A Wonderful Day at Temple Emanuel’s Holiday Bazaar

I did my first event at Temple Emanuel today and what a wonderful time I had! Every single person I met was friendly – always ready with a smile and encouraging words of support and/or compliment for my work! The set up was problem free since the tables and chair were provided. I had all the space I needed to make my display just the way I wanted. The fellow vendors around me were also very friendly and good neighbors with whom to share spaces.

My set up at the Holiday Bazaar

I sold a variety of things – mugs, notebooks, rocks, phone holders, magnets, a coaster, greeting cards, and even a yo-yo, among other things. I only sold one wall art but that’s okay – The father and son who bought it wanted to buy it as a surprise for the mother and I felt so happy for their excitement and for making me a part of their conspiracy ūüėä.

Before I conclude, I did want to mention that I recently started making cards and I am absolutely loving the process. I put my cards on display and sale today and they sold well.

I will definitely do this event again next year.

Why I Quit Acrylic Pouring

It started out as intrigue. It was a newness that promised a rich and rewarding experience with almost instant gratification. I had accidentally (or maybe by YouTube’s clever algorithmic play) chanced upon a video of acrylic pouring and had made a mental note to learn and try the technique out in the new year and so I did. For a month.

At the end of the month, I used up almost all of my large paint bottles, almost all my Floetrol and Liquitex Pouring Medium, used up a lot of my other supplies, and cleaned up my room. I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the technique of acrylic pouring. I found great joy and immense satisfaction in it. I found the instant gratification to be true and with just the right amount of thinking, creative insight, planning, and calming satisfaction. Yet, as the month drew to an end and I reached the end of my HUGE stash of canvases, I decided it was time to quit this beautiful art form even though I liked going from this –

to this…one of my biggest canvases – 24 x 36 inches.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you buy something using my links below, I get a small commission. This is just a small way for me to keep my creativity going and support my art. Thank you.. 

Here’s why:

I found the technique of acrylic pouring extremely wasteful.

For the first few pours, I used what I had been seeing on videos on YouTube. I used paper cups, wooden sticks, and disposable gloves but this waste just started accumulating and it soon started getting to me…..not to mention the plastic wraps around canvases, the plastic seals around paint bottles, the wasted paint that flowed off the canvases, and so on.

Soon, I switched to rubber latex gloves that I could re-use, used plastic cups for paints so I could wash them and re-use them again, and bought plastic coffee stir sticks. While I should have felt much better knowing that I was being environmentally cautious, I wondered about the amount of water I was wasting in washing off the dried and sometimes paint in my sink as well as the fact that I was polluting the environment in trying to do so. Not really a win-win now, is it!?

Eventually, this wastefulness, really, really got to me.

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I was spending way more money than I had intended to on what would best be considered a hobby for me.

I know some people make good money doing acrylic pouring. I know just how much work and effort goes into producing a masterpiece with this technique of painting and I have a lot of respect for these folks. Clearly, I am NOT one of these folks and I am perfectly and gratefully okay with that.

Since I knew I wasn’t going to make money doing this, at best, learning to do this new form of art was like taking an art course and spending a lot of money without any direct ROI. In paints, pouring mediums (Floetrol, Liquitex, Artists’ Loft Flow), and canvases, I spent a neat fortune. The sheer amount of paints needed was overwhelming which although understandable, hurt my dot artist sensibilities where I could buy one 2 oz bottle of paint and it would last me forever and a day.

Eventually, knowing that acrylic pouring would be no more than a hobby and a personal area of interest, I couldn’t justify the amount of money I was spending.

I did not expect to make any money from this art form given the number of people doing it and the general lack of appreciation for art that people have.

As explained above, this interest was only going to go as far as being a hobby. Perhaps if I had given it more time and more money, I would have acquired a certain level of expertise and created a sell-worthy piece of art, but truth be told, all the reasons I cite here, collectively were getting to me and there was no way I was going to last long.

