Updated: May 21, 2020
I hope all of you are staying safe. Today, I have something new for you guys. When I started this blog, I was determinant to do featured artist post regularly. My reason for doing this post is very simple; I want to learn more! Nowadays, you can gather all the needed information from the internet (btw which is very anonymous and not authentic sometimes) or like the old proverb we have “Gyan baantne se badhta hai” hence I opted to learn with fellow artists and feature few of them who are doing excellent work in their domains. So, let me introduce you to Eshu Nimje from Agneesha Art Studio who was kind enough to say yes to do my first ever featured artist post. I found Eshu’s amazingly vibrant profile on Instagram when I was searching for this month’s Gond art inspired bullet journal theme.
Despite working as a Cybersecurity consultant, Eshu is extremely passionate for art, especially traditional Indian and modern art forms. Through her art venture – Agneesha Art Studio, she conduct webinars and workshops to promote the art forms like Gond, Madhubani, Warli and many more. They also make lifestyle accessories like mugs, watches, diaries, etc., in traditional motif designs.
I am super excited to learn more from this talented artist, so let’s dive straight into the conversation with Eshu:
Eshu, I am curious to know about your art journey. Tell me how long have you been practicing art and how you came up with idea of Agneesha Art Studio?
It has been 15 years now. My mother used to organize workshops and I accompanied her all the time. I had this burning desire to learn everything what she taught to her students. I used to and I do still, engage her in something more innovative. We both keep practicing our skills at home or through some easily available classes. This learning is just not limited to paintings, but we have also tried our hands on sculptures, crafts, jewelry, ceramics and many more. My passion for exploring also motivates my mother to take up new art forms and keep experimenting with her creativity.
Talking about your venture – Agneesha Art Studio, what’s the story behind it. And what all one could expect to find there?
My art Initiative, Agneesha, was a life changing experience for me as I was able to finally know my passion and work towards it. As I said, that my inspiration was my mother, but over some time I realized, it's not just an art for me, but also a form of meditation. It helped me a lot through my toughest times, channelize my energy in a productive manner, and coming up with this idea also helped me to increase awareness about Gond and other tradition art works in my community.
At Agneesha, we venture into traditional paintings like Gond, Madhubani, warli, bhil, Pithora, and many other traditional art styles, along with wall murals and ceramic mural art. We have also been very active in spreading awareness about lesser known traditional forms by workshops and webinars conducted throughout the year.
Going forward, with back-to-the-roots movement taking toll on every part of our lives. We also plan to get these traditional motifs on accessories and fabrics, to promote its inclusion in Indian lifestyle
Every artist has his/her own style. Please tell me about yours?
My niche is tribal Indian abstract, Gond. Though the inspiration of such paintings is generally customs, faith, mythology, lifestyle and wildlife, but for me it has a lot to do with emotions. It’s not just few colors and perfect lines, but I believe art gives shape to a man's thoughts and figurines. In a way everything we see around us is art. From numbers to alphabets to languages- all of them are forms of expression. If not for any of this, mankind would've been still unravelling the mysteries of nature.
It is said that every Gond artist has a source of inspiration, and you have also mentioned that these inspirations could be derived from customs, lifestyles, and so on. What fascinates you the most while practicing Gond art?
There are a number of things which fascinates me toward Gond. The blend of colors and intricate patterns of Gond, the perfection with which they are blended to add narrative, the patience of artist in this entire process, and contrast of colors along with innovation in every other painting is truly phenomenal. I was intrigued the first time I saw it, which inspired me to continue it as my niche.
There are so many brilliant and seasoned Gond artists in India. Is there anyone who is your favorite or whose work inspires you the most?
I don’t have any favorites. Behind every painting, there is an artist’s unique style, innovation and creativity, and I like to keep myself open to understand this. Like you see there are numerous Gond artists, but each of them have their own thought process of coming up with ideas. To a naked layman eye, it might look similar style, but there are different stories involved. Every artist narrates his/her life in these paintings. Life is integral, right? How can we have just one of them as favorite?
