Sunday, January 16, 2022

Interview with Amrita Ghosh: How the Pandemic helped the artist turn back to Art

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The pandemic brought many careers to a standstill. However, it also helped kickstart many careers, particularly ones that had been forgotten. The journey of Amrita Ghosh is about that forgotten passion, a penchant for art. Amrita Ghosh picked up the brush when the world outside was brought to its knees by a virus and has never looked back. 

What you think and what you can achieve is not always the same. But if you can get nearer to your imagination, that would be significant growth,” says the artist. Amrita Ghosh has amassed a massive following of more than ten thousand on Instagram.

IcyTales caught up with the mixed media artist for an exclusive interview. 

Q. Could you tell us about your childhood and how you turned to art?

Amrita Ghosh: I had a happy childhood. I didn’t have any vocational training in any particular creative field but I was always encouraged by my parents to pursue creativity. I did quite a bit of that – I wasn’t particularly into art. Then life got busy and I drifted away from all this stuff.

I moved to Canada three years back and had a lot of time on my hands. And I just wanted to utilize it to do something productive. I found this art community on Instagram and there were also 99 days of sketching challenge. So that excited me and I thought – why not start making art again? That was how I started – there was no plan as such. Gradually I realized that I should do more of this. You could say it was the turning point I suppose.

Q. Who are your favorite artists?

Amrita Ghosh: It’s very hard to take just one name because I have favourite artists in many fields. I admire Carla Grace and Marco Graso for their wildlife paintings. And I admire kalakriti.karishma and their mandalas. There are so many fields so it’s difficult to take all their names. But there are a lot more artists out there whom I admire and from whom I learn.

Q. You mention on your Instagram profile that you are a mixed media artist. Could you explain briefly what mixed media is?

Amrita Ghosh: Mixed media art is using different forms of media to do one artwork. Suppose I’m using acrylics, watercolor, fine liners, or markers to do a single piece of art. You don’t have to use too many mediums together.

You can use as many as two mediums together to complete your artwork. I usually do that in my drawings – I use acrylics with markers and fine liners to do the details. It’s a more interesting way of adding finer details to your artwork. I personally find it very interesting.

Amrita's rendition of the Hindu goddess Durga, slaying Mahishasura.
Amrita’s rendition of the Hindu goddess Durga, slaying Mahishasura.

Q. How has social media helped you as an artist?

Amrita Ghosh: When I started I found that Instagram was a very good platform for showcasing my art. Also for connecting to other artists – made quite a good number of friends there. To find people of your own genre or niche – in that way Instagram has helped me a lot. However social media can also be very toxic.

There is a lot of unhealthy competition going on there for no particular reason. The love for doing art is diminishing, that is, just doing art for the sake of it. But then there is a positive and negative side to everything. In a positive way, it has definitely helped me make my art reach more people. That has to be the best part.

Amrita's Instagram displays her diverse talent with multiple media.
Amrita’s Instagram displays her diverse talent with multiple media.

Q. Any two things that you have learned through all your experiences in life?

Amrita Ghosh: I usually follow one thing – try to be yourself, don’t follow the trends. I mean, do it if you want to, that’s your choice. But then try to be yourself more. And secondly, being humble and being patient, especially the latter since it’s really required in all stages of life.

Amrita Ghosh dabbles in mixed media art.
Amrita Ghosh dabbles in mixed media art.

Q. Who was your biggest inspiration when you started out?

Amrita Ghosh: I don’t think I had an inspiration. My husband did encourage me a lot. He told me to go for it because he knew how much I loved art. So it wasn’t so much that I was inspired. As I said earlier I loved art and I had time – I wanted to use that in a productive way. He really encouraged me to get started and that’s what I did. I began making art one random day and haven’t looked back since then.

Q. What is the best advice that you got as an artist? 

Amrita Ghosh: It would have to be: don’t do art to please others, do it for yourself. If you have some kind of vision then just do that instead of doing what asks of you or demands of you.

Amrita is very creative. She defines herself as 'esoteric' - 'intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.'
Amrita is very creative. She defines herself as ‘esoteric’ – ‘intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.’

Q. How has your art grown over the years?

Amrita Ghosh: Whenever I’m starting a piece of art I have a vision in my mind of how this art should be. Previously when I thought about how I wanted it, I couldn’t always achieve that because of a lack of knowledge. I didn’t have the training either. But with constant practice over the years I find that the vision I had for any artwork – even if not completely, I can get nearer to that vision. It’s a constant work in progress.

I think that has been my major growth. What you think and what you can achieve are not always the same. But if you can get nearer to your imagination, that would be significant growth. Also, the best judge of this will be those people who have been with me throughout my art journey. They would be better able to judge it.

You can see Amrita's growth for yourself as you follow her journey on Instagram.
You can see Amrita’s growth for yourself as you follow her journey on Instagram.

Q. You have said that you did not have any training. How important do you think that is to someone who wants to practice art right now? Do you think they should have old-school training? 

Amrita Ghosh: No I don’t believe they should. If they have an interest in this, right now there are a lot of avenues where you can learn without having to go to art school. Firstly there’s YouTube, you can get a lot of free stuff there. Even if you don’t want to spend bucks, you can learn lots from YouTube. Many artists also take workshops. Those are very helpful. There are also platforms like Skillshare where you get more detailed courses for learning art. There is so much stuff out there online for anyone who wants to learn art. I think a novice can also learn those things. It’s not necessary that you need to be trained in it.

Q. You are also the admin of the art feature page @medleyofartists. How does a feature page on social media benefit artists?

Amrita Ghosh: We are all on social media for more visibility and exposure. But then the current algorithm is not very beneficial for artists, especially small creators, to get more reach. If your art is getting featured on a feature page, there are many artists from a different genre who are actually visiting these pages to find other people of their own niche. People get to know more about your art.

Amrita Ghosh signs her paintings with the watermark of her Instagram page - Chitrakala Amrita.
Amrita Ghosh signs her paintings with the watermark of her Instagram page – Chitrakala Amrita.

Q. Any exciting projects in the future that you’d like to share with us?

Amrita Ghosh: I am not a big planner, I live in the moment. But I do have a few plans in mind. Let’s see how they pan out – maybe I’ll open an Etsy shop.

You can find Amrita Ghosh here:

Instagram – https://instagram.com/chitrakala.amrita?utm_medium=copy_link

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.ca/chitrakala17amrita/_created/

Youtube – https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kwBvJYZdx_g&feature=youtu.be

Facebook –  https://m.facebook.com/chitrakala.amrita

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