Praggya Saamor, a Mumbai-based self-taught painter, transformed a simple hobby into a profound passion a decade ago. Known for her distinctive blend of tribal, abstract, and contemporary art, she has captivated audiences at various exhibits.

Previously a successful fashion designer, co-leading the renowned brand “Samor by Praggya and Megha” for 15 years, Praggya now dedicates herself fully to art. Beyond her artistic pursuits, she holds an M.A. in Hindi Literature and explores diverse interests like fashion, interiors, cooking, and writing.

Praggya draws inspiration from creativity’s transformative power, transitioning from fashion design to full-time artistry. Her artwork reflects daily experiences and memories, weaving tribal, abstract, and contemporary elements into a captivating fusion. The journey into art began 15 years ago, sparked by her daughter after the passing of her father.

Praggya’s achievements span various domains, from showcasing designs to writing and publishing short stories. In her free time, she indulges in writing, cooking, reading, and exploring astrology and Ayurveda, maintaining a balanced life through time management, mindfulness, and a commitment to self-care.

In her conversation with Icy Tales, Praggya Saamor reveals the artful synchronization of her vibrant artistic pursuits with the intricacies of maintaining a work-life balance, transforming her emotions and experiences into captivating visual expressions on canvas.

Images by Praggya Sammor fashion designer artist

Q) Praggya, your artistic journey began over a decade ago as a self-taught painter. Can you share the pivotal moments or experiences that led you to pursue art as a full-time passion?

Praggya Saamor: Around 12 or 13 years ago, my journey into art unfolded amid a tough time following my father’s passing. I was a fashion designer, doing quite well when my daughter suggested painting as a way to cope with my struggles.

It wasn’t just a career choice back then, just a suggestion that would soon alter the course of my life. Little did I know, that transition from fashion to canvas would ignite a profound artistic path, one that I had no idea would become my livelihood.

Art, for me, isn’t just a career; it’s a lifeline. It’s my source of inner strength, peace, and overwhelming happiness. The canvas transforms into a haven where my soul can be unapologetically free—free from judgment, free from external opinions.

With each stroke of color, my spirit dances, and in those moments, I find a deep-seated contentment. That, to me, is the real essence of art in my life. Maybe, in the twists of fate, leaving my successful fashion career was meant to lead me to this unexpected and fulfilling artistic journey.

Q) Your artwork is known for its distinctive blend of tribal, abstract, and contemporary elements. How did you develop and refine this unique style, and what draws you to these particular artistic influences?

Praggya Saamor: My style is a mix of tribal, abstract, and modern elements, each playing a specific role in the storytelling. I began by exploring tribal art, drawn to its cultural richness and symbolism. This provided a foundation, influencing the patterns and expressions in my work. As I ventured into abstraction, I experimented with unconventional shapes, lines, and colors to convey a range of emotions and concepts, going beyond literal representation.

The incorporation of contemporary elements came next, allowing me to infuse modern aesthetics and concepts into my pieces. This blending of ancient and contemporary creates a visual dialogue that captures both timeless and current perspectives. The process of refining this unique style involved a continuous interplay between experimentation and introspection.

I embraced the freedom to break artistic conventions, finding a balance between spontaneity and control. This delicate equilibrium ensures that each element contributes harmoniously to the overall composition.

What draws me to these influences is the rich storytelling embedded in tribal art, the freedom of expression offered by abstraction, and the dynamic nature of contemporary influences. My artwork reflects a constant exploration, telling stories not only of my artistic journey but also of shared human experiences that transcend cultural boundaries and time.”

Q) Praggya, you were an accomplished fashion designer before dedicating yourself to art. How did your background in fashion influence your approach to painting, and what prompted the transition from fashion design to full-time artistry?

Praggya Saamor: My creative journey is like a dance where fashion design and art twirl together. It all begins with an in-depth study of whatever triggers my creative being, sparking ideas that blossom into something beautiful.

