• Atharva Karkhanis

PFA x Zostel - Art Getaway 2019


What happens when Art meets Travel? What happens when a solo artist looking for creative inspiration picks up their backpack and travels down to Zostel Panchgani with Platform For Artists? Here’s what happens - you meet new artists, you make art like you never did before and return home with a backpack overflowing of ideas, inspiration, memories and so much more.


Platform For Artists hosted their 14th Art Getaway with Zostel Panchgani from 5th September to 8th September 2019. These four days packed with guest sessions from content creators, travel photographers, brand builders and creative professionals, DIY activities, collaborative art, magic tricks and mesmerizing music were nothing short of a grand success. From magicians to graphic designers, the participating artists were a diverse group of creative individuals.


The first guest speaker, Vibha Harish, the Creative Head of India’s biggest retailer for art and craft, the Itsy Bitsy Craft Store spoke about how artists can get their artwork noticed. Citing examples from Itsy Bitsy marketing strategies, Vibha stressed on how in a world of saturated artists, one needs to go beyond niches and think about micro-niches. Vibha’s interactive session about social media marketing and how to position you and your art form in today’s competitive market was followed by a mixed media DIY session for the artists. The participants made art that represented themselves, their artwork and where they see themselves in the future. The process not only helped them find their micro-niches but they also went home with their own canvas boards acting as constant reminders to make more art!

Day two was the day of creating content in terms of guest speakers and also making art. Participants paired up to make art in one hour and showcased what they made. After this collaborative activity, we had Naveen Kukreja, Viraj Ghelani and Trishita Bhattacharya sharing their insights on how they make content today that is absolutely loved by their audience.


Naveen spoke to the participants about how he makes relatable content for his audience. Naveen believes that one of his strengths lies in the fact that his content is diverse. Naveen’s content makes you laugh, warms your heart and above everything else, makes you relate to it so hard. Naveen stressed on how creative inspiration is everywhere, the places you go, the people you surround yourself with and how keeping an open mind helps you a long way. As a content creator and an influencer, Naveen also shared how he interacts with the audience to ensure a sense of community amongst his audience.


When we think of the trending Kiki challenge, we cannot help but think of Viraj Ghelani. Viraj’s content has always made us laugh and relate to whether its videos on FilterCopy or his own Instagram feed or his cooking attempts with Gobble. Viraj shared his journey from his first-ever viral video of the Kiki challenge to being one of the faces of FilterCopy, Dice Media and Gobble. Viraj explained to the artists his process of making content and how it is crucial to ask yourself ‘Who is going to share your art? Who is the art for? What response are you looking for?’. Viraj believes that it is vital to find a community you relate to and make content to make them feel represented. ‘I am a fan of my fan’ says Viraj while talking about how he makes sure no well-wishers on his Instagram goes unanswered. Today, the word ‘struggling’ is used a lot with ‘artists’ and Viraj told the participants how struggling is a good thing, struggling leads to bigger things.

Thoughts become things, a quote to remind you to stay hopeful for greater things in life. Trishita Bhattacharya told the participants how all her thoughts became trips to Peru, Indonesia, Australia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Dubai just to name a few countries. The delightful and ever-smiling Trishita was just a joyful bundle of funny and interesting travel stories. Trishita explained how sharing her travel memories on Instagram makes her happy and how the internet loves her photographs. From sharing the dramatic and spontaneous story of how she chose to be a photographer to how an artist just beginning their art journey can find their own unique style, Trishita also told us how she collaborates with brands and monetizes her work as a travel blogger and photographer.

Day Three started with a gyaan-explosion from the brand builder Bhavik Mehta. He runs Thinkin’ Birds, a creative design studio in India. He enlightened the artists on the business side of art. From finding the right clients to negotiating a fair price, Bhavik’s session covered it all. Bhavik’s inputs helped the artists explore innovative avenues to monetize their creativity. Bhavik narrated his own business experiences that gave the artists directions to how they are going to expand their own work in the future. The artists even shared their own experience of dealing with clients and Bhavik guided them as to how they should handle the clients to crack the deal. He also stressed how important it is to build a relationship and how potential customer lies everywhere you are, including the internet.

At the end of day three, everyone was enthralled by the independent Hindi rock band Amritaansh with their original compositions. From listening to their originals to sing along, the band members Tejas, Shubham K and Shubham V added just the right amount of musical magic the Art Getaway needed.

No amount of words and exclamation marks are enough to describe this experience, you just have to be there. Keep yourself updated on Instagram, Facebook and our website to know about the next PFA Art Getaway.


Photos taken by Indrajit Patil and Piyush Ingle.

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