Suchitra S. Packer (PhD., Purdue University) is a former professor of Organizational and Multicultural Communication. After a successful career in academia, Suchitra decided to refocus her energies on creative works such as dot art. What started as a mindful journey unto herself developed into a small business with the kind encouragement of some positively inspired folks. Today, she derives great joy from bringing into being creative pieces of art and crafts. A self-taught Mandala artist, Suchitra is also a life longer learner of new skills, sewing being the most recent one.
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.
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 😊.
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.
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 –
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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.
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.
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.
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…
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
Inspired by a friend, I have recently rediscovered my love for water colors. I have to admit, after engaging with acrylics for a little over half a year, it is really exciting to dabble with the fluidity of water colors and watch the magical intermingling of water and paint pigments. The above are a couple of experimental works.