Champion of Art ! An Interview with Mr Postmaster
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MR POSTMASTER ON May 01, 2017
Champion of Art ! An Interview with Painter and Editor Rishabh Shukla
We met Rishabh Shukla at an art gallery in Delhi. Down to earth and interested in everyone around him, he is an Art and Interior Design journalist and the founder — editor of one of the respected online lifestyle, art and design magazines in the country.Rishabh is providing artists with a national platform on which to exhibit their work. He graciously agreed to an interview, and over drinks shared his philosophy, ideas, and strategy for running his unique business.
Team Mr PostMaster : How would you define your position in the art world today?
Rishabh Shukla : We do two magazines, I’m the editor of both of them. One is Swapnil Saundarya ezine, which is the first Indian lifestyle ezine in Hindi Language. Then we do Supreme HomeTherapy Magazine, which is dedicated to Art, Architecture and Interior Design and I blog regularly at Painter Babu. I see my position as the editor as to find out what’s happening in the top galleries around the country, who the artists are who are painting and who are very hot, with excellent standards. Our whole goal as a magazine and blog is to get that work in front of collectors so that collectors will buy it and that galleries keep showing it, so I really try to find the best shows that are out there. I find the younger, more emerging artists but also the more established artists, that are having shows in galleries, and then put that in a format that collectors can easily access. I’m always looking for new things. I’m always looking for new galleries, I’m always looking for new artists– I never want to be stale.
Team Mr PostMaster : So how did you recognize that you were interested in the arts?
Rishabh Shukla : I always had an interest for art and architecture. I am a lover of fine, applied and liberal arts. I love Literature and the visual arts —I’ve always been a visual person, I like images, very strong images, and I’ve always been attracted to that. I focused on William Blake, who is an English artist and poet. It combined the two of my loves, art and literature. So I studied his poetry but I also studied the art; how the visual art came through the poetry. I did my Interior Design course from Delhi, start working at age 17 and start taking interior design projects and launched my own brand namely Rishabh Interiors and Arts. I just want to see all the art I can. You have to train your eye just to keep looking and keep seeing things.
Mr PM : So what do your magazines focus on? What’s the focus of each one?
RS : We at Swapnil Saundarya ezine , endeavor to keep our readership in touch with all the areas of Art , fashion , Beauty, Health and Fitness mantras, home decor, history recalls, Literature, Lifestyle, Society, Religion and many more.Swapnil Saundarya ezine encourages its readership to make their life just like their Dream World . Our intention is to provide an artistic platform to emerging as well as established artists, writers, performers , travelers etc. from around the world. Having published many artists, writers etc. till now , we are planning to release its first special edition issue in the form of Coffee Table Book in the end of this year that will also feature contributors already published on Swapnil Saundarya Ezine.
Supreme Home Therapy is dedicated to Art, Architecture and Interior Design. It publishes four times a year, at three-month intervals . It is called Supreme Home Therapy because our goal behind this magazine is to cure physical, mental, or behavioral problems of our readers by providing them a comfortable and stress free surroundings, sophisticated lifestyle, functionally improved and aesthetically enriched spaces. We believe that.... If we can't organise our living spaces then we can't organise our life .Supreme Home Therapy includes regular columns on historical architecture, art, design formulae, green design, renovation Time, Interior Design Outlines, Vastu and Feng shui, Residential Spaces and 9 to 5 spaces.
Mr P M : Tell us about the story of your magazines ?
R S : Swapnil Saundarya was first a blog born out of my sister Jewellery Designer and Design Columnist Swapnil Shukla's love for art, fashion, Lifestyle and for sharing her passion for it. She loves to share her finds and discoveries through her blog and throwing light on the rich and unique culture and heritage of India .Considering the fabulous response by the readers, I decided to metamorphosed this blog into an ezine namely Swapnil Saundarya ezine and it becomes a Big Hit in the short span. Today, 'Swapnil Saundarya' is a brand , a Government registered enterprise and India's first Hindi lifestyle ezine is something which we look at with wonder and gratitude.
Supreme Home Therapy is an online publication dedicated to the fusion of Luxury, Art, Design and Home Décor. The Magazine features the industry from B2B and B2C perspective.Supreme Home Therapy Magazine showcases latest trends in Design and Décor. and caters to the section A to A+ members of society .
Mr P M : That seems like it would be such a huge endeavor! So many details to put together two magazines constantly.
R S : It is! I travel a lot and that helps, because you’re seeing the artist, meeting the people, and seeing the work. I think our business is about relationships, and that’s what’s important to me. I love people and I love meeting people, and that kind of fuels the whole thing. I love going to the galleries, meeting the people, seeing what they’re doing and what they’re excited about, and bringing that excitement to the magazine. It’s a very current kind of way, happening right now.
Mr P M : What kind of work are you personally attracted to? What gets you interested in an artist and their work?
