Meet the Indian Artist

To be completely honest, I have never been much of a writer. Sure I dabbled in my fair share of started diaries that would get tossed aside mere days later, the odd poem here or there, or even small soliloquies, detailing my intensely foreboding thoughts. School essays and papers? Simple. Right up my alley. But deciding to apply for a position as a blogger for arts, ink? Never something that I would have done on a whim.

Instead of writing, I express myself through my artwork. From a very young age, my art was where I found my solace, my home, and my cathartic release. I grew up scouring over the work of my favorite artists, trying to replicate them detail by detail. I got my start through observation and replication. As time has passed, I have found my own style, using mixed media to portray my Indian culture and tradition. Through my art, I demonstrate the most elemental parts of me, the parts that I wish to share with people, and the parts that I keep completely to myself. This blog is something that I wish to use as an avenue for sharing my past and current work. I hope to be able to open up conversations about diversity and equity, culture and worldly perspectives, and even mental health and racial disparities. 

So to all, welcome to my column: The Indian Artist!

A little about myself. My name is Riya Aggarwal. I am currently a freshman in LSA Honors majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology with a minor in Art & Design. Amongst all of the crazy that 2020 has been, I am learning remotely for this semester. I hope that through this column, I can immerse myself in the arts on campus and find other students who share the same passion, learning about their experiences as well. Art is a powerful force. Being a conceptual artist, I am very attracted to the way that different people can take away different messages from a piece of artwork, the fact that a single painting can speak to so many people in many ways.

The goal of my column is to have a place to open up conversations about different cultures and religions. I plan to write about specific aspects of Indian life that I portray through my art. Each Sunday, I will feature an art piece that demonstrates my experiences growing up in a strict Indian family, simple technical pieces, or videos detailing other cultural aspects. Much of the artwork I will write about has a cultural background and demonstrates Indian traditions, explaining it in detail and showing the intricacies of another culture. These posts will not be limited to conventional forms of artwork such as drawing and painting. Being a henna artist, some weeks will showcase original henna designs and video lessons on how some of the designs can be replicated. These step-by-step videos and demonstrations would hopefully spread an appreciation for the art of mehndi. In order to keep a worldly perspective for this column, I will dive into the work of other artists as well, how they use their art to portray deeply rooted traditions and their own unique cultures. Maybe I’ll even throw in a bit of dance and singing just to shake it up a bit. 

I think that I have said enough. I am truly excited to get this column started and to share my love for art with all of you! If there is ever anything specific that I mention in a post or any questions regarding the topics that I discuss, please feel free to leave a comment!

Looking forward to next Sunday!


~ Riya


Personal website:

Riya A

My name is Riya and I am currently a Junior at U of M studying Molecular Biology with a double minor in Art & Design and Sociology on the pre-med track. Art has been a huge passion of mine from a very young age and in this revamped column, I look forward to sharing my passions as they connect to my culture, medicine, and art.

Leave a Reply

4 Comments on "Meet the Indian Artist"

Emma Emily
2 years 7 months ago

Instead of writing, I express myself through my artwork. Done to create awareness among the students about India’s struggle