Viola Rodrigues, Professional Muralist of Goa
VOLA ART ESCAPE is an art gallery and studio based in Candolim. It was established in 2010. Based out of Goa, it has operations Pan-India as well as across the globe. At the helm of affairs of this unique venture is its founder and Managing Director, Ms. Viola Rodrigues. Viola is a name and a brand in the field of art in Goa. She has established herself as a pioneer, working in the industry for 12 years now and breaking new unchartered ground. She is an enthusiastic artist who handles each and every project by herself with the support of her artistic team. She is known for delivering quality work on time.
She is multifarious in all mediums of art. Starting her career at a very early age of 5, Viola started learning the basics of art and colour by trying out everything, be it sketching, doodling or painting. Her initial paintings and drawings were based on fashion trends of different styles of outfits and garments. Her father, Vernon Rodrigues, who saw her keen interest and talent in painting, encouraged her to pursue a career in the field. “My parents were always open minded and persuasive and always encouraged me to follow my goals to the fullest.” she says.
The Art Gallery
Following her passion and love for painting, Viola opened her own art gallery named “VOLA ART ESCAPE” online. Later, she went offline and opened a physical art gallery on Chogm Road in Porvorim. The gallery later moved to its present-day location in Candolim. Lying in the heart of the tourist belt on Candolim’s Main Road next to Lemon Tree Amarante and the Candolim Health Centre, the art gallery is a paradise for all art lovers out there.
In the gallery, there are paintings of various genres like abstract paintings, contemporary art, comprehensive art, religious art, detailed doodling and various other Indian art variables which are available for purchase. There are live artists working in the art gallery from whom walk-in customers can personalize their portraits or paintings. Viola describes her art gallery as “a piping hot cup of tea for everyone”.
Other than the work in the gallery, Viola also takes personal orders for portraits, sculptures and culture murals from walk-in customers, as well as customers who get to know about her through word of mouth publicity and satisfied referrals. Viola, who prefers detailed artworks, always takes time to understand her customers and their unique preferences and choices before delivering their requested masterpieces in time.
Viola has a team of around 25+ artists who are based in different parts of India and work under the brand of VAE. The team easily handles the Goa region as well as pan India operations. They also have 5 professional artists who are based in the Middle East and Europe. Every artist in their team has a different forte which covers all sorts of art in their organization. They work Pan Asia and globally and provide professional service with on time deliveries.
Starting Vola Art Escape
Viola always had a dream of starting her own business. However, when she did start Vola Art Escape, she got limited by people around her who were in the same field as her, who created obstacles to limit her. After some time, her passion started wearing down and she was beginning to compromise on her work ethic and self-belief.
Viola says that by sheer will-power and lots of encouragement from loyal family members and close friends, she has been able to redirect so much negativity in these years when Covid and life expectancy is limited to one day at a time and ambition is just a word.
“To turn myself around was the biggest hurdle”, she says. “Negativity is the biggest obstacle to my ambition”. Viola then came to a resolution to either focus on the obstacle and try to overcome the difficulties or quite simply re-route her objective without compromising on her passion and skill. “To optimize my skills, I decided to work with people who were less ambitious and more eager to do something real”, she says.
The Story Behind The Name Vola Art Escape
The word “Vola” means to fly high and escape from this sad world into a world of art and passion. “I decided on the name “Vola Art Escape” as it would give me a kaleidoscope of advantages”, says Viola. “I found that colors were my main expression and in what was a dull and gloomy perspective, this absolute sense of medieval war at present, raging all around me was totally limiting all my real thoughts of finance and dulling my ambition to a zero”. Vola Art Escape is a total escape to an avenue where your skills and sense of adventure opens up into a pandora’s box. Viola says she embarked on this adventure because of the total lack of incentive and encouragement wherever she turned. Everyone she turned to was more interested in the financials than the creativity. “Survival skills and money juggling are for people who have the facility of a circus, but not for someone with a burning desire to succeed”, she says.
Types of Paintings and Services Offered
Vola Art Escape offers a plethora of paintings and ideas from different cultures, dynasties and native ethnicities. It is an expression of vibrant colors and silver linings in every cloud. They offer all types of artwork such as wall murals, canvas paintings, abstract art, sketches, portraits, doodles etc. They also organize face painting, live caricature, live sketching, live canvas painting, Speed Art and many more artistic services for corporate events, private events and birthday parties.
Viola says that the USP of her firm is that they create customized wall murals and professional canvas paintings based on their clients’ design, size and budget specification, without compromising on the quality of the art. “We are a one-stop shop for all our clients artistic needs and as our tagline states: ‘YOU NAME IT. WE PAINT IT’”, she adds.
