I found my home in art - Sangamalika
Sangamalika is a versatile artist who is originally from Thanjavur. Her father’s job required them to move places, and she ended up spending her childhood in several parts of India while growing up. She did her Computer Engineering at IIITDM, Chennai and further earned her PG Diploma in Liberal Studies (Young India Fellowship) from Ashoka University, Haryana. She began her career as a Qualitative Researcher where she focused on consumer research that helps brands strategize their next move. After a while, she quit her full-time job and chose to continue on the same profile as a Freelancer, to have that flexibility to focus on art whenever she wanted to.
Growing up, she has always been a studious student and was good at everything she could lay her hands on. Music, dance, extempore, art - you name it- she was up there slaying it on the stage. As she had to shift schools every now and then, she never got to have a full-fledged social life. For this reason, she made sure she was out there exploring and excelling at everything so that she could gel with people and make good friends. She disliked being called ‘That new girl’ and instead, she wanted to be known as ‘that girl who was good at something’.
When she reached college, she slowly started recognizing her inclination toward visuals. She realized she was good at visuals, human emotions, and art as a whole, and she fell in love with the design aspect of the course - like architecture. That was her moment of epiphany that drew her closer and closer to art. Soon, she started being regular with art, realizing that it was her cup of filter coffee. (Sanga is a great fan of coffee and her Instagram is rich with freshly brewed coffee content).
When talking about how art became a home for her, Sanga says that all her life she has been on the move, and at some point, she started looking within herself to find that place of permanence. The concept of home ceased to be less about geography and more about art, as she realized she got lost whenever she worked on a piece of art. Art became a sense of familiarity to her, and she weaved those strings of familiarity together to build a home, that became her comfort, her safe place, and her idea of happiness. Art became a neutral zone for her, a giver and taker, and a melting pot of different emotions.
While a major share of artists have a niche they focus on, Sanga stays different from them all. She says that she likes to experiment and explore all mediums of art. As she grew up in different places and has been exposed to different cultures, people, etc, she believes she has been influenced by the diversity when it comes to her work too. She believes holding on to a style is more important than niching a medium. One thing that connects all her work regardless of the medium is vibrance. She goes extra generous with bright shades and her art pieces are vibrant with happy colors.
Sanga’s work desk looks like it is straight out of a dream. It is organized with various art materials neatly stacked and there are so many materials that she has collected over the last 15 years. She prioritizes what to buy and refrains from spending on unnecessary stuff, instead, she saves the money to buy what she really wants and what will stay on her desk for a very long time. Sanga says that she can’t work in a mess - unless the mess is a part of the process. She gets that from her mother who is particular about keeping the house clean. Sanga makes oddly satisfying Instagram reels on organizing the desk and art materials, and it is such a treat to the eye.
About making Instagram reels, Sanga says that she is someone who pauses and watches everything, and her attention to detail makes her want to capture everything and document them. She captures everything aesthetically so that people can see what she sees through her eyes. She has become good at it over time, and it doesn't take her a lot of time to create reels. She says that when you do a lot of things in life, you end up figuring out how to do them efficiently. Along with her freelance career as a Qualitative Researcher, she does a lot of art, makes beautiful reels, and also teaches art through art-based platforms. Sanga has done some workshops with MadCap, and we admire her for her versatility.
Sanga believes that outdoor sketching helps artists to a great extent to learn the change in lighting patterns. She goes on outdoor sketch walks with the help of her friends or her family but she says that it requires you to plan well beforehand.
While starting out as an artist, Sanga had to face certain challenges. Getting the support she needed was the first challenge, as it took many conversations with her parents to convince them that the path she has chosen is going to be rewarding. It is a lonely job to be an artist. She says the second challenge is finding your place in the industry. There is no promotion, no hike, and no job security. You may go out of business anytime. It all depends on networking and connecting and building a business model even outside social media. The third challenge, Sanga says, is the world seeing art as a skill that they can exploit. Many people would approach her to do a sketch or painting for them for free and would get offended when she charged them.
When asked what advice she would like to give the aspiring artists, she says no advice is worth enough as much as the advice of experience of being an artist can give you. Make the decision and be very clear about being an artist. Be sure of your path and continue on it. Do not feel too much about what people think. You are the only one who is going to be with you till your last breath. Prioritize yourself and your mental frame. Train your head to be focused on what you really want. Collect as many experiences as you can, and keep working on your art - says Sanga, the artist who found her home in art.
You can follow her journey as an artist on her Instagram page @sangastudio