Leela Mitra is an incredible artist which comes from Long Island (New York – United States). This 21 years old wonderful artist is attending now college in Appleton, a small city in Wisconsin.
How would you describe yourself?
I would describe myself as a joyful, empathetic, and curious person. I try to see the beauty in everyday life, and I depict what I see through my art. Besides art, I love yoga, running, playing with my dog, and spending time with my family and close friends.
How would you describe your art?
I hope to make people feel happy and hopeful when they view my art, so I would describe my pieces as colorful and playful. My style is also constantly changing as I go through different parts of my life, and I have no doubt that it will continue to evolve. Through certain aspects of my paintings have changed, the bright colors that I use have always been a constant.
How would you describe your field?
I would describe the field of art as both connected to others and individual, which is what makes it so amazing. Some days I paint primarily for myself or to represent something going on in life, and other times I am painting in hopes to bring happiness to others and share something with the world. I’ve found that the art community is so supportive, and I’ve been connected with so many amazing women artists! I love that artists inspire each other and appreciate the detail that goes into other individual’s works. Not only am I inspired by the pieces themselves, but I’m inspired by the artists behind the pieces.
What do you want to say through your art?
Through my art, I hope to celebrate things I love and bring people closer together. Art is one way to express emotions that words cannot, and I hope that through my art people can appreciate little things in life that they may not always notice. I also like to tell stories through my art, so people can imagine themselves in a certain location or relate to my paintings through their own perspective. I hope that my art sheds light on the small things in life that are often overlooked.
What / Who inspires you?
I find much of my inspiration in nature, women, my own dreams, places I want to visit, and pieces from other artists. Photography is also a major spark of inspiration for me, and I love to recreate images my friends and family have taken of themselves in various places. Creating art pieces of those closest to me makes my art more personal. I also find that plants are so ideal for painting- they come in so many beautiful, unique forms just as people do.
Does your work comment on your social or political issues?
My artwork tends to be very feminine in nature, and I hope to show this feminist aura as a strength rather than a weakness. My work in effect touches on the social issue of feminism as I paint women in their everyday lives, showing their power and independence. My most recent painting was of four women interlocking arms, showing that when we support and lift each other up, we are more powerful than ever.
What obstacles have you faced?
My main obstacle is being too self-critical and reluctant to show my artwork to others. For a while I kept my paintings to myself, but created an art Instagram when I realized I wanted to create a platform to share my art. We are our own loudest critics. When I find myself in the cycle of comparing my paintings to those of other artists, I remind myself of how boring the world would be if our art was all exactly the same. I have sometimes found it difficult to love my art without seeking validation from others, and this is still something I am working through. Seeing so many other amazing artists that create even if no one is watching really inspires me.
What is the best advice you could give to someone entering the same industry as you?
I am still learning myself, but I would say don’t force yourself into a certain style or “ideal” type of art. You may find that you’re disappointed in the first few pieces you create, but just as with anything else, the more you practice, the better you’ll become. Creating art takes patience but I believe everyone has something to share with the world, and if you can do that through your art, you absolutely should. Focus on what your art does for you rather than what it can give to the outside world, and the rest will follow!
On a more pragmatic level have you been supported during your project?
Yes, my family and friends have been so supportive in helping me to believe in myself and my capabilities as an artist. My parents, sister, and some close friends have all hung up some of my paintings in their homes, which has meant more to me than they know! Having people in your life to support you in doing what you enjoy is so important, and I am very grateful to have such caring and encouraging people in my life.