Here I have assembled some answers to some questions I have been frequently been asked in person
Q: Why do you sign your work Basanti?
A: Basanti is my middle name. It is Hindi for springtime. As my first name, Sonya, means golden in Hindi, I chose to keep those two names together and just change my last name. Thus, golden springtime. Signing with my middle name gives me an artist identity that is separate from the everyday one. Plus, I like how it looks.
Q: Semidesi? What's that?
A: Desi (pronounced sort of like daisy with a harder s) is the word most people of South Asian descent use to refer to themselves. I chose to put Semi in front indicating the "halfness" since my father is from the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and my mother is from Ohio.
Q: What made you want to be an artist?
A: I have been an artist since I was a young child. Although all young children are artists to some extent, only some of them grow up to find art almost compulsive. It is almost as if I have no choice, that I must create something. If I do not have access to space or supplies for painting I start making other things creative, like cooking (especially elaborate birthday cakes,) and make forays into "small space" activities like jewelery making. Making art leaves me with a feeling that can be most accurately be described as "zen". That is, I leave the work feeling balanced, whole, calm, even if the world around me is churning. When I am working, time disappears and I get "in the zone" (as an old studio partner used to say.) Painting is quite meditative for me as well.
Q: Do you display your work anywhere?
A: I currently do not have gallery representation. After completing my MFA I took a long personal break for regular life. Now I feel I have grown immensely from that and my perspective and purpose in art are much clearer. I am now starting to build up the body of work based on that mental work and will be seeking ways to "get my work out there" soon. I am currently considered an emerging artist. I am interested in social media and salons in addition to the usual system of galleries.
Q: Do you have a website?
A: I am currently working on that. This is the first step.
Q: Is any of your work for sale?
A: Yes, most pieces are for sale. Some have been sold, donated, or gifted, or are to remain in my personal collection, but most of the works are for sale.
Q: If I own a piece of artwork who owns the copyright? What happens if I sell it?
A: The artist owns the copyright to the work, though you own the actual physical object. If you sell the work, you may be subject to some of the resale laws if any in your state. California is the only state that has a very strict resale law stating that the artist is entitled to a 5% royalty on any work resold if the resale price exceeds the original price of the artwork. In addition there is a law protecting the integrity of the artwork that prevents others from damaging the artwork, even if the artwork is no longer in the posession of the artist.
Q: Where is your studio? Could I visit it at some point?
A: Yes, my studio is currently open for visitation. If you know me personally just ask and I'll set up a time. If you do not, please use the contact information at the bottom of the page. I feel it is extremely important for work to be viewed in person, as photographs and digital images do take away from the actual experience a bit. If you are interested in a specific piece that you have seen on this blog or been told about please include a description in your email. The studio is located in Northern California.