And if you prefer to watch a video of the answers, see video below on my YouTube Channel :
If you do not prefer to look at my face and would rather listen to audio-only in podcast format, following the podcast on Anchor ( also available wherever else you listen to your podcasts! Search for “The Naina Redhu Experience”.
The Q&A in text format
Any photography session in the coming weeks?
Yes! Definitely one free webinar for an hour where I plan to talk about the absolute basics for those of us who know a good photo when we see it but don’t know how to get there.
And then a 2-3 hour structured workshop taking participants step-by-step through the basics whether they have a smartphone or DSLR.
Both in July!
(Announcements are always first made on the newsletter, subscribe now.)
If I want to start a brand/business online how important it is and how difficult/easy it is to register the business?
It is important to get everything done officially in line with existing laws / procedures of your country. I work solo, so I have a Sole Proprietorship registration. Best to start the process early.
Definitely retain the services of a good CA (Chartered Accountant) to help you out with this. This stuff can get complicated when your grow, best to hire someone who knows what they’re doing & can help you make informed decisions. I recommend Pallav Narang & have worked with him for more than a decade.
Don’t forget things like Trademarks etc.
As a professional freelancer, how important is it to invest in software?
It isn’t an investment, it is a necessary business expense. Anything that helps me reduce time spent on doing tasks, I will happily pay for. For example, I pay for CoSchedule, which is a social media scheduling & marketing calendar software. INR 18,000 for the year. It is less than a monthly salary I would have to pay to hire someone on my team to do that. I used to think, “I am efficient, I can schedule manually, why waste all that money?” Now I think, “Why waste time, it’s only about Rs. 1,000 per month!”
Similarly Adobe Creative Cloud subscription : I can edit images, videos, create illustrations, create invoice template & e-books, illustrate logos etc. all in one connected suite of software. Yes, some free alternatives exist – that one has to evaluate & see what works.
Would you want someone to steal your work and make money off of it? That’s what we do when we pirate software. Practice what you preach.
How do you overcome a creative block?
My problem is usually the opposite : I have so many ideas & I can never find the time to execute all of them. I cannot recall if I’ve ever had a creative block.
I guess the key for me is that I have absolutely no qualms about failing – even publicly. I mean, I am a sore loser but I get over it quickly. It is better to experiment, fail quickly & move on to the next thing, than hesitate to do something, take forever to do it & then not quit even when you can see that it’s not working. I have this urge to “get it out there” aka “publish” because I am dying every day – literally. And if I’m actually DEAD dead, then I won’t get to do shit.
Creative block is just fear of failure IMO. Make 10 paintings, all 10 are trash. Make 10 more, those are also trash. Make 10 more and maybe 1 is decent. Who are you to decide? Make, publish. Your job is to create the art.
What is the difference between small business and big business according to you?
Generally, I would go by size : number of employees, revenue, etc.
To be clear, these definitions are not conceptual or based on what I think, personally or professionally. I go by the generally accepted official / legal definitions. Different countries have different definitions based on number of employees and annual revenue for different industries ( different for manufacturing vs. services vs. something else ). For more specific details & definitions of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development ( MSMED ) Act passed by the Indian Govt. https://msme.gov.in/faq
Which varnish is suitable to use for paintings done on MDF with paint pens?
Depends on the type of paint in the paint pen. Most varnishes have solvents in them, so if you apply the varnish directly onto an application of an acrylic Posca pen for example, the paint will dissolve and move around. You need to create a separation layer first. Try a spray-on fixative. Or a spray varnish. Then apply the stronger solvent-based varnish. Different for oil paints I imagine – I don’t paint a lot of oil.
What is the trick to coating varnish evenly over a surface without it dripping to the back?
If it drips, wipe it off. Just when you’re done varnishing, check the bottom of the horizontal flat canvas board / frame, to see any hanging drips. I wipe off with my fingers, which I wipe on my paint jeans 😉 Before starting, canvas must be parallel to the floor / surface and separated from the floor. This prevents drips from adhering the canvas to the surface.
What is #NAINAMAMA? : “Naina’s Monday Ask Me Anything”.
Having used the “Ask Me Anything” questions box on Instagram Stories over the last few years, I’ve considered doing it in a more structured way and I’ve observed that a lot of the questions are repeated. The repetitiveness is understandable because of the nature of Instagram. Stories are gone after 24 hours and not everyone gets to see them. This is not only a waste of my time, but also a loss of information that someone might find useful. I have, indeed, considered saving these stories as “Story Highlights” on my Instagram profile but I do not like how they eat up valuable real estate. Someone visiting my Instagram profile for the first time, sees my profile photo, my statistics, my bio and then an entire row of Story Highlights and THEN they get to the real reason they are likely to engage with me : my work. Without the Story Highlights, they can see six posts and 1/5th of another three. With the Story Highlights they can only see the first three posts in their entirety, which, to me, is unacceptable.
Every Monday, I will put up the Q&A box on my Instagram Stories and attempt to answer about 5-10 questions. I will also document those questions on my blog, similar to today’s blog post.