Driven by art

Artist Neeraj Gupta opines that art has the power to change the world. With creativity, anyone can make a statement or tell what they want to say in the most beautiful way

Most of us know the feeling of being moved by a work of art, which may be in any form of art "visual, performing or literary". When we are touched, we are moved; we are transported to a new place that is, nevertheless, strongly rooted in a physical experience, in our bodies. We become aware of a feeling that may not be unfamiliar to us but which we did not actively focus on before. This transformative experience is what an artist is constantly seeking, perceives Neeraj Gupta, President, Delhi Art Society.

When Neeraj decided to pursue art as a profession, he believed that one of his major responsibilities is to help people to know and understand the underlying meaning of the art, besides feeling it emotionally and physically.

"Art has the power to change the world, with it one can express. With creativity, anyone can make a statement or tell what they want to say," asserts Neeraj, who is also an alumni of SPA.

But while studying architecture, what drew him towards art?

"My inclination towards art as a practice seemed almost natural," answers Neeraj, who believes that there are a lot of factors that influence career choice including family and peer pressure.

In a country like India, which is full of artists yet faces the issue of acceptance, more opportunities must be given to artists for pursuing art as a career.

Neeraj believes that art may not show people what to do, yet engaging with a good work of art can connect you to your inner self, body, and mind.

Many of us have a hobby which we only refer to as our 'creative side'. Sometimes we give a thought about pursuing it as a career, but a sense of unsurity about succeeding in it remains at the back of our head always. And in this struggle to turn our hobby into full-time source of living, we generally end up giving up what we love the most.

"For those passionate about art, there often comes a time when they have to decide whether to turn their hobby into a career, keeping in mind the sustainability or money for a decent living, but Neeraj feels that society does have a role in this decision, there is no way it can impact what you want for yourself. So if a person is willing to make that leap of faith, he needs to do his research and prepare himself for the obstacles ahead," he guides.

"Be an expert in the field of your choice – art or architecture. Money and creativity have always been a bit like conjoined twins from different families. But never give up on your passion for the sake of a high-paid job", he adds.

And, after reaching a certain level in career, there might be some points which you have to consider.

Neeraj feels that as a working artist, it's not enough to produce art, but also to choose the right platform to showcase the work. "When one attains a level, he or she has to make sure that their work reaches the right audience and potential buyers."

According to the artist, renowned art competitions are one of the most effective ways to gain the right exposure. Showcasing the work at the national and international levels is a vital step to recognition, he feels.

Neeraj participated in the 8th Beijing Biennale recently, which had the theme 'A colorful World'.

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