Artist of the Month – Puriya Jamkhandikar Onkar
“Drawing a mandala helps us reconnect with ourselves. It leads to an increased sense of well being, calmness, clarity, emotional stability, wholeness and creativity.”– Puriya on benefits and essence of Mandala drawing
Puriya, thank you for your time on Little Miss Elf. We go a long way back and I must say, you are that rare person who wears multiple hats. And, I am so pleased to have you as Artist of the Month.
Thank you so much. Well, yes, I am a Mandala Artist, German Translator and a Music Lover, based out of Mumbai. I’m an Accountancy and Management Post Graduate from University of Mumbai. After my Graduation, I worked with Deutsche Bank for a few years. That’s where my love for the German language started. I’ve completed my International German certifications from Goethe Institut, Mumbai and I’ve been working as a Freelance German Translator since 2015.
One evening in 2017, in an attempt to use up my old art supplies from school days and my old liquid eyeliners, I painted my first ever half mandala (I didn’t even know what a mandala was back then). One artwork led to the other and my curiosity about mandalas and their significance increased many fold. And thus began my beautiful journey as a Mandala Artist.
When I look at Mandala Art, two things come to my mind : Resilience and Meditation. What does Mandala Art mean to you?
Julie, that’s exactly what mandala art means to me too! I experienced the meditative and relaxing effects of mandala art during my cancer treatment in 2018. Even during my chemotherapy and radiation sessions, I woke up every morning with a smile thinking about the mandala I was going to draw that day. I owe a lot to mandala art.
Drawing a mandala helps us reconnect with ourselves. It leads to an increased sense of wellbeing, calmness, clarity, emotional stability, wholeness and creativity.
I definitely agree on the well-being aspects of it and I am pleased that it helped you during your treatment. But tell me, how has your practice changed over time? Tell me more about your journey to a 25k following on Instagram.
I stumbled upon Mandala Art but I always like to believe that Mandala Art discovered me. I haven’t been to art school, so my art was purely experimental when I started drawing mandalas. Over the years, I have developed a better understanding of art materials and mediums that go well with my art style. I love to experiment with colours, shapes and patterns. I enjoy the process of bringing an artwork to life.
I started documenting my art journey on Instagram in November 2017. The increase in follower count was organic and very gradual. I often get asked by my followers about how they can get more followers – and my answer to them is – by being consistent with your content. If you are passionate about your art, it shows through your work. Interacting with my Instagram art family, sharing behind the scenes photos, progress shots and my art process videos have helped me increase my Instagram followers.
So, like everything else, just being true to your self. What is integral to the work as an Artist? What makes you get to your desk everyday?
Passion, determination and the drive to put your heart and soul into every art piece are the qualities that play an integral role in the life of an artist. There’s so much that goes behind every artwork –
- Rough sketches,
- Experiments with colour swatches,
- Digital mock ups (to see how the hand-drawn artwork might look like once its finished),
- Scraping and regrouping of ideas,
- Taking progress photos and videos of the making.
In my opinion, every artist should be able to promote his/her art, be a good photographer and videographer, have a good sense of how the market works, be good at managing art inventory and packaging to ship artworks. Of course you can take external help, but it always helps to have a basic knowledge of these things.
I’ll be lying if I said that I have it all figured out. But, learning new things, making mistakes, learning from the mistakes and then making more mistakes – keep me going. I look forward to creating art every single day. Custom artworks have a special place in my art as it involves giving life to an idea of the client but in my unique art style – it’s fun!
Exactly, for you it’s a full-time job and not something which you do on the side.
But I must say, I feel you have been blessed by Goddess Saraswati, you have excelled both at Music as well as Art. Who would you consider as your teacher?
Thank you so much for the compliment, Julie. I won’t say that I have excelled, but I’d say that I try my best to be better than I was yesterday. I’ve been blessed with wonderful teachers from my school and college days, my Hindustani Classical Gurus and my German teachers as well.
There’s so much you can learn from everyone around you – you just have to keep your eyes open and observe.
What should we look forward to seeing from you?
I’d like to publish more art pieces and posts on my social media, conduct more online mandala workshops and perhaps start a Youtube channel in the future. You can check out my current work here :
Wow! Way to go girl!
To end this, I will say Little Miss Elf is about telling everyday stories, spreading smiles and simply uplifting spirits Are there any causes/charities close to your heart?
Yes, of course. I would recommend these two below:
Gopalkrishna Charitable Trust by Dr. Anil Heroor and Dr. Anagha Heroor. It aims at spreading awareness about curable cancers and importance of timely screening aiding in early detection on community level with help of better advocacy and social campaigns, drives etc. They conduct mobile cancer screening and mammography camps in urban and rural areas of Dombivli and its circumference. You can find more about them here
Knitted Knockers Nagpur by Dr. Rohini Patil and Keka Roy They connect volunteer knitters with breast cancer survivors to offer free knitted prosthesis
Please do generously to them or if you are a knitter, do connect with them!