We had the good fortune of connecting with Archana Aneja and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Archana, what do you want your legacy to be?
“Break your Boundaries and Let Life Flow!” – Archana Aneja

We often forget to pursue our dreams as we find ourselves simply following the norms and
imprisoned within various perceived social, cultural, and prejudicial expectations. We need to break
these boundaries so that we can maximize our potential and realize our own dreams.

Equipped with a Masters degree in Architecture, I started my career working as a Designer/Illustrator in various reputed Metro Detroit Architectural Firms for over a decade. However, six years ago, I took the plunge and started my own creative entity. I wanted to follow my heart and instinct, fulfill my creative visions and dreams on my terms and own my time. Currently, I am working as an Interdisciplinary Visual Artist, New Age Digital Creator and a Fashion Designer.

My personal artistic journey so far has been very challenging but also tremendously satisfying and exhilarating. Most often, the thought of choosing art as a full time profession or means of livelihood is hard for people to grasp. I’ve often been discouraged and criticized about leaving a secure nine to five corporate job to pursue my passion. I wish to continue treading on this path till my last breath and hope that my dedication, commitment and success leaves a legacy that inspires many more women and men to do the same.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

I am a versatile interdisciplinary artist and designer. My creative practice encompasses vibrant original art, installations, unique digital & wearable creations. My work draws inspiration from my rich Indian lineage and Architectural background, as well as my diverse global travel experiences. I am a creative soul. I move with the flow of life. I very much live in the present and every morning is a fresh start. I don’t like to plan ahead. I accept things as they unravel and I am often content with the results. I believe in serendipity, look forward to surprises and focus on long term growth.

After pursuing my bachelor’s degree in architecture during my formative years, I had always nurtured the dream of owning an architecture firm and making an impact on the Indian urban landscape. But marriage, graduate studies and moving across continents to the United States was on the cards. The move and the onset of a new life came with the incredible sense of independence and a personal responsibility. I completed my master’s degree in architecture from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, MI; and for the first time, being a career woman, a wife and a future mother, all felt achievable. For over decade, I worked as an architectural designer in reputed Metro Detroit firms where I contributed towards creating a variety of impressive Public Safety and Commercial Architectural projects. Soon after being blessed with two wonderful children, and return from a 4.5 year ex-pat stay in Germany, I decided to be in charge of my own time, and started my own Creative Entity.

My unique textile offerings are characterized by whimsical motifs all based on my original artworks. My paintings and creative experiments often incorporate a vivid combination of color, movement, dimension, & heavy layered textures. Each creation is unique and is produced with a strong emphasis on artistry, sustainability and inclusivity. Going forward, I am super thrilled and excited to also create new age art and immersive experiences, which can be greatly instrumental in helping audiences connect with my creations and stories.

My Art and Fashion have been showcased extensively in several internationally renowned exhibits and venues including the Carrousel Du Louvre, Paris, Affordable Art Fair Milan, ArtExpo NY, ARTe Germany, Indie Fashion Show Detroit, Atlanta and New York, TedxDetroit, just to name a few. My creative projects have also been featured in several reputed local and international magazines like Ellements Mag NY, The Style Researcher Italy, PUMP, Vigour, 17.23. Magazine. I received the Best Textile Artist Award in The Global Art Awards Competition held in Dubai, in Oct 2018.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Some of my favorite things to do here in Lake Oswego, Oregon would be:

1. To eat at La Provence Boulangerie & Patisserie or Oswego Grill, and have an Ice Cream at Salt & Straw
2. Catch a movie at Lake Theater & Cafe.
3. Visit Foothills park and George Rogers Park.
4. Visit the Gallery Without Walls – Unique outdoor sculptural exhibit.
5. In summer, visit the Lake Oswego farmers market.
6. Catch a concert or a game at the Moda Center.
7. Visit Multnomah falls.
8. Definitely hangout and eat at the several incredible Food Cart places in and around Portland.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
As the famous proverb goes, “It takes a village to raise a child”. And being a petite, middle aged, brown, immigrant, woman artist, I appreciate every bit of support coming my way. 🙂

On the personal front my husband, kids, parents, sister and few close friends have been staunch supporters of my artistic roller coaster ride. My life is my biggest motivator. I was born in the stunning Kashmir valley in India, but due to political unrest, I spent most of my childhood in a very small but peaceful town in South India. Despite hardships and humble beginnings, my parents worked tirelessly to give me the best possible education. I thank my stars every day, as I hold on to my simple upbringing, while I equally pursue and fully live the American Dream.

I’ve witnessed tremendous personal and creative growth and maturity, due to the pandemic and the new unpredictable world we live in. Art has become my therapy. With the unwavering support of supremely talented collaborators: Photographer Ricardo Thornton, Hair Artist Kevin Carter & Indie Fashion Boutique, the last couple of years have led to phenomenal projects and shows. My gratitude to them and the numerous models, MUAs, photographers, videographers, musicians, tailors, on demand print partners and gallery owners, who trusted and supported my vision.

Lastly but most importantly thanks to all the critics and naysayers who constantly discourage me and second-guess my every move. You are the fuel I need to shine brighter.

Website: https://archanaaneja.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/archanaaneja/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/archanaaneja/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/archana.aneja/

Other: https://kavyar.com/archanaaneja Email: art@archanaaneja.com

Image Credits
Ricardo Thornton Atilano Images Shoots with Sean Kevin Carter Artistry of hair

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