Chennai Shopping Carnival – March 10 & 11, 2018:
Exhibited my handmade artworks in a stall at Chennai Shopping Carnival organized by The Hindu as part of the international women’s day. I was one among the selected 50 women budding entrepreneurs. Displayed and sold some of my acrylic canvas paintings, harry potter themed drawings, Kalamkari and Madhubani artworks, beaded jewelry, handmade gift covers, Madras themed customized fridge magnets and coffee mugs, tee shirts and handmade bookmarks.
Bookmarks workshop – 2018:
Conducted a workshop on handmade bookmarks, held as part of the Art Fest 2018 at Nageswara Rao Park on Feb 4th. Free event organised by Mylapore times wherein I taught the kids how to design and create their own bookmarks. Items and art supplies were provided and the kids were encouraged to try drawing on their own during the workshop.
Art Fest 2018:
Organized by Mylapore times at Nageswara Rao Park on first Sunday of February. 3rd edition. Displayed canvas paintings, doodles, zentangles, cute illustrations. Apart from Kalamkari and Madhubani themed artworks, I also displayed Harry Potter themed wall art/posters which seemed to attract many kids and HP fans.
A photo graph of my display in Mylapore Times – Feb 4th 2018
Murugappa Madras Day Quiz 2017:
One round of Mains quiz based my digital artworks on Chennai. There were also 2 questions in the preliminary and 2 for the audience.
Women’s Day 2017:
I don’t remember exactly when my passion for art started. I loved the art classes at school and on Sundays, my dad would buy coloring books and I would enjoy them. I wouldn’t miss even a single drawing competition back then. However, I was advised by my parents to focus on studies. I believe that they did the right thing. I’m a doctor now and getting my MBBS at JIPMER was no walk in the park.
My husband Anirudh has been a source of unconditional support for me. I can confidently say that my drawing skills have improved over the last seven years and it wouldn’t have been possible without his constant and genuine feedback. In fact, he is the one who introduced me to the world of digital art. He is also my main sponsor!
I see art as a medium to spread joy. The experience of creating an artwork is incomparable. When people say that my artworks cheer them up, I feel accomplished! It has been hectic yet possible to manage both, my day job as a doctor and my passion as an artist because of the support from my dear ones.
I would love to create more art and make the would around me more intense and colorful. 🙂
Art Mart 2017:
A modern twist to Kalamkari – Dr Aarthi Rao wants her paintings to make people feel good about themselves
Nageswara Rao Park, Mylapore saw a myriad of beautiful canvases and hues on Sunday, and one such stall was by Dr Aarthi Rao, a resident doctor at SIMS Hospitals who moonlights as an artist. She has been passionate about art since she was a child, and drew only during art classes in school and devoted the rest of her time to studies. She did MBBS from JIPMER, Pondicherry and moved to Chennai after her marriage.
“I graduated and realized that I should be following my passion. The unwavering support from my family and husband have been my biggest source of strength”, she smiles, and talks about how their feedback and support motivates her. “My art work has also improved tremendously because of this feedback, and it has brought me to a position where I can even participate in exhibitions.”
Aarthi started with doodling, pigment liners and simple sketches and moved on to acrylics and canvases. She had a tryst with water-colours as well, and talks about Inktober, which is an event every October. “This is when you draw a piece every day for a month using pen and ink. I took this up as a challenge too,” she says, and talks about a booklet that she maintains.
She also makes handicrafts, jewellery, T-shirt designing and more. She has taken it truly digital and even draws on her phone! “I want people to feel good when they look at my work. I am not in it to make money,” she says, and shares her preference for brighter colours over paintings with a washed out effect.
The artist has a fascination with Kalamkari and loves experimenting and in a fusion of traditional and modern. “Traditionally kalamkari is a little faded. I use brighter colours, try my own motifs and give it my own twist,” she says. “I only think about how it will look when hung in a home. I don’t really try to convey a strong message through my paintings. I just want to make people happy.”
How does she juggle between being a doctor and an artist? “It’s difficult, no doubt. But I start painting the moment I’m back home. MBBS is very hectic but it’s taught me how to push myself and so I do that when I have events and exhibitions coming up,” she smiles.
The artist loves the infectious energy and awareness in the city. “People are interested in art, and seem to know a lot about it. They know what kalamkari is, and what certain designs should look like,” she opines. Organizations like Madras Corporation and local newspapers have also supported her artistic cause and helped with the exhibits. “It’s a wonderful opportunity when people like Vincent D’ Souza and Ganapathi A Subramaniam help artists like us who aren’t very professional or well settles as yet,” she says.
Inktober 2016 – Mentioned in DTNext:
Aarthi Rao is a doctor by profession and finds solace in art. “Earlier, I only sketched when I had the time but this challenge has made me commit to art. Since it is Navarathri, I have stuck to the theme of celebrations”, says Aarthi. Thanks to social media experiments like these, that many amateur artists have discovered new techniques. “I have been following the hashtag for two years now and have managed to come across new styles, techniques and technologies that helped me sketch better”, adds Aarthi
Contribution to Madras Quiz 2016:
Contributed my digital art works of Chennai for the 5th round of Murugappa group Madras Quiz 2016, Chennai, conducted by the quiz master Dr. Sumanth Raman.
Photo with the quiz master:
Video of the 5th Round:
Here's the Round 5 video of today's Madras Quiz conducted by Dr. Sumanth Raman to which Aarthi contributed her drawings. #MadrasWeek
Posted by Anirudh Sundararaman on Sunday, August 28, 2016
Madras week 2016
Display of my Madras themed goodies at “That Madras Place”, Adyar, Chennai as part of the Madras week celebrations.
Clockwise from top-left: Poster, Coasters, T-shirts, Mugs, Bookmarks
Art Mart 2016
Participated in Art Mart 2016 at Nageswara Rao Park, Mylapore Chennai organized by Mylapore Times on Feb 07 2016, where I displayed some of my art works.
Also got mentioned in Mylapore Times:
And The Hindu: