Can passion towards Art turn into Profitable Career ? – Abhinaya shares about her passion

What started as a simple quest towards a creative life, which then turned into “ohh I enjoy doing this!”, has now become this unstoppable urge to take it to more and more people – either by providing visual solutions or by helping them to become problem-solvers themselves, depending on the curiosity and affordability of the individuals. And this is only the beginning.
Just over a decade ago, I started spending my free time crafting/doing something ‘creative’. I was curious about different forms of arts and crafts and this continued through my college and then my corporate career. I learnt about the terms “illustration” and “graphic design” and was obsessed with them.
Phase 1: Listening to my (faint) inner voice

When we moved to the US I was at a crossroads. I could either continue with the same field that I was “professionally trained” in or I could choose a path that was closer to what I enjoyed. But the problem with choosing that is, I had no idea where to start, how to start, if I could even earn anything, forget earning anything closer to my corporate job. That’s when I decided to give myself a couple of years to “try” to see how things unwind. I joined a college for a graphic design course but discontinued because it was still not fully aligned with the things I hoped to learn and would take too long to get where I wanted. Then I chanced upon the Artpreneur course by sheer coincidence and it answered all the questions I had during that phase. I learnt a bunch of things in a relatively short span and started working on many projects which I was not capable of just a few months before the course.

Phase 2: Figuring out a niche
I started taking up way too many projects because I had a lot of different interests within the creative field (illustration, design, clay crafts, jewellery, paper crafts, handmade home goods – you name it). Add motherhood to this mix and it was a whirlwind of a few months/years. I was stretching myself too thin and was having a breaking point because I had no clear goal or vision of what I should be doing next, with the minimal time I had at hand. I experimented with many of the interests I stated above before I understood it’s important to niche down and focus on one thing at a time rather than trying to do multiple things without any focus.
This was the toughest phase for me, because when I finally felt I had chosen a path that interested me, I still didn’t figure out how to make it sustainable in the long run. There were lots of inner conflicts. This made me doubt the path itself and for a brief moment I considered joining a 9-5 job in the design field because it was seemingly ‘safe’. 

Phase 3: Finding a mission

2020 was a life changing and pivotal year for me in many ways. With the help of my mentor I got answers for a lot of questions and could resolve the conflicts one by one. This is where the magic formula came in (it’s discussed in detail in the Artpreneur course). Finding what you’re truly interested in is only a (tiny) part of the puzzle. How to make it useful/impactful to other people/clients is what makes a difference. Understanding the impact and refining that further helps us to evolve. It’s a constant process and I’m finally at a phase where I’m beginning to acknowledge the amount of true bliss I feel day in and day out while doing what I get to call ‘work’.
As I navigated through and progressed along different phases, my inner voice got stronger and clearer, and that’s exactly how I could validate that this path is right for me.
The problem that many face(including my past self) is, we tend to give up just before the final phase of clarity because we are too hazed out by doubts and questions that root mainly from external influences. Question all your doubts to see where they stem from. For example, if the doubt is about making money – ask yourself, is it your own fear or the fear imposed by society to earn a certain amount to lead a particular life? Then question back to your fear about the point of money (or anything in life) if you’re not truly happy. Don’t get me wrong here- I’m definitely not saying “earn less and be content”. 
I’m ALL IN for not just surviving but THRIVING in a career you love. But the point is to know yourself better before letting the doubts creep in. Journaling about your true feelings will tremendously help to dig deeper and understand well(remember it’s a process and doesn’t solve everything overnight).
I’ve been the person with most doubts, fears and overwhelm. Used to blame destiny and felt trapped by external situations. Until I started seeing it’s indeed in our hands to shape our life. Once I started to take charge, things changed dramatically. Life for sure gets more challenging, but we also get more equipped with the willingness and responsibility. The path from leading a ‘seemingly happy’ life to being truly fulfilled can be very tricky and challenging, but if one keeps at it with awareness and trust, magic is bound to happen.
If you could relate to even one point from all this and need clarity on taking up a creative career, I’d love to share more/help out. 
Finally, I can’t even begin to describe the amount of things my family does on a daily basis to keep me going and feel super grateful for that. The only way to make sense of all these efforts is by understanding the “why”. Afterall, it’s only fair that our kids get to see us following our hearts so that they’ll do it for themselves.
As they say, it takes a village to raise a child and definitely takes a humongous tribe to nurture your inner child. Identify your voice, find your tribe and trust the process – things will eventually fall in place as you take more actions.
I have so much more to say, but I’ll leave you for now with this one question- How happy are you with what you do?  🙂

In Picture : Abhinaya Sudharsanam

About Author:

Abhinaya Sudharsanam is a freelance illustrator and designer working on a variety of streams like children’s book illustrations, children’s products, merchandise and communicative visuals for clients seeking solutions.

Her notable works are Rangoli Mandala puzzle for @kulture_khazana and she has written & illustrated two tamil board books – Uyir Ezthukal and Mei Ezthukal, which are published by @wakeupbooks


She is also an educator at the Artpreneur program @artpreneurprogram.  A program  from where she learnt about illustration.

She is extremely passionate about brightening up people’s lives through visual,  print design and equally love sharing all that she has learnt through teaching.  Through this way she gets inner joy and also learns a lot by teaching to others .

3 thoughts on “Can passion towards Art turn into Profitable Career ? – Abhinaya shares about her passion”

  1. I have seen this girl’s passion right from the beginning and it is very heartening that her work is being recognised and she is able to pursue her passion and make it her profession. Way to go Abhi!
    Such good work on the article Deepika

  2. Very well written… such a inspiring journey. love for her illustrations and work. Thank you so much sharing.

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