Vola Art Escape has sold 1000+ paintings Pan India, across the Middle East and Europe in 2020, while the world was still passing through the peak of the pandemic. Viola has done professional wall murals and customized canvas paintings for hotels, restaurants, clubs and casinos. These include the Taj Group, Hyatt Group, Strike Casino, Tito’s Club, Club Antares, Cohiba, Ritz Classic, Best Western Group, Lemon Tree Group, Tomato’s Restaurant & Bar, Sun City Resort, Silver Sands Resorts and many more establishments all over Goa. She has also sold paintings to the famous and Honourable Mr. Narayan Bandekar, who is Vola Art Escape’s prestige client. Mr. Bandekar has offered a lot of support to Vola Art Escape by having their paintings displayed at The HQ Hotel in Vasco. “He has always been a father figure to me”, says Viola.
In 2019, Viola worked with the prestigious brand Seagram’s Royal Stag wherein she accepted the challenge and completed 100 professional wall murals in 100 local tavernas all over Goa in just 30 days. “It was a huge challenge for me as an artist to complete 100 wall murals across Goa from North to South within the stipulated time, but I managed to do it”, says Viola. Recently, Viola also did art work for the prestigious international brand “Best Western”.
Viola, through the course of her career, has also worked with renowned architects, interior designers and builders pan-India. Her firm has provided customized artwork for residential and commercial premises as per the design requirements and budget of their clients. The art work which her firm has done for clients in the real estate sector range from personalized sketches and portraits to customized wall murals and canvas paintings.
Viola says that creativity is a very sharp fine point where nothing can blunt your ambition and your will to succeed. “Success is a flower that blooms each time you create a piece of magic and others can perceive and relate to it”, she says. “Whatever you attempt in life, there will always be negativity surrounding you. You will always experience things such as lack of enthusiasm, lack of feeling, intense jealousy and envy, etc.” Viola says that she has been lucky that the public has swung around into wowing her artwork. She feels blessed when she receives statements of praise from people who also introduce her to new investors, rather than duplicating her artwork and being offensively critical. She feels really nice when she does not have to introduce herself to others, but rather be introduced to eminent people.
Viola says that her enterprise, “VOLA ART ESCAPE”, is not just a business venture, but also an institution for art lovers. “Apart from delivering portraits and paintings to customers who place orders, we also teach people to learn art and provide internship opportunities for students who are interested in learning about various art forms and developing themselves. We also help underprivileged people to become self-reliant so that they can stand on their own feet and also contribute to society,” she says. VOLA ART ESCAPE was instrumental in organizing the International Art Contest which successfully concluded its second edition in 2020. “The contest was a platform to recognize the talents of different artists from all over India and overseas and to appreciate their works by handing out cash prizes and certificates”, Viola says.
Viola says that at present, it is difficult, if not impossible, to equate a well conceptualized artwork in terms of any financial recovery. “I have to reach a happy compromise with myself by giving my brand where I may have to endure a temporary financial loss”, she says. Despite her efforts, and in spite of the hours and pain staking thought in alterations, she successfully manages to please her customers who actually don’t always understand the basic concept and reality of art and artwork.
Viola’s Role Models
Talking about her interests, Viola revealed that she loves oil painting and acrylics the most. She has a keen interest in contemporary and abstract art along with Renaissance artwork. Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo are two of the painters whom she considers as her role models. Reminiscing about her successful journey so far, Viola took time to give credit to Mr. Anshuman Sharma and her parents who have been always supportive and have played an important role in vetting her art. Viola says that connections and financials are a must for any artist starting their career to make it big. But in her case, due to the constant and unwavering support from her parents, family and friends, she was able to follow her passion and become a giant in the industry.
Viola’s Plans for the Future
Viola highlighted that she wants to open 1-2 more art galleries outside Goa and mark her conquest in the Pan India horizon. “I would like to open my own interior design studio connected with art which can be a one stop shop for all artistic needs ”. She also wishes to open an art institute in various cities where people will get a platform to teach and spread their creativity.
Her Message to Budding Artists
Viola says that if there was no art, there would be no sense of creativity or expression. Being a role model for many budding artists in the state of Goa, Viola doesn’t hesitate to extend her support to the youth. “Join me and I will give you an opportunity to grow as an artist while giving proper exposure and a good platform to showcase your talents”, she says. “Even a Dish needs a Pinch of Salt. We will sculpt you to become an all-round artist”, she adds.
Viola’s advice to every aspiring artist is “Don’t ever let anyone take away your dream, your passion and your obsession for art. Regard the world not as an oyster, but as an exhibition of luxurious cultured pearls. Be imaginative and work hard persistently. Don’t lose your sense of adventure as art can be a very expensive investment program and a very lonely journey. So, please navigate through carefully at present in 2022, as the world is going through a very rocky and turbulent scenario.