Art as a Catalyst for Change: Komal Patel's Story of Impact
Welcome to another insightful interview on the UNOFEX Organisation. Today, we have the privilege of sitting down with a truly remarkable individual whose journey through the world of art and advocacy is nothing short of inspirational. She's an artist, an author, an educator, and a record-breaker, all wrapped into one dynamic personality. Please join us in welcoming the talented and passionate Komal Patel.
Q1: Can you tell us about your journey as an artist and what initially inspired you to pursue a career in the arts?
I am a self-taught visual artist and primarily work in oil, acrylic paints, graphite and watercolors. Since Early childhood, I have developed a keen interest in Art and painting. From middle school to high school, I participated in several state-level art competitions in India. I lost my connection with art in my early adulthood as my career as an Occupational therapist started. However, after graduating from school I rediscovered my passion for art and painting while working as an Occupational therapist for clients with disabilities and using art as a medium to help my clients regain their functional abilities. This inspired me to use my artistic abilities to help others and I decided to pursue a career in art. After arriving in the USA in 2017, I have participated in multiple national and international exhibitions and global art competitions. I have authored two books “Basic Concepts of Portrait Drawings A Step-by-step Guide” and “Basic Shapes and Figure Drawing A Reference Book for Beginners” to help emerging artists understand the basics fundamentals of drawing and painting. Also launched The Art And Ability( www.artandability.com); an initiative and a platform to help and promote artists with disabilities to showcase their artwork.
Q2: Your artistic style is known for its unique blend of traditional, nature, abstract, and contemporary elements. How did you develop this distinctive approach, and what themes or ideas do you explore through your work?
Throughout my artistic journey, I have traveled to different countries, and my artwork is inspired by current issues globally and nationally. Some of my art is dedicated to preserving the natural environment and our planet. I believe It is our responsibility to protect the natural environment and to maintain ecological balance. Most of my artwork is inspired by nature and primarily I paint different species of animals and birds. I also experiment in abstract art which is inspired by my experiences as an Individual and human emotions.
Q4: Over the years, you've achieved significant artistic milestones. Could you share some of your proudest achievements or memorable moments in your artistic career?
There have been several milestones in my artistic career however, one of the proudest moments was when I painted a portrait of a tiger on a thump pin and was awarded as a world record holder by the International Book of Records for the smallest portrait on a thumb pin. This was a special moment because this attempt was made to raise awareness of the decreasing population of Tigers in India.
Q4: We've researched that you're involved in various initiatives and charitable work related to art. Could you tell us more about your philanthropic efforts and how art plays a role in giving back to the community?
Since I began my artistic journey and have a background as an Occupational therapist, I closely worked with people who are with different physical and mental disabilities. Through my experience, I have learned that artists with disabilities do not get as recognized as they deserve. This has led to my initiative Art and Ability. Art and Ability initiative was created to promote artists with Disabilities and give them the opportunity to showcase and promote their artistic work. Art And Ability is my attempt to give back to the community whatever I learned as an artist and as an Occupational therapist.
Q5: In the upcoming months, you have an exciting event organized. Could you provide us with some details about this event, including its theme and what attendees can expect?
One of the upcoming events as part of the Art and Ability initiative, is “ Signed Masterpieces”. September 23rd is celebrated as the International Day of Sign Language together with the International Week of Deaf on the last week of the month of September. “Signed Masterpieces” is an online global art competition to honor the beauty of the Sign Languages worldwide. The event was launched on September 2nd, 2023 and its purpose is to celebrate and raise awareness through art. Artists across the globe are invited to participate and illustrate their original artwork based on this subject. The Competition is open to all and the deadline for submission of artwork is September 30th, 2023.
Q6: Art has the power to inspire and provoke thought. How do you hope your upcoming event will impact the audience and the community it serves?
I believe Art holds the power to bring change on the global level. It is the most effective and creative way to reach people across the globe. Upcoming Event Signed Masterpieces is initiated with the hope of inspiring artists to create artwork that will inspire others and raise awareness for the deaf community and with the ultimate hope of making visual communicators be seen.
Q7: Your work often reflects your cultural background. Can you elaborate on the influence of your heritage on your art and how it resonates with a global audience?
Born and raised in India I have experienced colorful culture throughout my life. Whether it is cultural festivals, social structure, architectural sculptures, and lifestyle. These all are integral parts of my artistic journey. These influences and reflected in my artworks.
Q8: Collaborations can often lead to innovative and unique creations. Have you collaborated with other artists or organizations recently, and can you share some insights into those experiences?
As a self-taught artist, I developed techniques by observing other artists' work. In 2017 I met one extremely talented Artist who is also My mentor, Jibin George. I became part of his Initiative Art for Good Cause in 2019 and exhibited my work through art competitions organized in association with Art Impact International Inc. which is a non-profit organization. I have been associated with Art Impact International Inc. since 2020. Becoming part of these organizations founded by fellow artists gives me the opportunity to connect with other artists, learn, and inspire. And most importantly, It is a privilege to become an accredited member of UNOFEX.
Q9: You've recently been approved as an accredited UNOFEX Art Member in September 2023. Could you shed some light on what this accreditation means to you and how it may influence your future endeavors as an artist?
Becoming a part of prestigious organizations like UNOFEX, which is a global community for artists with different backgrounds. It also expands my opportunities to connect with artists across the world.
Q10: Art can be a powerful tool for promoting social change and raising awareness about important issues. Are there any social or environmental causes that you're particularly passionate about, and how do you incorporate them into your work?
I strongly believe issues like Global warming, and species becoming endangered due to the overuse of resources by humans are impacting people across the world. I am hoping to bring even a small change to address these issues. Also, I believe in empowering human rights and inclusivity.
Q11: Finally, looking ahead, what are your long-term goals and aspirations as an artist, and how do you envision your artistic journey evolving in the coming years?
I plan to evolve as an established artist with my initiative Art and Ability to create a platform for artists’ communities across the world.
The story of Louise Damas is an enchanting narrative that intertwines the realms of creativity, passion, and feminism.
Pace Gallery, a venerable institution founded by Arne Glimcher in 1960, stands as a paragon of artistic excellence and innovation.
Angelo Accardi is a distinguished Italian artist on a relentless quest to decipher the intricate relationship between humanity and the spaces we inhabit.
Pioneering High-End Art Spaces Worldwide. Since its inception in 1997 under the guidance of Cathia Klimovsky, Eden Gallery has steadily blossomed into a global network of premier art galleries.
The Visionary Behind Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte: A Story of Innovation and Success. Read more about the Champagne manufacturer
Located within a lush grove, a leisurely stroll from the tranquil shores of Lake Geneva, the Ultima Geneva Grand Villa is a remarkable urban retreat.
Perched atop a hill in Gassin, the luxurious 5-star Althoff Villa Belrose offers a serene oasis overlooking the Mediterranean, just minutes away from the vibrant town of Saint-Tropez.