Pursuing a passion for arts and making a business out of it is a rare thing. Not many people can succeed in this task, but the rare few who do, have a special ability to move people with their art and enrich their lives with wonderful paintings.
Featuring in The Enterprise World’s this issue of The 10 Most Inspiring Young Business Leaders to Watch In 2022 is Maithillee Zaveri, an artist, and a connoisseur of fine things.
In this interview with Maithillee Zaveri, let us find out more about her company Maithillee.
What do you think are the responsibilities of an entrepreneur?
I believe there are many responsibilities of an entrepreneur. But first, it’s important to know about who you are as an individual, the ability to understand your own strengths & weaknesses. I think these are the most crucial responsibilities of an Entrepreneur.
What were your initial challenges?
Initial challenges were tough. Not knowing when & where to begin my career from. Until I was given the right guidance through my mentors & support from my parents. Who & how to approach was quite a tough part in the initial days + to get the works noticed in galleries & through exhibitions/art events.
In the art industry, it’s more about who you know, and whom/how you are marketing your works to. So there a lot of socializing needed & the works would speak for itself.
It also wasn’t easy to restart my career after I moved to the USA for a year than in Mumbai & now to Gurgaon because of moving cities & countries, it became hard for me to find the right niche & to restart marketing my work & selling too.
The point which triggered the growth of my business was when I started getting commission works on the order & selling my works through exhibitions & my own private collections.
How did you build your team?
From the onset of a business, an entrepreneur needs to allocate their employees’ responsibilities effectively. Hiring qualified and competent staff requires a great deal of care, especially for small businesses. An entrepreneur is also responsible for organizing a business structure and environment that helps each employee maximize their potential. The success of a business venture often relies on its employees’ contributions.
Therefore, defining your team’s role and responsibilities is a vital entrepreneurial role to exercise for maximum business productivity. Allocation of duties also minimizes team conflicts, maximizes production, and helps boost employee morale.
Building a strong team includes bringing competent and committed employees into the company, obtaining insurance coverage for the most risk-prone segments of the business, and getting more investors motivated to grow the business.
Can you walk us through your journey of art?
For me as a professional artist & entrepreneur, it is different. I create artworks from my own imagination & sell them through my own private collections, through art fairs/exhibitions, or on a commission basis. As I have been in the art fraternity for more than 10+ years, I got a lot of exposure in this field & learned that art is not as easy a career as it may sound for many.
I feel now, art is all digitalized & the scope for painting artists has become much less. From my personal experiences, I definitely learned a lot of things. Like when you undertake a project, the amount quoted by the artist has to be approved by the client. No photos to be sent (in-process pics) because then there are chances the clients would ask to make changes to the work in process which makes it extremely difficult for the artist to change many times.
Some clients prefer the works to be framed or unframed which should be clarified too with the clients. I started exhibiting in 2007. So even during exhibitions, there’s a lot that goes behind the scenes. – which include getting sponsorships, media coverage, making/planning the pamphlets, lighting in the exhibition venue, photographers, drinks, snacks/caterers, invitations to guests, guests of honor, dealing with carpenters & looking after the logistic sector too if there are other domestic/international artists too & I have dealt with it all as well which hasn’t always been an easy task because one can’t always have it perfectly the way one wants the entire show to be.
I lived in Mumbai for 4 years & that’s when I opened my own personal art studio unfortunately, it went under redevelopment within a year so I started working from home there until I moved cities & restarted my artistic journey from my new home. Moving cities hadn’t been easy for me as an artist & to re-establish myself, and making contacts as an artist in a new city took a while too.
I have been blessed & honored to win many awards, be featured in prestigious media publications & be invited as a guest of honors to inaugurate art events held in schools/colleges while also inaugurating art exhibitions. A few of my major accomplishments-
2020 was the year when I was awarded the Dr. Sarojini Naidu International award for women, featured in Business APAC magazine, and Invited as a Jury at NMIMS School of Law for their cultural festival. In 2021 I won the India 5000 Women Achiever Awards, & got featured in Revopreneur Magazine as The top 10 Global Brands to watch in 2021.
I also sold my artwork to various clients in 2020 (before the lockdown) & got commissioned works on order as well.
Tell us about the company- Maithillee
I am the founder of “Maithillee”. I started my journey as an artist in 2004 while studying in school. I was one student then who was sure what I wanted to become in life. I have always been a keen observer & little details like handicrafts, designs on monuments/architectures, and still, life intricate objects inspired me to become an artist. I started doing exhibitions while I was pursuing BFA in fine arts painting from the Lasalle college of the arts (2008 – 2011). In 2011 I returned back to India & started establishing myself as an artist until I started moving cities in 2015, and opened my personal art studio in 2017.
Having grown up in the capital, my love for Indian Architecture and the Colors of nature grew tremendously. Throughout my life, I have always been fascinated by the intricacies and craftsmanship of these architectural Monuments, forts, and palaces.
I started experimenting with them in Black + White while using mixed mediums on paper as I believe, that Black + White is an interpretation of reality and they flourish even today. Hence, I try to capture the intricacies as closely as possible while making my artworks live from the spot and, filling in the shades by carefully visualizing them in black + white.
My love for nature has been another part of my journey. I believe in creating peaceful & serene landscapes because it makes me feel at peace just by the flow of the water.
After completing my degree, I started capturing landscape photographs, and then I would merge 3-4 images in my sketchbook to create her my own composition. I practice dabbing, etching, and merging techniques to create my works and my works, are collaboration between myself and the land.
I believe, copying art is easy but creating your own masterpieces is not. It requires a lot of planning and no artist should be judged, criticized, analyzed or compared without knowing the story behind their art.