Going with the Flow - Joyeeta Bose

Many a times in life one finds oneself at a crossroads. To go down a road that’s well-worn or to traverse the path that remains untrodden. Joyeeta Bose found herself in a similar situation right after finishing college, she says “I realized that I could either go for a job that was related to fine arts or become a full-time artist.” Joyeeta chose the latter and that has led to her becoming the artist that she is today. She tells me that she has been taking on commissions even when she was in college and has always worked at honing her own style, she says “I drew and painted as a child and since then I always wanted to become an artist.”

Joyeeta started her studio with her husband four years ago as a space to sell her work and her merchandise, she says “We work as a unit and we get things done.” Joyeeta feels that the world of art is always changing. “It used to be that artists were reliant on galleries to get their work out in the open. But with the advent of social media a lot of artists are taking the responsibility to create and sell their own works. It comes with a lot of pressure and healthy competition, but I feel that it’s a good thing.”

But with the algorithms on Instagram wreaking havoc by reducing the visibility of a content creator’s posts, things are a little tougher than usual. About this, she says “Social media changes every day and it’s tough for artists to keep up with it. But I feel that they should focus more on creating content and developing their style.”

Joyeeta has been painting and drawing since she was a child and right now, she creates beautiful pieces across a variety of mediums. But she reveals that she has a soft spot for painting watercolors, on this she says, “I like them because they look simple but actually require a lot of practice and acquired expertise. Its one of those mediums where you only improve after you make like a hundred paintings.” Apart from watercolours she also has an affinity for oils and acrylics. But she tells me that the medium doesn’t matter, “what matters is the language or the message of your art.”

A lot of Joyeeta’s works feature women as the subjects, speaking of this she says, “I grew up surrounded by women-my father was away a lot and I spent a lot of time with my mother and my sisters. I was always intrigued by the lives they led and the little nuanced gestures they make.” She adds that a lot of major historical events are told from the point of men, she says “Every story in history has been narrated by men and it has been accepted as the truth. And I think it’s sad that we don’t know the female versions of these stories. So, in the end I’m just a medium trying to tell the stories of the women I come across.”

Talking about her style, Joyeeta tells me that she developed her style though a long and arduous process of trial and error, coupled with constant practice. She reveals that she acquired the habit of practicing when she was in college. “It was a high-pressure environment” she says, recalling her time in college, “and we had to turn in assignments each week. But it shaped me into the artist I am today.”

Apart from painting she also pens poetic captions for her paintings, offering a little insight into the painting itself. She tells me that she didn’t realise that she loved writing until she tried it out, speaking of this she says, “I don’t think and paint. A lot of my art stems from my own emotions and experiences. The art comes first and the writing comes after that. I try to look at my art as a viewer and then I write what comes to my mind.” Joyeeta is also an avid reader and she cites Khaled Hosseni’s ‘The Kite Runner’, J K Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ series and ‘A Woman is No Man’ by Etaf Rum as her all-time favourite books.

Apart from making art she also teaches art to others whenever she can, on this she says, “I did not imagine myself teaching art to others but I discovered that I love workshops. I love interacting with people and seeing their reactions to the art they make.” She reveals that she prefers physical workshops to online workshops. Her first workshop was for a group of women from a village in Shanti Niketan and it was organised by an NGO called IMSE. Later on, she also teamed up with UNICEF to bring the joy of painting to all parts of the country.  While teaching she believes that the teacher learns as much as the learner “It’s a big responsibility and I still don’t think of myself as a teacher but I’m happy to guide people whenever I can.”

Joyeeta advises young artists to cultivate patience, she says “Patience is important. It won’t happen in a day. But you will get there if you persevere. It all depends on how you exercise with the medium that you’re working with and you should keep at it until it comes naturally to you.”

Until now she has held three physical exhibitions and received an overwhelming response from the people in Kolkata. Her first exhibition was at the academy of fine arts in Kolkata. Apart from that she also exhibits her work on social media. Joyeeta is a consummate workaholic and she divides her day among branding, commissions and her own projects. When she gets some time to herself, she spends it either gardening or reading books. When asked about the future she says, “I don’t plan or expect too much. I wait and watch what happens, then I go with the flow.”

You can reach out to Joyeeta on her Instagram handle @joyeeta.joyart

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