Our Team

SHEETAL SHARMA
SHEETAL SHARMAA writer who follows her heart

“Follow the music your heart creates and use your mind to pen those lyrics”

This was my thought that I shared with Himanshu when I first met him.

I am a television professional with an eye for detail and flair for writing.

Beautiful frames capture my attention and artists inspire me irrespective of their genre.

I am Sheetal Sharma, writer and Co-founder of Ivoryimaginations.com along

With Himanshu Saini. As a child I loved recording my voice on a National Tape recorder that my dad had sent from Yemen. It was an exercise I would never get tired of, I think possibly at that age I knew what I loved the most but didn’t realize how I could transform it into a career. As I grew up I became clear that I wanted to make a difference & television seemed like an engaging choice for this aim. I did not have a single person who I knew who would be from the TV industry. My dad was in the hotel industry & mom a home maker, so I understood I have to pay my own way. While my college friends used to go to exotic holidays during vacations I would enroll myself in workshops or classes that would help me understand the TV medium as well as my dream better. All my effort eventually paid off, I got freelancing assignments while I was in college, I travelled to places, anchored shows, wrote scripts, assisted in direction and my journey as a TV Professional started.

16 years, 3 production houses & 4 news channels later I joined an NGO hoping that it would encapsulate all the values that I have as a person and the core belief with which I had joined media. But alas! It was nothing that I had expected it to be. Within months I saw myself having differences with the founder and this experimental stint came to an end. To be honest for a person as focused and career oriented as me losing a job was a huge set back. I took weeks to piece back my shattered self confidence, I was down and low but my spirit wasn’t broken.

But like they say when god closes one door he is about to open up another one for you…which is far bigger & better. Ivory Imaginations is that window for me. It gives me an opportunity to interact with artists who have struggled to keep their art alive, I write as well as film their stories of dismay, hardships, struggles and victory. I am now doing what I always wanted to do, what I always believed in, Understand your talent & hone those skills to excel in life. While I am living by these words myself, I hope that through the stories we are able to inspire people who are struggling to be recognized in the art world and make the creators of these beautiful pieces feel proud of their stories as well as work when they share it with the world through our website.

HIMANSHU SAINI
HIMANSHU SAINIAn artist & a rebel

I was 4 years old when I first picked up a crayon and started to color figures on my drawing book. I barely remember what I thought but I clearly remember the feeling. I felt like a superhero who had the power to add colors. I could paint the sky in whichever Blue I liked, a splash of pink on green made my eyes sparkle.

I am Himanshu Saini, while my name signifies coolness of an ice particle, inside my heart I carry the fire to realize my dream to paint the world in colors of Love and Peace. I have never been trained in this craft, but I was born with the talent to understand art as well as quickly learn it as I practiced.

 It was my primary school teachers, Ms. Monika and Ms. Charu who saw this talent in me and encouraged me to pursue it even later. With a lot of encouragement at school and very little at home I continued to paint. One day I got a Camel Crayons set, as I opened it a small paper slip fell out, it was the entry form for All India Camel Color Contest. They say that the universe sends you signs when you are destined to walk a particular path, and this was my sign! I was too young to realize the philosophy but the eagerness to participate and paint something new was enough for me to take a step forward. I participated and filled the ivory sheet with colors that brought a smile to my face …my painting was sent for screening with many others…months passed by and one day at the School Assembly my name was announced, I had won the All India contest. To walk up that stage as a 6 year I felt nervous at first but then a sense of achievement pervaded all the nervousness. I won the award again the next year, but then academics happened.

My parents were not very happy by my new found love for Art, for them this was not a dream that I could pursue and turn into a career as well. So I was discouraged by parents and teachers alike. I still remember that I was sketching the portrait of my teacher in the class when I was asked to leave the class and the sketch was shown to my Dad. While the teacher complained about how I was not concentrating in the class but sketching, he also appreciated my precision at sketching. But the appreciation did not count and I was told more sternly to choose Academics over Art.

