Atul sir from Atul Fine Arts, Mulund W, posting art updates on social media. Subsequently, after 3-4 months of posting those images, I had opportunity to sell my existing Art work, followed by requests for customized work.
Art has a therapeutic effects. How does it help you as an individual.
Art is something I cannot describe in words. It is like meditation to me. It helps me completely disconnect from all my tensions and worries. I do not even prefer to talk or get distracted when I paint.
What was the role of your family in supporting you to pursue arts
I have been fortunate enough that I have complete support from my parents, husband and my in laws too. It was my mom who recognized this talent in me when I was just 4 years old. I would always colour within the boundaries of the drawing and would never smudge. She enrolled me in hobby classes which I could only continue for 3-4 years. And now again my husband who is my pillar of strength keeps encouraging me and supports me in all my ventures. My in-laws and extended family members appreciate me trying new painting techniques.
Art needs a lot of patience and with children our life is always a mess. How do you manage family and art.
I would say art was one of the factors that helped me get patience in real life situations too. When I started painting again, my son was around 3.5 years old and it was difficult when he was around as he would require all the stuff I use and would not allow me to complete it. So the only time available for me was during his school hours or late night after everyone was asleep. The time taken for each of my paintings depends on the medium, the size, detailing etc. I have done paintings which range between 6 hrs to 180 hrs spread over 8 months especially the recreated European paintings which require a lot of skill and are considered a difficult genre. I also have self compositions too, where I compile my own imaginations, sceneries via Photoshop and then paint them.
How did social media help you to promote your art?
Social media like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp have a very important role to play. I used to post all my artworks on these medium, which helped me scale, get more work and of course lot of appreciation and motivation too.
What do you say to moms who have a lot of talent but are scared of rejection.
My only advise to all the moms out there is please don’t let go off your talent/ passion for anything in this world. That is the one spark that will drive you at any point and time in life irrespective of your age. You need not do it for any monetary benefits or recognition but please do pursue it for your own happiness and well-being as personal satisfaction comes above all. Try it once, keep at it and you will never regret, but only succeed.
Did you have a low phase on life where art helped you?
Yes absolutely, The initial days of staying at home after quitting my job was tough for me and did not know where to start from, so first thought of enrolling my kid in an activity centre which would keep him occupied and develop his skills too. One of the biggest responsibility I had was to channelize the energy of my little one as he was an hyperactive kid. That was a phase where I had to unwind myself and art gave me that breakthrough.
Something that I started as a hobby for myself, has helped me live more happily and most important helped me make it a profession I always wanted to. Today, I take orders for customized commission work. It can be gifted for birthdays, anniversaries, house warming ceremonies.The different genres are portraits, family portraits, sketches, scenery etc.
You can connect with Lakshmi on her social media site
Facebook: @ The Leo Finesse
To place your orders you can contact Lakshmi via phone or email
Mobile no : 9833795801,
mail id – firstname.lastname@example.org
If you know someone who is unique and would love to share their story with the world. Please do email on email@example.com.
The art work used in this article belong exclusively to Ms. Lakshmi Viswanathan. Any reproduction of the same is not permissible. Plagiarism will amount to strict legal actions.