Never Ever Sell Your Artwork for Free! - Japleen


I got my whole self indulged in art when I started practising mandala art that helped me to heal and is a way of meditation for me. I get my inspiration from nature and music.

1. Tell us more about your background and journey.

I started painting at the age of 7. The more I explored the world of art, the more creative I became. I always used to participate in various art and other creative competitions back there in my school at school, zonal, and national level.

The kind of appreciation I got from my family, friends, and teachers, encouraged me to continue with the art along with my studies. In graduation, I decided to start my own Instagram page with the support of my family and friends. That was the day my actual journey started.

I got connected with so many artists out there and got to know various other artforms. I discovered one art via Instagram, named Mandalas. I used to draw such designs and never knew that it is actually an art form that is therapeutic and meditational also.

I am involved in varied art forms like mandala, quilling, calligraphy, oil pastels, and acrylics. Recently I have tried my hands on pour painting also.

Now I have started conducting online workshops on Mandala Making and Meditation to monetize and start my Entrepreneurial journey as an artist. Soon I am going to launch my own brand name and start selling my artworks. Have lots of things in my bucket list!

2. When did you decide you wanted to be a painter/illustrator?

I loved doing art and my family supported me always. I still remember my 8th class when my father gifted me an artboard as my birthday gift. Till I completed my graduation, I was just following art as my hobby and passion but never thought of it as a career.

In 2019, I got admission into MBA and by god’s will I landed up in the Entrepreneurship field. From there onwards I started thinking about why not to start my entrepreneurial journey with the thing that I love the most- ART.

3. Is it a financially stable career?

Art is a tough line to choose whether you are going to go for a job or give a shot to your own business. At first place, your friends and family might think that it is just a hobby and they may even ask you to create some stuff for free. I really think that they should try to support us by becoming the first customer.

Most of the time, artists go for freelancing rather than doing a fixed job so it’s not that much stable but it's of the highest satisfaction because you are doing what you love.

4. Who is your favourite illustrator and why?

Others might take the names of some famous artists, but mine is Shefali Desai, the doodleist. She has her own company Base501Design. I really connect with her art and she is a true inspiration for me.

5. Where do you get inspired to create art?

I got my whole self indulged in art when I started practising mandala art that helped me to heal and is a way of meditation for me. I get my inspiration from nature and music.

I always have my earphones plugged in whenever I am doing art. I try to be as close to nature as I can and love travelling to the mountains and exploring various places. It refreshes my mind to think more creatively.

6. What does your typical day look like?

Ah! My day is really hectic as I have to manage my MBA classes also. It starts with those early morning classes which end up in the afternoon. Then comes the most relaxing part of my day - painting.

I practice it daily as I can’t go a day without getting my hands dipped into colours. Evenings are sometimes occupied with some college stuff or events. If I get any good ideas at night, I start painting at 1 am also.

7. What piece of advice would you like to give to future aspiring illustrators?

Practice! Practice! Practice! Don’t leave your art because of your studies and practice it as much as you can, whenever you get free time. If you are involved in art full time then it’s the best thing you are doing. You will start getting some really good ideas when you perform it daily.

The second advice is to never ever sell your artwork for free. If you are gifting it to someone out of love, then it's a different thing. Otherwise, start monetizing it right from the start.

8. Which is your favourite book and why?

My favourite book is ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell which beautifully explains the journey of various successful personalities. This is the book that introduced me to the 10,000 hours of practice concept.

This is the amount of time you need to devote to and practice the skill to become an expert in it. I started applying this in my painting and I am headed towards achieving this target of 10,000 hours of practice.

Interview By - Sonam

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