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struggling as an artist

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Art is a kind of an addiction, and creation of an Artwork is its cure to me. The initial moments of living my dream of being a Professional Artist was never easy. I inherited the skills of Art from my father who is a Landscape Artist. My dad has always supported me to be who I am today. He is my first and foremost inspiration. I can call myself a proud Artist because of all the lessons and guidance that I have received from him.

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However, I had friends and relatives who weren’t much supportive about my full-time career as an artist. They would question me whether Art is a legitimate profession that’s enough to sustain a comfortable life. People around me always had doubts. They always felt that I would become a starving Artist and stay that way for my whole life. However, I am fully satisfied today. I passionately continued pursing Art as my career, and here I am today as a Contemporary Artist.

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To talk about my journey as an Artist in the US, it wasn’t very pleasant and welcoming. I was an immigrant along with a career interest that was not much followed by a huge amount of people as a career. Most of the people that I met took Art as a hobby or a medium of relaxation, unlike a career choice as I did. I evolved as an adult during my first 2 years in the US when I got to learn the difference between living a daily life and living to follow my personal dream. Living a daily life was a reality and following the dream was passion to me. I experienced real hardship of balancing my needs and my obsession as an artist.

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There was a time when I was not able to enroll to Art classes even though I was desperate to play with colors. Admitting to an Art class required several tubes of colors, canvases, and other materials, leading to an extra expense to my budget list. Initially, I was not ready to cope with it and I had to sacrifice learning art. I was determined to be an artist, but I had to get along with those issues and face them patiently. There were days when I had ideas, but I didn’t have canvases or colors to express them. I still have some faint memories of my imagination from those days which I wanted to paint but wasn’t able to. The desperation of not being able to paint when I wanted to lead to the beginning of my “Following the Dream” series. This series includes some of my imagination and my memory from those days.

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During these five years, I won seven interstate awards and all of them were best for my unique Contemporary Art style. Also, I got selected for the Global Art Award for 2017 and 2018. I proudly did 10 Solo Exhibitions in nine different states in the US. I have two Art shows lined up for this month and four shows in September and October. It takes a lot of research and preparation to make up to these events. Staying within the boundary of my own art style and a particular concept has helped me stay well organized and occupied at the same time.

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In my opinion, there is no any way to cheat in the Art field. Following someone’s style and trying to get ideas from someone’s Artwork will always help you explore your inner desire. It will inspire you to paint better and guide you in finding your own Art style. To me, Art is like reading a book and giving it a real life through colors. The most important factor to me in Art is receiving critiques, be it positive or negative. Positive critiques always make you proud about your journey whereas negative critiques give you an opportunity to look at your work from a different perspective. Negative critiques make you aware about the mistakes and lets you improve to grow better in the future. I learned a lot of things from my 6 years long art journey in the States and I am eager to learn more in the days to come.

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I will always have a soft corner for those struggling days in my heart and I will cherish them forever. Struggling days to me was a learning phase which made me mentally stronger and more enthusiastic to succeed as an Artist. Despite of all the obstacles and hardships, I am glad that I never lacked faith in my own skills and I continued moving forward embracing my past. Without the support of my family and the inspiring guidance of my dad, I wouldn’t have reached this height in the field of Art.

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KUSHAL BASTAKOTI
is a professional artist stationed in the United States of America

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