Be Courageous Enough to Pursue Your Dream - Kalyani Pradhan

I paint a picture on my mind and then I start looking for more inspiration on pinterest and instagram before putting it into action. Basically I can get inspired by anything around, nature is the key source to any form of art.

1. Tell us more about your background and journey.

I am Kalyani Pradhan and I am a Mandala artist. I am from Kurseong Town in the district of Darjeeling Hills, West Bengal. I come from an artistic family where my father is a self taught Artist and my brother holds a degree in Masters of Fine Arts. 

As a child I hardly showed any interest in art until four years back when I completed my Post Graduation and was hoping to pursue Phd. But fortunately I discovered my interest in drawing random patterns just to keep my mind calm in between everyday stressful situations. 

I showed those patterns to my brother and he told me those random patterns are called Zentangle and I should explore this more. So obviously I started my research on Zentangle and started reading about it, alongside I found about Mandala art as well. 

“Mandala”, this term was very familiar to me since I was a student of Buddhist studies, which attracted me more and I found that mandala art can be practiced as a form of meditation by adding some patterns in layers of circles. That’s where my journey started but it was just a part of my daily meditative practice. 

Meanwhile I also discovered my interest in crochet and started learning Amigurumi on youtube. I believe this interest came from my mother, as I grew up watching her knitting and crocheting. 

I enjoyed crocheting so much that I was unstoppable when people started appreciating it. I started taking orders and sold many Amigurumi dolls but there was a part of me that was more inclined towards Mandala art. 

I wanted to have good art supplies for drawing but it was expensive for me as a student so I decided to sell more amigurumi dolls to buy the same. I started my own art page on Instagram by the end of 2017, I came across some amazing Mandala artists on instagram which inspired me to draw more. 

2. When did you decide you wanted to be an Artist?

As I said it was a part of my daily meditative practice since the beginning, and which later on helped me a lot in healing from some very stressful times. Personally I feel like I owe a lot to this form of art. Mandala art discovered me when I myself didn’t know how much I was going to need it one day. 

I started practicing everyday for hours and hours, and posted it on my instagram page. Eventually I started getting orders which was very much motivating and I kept on creating and practicing. After two and a half years of practicing I finally realised that I want to be an Artist. 

It was a hard decision because though I was appreciated by thousands of people on instagram I still lacked that confidence to call myself an artist. It was when I got approached by a world renowned art supply brand for a review program in 2019, I told myself “Girl forget everything, now you are an Artist!” This year I got an opportunity to be a part of my favourite Indian art supply brand and I am working in collaboration with them as a Mandala art influencer.

3. Is it a financially stable career?

I can't say it’s a financially stable career as an artist because I personally prefer customers who want to buy original artwork and let's face it that art is appreciated more when it's free. But there are ways to take an art to another level in the world of business and of course teaching. 

I have sold merchandise with mandala prints and recently I have started taking online classes which I have grown more interest towards. It feels so good to finally share what I have learned over the years. I prefer interactive one on one sessions, where I can personally connect to the interest of my students.

4.Who is your favourite Artist and why?

I don’t really have a favourite artist but I do follow some Mandala artists on Instagram who I think are exceptional in various genres of Mandala art form. They inspire me to learn more, practice harder and keep on creating everyday.

5.Where do you get inspired to create art?

In the past few years I have realised that creativity can strike you in various ways. I usually get some ideas on my mind which stays there for days, weeks and sometimes months. 

I paint a picture on my mind and then I start looking for more inspiration on pinterest and instagram before putting it into action. Basically I can get inspired by anything around, nature is the key source to any form of art.

6. What kind of book do you prefer to read?

I'm not much of a reader nowadays. I hardly take time to complete one book in a month, but recently I have grown my interest in some motivational reading and listening podcasts.

7. What piece of advice would you like to give to the future aspirants?

If you believe that you are passionate enough to make your dreams come true then just go for it. Doesn’t matter how old you are, If you can dream it you can achieve it. 

It won't be easy, there will be very less patting hands on your shoulder but that’s the goal. Aim for the best, work for it and eventually everything and everyone will come around. Dream your own dream and be courageous enough to pursue it, trust me you will be HAPPY.

- Kalyani Pradhan , Artist

- Interviewed by Pallavi Surana

Post a comment