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Passionate About Art

Thursday, July 16, 2015

With family and professional relationships taking up most of our time, pursuing our passions seems impossible. But, Rajashree Nedungadi turned hers into a career with the help of Pidilite Fevicryl’s training programme for housewives. Dev Goswami speaks to her to find out more

Learning a musical instrument, taking up a dance class... how many things do you have chalked out on the list of skills that you would like to acquire, but never have the time to learn? As you grow older, you begin to take on more responsibility, family and career eating away at personal time. And then somewhere along the way, you find yourself so caught up, that most of your hobbies are sidelined without you even noticing. This holds true for housewives like Rajashree Nedungadi, who after getting a master’s degree in economics and getting married, said goodbye to her childhood passion for art and craft. But, she’s also one of the lucky few who managed to rediscover her passion and unleash her potential. After associating herself with Pidilite Fevicryl’s training programme for housewives, she transformed her hobby into a career. She has authored a book on the Rajasthani art form of Pichwai paintings, undertakes vocational training programmes for the underprivileged and also holds corporate art therapy sessions. Read on as we find out more about Rajashree and her passion for the art and craft.   

After pursuing a master’s degree in economics and getting married at an early age, you successfully moved back to your childhood passion for art and craft. What helped you make this switch?
Being married to someone who travels a lot and having two small children to take care of made me realise that I had to pursue a career that would help me balance both my family and my passion. Conducting a summer camp for my friends, children and acquaintances gave me the necessary opportunity. The feather in my cap was the association with Fevicryl-Pidilite Industries; had it not been for their professional training, timely exposure and numerous opportunities, I would not have been able to optimise my potential. They have played an important role in my growth.

What challenges do you face when it comes to turning your hobby into a career? How do you ensure that your love for what you do is not overshadowed by the need to run a successful business?
Sharing my hobby with other people made me realise the importance of constantly staying updated and also made me aware of the huge financial investment that is required to run a business. As long as my hobby is self-sustaining, it ensures a balance between passion and commercialism.

Once upon a time, people believed that with the rise of the internet, hobbies such as art and craft would die. However, we’re seeing quite the opposite of that. How do you use this to your advantage?
I believe in the idea that, if it’s not on the internet, it doesn’t exist. So, being aware of my clients and ensuring that both my work and I am accessible to them is quite important. Instant connectivity gives instant accessibility and facilitates conversion.

What is your favourite art form?
I’m passionate about all traditional art forms. My favourite is the Kerala Mural. It’s an art form that is bright, traditional, vastu-friendly and based on pictorial interpretations of the shlokas from the Bhagvad Gita.

What is the one type or aspect of art and craft that you feel is often ignored?
Most Indians are not aware of the number of art forms that exist in our country. A lot of these are not as popular and don’t get their due.

What tips would you give women who want to pursue their hobbies like you have?
Quality, and not quantity brings in footfall. Professionalism, variety, accessibility, good pricing and in-depth knowledge of your subject is essential for success. But, remember that success is what you define it to be.

About Pidilite Fevicryl’s Programme
Pidilite has a training programme that enables women to teach hobbies. They offer you training, along with a certificate on successful completion. As a hobby teacher from Fevicryl, you will get to conduct several workshops and other activities that are related to art. It is open to all women, whether they are housewives or those looking to pursue their enthusiasm for art and craft. To find out more and to get in touch with them you can send an email to [email protected]

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