Meet 20-year-old Harshita Sharma, a first-year Bachelors in Fine Arts student from Kanpur University, who stumbled upon her hidden talent of bringing lifeless stones to life quite by chance.
Harshita contacted us through the Shereos App, when we shared our feature on a Pune based entrepreneur, Shweta Menon, the Founder of Truly Tribal. When we received pictures of her artwork, we were blown! Don’t go by our word, you have to see her fascinating artwork on stones and pebbles to believe us.
In spite of having cleared her entrance exam for the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Harshita was unable to pursue her dream owing to financial constraints. The eternal optimist in her continued to teach young school children after college hours to earn some income through home tuitions.
It was around this time Harshita recalls, “One day, my students brought stones in the tuition class to help them do an art project for “Best out of Waste” in school. I made some artwork out of those stones and their teachers absolutely loved their work. This was when I decided to learn more about stone painting through YouTube.”
Harshita does admit, that the initial days was an uphill task. She shares, “The initial stages were more challenging because not everyone understood my work. I would often get comments such as kaun kharidega pather (who will buy a stone!). I did find it very discouraging as such comments would pull me down for not having a regular job. But my inner strength would pull me out of this, and I continued painting. I started visiting local fairs but not a single artwork of mine was sold at that time. People would often tell me as to why I am wasting my time as no local art shops would accept my work.
But this didn’t stop Harshita to continue painting and learning. She would regularly post pictures of her artwork on social media and on the Sheroes platform. Then on 1st January 2019, she made a portrait of Sairee Chahal, the Founder of Sheroes, Harshita recalls, “I got tremendous feedback. Everyone said that this was something unique which they hadn’t seen before.”
Harshita went on to get featured on the Sheroes App and started receiving a few orders as well. Not only that, she has successfully completed the ‘100-day art challenge’ and was crowned a winner on by an art studio called Simsum Arts and she adds, “This is how I became a stone artist and launched Stonemania in December 2019.”
The daily dose of encouragement that she received from the fellow members on the Sheroes App, made Harshita launch her maiden venture, Stonemania. While her mother a home manager pitches in with giving ideas and helping her with her artwork, Harshita’s father a banker is now extremely supportive seeing the potential her work has.
While Harshita does feel that painting on stone may not be as popular as abroad, but she is hopeful to make her mark. You can find nature-inspired themes, landscapes, sculpture and portraits painted by her on stones.
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