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Artist Spotlight: Anuja Aggarwal

Anuja Aggarwal, Alcohol Ink Artist

I always loved painting and felt inspired whenever I saw something beautiful, but I never thought that I had it in me to create something and put it out there. I never had the confidence to show my work to the world. I used to paint, or do something crafty every once in a while, but never dedicated more time to it. I saw others creating art and arty objects and always felt like only if I could also do the same. I do not have any formal training in art, but I have always found myself drawn to all things creative since childhood. I started my career working in advertising agencies and then moved on to content writing. For past 15 years, I have been doing freelance writing.

My life was going good, but I never felt like I had accomplished something. There was a gap in what I wanted to be and what I was. Two years back when I was in Japan, I came across the concept of “Ikigiai” and I realized that art is the only thing that makes me truly happy and allows me to enter my state of “flow” where I do not think about anything else, but just enjoy the moment. While creating art, I lose all track of time, stress, troubles, hunger, external noise, and anger. I understood that, if I wish to feel better, complete, I must pursue my passion and give it a little more attention. So, I decided to start my pursuit and painted whenever possible – I aimed to paint something daily. I did not have much training in art so I scoured through hundreds of online videos and sites to learn the tricks and create something on my own. I’ve been trying hard since then, and finally, I have reached a place where I have been enjoying the process and have stopped worrying about the outcome. I am definitely seeing a huge improvement in what I make and every day is another learning opportunity.

A couple of years back, while browsing through Instagram, I came across alcohol ink art and was immediately mesmerized. I tried to look for any artist willing to teach and found that there was nobody pursuing this field. Alcohol inks were not even available in India. I ordered supplies online and started experimenting with this new medium. With no guidance, it took a lot of hit and trial, frustrating moments, and crushed papers in the dustbin, but finally I got to experience some amazing moments. Alcohol inks are fluid and you need to lose control to let them show their true colors. If you are stiff, worried about mistakes, and want to create something inside the lines, you will regret working with inks. So, I needed a lot of loosening up, forgiving myself, and allowing myself room to experiment to create beautiful art with alcohol inks.

An Alcohol Ink painting by artist Anuja Aggarwal

The response I got was overwhelming. A lot of people contact me now for teaching them alcohol ink art and others appreciate what I am making. I guide people on how to lose inhibitions and enjoy the colors of this magical medium. I have conducted several workshops (offline and online) and people leave with happy faces and wonderful reviews. I exhibit my work whenever I get a chance and I am getting good response for my art. I am proud to be among the few top alcohol ink artists in India.

I started my website to not only share my art, but also provide important tips and

videos to people trying to start working with alcohol inks. I am slowly inching towards my goal of

becoming a full-time artist. Although, I am still doing my other job, I am devoting more time to painting and hopefully, one day, I will dedicate my whole life to my passion. There’s still a long way to go, but I am enjoying working with this magical medium.

For new artists like me out there, my message is this:

“Don’t worry about experimenting and failing, don’t worry about the results, and most importantly, don’t worry if your art is selling or not. Enjoy the process of creating, don’t shy away from experimentation, pick colors and designs based on our instincts, and just keep creating.”


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