I found my studio getting way too cluttered and messy with canvases, paints, that was much outside my generally flexible clutter/mess threshold.

I am privileged to have a generous studio for a dot artist – an entire room to myself. However, once I started getting, I mean really getting into acrylic pouring, my studio looked like it had gone through a massacre of paints and supplies.

There were canvases everywhere in every shape and size – blank ones, poured ones, set to dry ones…a corner of my room was for dotting but the bigger part of the room was completely taken over by acrylic pouring and it slowly started driving me crazy.

I could no longer stand the messiness of the process of this art form and how it was taking over my entire studio, ruining my carpets with accidental paint drips, and making me and the kids having to walk around everything worse than we would, on egg shells.

I missed dotting too much.

I became an artist when I sold my first piece of dot art. Since then, my love and interest in dot art has only grown. With every piece I sell, I feel a furthered sense of gratitude, humility for the art, and a renewal of spirit. I did not get the same feeling from acrylic pouring and not only because I didn’t sell (or try particularly hard to anyway) any piece.

I did pouring because I wanted to learn this new technique, uncover its mystery, and do something different. All of these goals were fulfilled and I am grateful, truly and entirely grateful, to have had the opportunity to do so.

In conclusion, I am really glad I dabbled in acrylic pouring. It is a beautiful form of painting and it takes a lot of pre-planning, knowledge of some chemistry, patience, awareness of colors and how they work together, and other skills of this nature. I am thrilled that I got to have some beautiful art to show for it. One of my paintings now adorns our mantle. Our hallway is my art gallery decorated with my art work. I am proud of my work and what I was able to accomplish within a month. While I am not biding adieu to acrylic pouring forever, I will be on a hiatus from this art work and resuming my work in dotting, something I have missed very much.

Hello 2019! To new beginnings..

The year has been off to an incredibly creative start for me… While taking on new year resolutions and well, breaking them are a cliche for a lot of people, including yours truly, I wonder if this holds true when resolutions are of a creative kind.

To be honest, I have never made any resolution resolutely, if I may. In other words, I have never seriously said, “I am going to do this or that or lose this much weight or accomplish this…” Now, sure, I have silently said these things to myself as “would be nice to do” but never in the attitude of “must be done this year!”

This year, however, I did decide on two goals to have accomplished by December 2019:
1. Learn and create acrylic pour paintings.
2. Learn lettering/calligraphy.

So far, I have dabbled with both, particularly with the first one. As a beginner, I have had many challenges in figuring out acrylic pouring. One would think it is an intuitive process but there is a lot of technique to it too. There is chemistry, there are many ways to derive formulae, there are many techniques, and there are tens of hundreds of people doing this form of art and more joining in every day.

So far, while I am enjoying it, I am really not liking the wastefulness that comes along with it. I’ll write more on this at a later date including writing about how I have successfully reduced waste in this art form. Suffice to say, even though I have a long way to go in really figuring out and “mastering” this form of painting, I am not quite sure I will be sticking with it the entire year. I continue to find dotting therapeutic and even though my current focus has primarily been acrylic pouring, I look forward to returning to my mandalas soon.

Photo Credit: Zaksheuskaya via Pexels.Com

Have a Happy Holiday

A Wonderful Holiday Season

Thanks to the wonderfully supportive community here in Greensboro, I have had a good sales season this holiday season, my first as an entrepreneur. Although I first started my archival store of stationery, T-shirts, and other collectibles in August 2017, none of my products were handmade by me. I enjoyed that experience but knew I needed to recharge and re-channel my own creative energies

Since moving to GSO, I have had 5 sales events and each one of them has been terrific! The best part of these events has been the people I have gotten to meet. This community, this city that I have now embraced, has some of the nicest, kindest, and friendliest people. They are also incredibly supportive of local artists and encouraging of our efforts. I have gotten compliments galore on my work and I am happy to say, sales to match those compliments too.

