The Indian Artist: 3 Lessons I Have Learned

Hi everybody!! I hope that you are all doing well! I have had a not-so-fun week. I’m getting over a cold and have three exams to look forward to (gross I know!) I thought that I would share a list of the top 3 things that I have learned through my art, things that I would advise others who are starting on their own art journey or have been in it for a while. Enjoy!

#1) Inspiration is overrated

For the longest time in my life, I would call art a “mood” that I would need to be in. I blamed my inability to create at times due to the fact that I wasn’t inspired or that I wasn’t in the right head-space. I have since come to learn that this is just an excuse. Being inspired is an incredible feeling. However, it comes and goes without any rhyme or reason. Much more important than inspiration is dedication and resolve. Having sheer force of will oftentimes is what gets pieces done. Sure inspiration is the catalyst behind some incredible pieces of work. But careful thought, dedication, and discipline are what create a long-lasting and influential artist.

#2) No art is wasted

Artists identify themselves intimately with their creative work, almost to the point where their creations and identity become one and the same. This is not constructive as any sort of failure tends to lead artists to become discouraged and disappointed with themselves. As someone who is constantly growing and learning, I have a compilation of many “failed” art pieces. Pieces that I could not bring myself to complete, pieces that did not turn out as I had intended, pieces that felt like a complete and utter disappointment. However, what I have come to realize is that out of each and every one of those pieces, I learned something. I had something to take with me into my next piece. No art is ever wasted. It is time spent learning, growing, and becoming a better artist, and oftentimes, a better person.

#3) Be a jack of all trades

Though there is great value in being a master of your craft, there is even more value in being versatile, adaptable, and open to learning. It is so much more valuable as an artist to have experience and knowledge in various styles and mediums rather than exclusively drawing on an iPad or painting only faces, only with oil paint, only in realism. I approach creating art as a means of using everything that I have at my disposal to create the effect that I want. The more weapons that I have in my arsenal, the more damage that I can do. The more styles and mediums that I am comfortable with, the more choices that I have to be able to create what I want and how I want it. This has been huge for me over the years. I have come to realize that the only limiting factor when it comes to my art and my progress is my own willingness to learn. The moment that I opened myself up to the endless possibilities and creative outlets, that’s when I truly became an artist. It’s interesting because people think that they infamous quote says that “a jack of all trades is a master of none”. However, those who believe this don’t realize that this is only half of the actual saying…

“A jack of all trades is a master of none…

but still always better than a master of one.”


I really enjoyed writing this week’s blog post! It is something that I now realize I should have shared with all of you a long time ago, but hey, better late than never, right?

As always, if anything that I discussed in this post stands out, or if any questions arise please feel free to comment and share your thoughts! And for all other artists out there, what are some of the biggest lessons that you have learned through your journey of creation?


Looking forward to next Monday!


~ Riya


Personal website:

Riya Aggarwal

My name is Riya and I am currently a Sophomore at Umich. Art has been a huge passion of mine from a very young age and in this column, I look forward to sharing my perspectives and outlooks on life (and specifically my culture) through my personal work!

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