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How Art Helped Me Find A Different Perspective To Business (And Life) Lockdowns in this period led many of us to realize the importance of things like our hobbies, with many of us using this time to rediscover to our long-lost passions.

By Amol R. Kadam

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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2020: what a year it was for all of us. Unpredictable and unprecedented, it was a disturbing period that we have yet to fully recover from.

As a business owner, it was undoubtedly the most challenging year for me- and I know I am not the only one in this boat. Cancelled projects, delayed payments, destroyed cash flow, disrupted team spirits- these probably characterize many an enterprise in this era. The COVID-19 crisis taught us lessons that were never taught in any business school.

For me, who comes from an art and design school of thought, what happened in 2020 has ended up completely changing my life. As someone who has been running a company for 10 years, that in itself has been an eventful learning experience- but the masterclass I got from 2020 is on an entirely different level.

The COVID-19 crisis started for me just like it did for everyone else, with the sense of anxiety and the fear of unknown ruling supreme. Lockdowns in this period led many of us to realize the importance of things like our hobbies, with many of us using this time to rediscover to our long-lost passions.

Art was something I was very good at, especially as a child. However, it wasn't considered a viable career option, which is very common to middle-class Indian households like the one I was a part of. But I took a leap of faith and went to a prestigious design school in Mumbai to pursue applied art, though I decided to focus on digital in my career.

As an art school graduate, art was always hovering around me. But till 2020 arrived, it was limited to my sketches during travels, and a few pieces for friends requesting art for their walls. But it took the isolation owing to lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 crisis to bring my real hidden passion for abstract art to the surface.

Source: Amol Kadam

And I am so glad it did- it has changed my life! I have realized that art has the same effect on me as my other passion, which is meditation. It has kept me sane, given me perspective and patience, and also provided me with answers for questions that I had not even thought about yet. Perhaps most importantly, art gave me something to hold on to.

You see, a few occurrences relating to my business in 2019 were already affecting me psychologically, and even as I was coming to terms with it, the COVID-19 crisis threw me into a black hole. I was feeling clueless, as though I was being tossed around without any end in sight. But art helped me reign in those scattered and lost thoughts on to my canvas.

My subconscious mind started expressing through colors and textures. As the whole art process was meditative for me, even the artworks that I created showed the same quality of calmness for people who saw it. It was therapeutic in the realest sense, as well as a great mindfulness activity.

Thanks to art, I found inspired, motivated, and excited to get up every day and go into "my art room," which was just a spare bedroom that I had turned into my studio. While my work and business in the digital realm are not very far from the design field, the creative satisfaction I got from my abstract paintings was a way out of the world I was used to.

Art also gave me a purpose during that tough time- additional encouragement came in the form of an invitation to exhibit my art at a prestigious gallery in Dubai. This gave me more impetus to carry on doing what I was doing, and my art has given me the the strength to keep going. In fact, my inner self is recharged every time I spend time in my studio.

Art has been like therapy for me. I've since learned that art therapy is an effective way to work through things you are feeling and going through. Having time to create something and express yourself allows you to get an entirely different perspective. It opens new dimensions in your process of problem-solving.

Source: Amol Kadam

Indeed, just the act of practicing art can help your mood, relieve stress, and help you enjoy your life. No surprise then that art is being seen in the world today as a very effective way to tackle mental health, and that is also the reason why I decided to educate myself and get certified as an art therapist.

It is no secret that art enhances our lives just by looking at it. No matter where you fall in the creative world of business, art can help add to people's daily experiences, making them more exciting and beautiful. I find this to be very rewarding, and my art has helped me to spread that calm energy I find it gives me.

The fact that my art has a calm, serene, and mystical effect on the onlooker has been reinforced by every person who has seen or acquired my art. This has ended up giving me a new purpose to my passion, and all of this has made me a different person as well, with a firmer resolve, more patience, and a different, but better, perspective towards things.

Art has given the energy to keep going, keep expressing, and keep painting calmness on a canvas. For entrepreneurs like myself who have a flair for art, I'd definitely recommend giving it a go, and see what it unfolds for you. So many people push their passions and dreams aside- why not follow them? With art, the benefits are evident- just see my story!

Amol Kadam's art can be seen on his Instagram profile, @amolkadam, or his website here.

Related: From Web To Wall: Inkopia Delivers Bespoke Photography And Art To Interiors Across The UAE

Amol R. Kadam

Co-founder, RBBi

Amol Kadam is the co-founder of RBBi, the region’s first, specialized user experience (UX), user interface (UI) and digital performance marketing agency, operating in Dubai since 2011.

Coming from a strong creative & usability background spanning more than 16 years, Amol has conceptualized, designed and managed the production of several digital projects for a global range of clients from banking, hospitality, travel, real-estate and more. Amol’s areas of expertise include user experience, usability, online branding and strategy, information architecture, interaction design, online and offline interactive media, digital media. Among other strategic tasks within the agency, his role involves creating usability and UX road-map strategies for interaction media.

Amol is the holder of a master’s qualification in HCI. He is also a certified usability professional and a registered member of Usability Professionals Association Worldwide.

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