There are very few people you meet, who leave an impression on you.
One of them is a lovely couple Mee and Jey. I know them from quite some time but got to know more in a recent panel discussion conducted by Chevening India Art where Mee and Jey shared their journey of becoming Travel Artists and the birth of Artologue.
Mee (Meenakshi) is an artist who is a master in Madhubani art and playing with colours is her life while Jey (Jey Sushil) is a journalist and is also Mee’s sidekick, a strong partner in her art venture.
They are an inspiring couple who have taken an initiative to take art to everyone’s homes. They believe that why art should be restricted to few elites or be in art galleries where common people feel so intimidated with the silence and the aura of the place. Art is unrestricted and should be within reach of everyone.
They strongly believe that everyone can paint their imagination, they just need a canvas or their home’s walls
Yes. The journey began when on one fine day, Jey asked Mee what she wants to do in her life and she replied, “I want to paint the world”. And there you go! That’s how Artologue was born. Mee and Jey travel to people’s homes, offices, schools and even have gone to jail and hospitals to paint. Mee takes the inputs from the hosts, draws the basic outline and then hands over the brushes to the people and let them add their own touch. And the magic begins. An erstwhile dull wall starts to speak to the onlookers.
They have taken the concept of Artologue to more than 17 states, 60 places and met more than 6000 people on their bullet called Hari Bhari and Kesariya. They have a pool of stories to share right from how they travelled to a school in a village in Naxal belt of Jahanabad where the students haven’t seen the colours before to the jail of Dasna where prisoners accused of heinous crimes like murder and robbery took the brush and started painting their jail walls.
They have hundreds of stories to share, some of them you can find on their Artologue blog. But there is one incident which Mee shared during her talk at Chevening India Art Week. She never used to sign her paintings. Once when a renowned artist, S.H.Raza asked her about the reason, she said, “The piece is an inspiration and hence I can’t own it. I have seen these things around me and I can’t take the entire credit for my art.” However, after Mr.Raza’s advice, she started penning her name on her creations as this is how the industry works.
But this reply not only shocked the artist but me as well and the respect for her increased manifold. In a world, where people are hungry to take credit, get famous and are too self-involved, Mee’s thoughts are enlightening and give you a new perspective to look at life. Getting rich, famous and fighting for what is yours is not bad, but at times we should just pause and introspect if it’s worth it.
Will close this blog on this thought. Hope to come back with another one soon. Till then, live, love and laugh.