When designing clothes, I sketch and design, playing with colors and textures to tell a tale of elegance and rebellion. It’s like painting with fabric. As an artist, my canvas is a playground for emotions. I use brushes, creating visual stories that reflect the beats of my soul. In both worlds, the common thread is storytelling. Whether through a garment or a painting, I aim to share emotions and take people on a journey through beauty and imagination.

Also, I never planned to switch careers, but I feel I had reached that stage in my life where I felt more like an artist than a fashion designer. Designing has been my main gig for years, while art was more of a passion and occasional side hustle. However, during the lockdown, when creating art became my lifeline, I discovered that it was my true calling. So, I’ve embraced being a full-time artist and dabbled in designing on the side. It’s where my soul finds its fulfillment.

Q) Your creative pursuits extend beyond painting to fashion, interiors, cooking, and writing. How do these diverse interests contribute to and influence your artistic expression?

Praggya Saamor: Everything I’m into—painting, fashion, Interior designing, cooking, and writing—all work together to help me make art. It’s like having a bunch of friends who bring out different parts of me. Painting lets me show feelings with colors, fashion, and interiors are about how things look and feel, cooking is like a tasty dance of textures and colors, and writing is like telling stories that go with my art. Putting it all together makes my art more interesting and fun. I’m just super happy I get to do all these things that make my art uniquely me!

Images by Praggya Sammor fashion designer artist

Q) Praggya, your journey into art was sparked by your daughter after the passing of your father. How has this personal experience shaped the themes and emotions conveyed in your artwork?

Praggya Saamor: The journey into art, ignited by my daughter, in the wake of my father’s passing, has been a profound and deeply personal odyssey. These important moments have woven threads of love, loss, and resilience into the core of my artistic expression. In the quiet spaces of grief, I discovered the power of art to heal and connect with the profound emotions that accompany life’s most poignant moments.

The loss of my father has imparted themes of legacy, mortality, and the enduring echoes of familial love. Through my art, I explore the delicate dance between joy and sorrow, the transient nature of life, and the beauty found in both. The canvas becomes a sacred space where I navigate the complexities of grief and celebration, allowing me to channel these emotions into a visual narrative.

It’s almost like a purifying process, a journey of introspection and connection, as I strive to awaken shared human experiences. Each stroke and color carries the weight of my emotions, creating an artwork that speaks to the universal language of love, loss, and the resilience of the human spirit. In essence, my personal experiences are the source from which my art draws its depth and meaning.

Q) Maintaining a work-life balance is crucial. How do you manage your time between artistic endeavors, writing, cooking, and exploring other interests, ensuring a harmonious blend of career and personal life?

Praggya Saamor: Balancing work and personal life is key for me. I tackle my various interests—artistic endeavors, writing, cooking, and exploring—with a carefully crafted schedule. I set aside dedicated blocks of time for each pursuit, ensuring they all get the attention they deserve. Planning ahead helps me maintain harmony between my creative passions and personal life. It’s about making time for what matters most, finding joy in each activity, and allowing myself the flexibility to adapt when needed. This way, I can enjoy a fulfilling blend of career and personal interests without feeling overwhelmed.

Q) “Dulha Ram” and “Dulhan Sita” carry profound spiritual and cultural significance. Can you elaborate on the inspiration and symbolism behind these artworks, particularly about Lord Shree Ramachandra and Sita Mata?

Praggya Saamor: “Dulha Ram” is a manifestation of my artistic interpretation, a vivid and abstract portrayal of Lord Shree Ramachandra in his Dulha form. In this creation, I’ve brought Shree Ramachandra to life with resplendent blue skin, accentuated by intricate black and white patterns. His closed eyes reflect a profound sense of introspection, and his graceful posture while holding his bow and arrow adds a touch of elegance.

