The Indian Artist, Revamped: Be Kind to Yourself

Good Morning everybody! I apologize for the late post. It took me some time to figure out what exactly I wanted to write about this week. It has been very difficult for me to start a new piece, and more difficult to allow myself to get back into my art again. I have a very bad habit of putting my entire life on hold when there is an academic goal that I am pursuing. As a pre-med student pursing a career in surgery, the passion for pushing myself and overachieving is intimately intertwined within my day-to-day. However, I have learned the hard way the importance of balance. I have been trying to extend myself compassion and love and allow myself to prioritize what brings me solace. My art has always been my cathartic release. It is the single most important thing for my mental health. Then why am I so good at foregoing it?

Junior year has been very trying on me academically, especially with the incoming panic and excitement of medical school applications. I stopped art for well over 7 months. The last piece that I completed, Payal, was in June 2022. In my mind, I had to put every ounce of energy, every waking minute, into my studies.

This. Completely. Backfired.

Not only did my performance and studies suffer, but I also completely lost touch with my friends, my life, and most importantly, myself. It was a really good wakeup call for me. Scientific research demonstrates the lasting and overwhelmingly positive impact that activities such as exercise, music, and art can have on all facets of life. Objectively I know this, but am very bad at putting it into practice.

So, after a 7-month hiatus, I have finally started a new piece. This is my to-date magnum opus, my biggest piece yet. I have some other ideas and next works percolating in the background, but for now I am devoting all creative energy to this work.

Excited to hear more about the piece? Tune in next week where I will give more history on the composition. Quick hint: It has to do with the Bhagvad Gita. As always, if any questions or thoughts arise, please comment or reach out to me!


Until next week,







Riya A

My name is Riya and I am currently a Senior 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 the final iteration of my column, I look forward to sharing my passions as they connect to my culture, medicine, and art.

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