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Artist-entrepreneur Priya Krishnan Das of Purple Soul says she finds it joyful, liberating, and almost stress-free to pursue art for a livelihood.
Since I was a little girl, I had always been in awe of artists, but somehow I did not end up studying art. When I quit my job as an HR professional in December 2011, I decided that I would do only that which I was passionate about, art. That’s how Purple Soul was born in August 2012. Now that I pursue art for a livelihood, calling myself an artist gives me tremendous joy and satisfaction, because it comes from the heart!
The best part about being an artist-entrepreneur is that I have no fixed schedules. If there is work (which never feels like work!), I stay up late into the night. There have been times when I’ve got ideas in the middle of the night or the wee hours of the morning, and I’ve got up all excited at 2 am or 5 am and worked on the idea! There are times when I’ve got up at night to scribble down ideas on a notepad so that I can work on it in the morning.
It feels so liberating that I can have a ‘Sunday’ whenever I want to even in the middle of the week. Being an artist allows me to be in the moment and soak in the simple pleasures of life, like looking endlessly at the sky or hearing the birds sing. These are the simple things that fuel ideas for creativity and my work. Wish I could tell William Wordsworth that I do have the time to stand and stare!
The best part about being an artist is that whether I’m traveling, or watching a movie or listening to a song, I don’t have to worry about anything else, because I derive inspiration from everything around me. So when I’m not creating anything, I may be watching movies back-to-back on a Thursday, knowing that somewhere it will contribute to my art. In June this year, I went on a solo trip to the Himalayas for 16 days, and that became a major source of inspiration for a series of illustrations. Being an artist has enabled me to see the world in hitherto unknown ways, soak up the colors of nature and has opened up new avenues of thought and creativity.
Since I’m a one member team at Purple Soul, I’m an all-in-one. Right from conceptualizing, creating, marketing, sales, inventory management, handling accounts and logistics and my website, I handle the entire gamut of business. Each experience is unique and I’m learning more every day. The only stress that I’ve experienced since I started my enterprise is coordinating with vendors, because having worked in the corporate sector where you take deadlines seriously, it’s annoying when your products are not delivered on time. But every moment of everything that I do is totally worth it, because Purple Soul is my baby and I do whatever I do because it makes me happy.
Mark Twain put it beautifully, “The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.” I can happily say that I’m always on a vacation!
Are you a woman running a business in India? Would you like your story to appear in our Day In The Life Of An Entrepreneur series? Email us at admin AT womensweb DOT in with an interesting account of a day running your business, and we may publish it! (For example, what was the one interesting thing you did that day? Did you meet someone new/had a conversation with a customer? What thrills you at work? What are some business challenges you’re currently grappling with?) Also send us a few pictures of you at work – with your team, at your desk, at the factory, meeting a customer…
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My house-help asked excitedly, “I am going for wedding. Can you let me wear your red & black saree? To be honest I was stumped for a moment; I didn’t know what to say but I still said yes.
I lent a gorgeous saree to my house-help for a wedding in her family. Soon I stated getting questions if I would wear that saree again or if I was okay to be seen wearing the same saree my house-help was wearing?
We are all so conditioned to give our used clothes to our house-helps but are we okay to wear the clothes they were wearing?
A few days ago she came excitedly to me, “I am going for a family wedding. I want to wear your red & black saree, Ill wash and give it to you after the function. Please can you let me wear it?”
Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum (SISP) is an ode to all of the lost women, who could have been sports stars, singers, bankers, lawyers, doctors, just... happy, if they hadn't been enslaved in matrimony, and then forgotten all about.
One of the cool things about my mother was that she was an ace athlete and a champion sculler as a young woman in the 1950s and 60s. I only found out about this side of her a few years ago. I imagine her in a paavaadai dhaavani, taking on the mighty Kaveri river so many decades ago.
I recently watched a Tamil film anthology on SonyLiv that she would have liked to watch – Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum, (SISP) that has 3 stories of 3 different women – Saraswathi, Devaki, and Shivaranjini.
Like all the heroines in the anthology, my mother’s talents were sacrificed at the altar of matrimony. She pawned her gold medals and silver cups one by one to pay for expensive textbooks for us or a gift for a niece on her wedding, money for which she didn’t dare ask my father, because it was her niece… I remember how she caressed the cups and how her face hardened as she shoved them into her bag to take to the jewellers.
Meet Kalamandalam Bindhulekha, the mural painter who paints on temple walls – a profession that few women, if any, are involved in.
Meet Kalamandalam Bindhulekha, the mural painter from Kerala who paints on temple walls – a profession that few women, if any, are involved in.
Interview by Amrita Rajan
Kalamandalam Bindhulekha is a talented, self-assured young woman fast gaining acclaim for her work in a traditional male bastion – the temple art of mural painting in Kerala. Belying her matter-of-fact manner, she expresses herself through the use of vivid hues in her paintings. Elemental reds, blues and yellows reveal the rich landscape of her mind.
In this edition of the Q&A for working women in India, life coach Jaya Narayan answers two questions from young women on the realities of the workplace today.
1. “Hi, I am pursuing my masters in law in a university in a small town. My LLB marks were merely average. Nor did we enjoy internships like the law students of undergrad courses in national law universities. These days many law students are ditching the regular route, and opting for entrepreneurial ventures. My question is, can I too pursue anything off the beaten track? Moreover these days social media sector is booming and I was wondering whether there is any scope for people from a legal background into the social media background? And without having internships under my belt, am I doomed?” – Jayshree (more…)