The backdrop is adorned with sacred shlokas, creating a deeply spiritual atmosphere. But what truly brings this painting to life is the surrounding assortment of shapes and lines. These elements are meticulously arranged, imbuing the composition with a sense of vibrant motion and an exquisite depth that’s close to my heart. “Dulha Ram” is not just a work of art; it’s a piece of my soul on canvas, inviting viewers to experience the divine in a unique and personal way.

In “Dulhan Sita,” I aim to capture devotion and reverence, portraying Sita Mata in front of a sacred “Ram” backdrop. The earthy hues of brown and yellow, reminiscent of terracotta, create a cozy ambiance. A vibrant red accentuates Sita’s headgear, while intricate patterns delve into her character’s depth.

The painting, composed of smaller squares, offers various textures, encouraging tactile exploration. Integrating yellow and blue rectangles enhances the overall composition. “Dulhan Sita” is not just art; it’s a piece of my soul, inviting you to experience my admiration and spiritual connection. Immerse yourself in the layers of texture, warm colors, and profound emotion it conveys.

Q) “Purv” reflects the mystique of the Orient. What specific elements of the East inspired this painting, and how did you incorporate them into the composition?

Praggya Saamor: “Purv,” a name that echoes the mystique of the Orient, has a special place in my artistic journey. The exotic and enigmatic allure of the East has always held a profound fascination for me, drawing me like a magnetic force. This painting is my unique portrayal of the rich tapestry of the Orient, a vibrant tapestry woven from an intriguing collection of faces as if glimpsed by a gathering of diverse individuals.

In this captivating composition, a palette dominated by hues of orange, red, blue, and brown imparts a warm and earthy ambiance. These colors evoke the essence of the East, capturing the spirit of ritual bronzes, exquisite ceramics, ornate jades, intricate textiles, the poetic beauty of painted landscapes, the grace of pagodas and stupas, the charm of woodblock prints, and the multifaceted artistry of shadow puppets.

The style of the painting is a fusion of modern abstract art, visual arts, and drawing, with delicate nuances borrowed from the art of mosaic. Each stroke and element attempts to encapsulate the essence of the Orient, beckoning viewers to embark on their journey through the treasures, traditions, and enchantment of this alluring and mystical part of the world.

Images by Praggya Sammor fashion designer artist

Q) “Jalmagn” stands out with its underwater theme. What inspired you to explore this subject, and how did the use of watercolors contribute to conveying the depths of Earth’s oceans?

Praggya Saamor: “Jalmagn,” a name that evokes the enchantment of the underwater world, is a creation that’s very different from my other works. In this vibrant and unique piece of contemporary art, I’ve ventured into the depths of the aquatic realm, a place of fascination and wonder beneath Earth’s oceans and seas.

To breathe life into this masterpiece, I chose watercolors as my medium, as it wonderfully conveys the sensation of being submerged in the underwater world. The fluid and transparent nature of watercolors serves as a metaphorical gateway for viewers to dive into this mesmerizing domain.

Throughout the painting, you’ll uncover a rich tapestry of elements. Some resemble delicate floral patterns, while others take the form of people in an array of colors. A few areas are dedicated to intricately rendered faces.

These varied elements collectively create a psychedelic atmosphere, accentuated by the interplay of dominant red, green, yellow, and brown hues that dance across the canvas. A hallmark of this artwork is the meticulous attention to detail. Certain sections invite viewers to draw near and explore the intricate nuances, adding layers of depth and variety to the composition.

In essence, the underwater world is a testament to the extraordinary beauty and biodiversity of our planet, an unceasing source of inspiration for explorers, scientists, and nature enthusiasts alike. In “Jalmagn,” I intended to encapsulate the very essence of this captivating realm and to invite viewers to embark on a journey of their own, to be inspired by the enigmatic wonders beneath the water’s surface, and to perhaps even kindle a deeper reverence for Earth’s submerged treasures.

Q) Every artist faces challenges. Can you share a particular challenge you’ve encountered in your artistic journey and how overcoming it contributed to your growth as an artist?

