The purpose of my blog has been to share my journey as a parent, and to celebrate motherhood! Not just me, but mommies all around me as well! And with that in mind, I am starting a new section called MOMTASTIC ?! I will be interviewing inspirational mommas who are wearing multiple hats, and managing it all with panache!
The lovely mommy for June is Swapna Namboodiri, an incredibly talented and creative artist. Mom to 7 year old Shradhha, and 4month old Maanav, she moved to Doha from India almost five years ago. A passion for colors, and an in-depth understanding of various media is what sets her work apart. From painting to sculptures, she has done it all – and gloriously so! Her work has been showcased on multiple platforms, and she has even served as the Artist in Residence at Katara Cultural Village. Looking at the sheer beauty of her work, I truly believe this is just the beginning and we will soon hear a lot more about her!
Explain yourself in about 10 words.
Mom of 2 gems, Artist, Enthusiastic, optimistic, fun-loving, dedicated, hard-working, Multi-tasker.
Tell us about your passion. (since when, how has it grown?)
I always had this soft-corner for colors. But it took me sometime to realize my love and passion. After schooling, I chose to become and engineer, and got to work with IT giant Infosys for almost 5 years. I always managed to find some time to paint even after hectic days spent coding. Once my daughter turned 1 year, I thought of taking a break from the software world, to spend more time with my baby. During her baby naps, I got back to painting, which became a routine.
Then I did some research online to polish my painting skills, as well as ways to market it. Back then, I was fortunate to attend an exhibition conducted by ‘All Karnataka Women’s association’, as a part of International Women’s Day, where I sold my first ever painting. And that was just the push I needed – It was a realization that people are liking my work, and are willing to invest in me. I started creating something almost everyday. We moved to Qatar in 2014. And my artworks got a tremendous appreciation here and was accepted really well by the audience. This gave me courage to showcase my art in a couple of online international art galleries. And now I’m fortunate enough to sell and ship my paintings across the globe.
Why did you launch this as a business?
It was not planned, but happened gradually. As I mentioned earlier, I engage myself to create something on daily basis. So, I had lots of works in stock. Who wouldn’t mind a word of appreciation and an income from your own creations, and that too from the comfort of your home! Breaking the fear of showing my work to the world was the difficult part initially. That led to starting a Facebook page to share my work, since I was curious to know the response. Believe me, that was a real confidence booster, and I couldn’t have asked for more.
And it grew from there. It gave me the confidence to list my works on my first online marketing platform, and from there to sales. That’s how it evolved 🙂 . Now I sell mainly at handmade markets and art shows happening in Qatar. Apart from that I also sell my artworks through my 2 online art galleries ArtFinder and Saatchi. Facebook and Instagram definitely plays a brilliant role in marketing my works.
What draws you to art?
Art is like meditation for me. The mere thought of spending some time with my paints and brushes is so inspiring. All my new ideas, color palette, brush strokes, themes will just flash in my head. Art just adds more color to my life and keeps me motivated.
How do you juggle motherhood and your work?
Mantra’s of my life – time management and multitasking. Every day I think ‘ Oh My God, if only I had two more hands!’. But here I am, still surviving happily with what I have. It’s definitely not a smooth ride. There were many times I took myself on guilt trips but I know my priorities. Especially now with a 4 month baby at home, I need to be more focused on ‘Mom’ role. So I cannot dream of a continuous 2-3 hours studio time in a recent future.
But I get adapted to new atmosphere easily. So it’s a new routine now. And my baby’s ‘nap time’ is my ‘work time’, and 100% ‘Family time’ when my hubby and daughter is at home. Big shout out to my man, who is my rock! He completely understands and supports all the madness of this ambitious Sagittarian artist 😀
What is the best part about your work, and what are the challenges?
Without any doubt, the best part of my job is the satisfaction that I get by doing what I love and getting to earn within the comfort of home.
The other side of the same story itself is a challenge. Since I work from home, I need to be flexible with my working hours and other daily chores. So even if I set a particular deadline of a work in my mind, I might end up pushing a bit myself and working late hours. But I believe that it’s all part of this game. As long as I enjoy doing this, it cannot be that bad.
Any advice for mompreneurs?
Always think and stay positive. Try to think out of box and learn to face new challenges with a smile. And that’s what life is all about. It should not be just a money making process. As you are following you passion, the focus, passion, and the artistic interest in you should be the driving force both in easy and difficult times. Above all, consider it as an educational journey, and so don’t stop exploring. Follow your dreams whole heartedly and you will be successful. Not immediately but definitely…
What is the one most important parenting rule you live by?
It’s your life, and you have the right to define it – not anyone else. Respect and love yourself and others. I believe the most important thing is to, be a good human being.