Jisha’s journey with art is a story of determination, passion
Jisha M R is a born artist. When you take a look at her water colour paintings, you cannot help but notice the hard work and passion that has gone into each work. This disabled artist is truly an inspiration to every aspiring artist.
Jisha has won many accolades for her work but her true success, she believes, lies in staying positive and being kind. For her close friends and family, Jisha is a strong pillar of support.
Tryst with art
34-year-old Jisha, who is from Kannur in Kerala, started her tryst with water colours at a young age. Her prime interest lies in paining nature. She was diagnosed with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, known as the brittle bone disease, at birth. This genetic disorder affects the bones and mobility. Jisha has been using a wheelchair for the last six years and this has enabled her to visit art galleries and renowned artists to draw inspiration.
I started painting when I was 10 years old. It started as a hobby, but I realised that art was my true calling. There were these colouring books that my mother used to get for me and I loved exploring them. I completed Class 10 by doing home tuitions and I am proud that I make a living through my art. – Jisha M R, Artist
Today, Jisha has over 3, 000 paintings to her credit. She has held exhibitions in various parts of Kerala, including the prestigious Surya Festival. Her family that consists of her mother and younger brother are her biggest supporters. Jisha says that her brother is the one who takes her to art galleries and exhibitions. Jisha is also well known in many schools across Kannur where she goes as a chief guest or to judge painting competitions. Some schools even exhibit her works for their functions.
Just like most artists, Jisha is frequently asked when she will hold classes for aspiring artists and pat comes the reply.
“I am not a professionally trained artist. I have not undergone any training all these years. I do not have a role model either. I just take the best from each painting that I see. So, I believe it is not fair from my part to teach students when I myself do not know the professional aspects of painting. I have interacted with a lot of artists and even asked them for suggestions. They tell me that I’am on the right track and just have to keep doing what I do. Honestly, I do not know if I will conduct classes. I do not have any plans for that yet”, says Jisha.
Currently, she is focusing on her paintings, each of them take her up to four days to complete. While painting them, she puts her heart, soul and body completely into it.
Apart from painting, Jisha is also trained in umbrella making and stitching. So when she wants to take a break from art, she switches over to these skills. Recently, she drew portraits of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and singer KS Chithra which was handed over to these personalities by her. Indeed, that was a proud moment for Jisha!
“I believe that of God has given you the talents, it will remain in you. I had to face many obstacles in my path, but everything was worth it for art. In fact, art made me what I’am today”, adds Jisha.
Joy Kalapura, a close friend of Jisha, has enabled her to tie up with art galleries and other artists. He was the one who introduced her to professional art.
“I first met Jisha through a friend of mine. One look at her and I knew that she was a born artist. I was just being an instrument in letting the world know about her skills. I just feel that I was appointed by God to promote her beautiful art and I’am glad I could do it”, says Kalapura.