A UW self-taught artist is uniting her love of nature and art to create vibrant paintings, and she is ready to share.
Kritika Gaba is in her 2B term of Honours Arts, majoring in Psychology and expecting to minor in Human Resources. For Gaba, art is a method of escapism and self-expression. An international student from India, she is passionate about creating through both painting and baking. From a young age, Gaba has experimented with various art styles and mediums, and over 10 years later, she continues to bloom as an artist.
The beauty Gaba finds in nature is her biggest inspiration. “Whenever I see anything I find beautiful or inspiring, the artist in me wakes up. I am a self-taught artist and it really motivates me to engage with other artists and observe their artwork and styles,” she said. Gaba also uses social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube to find inspiration and new styles.
The pressure and stress that comes with a university workload is what is shaping Gaba’s work the most right now, and creating art is a therapeutic process that allows her to relieve stress.
One of the most enjoyable parts of Gaba’s artistic process is nearing the final result of a painting and finally seeing the piece come to life. She finds satisfaction in seeing pieces that were once a blank canvas turn into something radiant. It’s even more satisfying when she shares her work with others and receives positive feedback, as it inspires her to keep painting.
Gaba does not necessarily begin a piece with a message or feeling in mind. “The experience of an audience is very subjective and there is never one way to define what a painting should mean,” Gaba said. If it was up to her, she would hope her audience leaves feeling positive and uplifted.
One of Gaba’s favourite pieces is a canvas painting she made in support of the LGBTQ community. The painting depicts the silhouette of a tree in front of a rainbow gradient background, symbolic of the LGBTQ flag. The branches of the tree diverge into separate paths, yet intertwine towards the top. The painting plays a trick on the eye as the viewer will find two people kissing when looking at the piece a certain way.
Like all artists right now, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to greatly impact Gaba’s creativity. She feels as though she has fewer ways to channel her creativity now that life is so restricted. Since nature is what fuels her art, being stuck inside is hindering the growth of her work. Gaba’s workload is also taking a toll on her artwork as there are less hours in the day she can dedicate to creating.
Despite this, Gaba has ambitious goals for 2021. “I want to enhance my creative process and reach out to more audiences, as audience engagement is what inspires me to keep making art,” she said. “I also want to post regularly on my art page and consistently try different art styles.” Once students are back on campus, Gaba hopes to set up an art booth one day and showcase her work to her peers.
To view Kritika Gaba’s work, visit @artNsoul3217 on Instagram.