Gopika and Gayathri, twin sisters and third generation of art lovers have bequeathed their flair for art from their grandmother and mother. Read about their journey from “Meraki” to LIVE WITH ART and how they successfully created a business just out of their love and admiration for art.
Architects and Interior Designers form major part of their clientele.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before choosing this field?
Inheriting the talents from my grandmother and mother I grew up with an obvious interest in fine arts. Being graduate in Physics and Networking, I worked as a Network Administrator in Bangalore and later as an IT Manager for a construction company in Cochin. After a couple of years I worked as a group network admin in Dubai for the second largest group of companies in UAE. Though career kept me busy, I tried to buy time for my paintings. I never took any professional training in arts but then my mother being my guru was a boon in itself. I feel lucky that these inherited talents have been passed on to me, my sister and my daughter. We started by doing exhibitions and did our first one in 2012 with my grandmother (90), my mother, my twin sister, myself and my daughter in Panampilly Nagar and at Darbar hall, Cochin.
After getting feedback from viewers, coverage in print and visual media we realized that our work is at par with the trained artists hence decided to take art as a profession. We created a brand called ‘Meraki- Handmade is heartmade’ to showcase and sell artifacts made by my mom Sushma Das, twin sister Gayathri and myself.
Last year along with my twin sister Gayathri, we decided to take our business to the next level. Me being the founder and Head of Product design and my sister who is the co-founder and Head of Marketing and sales, registered a firm called LIVE WITH ART a design art and craft company which deals with customized painting, sculptures and 3d relief murals. Architects and interior designers are our main clients. My sister is managing Cochin clients and I cater to Mumbai region. LIVE WITH ART also promotes other artists especially rural artists and becomes a platform to showcase their work.
Initially they showcased and sold their artifacts under the brand name “Meraki”
How did you land up doing what you do now?
Art was so dear to me though I was working in the IT sector. I had no formal training in art hence I always did research and studied myself. After marriage and kids, I left my job as network admin and made my passion my profession and then I did not work for a day. This way I could give equal time to my family and work.
What keeps you motivated?
Life is a journey. This journey will be more beautiful with art. Experience it! Feel it! And live with it!
When we look at an art work we experience a positive energy and gets rejuvenated. Art creates an environment of beauty; it can give you an inspiration, a good feel, a message and can be therapeutic. We can say an art work is associated with emotion, inner thoughts and learning. It shows your vision of life. And this thought keeps me motivated.
How do you plan to stay ahead of your competitors?
When started interacting with architects we got the feedback that they always had the problem of interacting with so many people for work and it was not always satisfactory.
We emphasized on the points below thus making us different from the competitors in the field.
End to end service and support.
Specialised in conceptualisation
SPOC for various Art, Craft and Design concepts.
LIVE WITH ART deals with customized painting, sculptures and 3d relief murals
If not the current profession, what would you have been?
Was your family supportive of what you are doing? What impact have they had on your life?
My husband always encouraged me. However he was skeptical when I wanted to register LIVE WITH ART. When I had my business plan set I could convince him.
What are your plans for the next 2 years?
Currently we are in startup stage. In two years, we see ourselves working for international clients.
What does a typical day at work consist of for you?
After sending kids and husband to school and office I start my work. I begin with follow up for the day, marketing calls, coordinating the current projects and updating and take updates from my sister.
Any regrets till now? If yes, will you like to share it with our readers?
We should have started LIVE WITH ART few years back. What I would like to tell the readers is that always trust your potential and act fast.
LIVE WITH ART helps rural artisans by creating a platform for their products
If you were given a choice of meeting any person you want from your field, who will be that person? What will you ask that person?
To take name of one person would be difficult. I admire works of many artists one among them is Sculptor Anton Smit. I would like to know about the inspiration and thought process behind his masterpieces.
Any message that you want to send to your readers?
If passion is your profession it’s no more a job. And if you could be your own boss and have your sister as your partner it is like an icing on the cake. Life become happier and stress free.
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