“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up!”
– Pablo Picasso
Art is the expression of human creative skill and imagination. It is a way to express emotions in diverse forms – be it music, literature, sculpture or painting. It gives one a medium to express their inherent feelings.
HappyAging met Dr. Vimmie Manoj, an artist, poet and an art educator at Monalisa Kalagram, Pune for an exclusive chat where she spoke about following passion at any age and the therapeutic values of pursuing Art.
In our conversation with Dr. Vimmie, she talks about how pursuing a life of an artist has helped her understand herself and become a better version of herself. She elaborates how venting your emotions through the medium of art helps you relieve the repressed emotions and be an open person.
About Vimmie Manoj
Dr. Vimmie Manoj (50) is a self-taught artist and has attained global recognition for her work in art and paintings. She has represented India at various international platforms where her paintings have won admiration from the whos who of the industry. Recently, her paintings have been chosen to adorn the corridors of ‘Rashtrapati Bhavan’, in New Delhi.
Her work in oil and acrylic are a window to life and are full of symbols that reflect the myriad of human emotions. She has done a series named ‘Liberation’ which is a tribute to womanhood. It portrays the various emotions in relationships and the struggle of women to liberate themselves from outdated traditions.
Art as therapy
“Art as a therapy makes you evolve more as a positive and receptive person.”
Dr. Vimmie has been working on art and poetry is a therapy for the last five years. She explains that many times, repressed feelings and emotions bring out a lot of negativity in a human. These repressed emotions get an outlet in the form of art, and you become a happier and content person. You start understanding yourself and appreciating relationships. Amidst our daily routines, we often stop talking to ourselves and forget acknowledging our own feelings. Through art, we can get connect to our inner selves better. “Art as a therapy makes you evolve more as a positive and receptive person,” she says.
Art as a stress buster
“Stress is an outcome of repressed emotions.”
Dr. Vimmie very profoundly talks about how art can be a form of meditation. One can pursue art as a stress buster. She points out stress as an outcome of repressed emotions which could be a result of one’s daily frustrations or even undealt childhood memories. These feelings and emotions when left dormant could come out when you are triggered by certain situations.
When a person takes up an art, their emotions find an outlet without damaging your psyche and other’s feelings. This is how she approaches her paintings. She never decides what to paint but lets her emotion lead. She says, it is almost like she can attain the transcendental state that we achieve during meditation.
Staying busy post 50s
“There is no retirement age for passion!”
The artist gives a fresh perspective to retirement. A Ph.D. in English Literature, she worked as a professor in colleges for over a decade. Being married to a Forest Officer she got to live close to nature in the remotest areas of central India, amidst distinct tribes. This is when Dr. Vimmie got to garner her creative skills. And she decided to take an early retirement right after 40 and pursue her passion.
With a charming smile on her face, Dr. Vimmie says that her life begun after 40. She says that she has started living life on her own terms only for the last ten years. She loves what she does and very passionately says, there is no retirement age for passion. In her words – “Only death can stop me from doing what I love.”
Take on fitness
“If I have decided to be happy, nothing can stop me from being happy.”
Traveling in the forest areas and innermost parts of Madhya Pradesh, Dr. Vimmie Manoj feels a connection with nature and follows a routine of taking long walks. She believes that along with maintaining a healthy physical regime, one must practice happy and healthy mental fitness too. As she says, it’s all (the power) in our mind. If your mind determines to be happy, nothing can stop you from being happy.
Message to others
“Never give up!”
With a verve of confidence on her face, the 50-year-old acclaimed painter puts her message to the world and especially to women that, “Never give up!”
Age must not be a determinant, one must believe in their passion and pursue it with utmost sincerity; opportunities shall unfold at any phase of your life. It’s the zeal that helps you see through your passion to the end.
HappyAging applauds Dr. Vimmie Manoj’s spirit and undying love for her work and passion. Her next International Show will be in Turkey from 12 July 2019, where she is representing India. May she continue to be successful in all her endeavors and keep inspiring us with her incredible contribution to the field of art.
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