In December, I did 2 events, one at our local farmers’ market, and another at NC Soul Space‘s Pop Up event. I truly liked the events, each one for its own sake. Here are some pics from the two events.

I hope you all have a happy holiday and enjoy your time with family and friends. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting my work. Every sale, every compliment, every encouraging word, every social media like, love, and wow, every Etsy order, every comment whether on Instagram or Facebook…your support has meant the world to me. Thank you.

I remain open to custom orders and you can always shop right here at the store on this website. Until 2019…

Essaberry at Made4Holidays Market Greensboro

On November 10th, I had the privilege of becoming a part of the Greensboro artists’ community. I applied and was selected (you can’t just pay and participate, it is juried acceptance only) to participate and sell my work at the Greensboro Curb Farmers’ Market Made4Market Holiday event.

The shoppers started lining up even before the doors opened which was such an encouraging sign for me as I am sure it was for other artisans. The Early Bird shoppers could start shopping at 10:00 am. for a small fee of $5. Admission after 11:00 a.m. and until 4:00 p.m. was free for all. I had a great location right across from the door and even though that made it cooler in the morning, as more people came in and the place got busy, it was nice and comfortable. The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was the crammed spaces between the tables. As in, the people with their backs to me with their display table on the other side and I barely had enough space. This cramming of course means more room for shoppers to move in the aisles which is of course a good thing. I didn’t mind the inconvenience, just wish it was roomier.

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I got a great response from the visitors. I feel so grateful to be accepted into this community and meet the wonderful people here who are so incredibly supportive and encouraging of my work. I had many a wonderful conversations with those who visited my booth, whether they bought something or not. Many people complimented my work, my patience, and the variety of items I had and I felt truly humbled. Thank you to all who attended the event and helped support local artisans and artists

Here are some images from my booth.

Essaberry at Made4Market, Greensboro
Essaberry at Made4Market, Greensboro


Essaberry at Made4Market, Greensboro
Essaberry at Made4Market, Greensboro


Essaberry at Made4Market, Greensboro
Essaberry at Made4Market, Greensboro


Essaberry at Made4Market, Greensboro
Essaberry at Made4Market, Greensboro


Essaberry at Made4Market, Greensboro
Essaberry at Made4Market, Greensboro

Essaberry at West Elm

I recently had the great pleasure of setting up shop at my local West Elm. I was a featured artist at their Pop-Up Market and I so appreciated the opportunity. I had a bunch of people come over and appreciate my work and I humbly accepted the praise and compliments. I also made a few sales which as always is great validation for the amount of time, effort, love, and passion I devote to my work. I look forward to becoming a more regular artist at West Elm.

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity West Elm.


Mandala on Wood and LP Vinyl Records

Essaberry Mandala Dot Art Banner

tPV – First Lesson Learned

Ever had one of those experiences that left ¬†you feeling like …what the hell went wrong? I have had my fair share of these but the one I am going to write about was NOT one of those kinds, specifically. It did have elements of that feeling and unfortunately, that still lingers, but by and large, I do know what happened and what I need to learn from it, is quite obvious.

The premise

On August 1, 2017, I will be launching a new multicultural parenting magazine called, ‘the Parent Voice,’. ¬†As the founder and editor-in-chief, I consider it one of my primary responsibilities to recruit people I know to be good good writers, who have a strong head of opinions and are not afraid to share them (within reason and as long as they align with the mission and objectives of the Magazine), and who believe in the ethos of a multicultural world.

With these intentions, I asked a good friend of mine who lives in a different country (not in India, nor the US) to write for the Mag. I have enjoyed her personal blog. I find her opinionated in a good way and while I do not always agree with her perspective, it is one I can respect, and also one that I believe my readers would like to read. During our short Facebook Messenger Chat, she seemed fairly enthusiastic and agreed to send me her first piece by the deadline. I appreciated her excitement and willingness to write.

