When Shankar pinged me a forward about Jumbish, I was confused and intrigued at the same time. The business promised to legally authenticate an artist’s artwork, while offering more earning opportunities on the same piece of art with limited edition prints all, legally authenticated as original prints. It took me some time to understand this concept (which I’m sure is prevalent in advanced economies). A do-gooder organisation for Indian contemporary artists just simply had to have a larger voice. I virtually caught up with Shankar to understand the purpose of Jumbish - An art Movement
What would you like to highlight about your work so far?
In the first two years, we went the very conventional way of hosting shows, exhibitions, private network etc. But then we explored technology and how it could be leveraged for our mission. IoT & Blockchain for the Art Industry!
We developed a microchip which can go behind the painting to mark it authentic. And a supporting system on blockchain to support the data integrity and security. So that provenance details of each authenticated art can be maintained. We also offer artists to sell only 10 limited edition prints of their authenticated artworks. And every print also carries the same microchip. Hence, creating additional earning opportunities for their art.
How did you think of starting Jumbish? What does the name signify?
Working for someone else in a job made me believe that me and my family deserve better. Rather than putting in my best to benefit someone else, I decided to put in efforts to benefit myself - a thought that drove me to take my entrepreneurial journey and help artists benefit from it, in turn.
We examined several communities and how we identify them as underprivileged...artists are not usually considered underprivileged but most certainly live lives of the underprivileged. Recently, rural artisans and the traditional arts and crafts in India were newsworthy items. Several non-profit and for-profit organizations focused their attention towards them. However, contemporary artists were left to fend for themselves.
This recent trend in the promotion of art gave rise to the idea for our organisation and our organisation’s mission statement of "Enabling artists to build a successful career in art by providing them with earning opportunities."
We spent a fortnight tossing and turning names to see if any one name touched our heartstrings. The name Jumbish unanimously won our hearts! It means vibration or a movement... And since we were all set to create a movement in the art industry we named our organisation Jumbish, An Art Movement! For our logo we added (Devnagri) script along with the spelling in English for Jumbish, for two reasons:
1. It gives recognition to our Indian origin while being global
2. It clarifies the pronunciation of the word Jumbish, among the readers of the Devnagri script.
Tell us about your journey as Jumbish so far. What are the challenges? And successes.
The art industry is known to be very guarded and works to promote only those artists who are part of core groups. We understood this to be a limitation as mentors to our group helped us identify various shortcomings of such a system of promotion of artists. With this knowledge and a firm belief in our mission statement, we set out to reach out to all the renowned artists in Pune.
We explored the idea of leveraging technology two years back and in 2019, we launched our microchip that could prove to be a game changer for artists.
Now, the challenge was in sharing this concept of technology in authentication and its long term benefit to the artist. Artists being predominantly right brained people, details of technology were alien to them. We got samples made and conducted a demo of the technology. After that, it was a cakewalk! We’re happy to say, in May 2020, Jumbish on boarded 230 artists using the new technology. Now, we are being invited to several forums to talk about how technology can help artists.
What's the future in the world of art and artists?
Art has been alive since the time cave dwellers drew on the walls. Art will always be an integral part of human existence. It is worthwhile to remember that all innovations are conceived by people who can go beyond the usual and be abstract in the process. With augmented reality and artificial intelligence, new art forms have come to the fore.
With the ever increasing canvas for the artist, it is important that artists are aware of the latest technology to use and experiment with. It's time for artists and engineers, scientists and architects to come together and conceptualize things beyond the obvious.
Has the pandemic affected your sales? What forthcoming subjects in art do you see emerging post the pandemic?
Unfortunately, so. The pandemic has impacted our business and many artists, too. We have had several other initiatives, which help artists connect with each other and create a community. Painting wall murals and creating art installations, which help connect artists have been put on hold. Since the priority today is to be alive, no one wishes to consider decorating their spaces.
We have an Art School named Open door Art School which is closed till the pandemic situation improves. So is it for the art gallery called KDot, which is in Kalyani Nagar, Pune. Our Art Tours and large scale Art Events too are on hold.
However, this situation has forced us to think what we could do differently. We took the opportunity to enhance our online platform. We started supporting art events through digital arrangements. Artists who wanted to reach out to the world started getting their websites made by us, since we easily understood the artists' choice, palette and their art!
Where are the most buyers of artists you promote?
We have done several projects in Pune since that was our starting point. But now we have customers from several countries. Since we don't believe in promoting a limited set of artists, boundaries have just opened up. Our prime focus is to help artists earn more through our technology platform. We have curated a total database of around 7000 artists, over the last 4 years and the number keeps increasing,almost everyday!
You could reach out to Shankar at, email@example.com
Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. This means that we may earn a certain fee for any purchases made through the link without any extra cost to you.