Q + A with Piya Samant
Piya Samant is a self-taught artist who creates textured paintings of Flora and Fauna in brilliant acrylic and oil colors. Her colorful depictions of animals and birds make for memorable pet portraits. Born and raised in India, Piya now resides and works out of her home studio in Auburn, Massachusetts.
1. How did you decide you wanted to become an artist?
Being an artist has always been my calling. I've been creating art for as long as I can remember. Life events and circumstances lead my career path to technology, but I always found myself circling back to painting. A few years ago I was able to materialize my life time dream of being a full-time artist.
2. How has being a curator and an artist affected you artistically?
Being a curator in addition to being an artist has greatly improved my artistic process of creating. Thanks to increased exposure to different styles of art, as well as being surrounded by so many talented artists and people in the art world. Every experience is a learning opportunity and curating gallery shows is no different.
3. What advice would you give to artists selling their work and looking for opportunities?
Keep an open mind about your audience. The buying and selling of art is not the same as buying and selling something people need on a regular basis. Artwork is subjective and something people buy because it triggers an emotion in them. When approaching potential art collectors understand where they are coming from and help them connect with the pieces that speak to them most.
4. What do you struggle with the most?
I'm always trying to find a balance between working hard and smart when at the easel. My daily mantra when painting now is 'less (brush strokes) is more'.
5. What is your creative process?
Any time you visit my studio you will find me actively working on 3-5 paintings projects. These paintings are typically different from each other; for example a floral piece, a portrait and a glass window painting. Multiple pieces help me work without breaks. When one painting needs time to dry between layers I move on to the next one. The variety of subjects helps me better plan next steps for the paintings waiting in line. I wish I could work on even more paintings at once but there are some space and time limitations.
6. What's next for you in 2018?
I received a Materials Needs Grant from an anonymous donor through ArtsWorcester for 2018-2019. Thanks to the grant I'm working on five 8 ft floral paintings for this project for the rest of 2018. I'll be recording this project through several timelapse videos and sharing via Instagram and Facebook to help learn from my painting process and hopefully inspire other artists. I'm also looking forward to the Small Stones Art Festival in MA where I'm one of the jurors.