Praggya Saamor: As a woman artist starting my career so late in my life, it was tough to get recognition in a youth-focused art scene. Balancing the wisdom of age with the demand for contemporary relevance was tricky. Cultural norms and gender biases added complications, sometimes overshadowing my lifetime of artistic experience.

Despite dedicating my life to art, gaining recognition was an ongoing struggle. My resilience, both personally and artistically, kept me moving forward, hoping for a change in societal perspectives to value the contributions of women artists in India.

To overcome these challenges, I embraced my unique perspective and connected with fellow artists. Networking and participating in platforms that celebrated diversity amplified my voice. I sought mentorship shared my experience and created a supportive community. I Embraced digital platforms which helped showcase my work globally, breaking local biases. It was a journey of self-confidence, resilience, and authentic artistic expression to make a lasting impact on the evolving Indian art scene.

Q) Could you walk us through your artistic process? How do you approach a new painting, from concept to completion?

Praggya Saamor: When starting a new painting, I begin with a blank canvas and a concept that inspires me. I start away with whatever colors I feel are right, and I don’t sketch anything out, I just directly start to paint, and that process involves layering and refining details until I’m satisfied with the composition. Throughout, I stay open to spontaneous changes and let the piece evolve organically. It’s a dynamic journey from concept to completion, guided by intuition and a love for the creative process.

Images by Praggya Sammor fashion designer artist

Q) Your art is described as a vibrant reflection of daily experiences. How do you aim to connect emotionally with viewers, and what responses or reactions do you hope to evoke through your artwork?

Praggya Saamor: In my art, I seek to mirror the vibrancy of daily experiences. The emotional connection with viewers is a central focus for me. I aim to weave a narrative that captures shared moments and emotions, fostering a deep sense of resonance. Whether it’s the warmth of joy, the tinge of nostalgia, or the quiet moments of introspection, I want my artwork to evoke a spectrum of feelings.

I hope that viewers find a personal connection within the layers of my creations, sparking a sense of understanding and shared humanity. Ultimately, I aspire to elicit heartfelt responses that not only resonate in the moment but also leave a lasting impact, creating a meaningful dialogue between the viewer and the art.

Q) Your artworks are priced in a range that reflects their value. How do you determine the pricing of your pieces, considering factors such as time, effort, and emotional investment?

Praggya Saamor: The pricing of my artworks is carefully considered, taking into account various factors. The time and effort invested in each piece and the emotional energy poured into the creative process play a significant role in determining their value.

Additionally, factors like materials used, the intricacy of details, and the overall uniqueness of the artwork contribute to the pricing structure. It’s a thoughtful balance that seeks to fairly represent both the tangible and intangible aspects of my artistic expression, ensuring that each piece is valued in a way that reflects the depth of its creation.

Q) Are there any upcoming projects or themes you are excited to explore in your future artwork? Any hints or insights you can share with your audience?

Praggya Saamor: There are some very exciting projects and collaborations in the work, which I can’t openly talk about at present, but all I can say for now is that God has been very kind in giving me this platform to live my dreams to the fullest.

Q) For aspiring artists looking up to your journey, what advice would you give them as they navigate their path in the world of art and creativity?

Praggya Saamor: In the world of art, no rigid rules demand relentless hard work or organized schedules. Art warmly invites you into a space where your emotions can flow freely, unrestricted, and unhindered. First and foremost I would like to tell them never to let the creations of other artists intimidate you. Instead, build your castle, your universe, a haven free from external influence or fear.

Images by Praggya Sammor fashion designer artist

Envision your canvas as your kingdom, where you hold the scepter, creating a sense of unrestricted freedom. Pay no heed to what others may think about your art, and cast aside worries about commercial success. Let these concerns never interrupt the intimate connection between you and your art.

Art is a beautifully unfiltered and authentic expression emanating from your soul. Stay focused and engage in art only when your soul beckons. Your canvas is a personalized playground, filled with warmth and free from rigid structures or laborious toil. Embrace this warmth, and let your creativity soar!

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