I have known Rishma since she was a child. Her inherent talent, her keenness to always learn new techniques, dedication, and discipline are what have always impressed me. Her passion for art continues and her venture ‘Crazy Palette’ is very aptly named. Her color and art palette are very strong and show in her enterprise. Rishma uses her innovation and creativity in the gorgeous accessories handcrafted by her. She talks about her journey and how she became an entrepreneur at such a young age. Read about her journey for yourself and feel inspired.
Tell us a bit about yourself… I have done my schooling from G. D. Goenka Public School, Delhi till class 10th. Later for Senior Secondary as I wanted to pursue Applied Arts, I went to Vasant Valley, New Delhi.
For my Undergrad, I have done a Semester at Lasalle College of Arts, Singapore, and later completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Multimedia from Punjab Technical University and also a Diploma in 3D Animation from Centennial College.
Do you remember how and when you drifted towards your creative side?
I was inclined towards art and other creative fields from a very early age. At the age of 6 when I started attending art classes, I was very confident that it was the field I wanted to excel in. I think since the beginning it was my art teachers – at school and Ritu aunty who have helped me hone my skills and always motivated me to do better.
How did your interest in animation evolve and then why did you change your path?
The excitement of being able to bring your creations to life and the curiosity of knowing the skill behind it was what first got me interested in animation. When I finished school I decided to do a Graduation in Computer Animation.
Once I finished my Graduation, I worked as a 3D artist on making educational videos for schools. Even though I found my job very interesting, it was the 9-5 schedules, and limited use of my skills that made me want to change my field.
Since painting was a medium I always liked working in, creating painted accessories allowed me to explore my creativity better, and hence, I decided to switch paths.
What led to the formation of Crazy Palette?
Crazy Palette was basically formed from my love for art. I was creating hand-painted shoes and t-shirts for family and friends and they were highly appreciated. This encouraged me to pursue the hobby professionally and explore its potential. Starting with a customized range of shoes and t-shirts for youngsters, I have now diverged into niche category accessories and home décor as well.
How has the journey been till now?
The switch from Animation into Accessory designing for me was completely by chance. At the initial stage, I was greatly supported by my mother and friends and was able to kick-start Crazy Palette quite easily.
It had started off as a hobby and the growth into a professional setup was a slow one. It happened gradually as I started to grow as a Brand. I feel the difficulties I face are the hiccups in terms of dealing with legal work and getting like-minded people to join the team as it’s growing.
In your experience, how open is the general public towards hand-painted goods vs factory-made?
I have seen mixed reactions from people towards hand-painted goods. India being a country with a rich heritage of art, there are a lot of people who value the skill and appreciate it.
However, I feel with the western influence on fashion still making its way into India, people are skeptical of accepting new brands or styles very easily.
The art of hand painting guarantees uniqueness, which you can never achieve with ‘Factory –made’ products. That is a thought that had made people interested in my products even more.
I have had a fantastic response for my products in other countries. There, the people want to move away from ‘Factory made’ products now and really appreciate the hard work and skill in unique hand made products.
What are the things you like and dislike the most about working for yourself?
There are both advantages and disadvantages to working for yourself. There can be no better boss than yourself 😉
Working for yourself removes a lot of limitations, which you would face when working under someone. You have the ability to let your creativity flow endlessly and have all the freedom to experiment, make mistakes and learn from them without someone judging you.
Art is a field where you cannot be forced to be creative. There are days when I am just not in the mood to paint and I am happy that there is no pressure on me to be working at that time.
However, the flip side also is true that when you are working for yourself, you tend to be a little too laid back at times. When there is no one to question you about work, you can end up taking your work for granted.
You have to constantly work towards maintaining a work routine without getting under pressure and without curbing your creativity.
Any tips or suggestions for future creative entrepreneurs like you.
I would suggest all future creative entrepreneurs don’t be scared to take the leap. Self-confidence is very important.
Start with small goals and never come under the pressure of achieving big goals too soon. That will only hamper your creative skills.
Be open to all sorts of knowledge you can gain from any source and figure out a way to implement it in your work constructively.
Even negative feedbacks have a positive effect on your work very often.
Tackle any hurdles you face with an open and calm mind, and a solution will always be available. Do not lose your individuality as an artist while trying to jump into being commercially successful. You need to strike a balance between both.
I have had instances where customers have asked me to replicate pieces from other brands so they can get the same at cheaper rates. And I never entertain such requests. No matter how beneficial it would be for me financially, but creating something, which doesn’t speak of my style or copying from another artist would be doing greater harm to my creativity.
One person that inspires/inspired you and how? The biggest inspiration for art in my life has been Ritu Aunty.
Ever since I had started training under her, I have looked up to her.
She has always encouraged me to be creative, try new things, and work hard. She has made sure to push me to the maximum and make sure I keep improving my work.
She has helped me practice being patient and observant.
She really pushed me to try to achieve perfection in whatever I would create. I feel that habit of perseverance has stuck with me throughout.
Very often, she would point out mistakes in something that I would have worked really hard on and felt very proud about. I would feel dejected but that would just encourage me to try harder until I got it right.
To date, whenever I create something, I am constantly trying to think of ways in which I could improve it a bit more.
Interviewed by Smriti Sangal