Do you have a mentor or are you a self-taught artist?
Well, it’s a mix. For few art forms I can say I’m self-taught, for others I received training from multiple mentors established in their fields. There isn’t a single mentor, but I can say passion to get trained by everyone, was self-driven.
We have talked a lot about Gond. Please tell me is there any other art form that you practice besides Gond?
Along with traditional arts that include Warli , Madhubani, Bhil, Godhana, Pitthora,and Mandana, my niche is Wall Murals. I have learned watercolors, astronomy art, knife painting and crafts like ceramics, sculpting, candle making, card making, crochet and quilling.
And what is your favorite art material?
Colors.. Forever.. I am always excited to experiment contrast combinations.
Eshu, this is my first attempt to try Gond. However, I would definitely want to sharpen my skills on this art. What will be your message and tips to the budding artists as well as bullet journaling community trying this art form?
Gond art is an abstract art form, inspired from lifestyle and customs of Gondi Tribe, densely populated in Central India. Since it is an abstract, one need not to be perfect with the figures, but there is always a narrative to it. What makes these paintings to stand out from other tribal paintings, is the innovative patterns and brush techniques done in contrast with base color. These patterns are related to the abstract depiction of the art piece. I think one need to give more attention to the narrative and the contrast of the patterns with the base color, so to make your painting capable of telling it’s own story.
I would say you just need to innovate and be yourself. Trust your instincts and express what you want to say in your artworks. Capture your life, your experiences, just like how the Gond Tribes do, in such a way that the motion of your mind is depicted in your art. That’s when you truly master this abstract.
Well this is the last question but an important one. My vision for this blog is to promote Indian art, culture and heritage, especially to promote Indian folk artists who are less explored. So, I am keen in knowing your suggestions for promoting this art or any other art form further?
Gond art is intricate and handmade, thanks to the Government of India, it has now been recognized and appreciated in many countries. But it’s unfortunate that not many natives know about it and have mistaken it for either aboriginal art of Australia (due to brush techniques) or Madhubani due to colorful patterns.
As an artist, I try to create this with integrity. As I told you, we conduct workshops for various art forms and promote them. Through these workshops, we educate participants about its importance and we have also collaborated with NGOs for seminars and workshops to create awareness of this abstract art from the Central India.
Nowadays, Gond paintings are now made on canvas, but I would recommend these paintings as something to have for your lifestyle. Not just the paintings on canvas, but also on accessories or fabrics, since the colors and patterns would always attract positivity.
I really enjoyed doing this conversation with EshuNimje, who apart from art likes playing guitar and badminton. Enjoys reading books on mythology and psychology, and love travelling and cooking. If you want to shop for Eshu’s paintings or customized lifestyle accessories click here: https://www.etsy.com/in-en/shop/AgneeshaArtStudio?listing_id=800012329&ref=shop_overview_header You can follow her onInstagram and Facebook for latest works, workshops (offline and online) webinars and more Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/agneeshaart/ Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/agneeshaart/ Know more about her on Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/eshunimje/
Guys, I hope you like this post. I would really appreciate receiving your comments, as they can guide me in refining the content of this blog. So, please do let me know your thoughts down in the comments tab. You can also ask questions to Eshu. As you know this is the first featured artist post. I am looking for artists and bullet journalers who have either some unique style or practice folkart or any other Indian artforms. My motive here is to get some insights from the people who are ready to share their experience with others. This is not only confined to fine art media but other medias like photography, dance, music, etc., would also be covered. Other type of featured which I am planning is anyone from the bullet journaling community who can teach us the different methods to stay focused or productive, or uses bullet journal to deal with a special issue. If you or someone known to you matches any of these criterias then you can either email me or DM me on Instagram.
This was the second post in the Gond art series. I have one last post for you in this series which is coming up very soon.
I will see you guys soon, till then you take very good care of yourself and your family.