Amruta Rokade, Illustrator, and watercolour artist on Canvs has been a long time member of the community. Belonging to one of the most prestigious Engineering schools of India, IIT Bombay, it has been quite a jump for Amruta, from Science and Tech to full fledged Art. We have been quite amazed to see the amount of progress Amruta has made in her work and her popularity with her fanbase and hence feature her now on Canvs as one of the best stories of one of the best artists we have witnessed in Canvs.
Today, Amruta publishes her work as “Guzelin”, a name that is becoming quite common as Amruta’s work flourishes.
This Valentine’s Day, Amruta created a series of illustrations called “Love” with Canvs, which got a lot of love from the community. Do take a look at that here.
Here we interview Amruta to understand how it has been for her yet. 🙂
How did you make the big jump from Engineering to Art? What difficulties and apprehensions did you face during the switch?
I was always interested in Arts. I used to take up part time internships and jobs in graphic design to learn softwares like Photoshop, Illustrator during my college years (which helped a lot later on). After graduating and working at a 9 to 5 job I realised I couldn’t fit. Though the job did teach me some valuable lessons in managing business. I also realised I have a tough time working for a firm. So I knew it had to be a self venture. I started learning the very basics of drawing. Got my hands on every good resource I found. It was a very frustrating phase but I crawled out of it.
Meanwhile, I started posting online to make myself accountable and to keep me motivated. Response was good and it encouraged me to do more. I got few projects along the way. So I started freelancing. And the artworks were getting sold meanwhile so I pulled up a website for selling my work. This is how I carved my way into Arts.
I faced a lot of apprehensions. First being acknowledging that I could draw and have a career in Arts. There is this basic confidence needed even before you start that you will make it. I had to learn many other skills along the way, like digitizing my watercolour works, setting up a website, managing finances. I used a lot of knowledge that I had gained in past from many non-art related work. Like I learned to manage my projects, finances, etc. from my corporate office job.
I am not a professional artist yet. I have these images in my head and I want to draw them but I can only draw as much as I know, though I am a step closer. I am still learning.
What was your thought process behind the project called “Love” with Canvs?
This was a joint project between myself and Canvs.in. Me and Debprotim generated and shortlisted the ideas. We wanted to show Love as a universal feeling rather than just the romantic love which is normally celebrated on Valentine’s Day. We wanted to portray other forms of Love around us which we should celebrate as well. Through depicting small shared moments between the characters, we wanted to stress upon Love that wasn’t expressed in words but was still so apparent.
How do you plan to commercialize your work?
I am currently selling prints as well as originals on my website: guzelinart.com.
Of the work that you have mentioned, is there one that is the dearest to you? Why?
All my works are close to me. More than my works, dearest thing to me is their ability to connect with the viewers. That is what I truly cherish.
What do you think is lacking in today’s Art and Design communities? How can an individual artist, say like you, improve it?
I do not have a lot of insight into today’s Art and Design communities as I am still a newbie. In terms of learning, It saddens me that in India we do not have life drawing classes which are so important as a foundation in any career related to drawing. Also. I want to create art that everyone can relate to and understand. It makes me happy to hear from my viewers that they could connect with my works. I think we can have more art in this sector. Art that can talk to everyone.
What other stuff do you do outside your work ?
I haven’t got much time to do any other stuff lately. When I do, I play with my cat, go out with friends and family. Read books.
Which artist inspires you? Mention some of the works you like and why?
I am highly inspired by Hayao Miyazaki and I love his work in “Heidi, girl of the alps”. I also look up to Ruskin Bond and his beautiful short stories, out of which “The night train at Deoli” is the one that impacted the most.
If you would hold two professions, what else would it be? Why?
I would be a scientist/researcher 😀 I don’t want to let go of science, that’s why 🙂
How does Canvs as a community and platform add value to an artist like you?
Canvs provides a great platform to showcase our work and to engage with other artists which is very much needed for growth of any artist. By managing the printing and shipping side of the business, artists have more time to focus on creating, which is really awesome.
Would you like to share with us any new project that you are working on?
I am launching a Video Blog Series starting next month about learning to draw when you have no background in Arts. I will be sharing my knowledge learned on my journey. I had a tough time getting information out of internet when starting to draw and I wanted to minimize the efforts for others who want to learn. I also plan to learn a lot myself through this project. I aim to share some very practical knowledge in this series.
Lastly, I just wanted to say, it isn’t easy following your dream but the rewards are heavenly. I feel everyone should at least try towards their goals once with all efforts. Instead of banking upon excuses such as ‘I don’t have a background’, ‘I should have started earlier’, just start now with whatever you can. I saw how accepting and supportive everyone is once they realise that you are determined on your goal. I also want to thank everyone who has been a part of my journey till now for their amazing support! Thank you!
Its great having you with us, Amruta! We wish you the best for your future, and feature you on Canvs for the love of your work. 🙂