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Gargi Chandola creates beautiful murals. Her art is stunning and we think it could turn any place into a tourist attraction. Now, she has her own firm and works with the government to make our country more beautiful, one surface at a time.
Just to introduce yourself, if you aren’t freelancing, where are you working and what’s your current job title?
I have started my own firm called GAYA ARTS. It’s an art and media company. Soon, I want to start a collective for artists who would like to travel and collaborate on various public art projects.
Tell us about your journey from discovering your craft to acquiring the skill you have now. How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and cool career?
Ever since I can remember I have sketched on any and every possible surface. My biggest motivator was my mother. She always encouraged me pursue the skill that naturally came to me.
I left design school midway as I found it difficult to conform. I started working and most of my skills are self-acquired or on the job 🙂
She is self-taught and makes art like this. Wow!
After dealing with various demands from clients and/or bosses, what’s that one experience that you learned the most from?
There are lots of instances of dealing with good and bad clients that astounded me. But mostly what I’ve learnt is Just Keep Calm amidst the chaos.
Keep calm and let good things grow.
In the whole world, whose work do you aspire yours to be like? And what attracts you to appreciate what they do?
I am most inspired by Dali. His provocative, evocative, obnoxious sheer genius, skill and persona.
She gets inspired by Dali. Soon, people will be inspired by her.
What do people not realize about your work/area of expertise?
I think this is a common thing that designers/ artists face, that people lack any understanding of the process that goes into developing an artwork. There are no set rules to creating or viewing art. “Understanding Art” is an overrated concept.
Most people don’t understand the process needed to make art like this.
Which project of yours are you particularly proud of? Could you tell us a little about it?
The restoration of Gunehar village square. I had just quit my job and was clueless about the way forward. I stumbled across a Facebook post about an artist’s residency in Himachal. This led to my search for local miniature artists to form a collective with them to paint this village. The stark contrast of working in an indoor office, staring at the computer to being outdoors in a mountain village and just painting, getting my hands dirty made me realise that this was meant for me.
She was feels like she was meant to create public art.
Can we have a piece of advice that helps you with your own workflow?
I write down every little thought/idea that comes into my head. To me, while creating, no idea, however absurd, is superfluous to the process.
This should give you an idea of the scale that she works with.
So, what are you working on now?
I am working with the Govt. of India to beautify heritage roads in Varanasi. I have been commissioned to do street murals across the city which has also become a second home to me.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
Travelling and painting cities, towns, villages.
More of this is in her future.
How do you unwind and refresh your creative juices?
Reading a nice thriller and lazing in the garden.
Have you ever tried out a completely different creative field? If yes, how did that turn out?
I have studied roll film photography and I still enjoy it. But that is a hobby.
A family tree.
If you had to start afresh in the industry today, would you choose a different path and if so, what would it be?
No, I am happy in my space and my journey so far.
Did we mention that we like her other work along with all the public art?
If you could claim that any one person’s work in India was yours, who would it be?
Maybe, the Indian Miniature masters. But as most of them are unnamed, I would also like to be remembered for my work of art regardless of claim.
Clearly, she is drawn to creating art that transforms spaces.