R S : I love work that has a narrative quality to it, and I love detail that is more implied than stated. I like to be moved emotionally—I’m a passionate person, so I like when I see an image and it kind of haunts you all day and makes you think about it. I love that feeling. It’s amazing that images, despite all the images we are bombarded with every day, they still have such power to them. To me when you see something that’s striking and it kind of catches you in the gut and you’re just blown away by it, I love that kind of emotional connection. I can’t really get that from contemporary art, that’s why I love painting so much. It just has that kind of emotional and symbolic quality, and the ability to make a statement without you don’t have to read a statement on the gallery wall that explains it—you see it, it hits you, that emotional connection to it.
Mr P M : So what does your office setup look like? Where are you based ?
R S : We’re based in Pune. It’s a mess! Well you can imagine, we get tons of stuff! So books, press releases… there’s always things coming in. But that’s our base. But this week I’m in Delhi, last week I was in Jaipur , the week before in Lucknow. So I am on the road quite a bit—just because that’s where our clients are. We have to go and meet our clients and see what’s happening there.
Mr P M : How big is your staff?
R S : We have about 8-10 people. That’s editorial, production, graphic design, layout, marketing people and circulation. I have a great staff and they’re very good at what they do. We are a magazine that is of a good quality. You don’t lose the quality, so you have crazy deadlines, but you want to maintain the high level of excellence at the same time. Otherwise there’s no point. If you’re just doing it to do it there’s no point. You need to be saying some stuff and making a statement and showing people.
Mr P M : How do you make sure everything gets done perfectly by your team ?
R S : I have help! I have a great staff who keeps track of everything. We have a very good system, and that’s something my publisher put together. It follows it through the process, so each story has a chronology, and you know where it is at all time. It also helps that my writers can turn things around quickly. I like to hire writers who have worked for newspapers before because they know what a deadline is—they can turn a story around pretty quickly, but still get the whole story. Like I said we never sacrifice quality, we always want it to be well done.
Mr P M : So what is your favorite part of your job?
R S : Oh man, I love to write. I LOVE to write. But I also love the interactions. I love meeting people, I love talking to galleries and seeing their work. I guess, really, feeling people’s excitement for it. It’s such an amazing industry. The artists are passionate, the gallery owners are passionate, the collectors are passionate, I love that kind of energy that comes from all of that, and seeing people falling in love with something. I always say if you have to work, you might as well work with friends. No one is taking advantage of each other, you’re all helping each other, it’s a win-win for everyone, and you get to have fun and work with people you like and you enjoy. To me there’s nothing more satisfying.
Mr P M : What are some of the challenges of your job?
R S : The travel. I love it, but it also gets pretty difficult at times.I guess just the monthly schedule—it never stops. The good thing about it is that in some jobs you might have little projects that are the back of your desk that never get finished, but with magazines, once it’s finished, everything gets resolved. It’s like, DONE! I literally wipe my desk clean, and it all starts over again next month. I guess also another challenge is making sure you don’t get stale—introducing new artists, new galleries, new projects. The worst thing anyone can say to me is that I only cover work from the same artist from the same industry each month. I’ll take that as a huge insult—I really want it to be something that’s always changing, always expanding, finding the new things that are out there.
Mr P M : What do you admire most about the life and work of artists?
R S : Ok, so what really gets me is artists who are kind of figments of their own creative imagination. They are the work. They live it, and it’s a part of them, They’re it, they are their work themselves, and they are kind of part of the world they have created.
Mr P M : How do you balance work and life?
R S: Not very well! Well I’m lucky in that what I do is what I love, so literally I couldn’t have dreamed of a better job. If I’m at home I’m reading about art or looking at art, so you know I just got lucky that that’s what I get to do as a living. To me it’s all one. I put everything into it personally and professionally.
Mr P M : Well it definitely shows, in a good way!
R S : Thank you. I always want it to be better. I always say complacency breeds mediocrity, so I would never want to get complacent– I always want to keep pushing it and pushing it, like “What haven’t we done?” Keep the road kind of elevated all the time. I always want to be tinkering with ways it could be better.
Mr P M : What advice do you have for aspiring artists or writers?
R S : I would say just do it. Just make it happen. I see a lot of these workshops where it’s about how can you do better PR or how you can market your work better. I think the only thing you can do is make your work better. If your work is good, people are going to find it. Galleries will find you. So the best thing anyone can do—a writer, an artist, a painter, is to keep working on your craft. Doing it, pushing it, and if the quality is there, it speaks for itself. You don’t need to market it, you don’t need to promote it. And I always say, people aren’t that different. If you connect to it, there are going to be other people that connect to it. So you don’t have to worry about, “Well, if I paint this style is there going to be people who connect to it?” If you’re honest to yourself and true to your own emotional qualities, that will come out in the work. And people will connect with it. People go through the same things. We all have the same issues that we deal with, and ideas about beauty and life and love. If its true to you than theres going to be other people who connect with it too. So just do the work! Just keep going and don’t give up and those things will come. Quality speaks volumes. Be in your studio and make it happen.
See the magazines Rishabh Shukla is editor of by clicking the links below.
Swapnil Saundarya ezine