For many people today, leaving a stable, well-paying job to chase a dream they had as a child isn't always a possibility. But this isn't the case for Sahiba Madan. She knew what she wanted, and wasn't afraid of giving up her career as an architect to fuel her passion and achieve her dreams.
As a child, Sahiba was always drawing. She drew on paper, walls, and even on wrappers. Nothing could stop her from putting her ideas down on a more concrete surface. Her parents allowed her to embrace her passion when they sent her to arts and crafts classes after school and on the weekends, so she could hone her skills. The artist recalls these classes with great fondness, "As I grew older, I started training in various forms of art and craft. These were obviously hobby classes I took after school hours or over the weekend, but they meant so much more than that to me." Finally, when it came to picking a career, Sahiba's parents guided her. They told her that as an architect, she'd still be able to draw and create new things.
In the final year of her 5-year architecture course, Sahiba decided to do her thesis on the building crafts of India's a topic that truly fascinated her. She wanted to learn more about the role of an architect and the role of the craftsmen, and who had more of a say in the final output. To document everything she was learning in those days, Sahiba illustrated a series of postcards by hand. These illustrations helped her come up with the idea of Kalakaarihaath, a business that would work towards the exploration of architecture, design and illustration.
Sahiba knew she couldn't just quit her job and start afresh. To fuel her dream, she needed money, but what she was earning as an architect wouldn't be enough. So, she started taking up some freelance design and illustration projects on the side. It was incredibly tough for her to manage her full-time job along with her freelance assignments, but being financially stable was absolutely necessary to help her achieve her goal.
Over a year, there were times when Sahiba had to burn the midnight oil, but it wasn't something that became a habit. When she was sure that she had enough money saved up, she finally quit her job as an architect and embraced her passion for design and illustration. The only reason she was able to set up Kalakaarihaath, is because she planned her finances in advance and put in the hard work required to make her dreams come true.
For Sahiba, money is important to help her get closer to her dream, but earning money is never the dream itself. No matter how much money she earns, she knows it can never substitute hard work. And while she believes that success is subjective, she knows that as long as she works hard, she will always have something to be proud of.
Sahiba's dream is a work-in-progress even today. The designer says, "Dreams are very subjective to where you are in life. For me, today's dream is to have my own retail store/workshop and [I'm] working towards setting up a full-time design studio, where I can have products and craft skills on display." As she inches closer to her dreams, Sahiba believes that hard work, a strong sense of discipline and a method to her work will help her achieve her every dream, no matter how far out of reach they may seem.
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