When we think of art, we think of colors and expressions, of the real and abstract. We think of paintings and patterns, of faces and people, of joy and sorrow. We think of bold and beautiful, of being alone or with another. All of this is and much more is found in the art of Joyeeta Bose. A young artist with a mind of her own, Joyeeta has been professionally painting since her college days; however, the artist within her has been around for long.
A look through her various works leaves you affixed to the varied women orientated themes, the use of bright colors, the large eyed expressions and the love for one’s body. Today she runs the Studio Joyeeta along with husband Prasenjit Ghosh and they together have started their own label of personalized items that include brooches, bags, notebook covers, mugs along with of course, wall paintings and murals.
In conversation with Joyeeta regarding her love and type of art:
Q: Tell us something about your style of art? What themes do you enjoying painting on?
A: I have developed this particular style after many years of trial and errors. I love painting people and I wanted to express my people in my own form. I paint my women, their emotions, and even if i paint objects it’s somehow related to our lives. People’s psychology and struggles are the area of my interest.
Q: Where did you learn art? What made you want to pursue it as a subject and later as a career?
A: I did my graduation i.e. bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Indian college of art and craftsmanship (Rabindra Bharati University). I started working professionally from my early college days and it somehow turned out well. I did not get into a job as I felt it could hamper my style and creative expression. I wanted no limits and boundaries set for me. I never had anything else in mind from childhood. I knew which college I wanted to go when I was in the 4th standard. And Art College or nothing was my motto.
Q: Tell us about your collaboration with your husband and the studio that you run.
A: After I finished my college and Ghosh (my now husband) was working in an IT firm. He never wanted to do a job and loved photography and painting too. We were dating from schooldays and somehow one day he was free and said would you do something just for fun? And that fun turned out to be what we now call Studio Joyeeta. We decided we would do this full-time. We woud create things and happiness. We both together look after the management and running of the studio. He has supported me from day one, and is a big reason why people know me.
Q: Which artist(s) have influenced you the most?
A: When I was in Art College I have followed a lot of artist and examined their styles to take inspiration. But slowly I understood that all I had to do was look at their work, learn from it, forget it and then create my own style. There is no other way. Dali, Ramkinkar, Ganesh Pyne, Gustav Klimt, Frida, Egon Schyle – there are many more in the list whose work and ideology I love.
Q: India is home to a lot of traditional painting and art styles, such as, Warli, Kalighat paintings and so on. Which of these do you prefer more and why? Are you influenced by any traditional arts?
A: I am actually not very fond of traditional art forms. I really don’t take inspiration from traditional art form. I like their story telling nature, which I may have adapted partially. Not saying they are not good, rather they are beautiful and absolutely amazing, but they don’t excite my mind for now.
Q: Do you think creative arts have enough scope in India? Would you like to change something about the way arts are perceived or compensated?
A: Yes it does. If one works hard and knows which strings to pull one can do a great deal in art, especially in the day where social media helps you. Yes I want people to look at art not as decorative stuff. I want people not to see art as a utility. Art has played a very important role in molding the society and art should not lack that quality. Your art should speak and express. It should not be there just to lighten up a corner of your home. It should shout out your darkest emotions.
Q: Looking at your creations, it seems that there is a strong connection with social causes. How much of a role can arts play in social changes? Do you have any personal experiences to share regarding this?
A: A lot! It can definitely change perceptions and how people look at themselves and the society. I have all my personal experiences expressed in my art work and people find themselves in my own struggles. That’s the best feeling of knowing how amazingly we are all connected somehow. For example, someone realized she is in an abusive relationship and spoke about it in social media. There have been more incidents like this.
Q: Have you faced any challenges or backlashes for associating your art to social issues?
A: I get that a lot talking about men, women and telling the truth. Sometimes it might seem against a religion maybe, but I don’t believe someone can tell me that I should stop calling myself a Hindu. And with my nude paintings I get it always. I do not care about this. I know if I tell the truth people of privilege will have a problem but that won’t stop me.
Q: What are the different products or forms of the art that you create? (Paintings, murals etc.)
A: Our favorite is the murals. Ghosh is my favorite critic and being a photographer himself, he has a great eye for colors. He has, of course, brought all the beautiful colors in my life. We love doing the murals, then there are my watercolor and ink paintings too. For the products we do not print them on stuff. We have kept it all hand painted. This is something unique that everyone can have. A touch of the studio itself. There are bags, brooches, bookmarks and many more.
Q: Do you think it is a good idea to put art on everyday items, such as, cushions, cups or wall hangings. Can you explain why?
A: No i don’t think so. Not always. I don’t go for very regular items of utility. I create things which can be kept as a memory for lifetime. I don’t go into utility stuff which I could and that would bring a lot of money. But no, that has not been our objective. Yes obviously art is there in everything, even how you live your life, but for our style of painting and art I don’t want to put them on random stuff.
Q: What is your advice for budding artists? What advice would you give them not only relating to their work but also on how to market or promote it?
A: Artists should never ever lose hope. Instant fame overnight is not a thing. Even if it happens, it won’t last long if you don’t work hard. Only thing I would like to suggest is work hard, create something every day, make a strong base, sketch a lot. And everything will follow. And yes go out and show your work to people. Be confident and don’t expect it to be like a fairytale always. Fight and win.
Q: What do you think are some of the qualities one needs in order to be a good painter or visual creator?
A: Keep your eyes open, not those on your face, but the eyes of your mind. Observe even the most negligible thing. Take things seriously. Deal with it. That’s the best suggestion I can give for someone who is starting.
Q: On a lighter note, how long do you usually take to complete a painting or creative piece?
A: It depends. Depends on how it is, how much I want to put there. I cannot put it in an exact time frame, but a month is good to think and do. It takes a day or two to make the creation, but I need to visualize it and visualizing takes the most time.
Q: Which are one or two pieces of art that you wish you had created instead of someone else?
A: The Kiss by Gustav Klimt. I wish i made that painting. That’s my favorite.
Q: What has been your biggest support system? According to you, what motivates you?
A: My best friend and now husband is my greatest support system. He keeps me going. I painted even when he was not there, but I wouldn’t live them if he wasn’t here. He even as a person and we together are the perfect battle to paint. I can’t sleep without creating something. That keeps me motivated. I need to sleep. So I need to create something and then get it.
Q: Any future plans related to your art or studio?
A: To tell the truth, we didn’t plan this journey ever. Even where we are today it wasn’t plan. I want it to be like this. I hate planning; I want it to be like an accident!! A beautiful one hopefully.
Wishing Joyeeta and Studio Joyeeta lots of joy and let’s look forward for more brave and beautiful art to find a way into our homes and lives.