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Behance : Creative Profile: Kanchan Balse, Painter

Creative Profile: Kanchan Balse, Painter

By Behance Team

Painting by Kanchan BalseKanchan Balse's paintings are regularly shown in galleries around Washington, D.C. and beyond. However, it is Balse's ability to manage her art career alongside a full-time teaching position and motherhood that challenges her to be a truly productive creative. Here Kanchan discusses with Behance her story and some lessons learned along the way.

Diving into the art world was Balse's first challenge. As she explains it, "One of the major hurdles I overcame was getting beyond the feeling that it would be impossible to break into the 'art world'. I don't have formal art training, didn't have contacts in art schools or galleries, or even a resume. Instead of focusing on this I decided to be pro-active. I took a class at a local gallery about marketing, and then created step-by-step goals for myself."

Nowadays Balse suggests always being prepared. In her own words, "I try to have business cards and a mini-portfolio with me as often as possible. You never know when you will meet someone who has an interest in your work or a connection that might help you. My first solo show evolved from a conversation with a complete stranger. Had I not been prepared with a business card leading him to my website, it would have been a missed opportunity."

Balse has come up with her own system to maintain focus amidst her creative energy. "I organize my time by spending about three nights a week on administrative work and two or three on painting. If I am too tired to paint, sometimes I try to make a point of just sitting in my studio, looking at works in progress. I formulate ideas about what direction I might take the works in, make some notes, and trust that my subconscious mind will be working on the paintings."

Ultimately, Balse credits motherhood and teaching for her successes. She explains, "Teaching keeps me accountable in a lot of ways. When working with children, I encourage them to think creatively, be persistent, share their ideas, and take risks. Everyday I am reminded that I need to do these things myself... I make a point to focus on the energy, ideas, and inspiration kids bring into my life. That might sound like wishful thinking, because of course, teaching is still exhausting, but this intentional positive spin works for me."

"In my mind being a successful artist is strengthening my community by being true to myself, sparking dialogue and encouraging others to be creative."

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9/11/07