Deepa Sampath – The Artist With Multiskill

Deepa Sampath – A true example of a creative person. Deepa is a software engineer by qualification and a creative person by passion. She is an amazing dancer, painter and an awesome henna designer. The profile itself is tempting and so we decide to present this amazing talent from India in this platform.  Check out what she shared with us.
Deepa Sampath interview
Hello Deepa, Welcome to it’s an honor to have you with us. Please give a brief about you, your family and your education.
Thank you and it is a pleasure to be a part of this. Like most of us, I come from a middle class family. My father is an ex-service man in Indian Air Force and is currently working as a manager in Indian Bank. My mother is a homemaker and I have a younger brother. Since our younger age, we had the opportunity to live all across India because of my father’s banking job. I did my school education in seven different schools and we finally settled in our hometown Pondicherry.
After my schooling, I did my Bachelors in Bio-Technology from Mepco Schlenk Engineering College, Sivakasi. I did my Masters in Medical Nano-Technology from SASTRA University, Tanjore. After college, I joined Tata Consultancy Services working as a QA engineer for 3 years. I quit my job after my marriage since I had to travel to United States to be with my husband. This is when I started following my lifelong passion towards arts, dance and entrepreneurship.
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Deepa you are already an established painter, dancer, henna designer and what not so would like to know your vision as an artist and how society gives value to an artist and his/her work?
Right from my childhood, my inspiration was nature and life’s liveliness around us existing in our day-to-day life. That was also an important reason why I wanted to be an artist. Since I was good at drawing, I was able to draw, paint and practice henna designs from early stages of my life. Being a self-taught painter and henna designer, I have my unique style and always had a thirst in me to practice and discover new techniques. My vision as an artist is to bring out the true nature of life and inspire more people along the way. I recently started giving art lessons to kids and I try to bring out the raw artist in them without compromising their true nature.
 Society values my talent and keeps encouraging me to do more. People around me who are my family, well-wishers, and friends encourage me a lot. It is because of their support I had the will to follow my passion and became the entrepreneur I am today. I have also been a part of many gallery shows and people look at my art and provide constructive feedback that helped me improve myself.
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 What are your parameters of defining a painter who is expressive, and sensitive towards a society?
 From my personal experience, any artist should have these inherent qualities –
Beauty in Art: Some aspects of art that are appealing to people are its colors, shapes, patterns and symmetry. Any painting should exhibit these features, which makes the art beautiful and pleasing for the eye.
Skill and Technique: Technical skill is the most comparable and measurable aspect of art. As you look at a painting (or any other work of art) you probably will be able to determine how skillfully it was created. I ensure that my artwork exhibit the skill and technique I used to create it.
 Inherent Meaning: Art is powerful, not just for its beauty or the talent needed for its creation, but because it can cause emotion, or challenge preconceived ideas. Each art should have its own meaning and the meaning can be visual, a new perspective, involves an emotion or depicts a symbolic imagery.
 Uniqueness: Good art explores either new subjects, or old subjects in a way that hasn’t been done before. Every art should be different and unique in its own nature.
 I believe these are the parameters for any art to be successful and to be in its fullest nature.
 Being a painter do you think that there are true admirers of painting in this world or its just a fashion and style statement for them to buy expensive painting for interior decorations?
 I think that there are people who are true admirers of art as well as people buying them as part of fashion and style. Based on my experience, I have sold arts and worked with both types of people in my career. True admirers buy their art because it helps them connect with their life and realize their higher self, based on their interests. People also do art collection as a hobby, which is a part of fashion and style statement.
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 When people show interest towards buying your art, do you ever analyze what will be the future of your art in their hands or you try to understand conversing with them what actually provoked them to buy the art?
When people come to art shows/gallery nights and show interests in buying my artwork, I usually have a detailed conversation with them on what really interest them or like about my artworks. In this way, I can understand what attracted them the most. I take these inputs and make notes so that in future when I create new paintings, I keep them in mind to produce art that is attractive and loved by everyone.
What as per you are the social responsibilities of an artist?
I believe largely, all artists have a social responsibility to uphold in the creation and presentation of their works of art. I believe social responsibility would encompass the conception and making of an artwork which promotes notions which would advance the development of today’s society. Artists should ensure that their artworks are socially responsible by ensuring consideration towards the viewing public, by not creating overly controversial works of art, which would cause many viewers great discomfort. Especially for public art, displayed openly along streets, artists should have the basic responsibility to ensure that their artworks are not morally or religiously offensive, as this would be greatly disrespectful to a large portion of society. Even for art displayed within galleries, such as public galleries, artists would have to take into consideration the needs of their audience. I always make sure that the art I create is likeable by the larger audience and not hindering any culture, religion, or ethnicity.
 Who acted as an inspiration in your life to enter this world?
As a self-taught artist, I was inspired by nature’s beauty and colors. Since I spent my childhood in many cities across India, I observed different people, culture, festivals etc., which was an inspiration for me from my younger age. This transpired to take up art as my passion.
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Say something about “Colors of Life”. Its mission and Vision
As the founder of “Colors of Life” art institution, my mission is to produce advance artworks to add value to our culture and love, thereby enhancing quality of life and contribute to the development of society at all levels. We want to promote innovation and creativity through arts, paintings and designs.
My vision towards “Colors of Life” art institution is to share my knowledge and technical abilities I have acquired through art to other children. I am planning to help students discover and develop their unique skills and talents through an intense art program with high standards that combines critical thinking and developmental approach to learning art.
