Pour your stress out on the canvas


Visual art classes in Bengaluru see a rise in students during and after the pandemic.

Admissions to online art classes continue to increase even after the lockdown restrictions have been eased. Some of them have attracted students from around the world.

Shahina Ashraf, artist and founder of Konsult Art and Design Academy, Bengaluru said they only had Indian students before the pandemic. However, their base expanded worldwide during the pandemic through the online platform which gained them more than 500 admissions including international students. The classes are divided in day and night sessions to manage the time difference.

“People’s mindset has changed now. They are adopting art as alternate careers and a way to release stress. The training has also helped some of our students to get financially better,” she added.

Sunil Kumar Sinha, a practising artist from Patna said that people learning art has increased in the recent times. “I know some people running art classes who had students coming to them. Nowadays, I see more young artists displaying their work online. Painting helps people to express their minds visually,” he added.
However, Shahina said that they initially had problems while conducting online classes as a course like fine arts was difficult to teach on an online platform but they found the balance gradually. The classes are very interactive and they use a special method that is unique to the academy, she added.

 Research by Heather L. Stuckey and Jeremy Nobel that explores the connection of art and health outcomes, stated that art can be used as a way to release emotions and express oneself.

Harshita, an online art class student said that she finds painting as a medium that helps her to relax when she is stressed. She used to paint earlier but lost touch. She joined the online classes during the pandemic and said that there were many other students who did the same.

 “I like painting and I wanted to get into a field of creativity,” said Likita.R, a student from College of Fine Arts Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. “Painting is a way where you can express yourself and it’s a very good stress buster. Whenever I am stressed, I just take some paint and put it on a canvas. It’s a way of sorting your mind. Painting gives people time to spend with themselves,” she added.

Varshaa, an art teacher who has been teaching art for last 20 years in Bengaluru said, “Some people who were working joined these classes to relieve the stress they had. Now, they are happy to learn something new.”

She added that she didn’t face any problem in the online setup and tries to update the techniques that she uses to teach. “My students explore new techniques every day. Art is a vast field. Some students are preparing for art colleges and they create original pieces,” she said.

Umesh M Naik, founder, Kaladhyan Art Gallery and Art School, Bengaluru, said that they only operate offline but they added 12 students during the lockdown. They had more students joining the classes after the lockdown eased. “We have courses for up to four months on all mediums of fine arts and we currently have a total of 40 students,” Umesh added.

Some art academies didn’t get the reception they expected even after going online.

“After the lockdown we are getting students. We started online classes during pandemic but the reception was moderate,” said Madhu Shole, founder, ReIgnite School of Passion.