One Stroke At A Time

My journey with art started at a very young age. Like any other child, I scribbled on anything and everything. My mother understood my love for art and made sure I get the correct guidance. I remember being excited for my drawing classes after my tuitions and spending hours perfecting. During my classes in school, I doodled on the books. My books had miniatures, flowers, leaves, and abstracts, especially in English and History textbooks. It was my way out to another world.

Soon I started painting. In 2012, I learned to oil paint, and that opened an entire universe to me. I began to love the smell of paint. Mixing colors and using various strokes created magic on the canvas. After my painting session, I used to be covered in paint. When I made my career choice to be a designer, I realized it was all because of the happiness art accorded me. Creating, experimenting, imagining were the things I lived by.

At the beginning of the lockdown, I had to come back to India. Things weren't great then as I had a tough time staying away from my family in London. I was depressed. One fine day, I decided to paint. After a long time, I had a brush in my hand and an empty canvas in front of me. Nervous at first of not knowing how well I can do the job, I just went for it. After indulging an hour or so of painting, I knew I did a decent job but, what made me happier was that I painted. In that hour, I was away from all the worries and negative thoughts. I existed at the moment, where the stroke of the brush had the power to make the world a better place for me. And the only regret was, why did I ever stop painting?

Soon one after another, I was painting. It opened my mind once again. I was getting new ideas. One of them was creating art from waste. I used waste items such as cloth tags, bubble wraps, plastic nets on the paintings that would end up going in the bin. After every painting, I felt I was getting better as an artist, and most importantly, my mental health was improving. I didn't know how good my art was, but it did good to me, which mattered the most.

Today when I write this, we are still going through a tough time. People are dying and suffering because of the poor healthcare systems, wars, politics, poverty, unemployment, and the list goes on and on. We have thousands of issues around us that make our very existence a question. But still, we go through each day believing the next would be better. Hope is what keeps us going. And doing what we love fuels our hopes—one stroke at a time.

 

Love,

Rutuja

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