What is an Inspirationalist? Well, technically, it’s a made up title I have given those who have, against all odds, devoted their life to their passion. I have asked Sanjay a series of questions to understand the view into his journey.
There is priceless value in community for any artist, so lean in and learn a little bit about Sanjay…
Who is Sanjay?
Inspired early in his formative years by influential teachers and a summer job at an art school, Sanjay Patel has been painting purposeful brush strokes across most of his life. Educated in Fine Arts and Humanities at McMaster and Illustration at Sheridan College, Sanjay also took business management at Georgian College to better understand how to manage his art career from a business standpoint.
Sanjay believes abstract art should be relatable and loves producing commissioned art for clients to create original work that is representative of who they are, while still capturing the essence of his unique style. He is happiest when his clients can relate to the work and find meaning on a deeply personal level. Sanjay’s inspiration comes from the people he meets, the environment he finds himself in, the energy of the crowds around him, serene landscapes and busy cityscapes.
Sanjay’s work has been featured at several solo exhibits including Low Key Studios Gallery, Hansen & Lubers and Lot St Restaurant in Toronto. Sanjay has also participated in group exhibitions including Painting You a Better World, Carmel Fine Art & Music Festival, and No Vacancy’s Dream State. One of the most active areas of Sanjay’s career is his Live Painting appearances. Sanjay has produced live art for almost 40 festivals, grand openings, launch parties and private events. A natural connector who loves people, Sanjay’s work is inspired by those around him, which works well for live painting and delights the people who enjoy watching him work.
If you were to give yourself a job title, what would it be?
Creative Explorer… Maker of things to look at… this is a hard question to answer without just saying “artist”. Everyday has it’s own challenges. Some days I get to be a painter. Some days I am a delivery person driving around dropping off and picking up art. You can also find me in sales/business meetings. Marketing and social media is it’s own full-time job that I easily get lost in. The list is a very long one and these are just a few of my job titles, but slowly I’m starting to out-source some of them. Hopefully one day, I will only have to paint!
What’s one word that describes what you do?
What is your current challenge?
Just staying on top of things. If for example, one week I don’t spend time doing the menial tasks, I wont have work to do in the following weeks. It’s like a snowball effect. If I don’t go out and meet new clients this month… Next month will be a little slow. Inversely, if I meet too many new clients this month, I wont see anyone for a few months because I’ll be cooped up in the studio. The real challenge is balance.
What is your current motivation?
Currently its all about abstracting things in nature. This is something I’ve been working on for the last few years. I don’t think my motivation or inspiration is ever going to change, but at the same time if you asked me 10 years ago what I would be painting now, I wouldn’t have guessed nature inspired abstracts.
What do you associate the colour red with?
Fire. Passion. Unable to control. Stop signs… curry…
How do you describe what you do to your family?
I drive them crazy. My friends can ignore me… but my poor family has to put up with my madness no matter what. I try to contain it as much as I can, and they do love to support me. But it can sometimes get a little crazy. That being said, they all love having my art, and hopefully they understand that this is what makes me happy.
How do you start and end your day?
I try to start my day slowly. Unless I’m really late for a meeting. The first few hours of the day are most important to keeping calm.
I like to meditate in the mornings, and try not to bombard myself with anything. I try to do the same with the end of my day. Put away the phone and computer. Turn off the TV. Maybe a little music, but usually quiet is key, unless it’s party time!
To what do you owe where you are at right now, to?
Step Two. Create something that you are proud of.
Step Three. Convince others that they should believe in you too, and cut out the people that don’t agree with your vision. There is no room for negativity in your life, especially if you are looking to create art.
All steps aside, it comes down to learning what people want, creating something to fill that need, and marketing yourself to find more people interested in what you’ve created. Constantly working on these things have gotten me where I am. I’ve sold over 200 originals in the last 4 years, and over 650 prints in the last year, with only bigger and better things on the horizon. I hope to keep inspiring people with my “Live Art” and continue to broaden my own scope on art and life.
Why be inspired by Sanjay?
Despite him stating it is a challenge, Sanjay has the remarkable ability to balance the art of art and the art of business. Because of this, he has been able to make a living of it full time. While as artists, we often times want to lock ourselves up and just create! Unfortunately for most, that won’t pay the bills, or help us invest further in our craft. While recognising the importance of the business side of being an artist, he has surrounded himself around those who help him get there. Sanjay reminds us that art cannot happen on our own, it is those around him that inspire his paintings, give him support and encouragement, and help drive his success. With that, he ensures he gives back, teaching and mentoring while lending inspiration (and lots of smiles) to all those around him. Translating the beauty of nature, and the energy of those around him while staying grounded and secure allows Sanjay to embody what it takes to be a successful artist.
Where to catch Sanjay…
Canadian Diabetes Association’s Toronto Spring Bloom Gala.
A Happening: an evening joining food, music, art and dance with All proceeds to benefit Hamilton Interval House and The Hamilton Spectator Summer Camp Fund.
Painting Live on the Saturday night of the Burlington Sound of Music Festival.
Artwork hanging at Cantine Bar and Grill 138 Avenue Road, in Toronto, and Studio at 41, 41 King William, in Hamilton.
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