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 Say something about Gallery Nights and Art Shows of your artwork and how that helped you in analyzing your work demand among art lovers
I have displayed my artworks in various Gallery Shows as a part of Madison Museum of Contemporary Arts (MMoCA). MMoCA is Madison’s primary art organization. Twice every year on May and October, MMoCA hosts gallery nights and art shows throughout Madison city by inviting prominent and upcoming artist/startups. This is the biggest art show in Wisconsin, in which anywhere between 3000 and 5000 art lovers visits every year. I feel privileged to be a part of these shows exhibiting my artworks. My artworks were displayed at the below art stores in Madison –
  1. Megan’s Custom Framing
  2. Artful Escapes
  3. Yellow Rose Gallery
  4. Evolution Art Store
I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who supported and helped me in achieving this feat. This was an important turning point in my career where people started to show interest in my artworks. Generally, people were very appreciative of my artworks and pointed out my strengths. The demand and the number of arts I sold were considerably good as well. This helped me in understanding what an art buyer is looking for. I now concentrate on creating art based on the things I have learnt from these experiences.
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 What are the upcoming events in which you are participating?
I am participating in the art events in the coming months –
  • MMoCA Summer Art Gallery Show – May 2016
  • MMoCA Winter Art Gallery Show – October 2016
  • Artful Escapes – Monthly Group Art Classes
  • Yellow Rose Gallery Nights – Random events
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 What exactly you mean by Custom Art Projects and what you do in it?
Custom Art are the artworks I design based on client’s requirements. The first step in this process is to collect art theme, size of canvas and style of painting. The second step is to do an estimate for the cost and time period involved with the project based on the chosen art theme and complexity.
Every customer order is a new experience for me. Some of my recent custom art projects –
  • I worked on an interior design project for a new Indian restaurant in Madison, Amber Indian Cuisine. I was happy to be a part of this.
  • I am currently working on another project for one of my friend’s new house. The art theme for this project is modern art of Krishna. This is the most challenging art project till to date in terms of size, time, effort and complexity
Here I want to thank my customers who gave me these exciting opportunities.
 Who is your biggest art critic?
I get criticism on my artworks from time to time. I try to recognize the valid points and work on those and make sure I do not make the same mistakes again.
My toughest art critic is my husband so far.  Since he gets to see my paintings firsthand, he would frequently give me feedbacks, critics and points to improve. I do consider his feedback sometimes if I feel that way. I consider me as my biggest competitor and try to better myself from my previous paintings.
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 We will not say that life of an artist in any form is complicated but yes, it is not easy. How is your life and who support you to take your passion for art to a new level?
I do believe the life of an artist is hard since I had to make the transition from being an IT engineer to a full time artist. I had many personal life experiences (good and bad) in this transition. Trust me; you cannot become a full time artist until you love sketching, drawing, painting. If you want to sustain in any profession, you have to follow your passion and love what you do. Since I love my profession, I am able to sustain and work through the problems I face on a day-to-day basis. Of course, I get the biggest support from my family who has been supportive of me. I feel very blessed to have such caring family members and friends around me.
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 You are also a henna artist, so what pattern or style of Henna you love to do. What exactly is Henna Tattoo?
As the founder of Henna Attic, I provide henna tattoo service for birthday parties, weddings, festivals and private events. I provide different henna styles ranging from Bridal, Arabic, Traditional and Festive.
Henna tattoos are non-permanent dying or staining on the top layer of skin using a henna paste product, the process is called Mehndi. They are safe for anyone. The tattoos are generally an intricate design and brown in color. They will fade in time, about 2-4 weeks, depending on the type of henna that has been used and based on your care of the area that was tattooed.
My recent henna events were –
  1. Bridal Henna for a wedding event held in Marriott hotel, Racine, WI
  2. Henna at Corn festival
  3. Henna at Evolution Art event
  4. Special henna for Karva Chauthfestival
  5. Special henna for Bakrid festival
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 Say something about your passion for dance and what form of dance you are specialized in?
My passion towards dance started when I was a kid. I was drawn towards Bharatanatyam and Bollywood dance. I really enjoyed the diversity in both dance forms.
I loved bharatanatyam for its grace, expressions and emotional body movements. I learned bharatanatyam for 9 years in India during my school days. After I moved to USA, I had the time to learn and tone my skills for another 2 years from guru “Sulakshana” and “Meenakshi Ganesan”. I did my dance recital (Arangetram) on May 30, 2015. It was a long-term dream that came true finally. This was a very proud moment for my family and me as well. I perform in many Indian temples across US and participate in dance competitions too. I was awarded the winner in the “Natya Manjari” competition held in Minneapolis, MN as part of Kalaanjali School of dance.
I occasionally perform Bollywood dance with my friends for any events organized by our Indian community in Madison.
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 What are you plans in this year?
I am planning to expand Colors of Life art institution. I have set myself few goals, which are developing a new website, participating in art expos across US, reaching out to more customers via social media, and continue my passion in sharing my knowledge with my community. I sincerely hope that I will be able to achieve these in 2016.
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Whom You love Deepa the painter, henna designer or the dancer the most and why?
I love all dimensions of my profession. I always try to keep them balanced and allocate time to all art forms. However, my favorite is Deepa, the painter. I think this is since  the first art form I practiced. I also believe this is the most challenging and demanding of all. I enjoy doing it a lot.
Describe Deepa the Artist in one line?
Being born on the day of Holi (Festival of Colors), Deepa is creative and addictive towards colors. Here, I want to quote couple of my favorite art lines, which is –
  1. The “EARTH” without ART is just “EH”.
  2. An ART is a poem without words.