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What on Earth is The Crimson Canvas? Our story thus far...

If you are curious to learn more about our business, then this is the perfect article for you! This article will be edited periodically and is meant to provide the reader with an accurate reflection of our journey thus far.

The Crimson Canvas was founded in 2018. Senneil and I found it odd that most people found art intimidating. In the winter of 2018, we decided to conduct workshops for family and friends just to show people how easy it was to express oneself through paintings. In the beginning, our workshops comprised of 2-3 people opening a bottle of wine and sitting down in the terrace. We would drink, eat and paint away! With just a little support and guidance from us, each participant was able to create something wonderful; but more importantly, everyone unanimously reported having an absolute blast. Perhaps it was the wine, maybe it was the paints, but we were certain that we wanted to bring our workshops to rest of the city.

Choosing A Name

What do you get when you spill your wine all over your precious canvas? A Crimson Canvas. There's really not much more to this story. It was funny and made everyone laugh, so we stuck to calling our "business", 'The Crimson Canvas'.

What do you get when you spill your wine all over your precious canvas? A Crimson Canvas.

Launching The Workshops

With a small loan from family, we purchased easels and other materials directly from manufacturers after a heated round of bargaining courtesy of Senneil. Partnering with the Bier Library in Koramangala, we were able to launch our workshops to generally positive feedback. People really did seem to find the concept intriguing and some great art was being created along the way; besides, these workshops afforded Senneil an opportunity to return to the arts, a field that she had largely abandoned because of the hectic life she was leading as a medical student. "It gave me a reason to pick up the paint brush again."

"It gave me a reason to pick up the paint brush again."

It was soon time to grow and we needed to connect with talented individuals who could help us in the process. An architect, a designer, a computer whiz and a professional photographer later our core team was ready. Pooling our core competencies, we were finally able to get online, establish a brand and get it registered, create partnerships with venues, and start conducting regular workshops. While developing the back-end, we especially leveraged the experience we had accrued over the last 2 years working on an NGO, Reach Lives, which comprised of a similar platform that was connecting healthcare service providers with communities in need.

We also realized that Senneil was not alone in having left behind her hobby of painting. In fact, some of the very first artists who joined us echoed this same feeling. It is difficult to continue to grow as an artist when you are already overburdened by the stresses of your regular life. Therefore, by targeting this select group of skilled artists to bring onboard, we were providing a viable way to re-engage art over the weekends.

Paint to Empower

As mentioned earlier, central to our origin story is the belief that anyone can paint. We found it sad therefore that painting was not a possibility for many underprivileged children. Think about it. To paint, you need a canvas, paints (hopefully non-toxic), brushes and utensils at the very least. We therefore felt the need to bring the joy of painting to the homes of the underprivileged children. In our minds, the privilege we had growing up must be granted to these children too, especially considering the benefits of incorporating extracurriculars in a child's life.

Children presenting their canvases
The very first P2E event

We launched our P2E initiative in association with Sparsha home in Sahakar Nagar. The happiness that our little 2-hour long workshop brought to these kids' faces warmed our hearts spurring us to develop this program as an important component of our business. The kids were excited to receive brushes and their own canvas and apron.... The best part? Because of the number of regular workshops we were conducting, we were buying inventory at a very low cost. In fact, 5 months into the program, we were spending as little as Rs. 60 to teach a child a skill. Besides, the large number of artists that were collaborating with us meant that each artist had to dedicate just one day in a month to help us implement this program.

In fact, 5 months into the program, we were spending as little as Rs. 60 to teach a child a skill.

As an unintended consequence we began generating a lot of art that could be used to fund future events. In fact, diyas created in an October P2E event were sold by Sparsha in less than 2 hours at a fundraiser.


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