Years flew by and it was time to choose a career after Class Twelve, with my love for art being suppressed over the years I was told to pick up Engineering simply because it could get me a respectable job. So I took admission in B.Tech (Civil Engineering) and dedicated four years of my life studying something that I did not have much interest in. Art continued a little on the side, sometimes as an expression after bad experiences in life and sometimes to simply beautify my own room. I got a job and I started to get even lesser time to pursue my passion for art.

Just when I started to forget about this love for Art, walked in a girl who made me connect again with the fire inside me. Colors, palettes, Pencils and Paints returned to my life. I was inspired to follow my heart and she became the person who pushed me to excel, never give up and follow my dreams. I have started painting now, I sketch my thoughts too, and to my good luck I have now found an art teacher who shares a similar story, Banamali Borah.

This website is our attempt to break free from the shackles of the mundane and tested. This is our attempt to bring to light artists like me who fought the world to follow their heart or probably are still fighting, compromising to do what they were born to do…Color the Ivory!

BANAMALI BORAH
BANAMALI BORAHAn artist & an inspiration

As a 4 year old I would’ve never imagined being an artist whose paintings would be displayed at art galleries and who would carve a name for himself. I was born in a very poor family in Assam’s Narayanpur village, as a child I had to struggle a lot for education. I used to work as a laborer at construction sites, used to work as domestic help just to earn money for my education. It was my passion for education that propelled me towards the desire of achieving a better life.

When you are struggling for the basics you find little time to dream, so I knew I had to study but did not understand what to do once I am out of school. My colleagues wanted to be doctors, engineers, government servants but I just knew I wasn’t cut out for it.

One day I was sitting on a muddy ground at a park, I looked at a man, picked up a small stick and started drawing his face on the mud. One passerby saw this drawing and said, ‘You are really good at this. This  picture looks so real.’ That is the moment when I realized that yes, this is what I want to be…An Artist.  So I used to sit and draw often. One day I was looking at the clouds and drawing on a sheet but every time I would look up, the cloud would move from it’s position and that’s when I thought I need to get trained in art. So I found out about colleges and realized that the only art college close to Narayanpur was in Guwahati. I worked hard, saved some money and went to Guwahati but could not get through the Art College entrance exam. I was disheartened but then I met one of my mentors, Anup Kumar Sharma, who told me about Delhi College of Art. My grandmother had given me gold earrings when she was dying, I sold them off to get to Delhi. I went to Delhi College of Arts with 200 Rupees and found out that the form itself was of Rs 500 and the fee close to Rs 20,000. I thought I would never be able to take admission in this college, my dreams were shattered. The money I had was depleting fast within a week I had to look for a job so I started working in a factory but I didn’t quit painting.

One day I was painting in a park and a man came up to me asking me how much I was selling the painting for, he was the first man to buy my painting for Rs 1500. Things started falling into place soon after, Sharmaji as we called him, got me a job in Air Hostess Academy as a peon and later introduced me to Trendz Academy as a faculty member. It was here that I got introduced to Rohit Kumar, a student who encouraged me to pursue a degree in arts. I went back to Delhi College of Arts, cleared the entrance exam and Rohit helped me by paying the fee. Infact he gave me a place to live as well, later I also met Sanjay who helped me with the basics so that I could live my dream.

They say that if you truly wish for something the universe will conspire to make it yours. My life is an example of just that. I wanted to learn art and the universe sent me angels to make my dream come true. Today I am an art teacher, my work gets showcased at various art galleries and I dream of going back to my village to open an art school for students like me who have the talent but not the resources. Ivory Imaginations is a step towards realizing this dream of mine.



OUR TECHNICAL TEAM

Alamoor & Ajay are two people who beautifully tie in technology & art for us. Artists in their own way Ajay was responsible for creating this website, he can work magic with his fingers and create websites that stand apart from the others. Oscillating between hare like speed and tortoise like steadiness he gave shape to our idea of ivoryimaginations.com.

Alamoor on the other hand is our go to person for all things that are Tech. He himself has been a student of Fine Arts with specialization in sculpture making and with his tenacity he can work for hours at a stretch just to make your vision a reality.  From manufacturing leather bags to shooting to understanding art and even creating digital compilations there is practically nothing that Alamoor doesn’t know how to do. He too like Ajay & the rest of us believes in promoting artists who are born with the talent to create magnificent pieces with the help of their imagination.