From Motors to Strokes - Venkatesh
Being a skillful artist is great, but sharing the knowledge that one has gathered over the years with the rest of the world is beyond beautiful. This is the story of Venkatesh, the Digital Painter based in Hyderabad, who has touched a multitude of aspiring artists and empowered them to pursue their passion regardless of their life situations.
Venkatesh was born and raised in West Bengal, in a family that strongly believed in picking up any creative or performing art from a very young age. As a child, he was sent to art classes every weekend, and there began his love for art. But when studies took over, Venkatesh had to leave art behind. During his college days, he started brushing up his art skills. But destiny had other plans, and he went on to become a Electrical Engineer at a chemical plant. Soon enough, Venkatesh realized that fixing motors and engines was just not his cup of tea. He wanted to pursue something that was less mechanical and more creative - something that made him feel alive and content. He switched to a marketing job, though he was clueless about how it would all pan out. He worked as a Social Media Manager for a while, until he realized that he was getting boxed into roles. He craved a space to express himself freely. He once stumbled upon the videos by @Rossdraws, a popular Artist and Youtuber who post art-related videos and tutorials, and it kindled a spark in his heart. Venkatesh was mighty inspired, and that’s when he had the epiphany to combine his painting skills with social media to contribute something to the world. He moved out of his job and started a YouTube channel, right when the pandemic hit the world. It was a time when people were stuck in their homes and were developing an interest to learn new skills. This worked out well for Venkatesh, and now, his YouTube channel has over 4 lakh subscribers. Venkatesh makes tutorial videos and does live sessions on multiple platforms to train people on perfecting their digital painting skills.
That being said, Venkatesh’s journey was not an easy one. He had challenges that he had to overcome, the main challenge being a lack of direction. He knew he wanted to pursue Digital Art, but he did not know which direction he wanted to go, as he couldn't see the end goal. At one point, he realized that he could help a multitude of people with the knowledge he possessed. He figured out that people could actually benefit from the knowledge that he had to share. That was the moment when things started falling in place. He decided to serve than ask. He began teaching and mentoring through live sessions and YouTube videos, and thousands of people started benefiting from them.
People of different age groups come to Venkatesh seeking knowledge. In his paid program, you will find people from all walks of life, and that includes people who have worked as professional artists for many years. Venkatesh believes that people learn for different reasons, and he says that housewives who used to paint using traditional mediums in their younger years, show up to learn and perfect their art. Not all of them want to become professionals - some of them turn up to just enjoy the process.
Venkatesh calls himself a productivity freak. He always looks for ways to get things done in a faster way and make the best out of every minute. He consumes a lot of content on human performance and productivity. He believes that focus is very essential and every human, regardless of which walk of life they come from, should learn how to focus. Venkatesh believes that for this, it's important to keep the raw materials always ready. He considers the brain as a factory, and it produces results based on the materials you put into it. The content you consume and the things you put your attention on determine how productive and creative you will be. He thinks it is important that we surround ourselves with content that is related to what we want to create while collecting and saving them as reference materials. He religiously follows internationally acclaimed artists and keeps learning, applying, and experimenting, and does not miss out on a chance to get his hands on anything he can learn from.
As someone who makes the best out of social media as a medium to reach people, he is of the opinion that technology is fallible. When initially he started his journey, he used to focus more on numbers, such as likes, followers, and subscribers. He later realized that social media should be considered as a mere channel to reach people and it shouldn't become a business in itself. He learns about the algorithms, techniques that bring in good engagement and stays up to date with the newest technologies and trends. However, he focuses on building a system around the social media presence and tries to be in touch with people beyond these platforms - through emails, zoom meetings, etc and have them accessible without depending too much on the social media platforms.
Venkatesh is a huge fan of NFT, and is pretty well-versed with this newest technology in town. He strongly believes that NFT will change the world, not just in the area of art, but every area that we are experiencing as a collective. Be it education, health, governance, supply chain, business, marketing, you name it - NFT is going to leverage every area to take it to the next level. It enables ownership in a way it was never possible before. However, there are pitfalls in NFT, such as people doing scams, running projects that don’t really mean much, and considering NFT as a mere source of a quick cash grab. But NFT, in general, is great and with the transparency that it offers, it can change everything, says Venkatesh.
Success, according to Venkatesh, is not big numbers or bank balance, but the ultimate peace that lets you have a good night’s sleep - knowing that you did what you could do the best, without having to worry about the next day. He believes that being content is the true definition of success, and if everything is sorted within you, and if you have the luxury of waking up and doing the stuff you love doing, that’s worth more than anything else in the world. He is convinced that enjoying the process is more important than getting there, and he advises aspiring artists to focus more on the process rather than on the end goal without being impatient or short-sighted.
Venkatesh’s journey testifies that working towards attaining the best skill level and being patient and consistent with what you are doing will empower you to let the world know that you have something to offer, and help you grow in a way that you never imagined. His desire is to help more people who are deprived of the chance to pursue their passion and help them express themselves by perfecting their skills. He is doing an amazing job training people who are, as a result, showing great results, and some of them are even selling their work as NFTs. His dream is to make his community bigger with a bunch of dedicated and passionate aspiring artists and help them reach where they have always wanted to be.
You can reach out to Venkatesh on Instagram at @artma