“Being an architectural graduate implied that there was a lot of travel which was involved. In that regard, I have travelled the length and breadth of the country. During one such trip in the final year of my college, we visited this remote place on the outskirts of Bangalore called Channapatna.
If you know about this place, you would know that this village is quite famous for its dolls hence the word, Channapatna dolls. As we were moving along, I could see little kids scrambling to get our attention to bring us to their parent’s stalls.
At an age when they should have been going to a school and studying, they were here running around bringing in clients for their stalls. It was heart wrenching to see and I decided then and there to do something about it.
I started a platform on two of the social media channels to help connect these rural artisans with the world. Because one of the main things these people were deprived of was exposure. Since most of them were illiterate, they couldn’t possibly make an identity for themselves in the social media realm.
‘The Artist Project’ started as a passion project in the late 2015, became a platform that grew leaps and bounds with me roping in many more artisans to get onboard. Since the reach on social media was higher, we were able to get in good clients for the products these artisans made.
The initial challenge was however in bringing the artists to agree to this since most of them have had their fair share of tiffs with middle men. But as they got to know me a bit more, they began to trust me and currently, I have artisans working from even the remotest corners of India.
As a full timer with an architect firm I co-founded, it pains me to know that I am not giving in as much time as I would like to give to this project. But the dream is to grow this more and bring in many more artists onboard for it’s been an exhilarating and utmost fulfilling journey so far.
People write kind messages to me talking about how this platform has helped them grow and it almost feels like seeing people I have grown together with. There are miles to go but I am here to give these artisans the recognition and exposure they deserve.”
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