Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Do you know what 'artpreneurship' is?

Does having a hobby mean sacrificing your career or your job? Some might say yes and some might say no and some, like Kasturi Borkotoki, do what suits them the best. People like Kasturi find their balance between their jobs and their passion and arrive at a beautiful middle path. Art is her passion while holding down a full-time job. It’s a path that allows her to achieve her aim and goals without compromising what she believes are her necessities.

Here is a guest column by her for the Zing blog.

Kasturi Borkotoki
I have always been ready to go out on a paint-out to some faraway location on a Sunday, the only off from my mainstream job in human resources. While it was tempting to dedicate myself full-time to art, life’s turns compelled me to keep a stable environment through a job. I don't feel any push or pull at all when it comes to art. It is spontaneous, comes from the pits of my being and refreshes and energises me. I have a 6-day job and, at the time, when I started painting, I needed a creative outlet. That’s what led to the balance. 

I would take immense delight in drawing whatever I saw as I was travelling. That association also kept me going. I would think and see art everywhere. In the way people sat, stood, bended, or the way a garment folded, the way the leaves hung, the way the flowers bloomed, the way the slums looked in a shanty, the way the building rose. I have painted almost all subjects. I carry a sketch pad around with me all the time. I eventually organised a small exhibition which included my artwork and some of my daughter’s paintings in August 2011. It was a success and included small sales. The sense of achievement I got was more from the response of people to the exhibition than the sale. The feeling of acceptance was great! 

In this course of discovering time to pursue my passion I realised that I was able to look at my pursuit of art as an entrepreneurial venture. I am definitely entrepreneurial about my art. I have been following it as a constant passion for the past three years, soliciting critique and feedback. I have met different people through my art. I have a full business model in play now, which I plan to implement in the different stages of my life. 

I was also thirsting for a creative platform, where I could express myself irrespective of the confines of organisational or social set-ups, as there were lots of experiences and opinions that I felt strongly about. I painted and drew to seek refuge from loneliness. The canvas was and still is my most trustworthy friend. It will never abandon me. I painted to express anger, happiness, stress and fear. I painted to bond with my daughter. I evolved from different techniques and have finally come to a stance where I know what I am good at and what I am not. I didn’t have to work hard to be passionate about my art. In fact I was passionate about working hard for art! 

Kasturi with her art
My best achievements have been in instances when I have inspired others to paint and draw. One reason that bound me to art was the fact that I was from a Learning and Development background. I have worked in the knowledge industry for quite some time. I started devouring art- material with research in mind. Every day I found something new to read and something new to practise. I was experimenting and documenting the results. I have documented my experiential learning notes (a term borrowed from the behavioural training field) on my blog, all of which have been appreciated by fellow learning artists. 

Artpreneurship, or art and entrepreneurship, to me, is about a constant focus on excellence, creativity and innovation. The risk goes hand in hand with entrepreneurship. In my mind, I am ready to go the full measure with my art, in some years. I will be ready to take full ownership of the outcome of this venture. Till then, I will plan, create and innovate! Art created excitement, for me, giving colour and vivacity to what would have been an otherwise dull life. 

Learn more about Kasturi on her blog.

If you think you have a story that can be featured here, we would love to hear from you.


  1. Very encouraging. This is the sign of a true artist!

  2. This is very inspiring for folks who have a passion which gets subdued by the daily grind for making a living

  3. "I didn’t have to work hard to be passionate about my art. In fact I was passionate about working hard for art! The play of word that you are so well known for is reflected here. This itself is another form of art which you must never leave in addition to the paintings & sketches