Established on 1 November 2015, Home for Artists is as unique an establishment as the name suggests. It is a place that gives all visiting artists a homely feeling and freedom from the rat race called life. Here, artists can find an environment that’s refreshing to the soul and conducive to creativity.
It’s said that all artists are ageless and timeless people holding a common vibe. Nimisha Verma, who started this “quantum of solace” for creative souls, is an artist herself who, after leaving the comforts of her parents’ home and wandering herself for quite sometime, started this retreat.
“When I left my parents house,” Nimisha tells Guardian 20, “to follow my dreams last year with my brother Sudhanshu, we struggled a lot to find an accommodation. For four days we had to wander in search of a roof over our head and a stable place to sleep at night. There were so many questions raised by the people we approached: ‘Are you really brother and sister?’; ‘Why are you moving to the same city?’ ‘How will you pay your bills in the future with this so-called professional photography?’ Then, there were legal formalities such as signing a contract and a security deposit which wasn’t possible at all for both of us to pay. So after receiving emotional and financial help in the form of donation from various parts of the country we were able to rent a room in our city and then start with our work. Those initial four days I can never forget.”
These extremes made Nimisha resolve to create a place which any artist could call a home. “A home for all the artists, so that they aren’t afraid of anything, especially when they wish to escape and make art,” says Nimisha.
“My greatest challenge was to make peace with my family. They are, like all other parents, afraid that I might fail. I know the pain of being alone, eating alone. Sometimes, not eating at all due to the lack of…everything.”
Talking about the challenges and troubles she had to face to get this project started, Nimisha says, “My greatest challenge was to make peace with my family. They are, like all other parents, afraid that I might fail. I know the pain of being alone, eating alone. Sometimes, not eating at all due to the lack of…everything. It’s sad to see how an artist’s heart is misunderstood most of the time. When children share with their parents that they want to pursue their career in the arts, they are thrashed. I was one of them. I don’t want others to go through what I did and what I initially experienced when I left my parents’ place. Even people of my own city were not supportive, and instead of helping they demotivated us. But soon I realised that I was my own saviour and always will be. I filled myself with love and light.”
Nimisha has just started a campaign on Ketto, the crowd funding web portal, to arrange for funds for her artists’ retreat. “This unites everyone to help for a single motive or purpose and this was the only way I could spread the message and seek initial help to make my place stable. We are working hard to make this independent as soon as possible.”
While managing this artistic paradise, which is tucked away in a suburb in Jaipur, Rajasthan, Nimisha plans to take this concept forward and replicate it in and around other Indian cities. “Someday I’ll set up a university where people won’t come for a degree but to experience art with similar creative souls and away from our education system. They will learn, teach and stay at the same place surrounded by nature and a peaceful environment.”
As of now, Nimisha’s retreat has five artists as permanent residents, and the number is set to rise in the coming months. “Be more confident about the path you have chosen,” she says, summing up her life’s philosophy. “It’s okay if you don’t make much money from your art. We were never meant to do this. We were born to follow our adventurous souls and explore the universe inside us with the outer world. In Home for Artists, we are all students and we are all teachers as well, promoting skill exchange and self-learning.”