Opportunities or Obstacles? Life of a Freelancer During the Pandemic
Encouraging us to make the best out the situation, Febin Raj cheers us to turn our obstacles into opportunities as the world ghts this deadly pandemic.
What inspired you to take up art as your profession?
Febin. I loved drawing even as a child, and it has only grown stronger over the years. Hence, when it came to choosing a profession, there was no second choice. I consider myself blessed to be living my passion and for making a career out of it.
Though your art journey began in watercolours, your current works are extensively digital. What is it about digital painting that draws you to it?
Febin. It is necessary to stay updated in this fast-paced world. Digital art provides us with a wide range of opportunities to challenge ourselves and to explore new dimensions of art, while also making our work a lot easier compared to conventional methods. But nothing can replace the satisfaction of painting with watercolours on a piece of paper.
Your current digital artworks possess a specific style and geometric flair. Kindly share the artistic process with us.
Febin. My style has evolved over the years, and it is not done consciously or with any plan. I execute my ideas rather spontaneously and draw inspiration from what I see around me.
Your art pieces seem to possess a strict colour palette. How do you select the colour scheme for each piece?
Febin. My works are inspired by nature, and hence, the colours are a reflection of what we can observe around us. The colour palette goes in sync with the intricate hues of nature, and I try my best to do justice to this beautiful swirl of colours around us and keep my works natural.
Your artworks reflect your love for travel and nature. How did this pandemic challenge your creativity and artwork, especially since we were required to stay at home?
Febin. This pandemic did not challenge my creativity. I tried to see this as an opportunity to explore my limitations and push my boundaries. It is indeed true that we were all confined within the four walls, but our creativity and ideas were never confined. Even with these limited resources, I tried to bring out the best in me.
What are the effects of the pandemic on the art industry? Were there any unexpected hurdles?
Febin. The art industry, just as all the other industries, faced certain setbacks due to this pandemic, but it is slowly picking up the pace. If we convert every hurdle we face into an opportunity, I’m sure we’ll thrive. That is what I’m trying to do right now.
Freelancers are some of the most affected in this pandemic. What is the market like for the freelancers now?
Febin. Just as all the other professions, freelancers have faced some difficulties too. The market is not as commendable at this point in time, but the situation is undoubtedly improving. Personally, the pandemic has only brought new opportunities and fabulous projects for me.
How are the art agencies and studios coping with the pandemic? How are they supporting the freelancers through this crisis?
Febin. Art agencies and studios are indeed going through a difficult situation due to this crisis, but I believe that they are extending every possible support to the freelancers. During the pandemic, I got the chance to collaborate with a few international studios.
When ‘Work From Home’ is the new norm, do you see any long-term changes in the way freelancers work?
Febin. The profession of freelancing, as we see it today, has been evolved over the years. Any and every change is gradual. Hence, it is tough to predict how the concept of freelancing would be perceived in the future. But as of now, freelancing is linked to freedom and that would remain the same, regardless of any change.
Has the working style of art agencies and studios changed? Do you think this change will last post-pandemic?
Febin. The working style has definitely changed into a whole new dimension since the resources are limited. This pandemic proved to us that whatever the situation may be, there is always a way out. Perhaps some of the positive aspects of this new working style might stick with us post-pandemic.
Would you like to say a few words to your fellow artists and freelance who are fighting their way through this pandemic?
Febin. Make every obstacle your opportunity. Remember that these struggles, this crisis is not here to stay; this too shall pass. So, make the best out of the time you’ve been given, as creativity knows no bounds.
Published in Issue 51
TBusiness, studios, agencies, freelancer all have different perspectives to handle the pandemic and hurdle it brings. While some find pandemic an obstacle which will soon fade away and on the other hand, few saw opportunities in the same. Many creatives used the past few months to reflect on their styles and horn their art. Many utilized it for collaboration opportunities with national and international creatives. This issue is a must-read if you are looking for insights, inspirations and ways to bounce back in this unlocking phase.
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