The situation

As promised, she delivered. On the day of the deadline, sure enough, I had an email from her, with her article duly attached.

I read over it once. I read over it twice. I read over it three times. It had some brilliant parts. I smiled and I nodded as I read it because I could visualize her saying those words before me, out loud, with her expressions. I could imagine it all. And, vividly. I loved it. At first.

Then, the more I thought about it and mulled over it and let it marinate in my head, I realized that for several reasons, it did not quite meet the vision I have for tPV,. It was a good piece, but I knew she could give it even more dimensions if only she looked at the issues discussed in the piece from a slightly more advanced lens. Rather than approach the piece like a rant, the very same issues could be given wings with which to delve into deeper topics of direct relevance to tPV,. Unfortunately, as it stood, it needed a lot more work. As a column.

To publish it as one person’s opinion was acceptable but then, the work scholar, the feminist, the researcher, and the editor in me combined to realize that there was a LOT of bias in the article. It was entirely one-sided (again, fine for an opinion piece) but it was bordering on prejudice against certain classes of people as well as certain nationalities, and, THAT, was unacceptable.

The exact same content could have been explained from a more other-person perspective taking angle and that would have given the article much richer dimensions while not compromising the message the writer intended.

I wrote to my friend and made notes on the document explaining how and what could be changed. I gave plenty of open-ended suggestions as well as directions for thought. I was not comfortable writing that email in the first place but then I weighed what was at stake and assumed my friend would take it as well intentioned as it truly was supposed to be,

In my head, I was doing the right thing. This was my friend. Well, of course, she would want my feedback. Besides, not being honest with her about her article and publishing it as is, was being dishonest to the integrity of tPV, and I am never going to do that.

So, I sent the email.

The reaction

It did not go down well on the other side. She wrote me a long email telling me in no uncertain terms that she would not be rewriting that piece, that I had misunderstood her, that she and her family are not multicultural despite some outside-of-their-native-culture sensibilities, that she was not interested in academic writing, that writing with a different lens was telling a different version of her story and not what she intended (I respected that), among other things.

In other words, she was pissed at me, clearly hurt from my suggestions of her piece, and did not see things from how I was envisioning tPV, content to read.

The Aftermath

I responded to her email with a heavy heart. I had a punched-in-the-gut horrible feeling while writing that reply. I apologized for wasting her time, I apologized for assuming she may have been interested in exploring more perspectives with her piece, I apologized for assuming too much and knowing too little, and I apologized for having inadvertently perhaps, even hurt her.

I was stunned at the tone of her email and deeply hurt, myself.¬†That,¬†is something I still cannot get over. This is a person, I considered a really good friend. Clearly, I was delusional. I held her in high esteem and wanted her to write for tPv, but now I realize it is for the best that things ended up the way they did. It wasn’t meant to be.

Lessons Learned

(1) Don’t assume everyone shares your vision or views on multiculturalism or that everyone even wants to live multiculturally. People can be quite ethnocentric or different degrees of it and happy. That is their prerogative. Does not make them bad people. Just different. As someone who believes in diversity of thoughts, I can respect that. I don’t have to agree with it.

(2) Don’t work with “friends”. Not all your friends want to work with you.

(3) Make new relationships and friendships based on common interests. Know that these common interests may change over time too. Build new friendships anyway but be ready for change. People change. Circumstances change. Perspectives change.

(4) Do not ever assume anything about anybody, even a really good friend whom you thought you knew well. You really never EVER know anyone. Whatever part of their personality they show you, is just a preview of their entire self. Take that at face value and maintain those relationships to the extent of integrity apparent in that preview. Be vary of expecting too much or believing that the preview is the entire self.

(5) tPV, is bigger than myself or any one person. What it stands for and will come to mean and represent as it evolves is more important.

(6) I will never compromise on the quality of content we write/create/present on tPV,.