The Artist who fell in love with colors - Madhumika Sankar
A vibrant soul obsessed with painting charming florals. Meet Madhumika Sankar (@femvisionary), the watercolor artist based in Bahrain. Madhumika was born in Bahrain, but her roots lay in Chennai, India. She started with doodles and has been inclined towards arts right from her childhood. While in college, she started learning watercolor paintings and fell in love with the medium She was following a few watercolor artists and she was drawn to them. She felt that the medium of acrylics was fluid, and decided that she wanted to be great at this medium. Though she was learning and practicing watercolor on her own, she didn't fully understand the medium at that time. There was the unavailability of watercolor art materials and not many were using them at that time. Those using them were professionals who used high-quality materials. There was this desire in her to learn the art and practice it in the best way possible.
Madumika went to London to earn her pre-masters and later worked in the fashion industry. She freelanced for a while and taught in a college. Color has always been a part of her, and she was well-versed with all the technicalities. She went back to Bahrain and started working in the fashion industry. Art was something that she did when she was angry or stressed out as an outlet. In 2019, she started using Instagram and started out by reposting the work of other artists. This led to her engagement increasing and she did many challenges that worked well. By then, good brands started coming up with high-quality materials, which helped her experiment with the art and get addicted to the medium. She says that it's been 4 years, and the journey has been rewarding.
Her Instagram profile is full of florals, and when asked why she was more into florals she said “I’m a moody person. I like dark colors and I find myself gravitating toward colorful things. I tried doing landscapes, by learning them from people and tutorials but felt it was not my cup of tea. I always went back to florals, and the first thing I end up drawing now would be always floral”. Her inspiration comes from the colors and she looks at Pinterest for color inspiration. She gets fascinated by certain combinations of colors, mixes them together, and then decides on the subject matter.
Talking about the challenges she had to face, she says it's challenging to constantly understand how the algorithm changes. The engagement would grow quickly and then stagnate, and when that happens it would take a toll on her. It used to affect her a lot, but when it happened four to five times, she realized that it was just a complication from the side of the Instagram platform and made peace with it. Another challenge is when people copy her work and post it without giving her any credits. It takes a lot of time to find something unique and work on it, and when people copy it, it is disheartening. After a point, she realized that the way she does it is still different and unique from how they are doing it. It was a little difficult when she was starting out, but she says that it's a lot better now.
Madhumika also says that she gets inspired by the work of other artists. When she looks at their work, she gets inspired to try it out. She would put a lot of pressure on herself to try doing it though she knew she was not really into it. But she realized that she couldn’t even draw the base properly and then stop it right away. The minute she tries it out she would hate it, and some tries later she realized that it was not meant for her. She did not find herself enjoying the process and she came to realize that it was absolutely okay to not do everything.
Madhumika has over 6500 students on Skillshare and many students are learning from her on different platforms like MadCap. She enjoys teaching and has always wanted to teach since when she was a child. She has even taught adults to start their businesses.
One of the special moments of recognition happened when she was hosted on Bahrain International T.V, a show that hosted creatives and small business owners, and the experience was amazing. She felt very special to be recognized on a TV show in Bahrain, as she was born and brought up there. Talking about the art scenes in Bahrain, she says there is a presence of art galleries and a boom of contemporary art in Bahrain. New artists are coming up and building audiences and there is definitely a market for artists in Bahrain. But she says that nothing compares to the exposure for the artists in India, but it still gives her a lot of space in Bahrain as there are not many artists in Bahrain which gives her a chance to put herself out there easily, without having to face much competition.
She has collaborated with many brands, and she finds it exciting that she gets to support small businesses and help them reach a larger audience. She was also a part of a charity organization that aimed at helping women who lost their infants after birth. Her work was given to be printed as postcards and sold, the proceeds of which would go to the cost of the incubator to help mothers spend more time with the child.
She believes that to improve herself, she has done a lot of work on setting her mind. She invested time and effort in getting rid of her fears. Art is not considered a proper career by many, and there is this popular misconception that one can’t make a lot of money through art. She had to release those stigmas and let go of everything that held her back. Journaling has helped her to a great extent in releasing her fears. For this reason, she then started making stationery, most importantly journals, so that others could also journal and become better versions of themselves.
For her success is being at peace, knowing that nothing matters, and trusting that everything will fall in place. She gives herself chances to mess up and make mistakes, and she believes that one can learn a lot through their mistakes. Having that ability to trust herself and love herself the way she is, gives her a lot of happiness.