Here’s an interview with a very well known anchor cum art entrepreneur,Sahar Zaman. Needless to mention but the lady has indeed made a great name in the field of journalism working for nearly 15 years with many of the top English news channels such as CNN-IBN, Bloomberg TV, DD News, NewsX and several print organizations as well. She is not only an inspiration for young media aspirants but also is a well known Art Crusader, very rightly put by the Femina this month. Her passion for art made her open her own design brand named Chamak Patti. Also she is the founder of Asia’s 1st web channel Hunar TV that talks about travel, food and art. She, in herself, is an inspiring story for every young girl, young entrepreneur and every woman who knows to follow her passion. And those who need guidance, her journey will be quite motivating I am sure.
You can also visit her work and profile at http://www.saharzaman.com
#1….As a woman excelling in the profession of news as an anchor & exploring the world of arts as an art entrepreneur, what makes you relate to the two so well?
I have always been inclined to the arts and my association with journalism further opened the doors to the world of the artists. I am aware of how the real relates to the transcendent. It’s easy for me to figure how design and arts fits into our needs, our lives. Artists are always depicting the world around them in their creative work. And therefore, art activism becomes a strong tool in shaping opinions too. In the course of reporting for the news, I also reported on the arts, which meant producing and shooting a lot of artist profiles of some of the most famous artist of our times, including MF Husain, Satish Gujral, Anish Kapoor and Subodh Gupta. It’s fascinating to understand the process of creating art. It was important for me to cater to my creative side as well. So I started creating my own works of art too.
#2….. On one side you are indeed the Afternoon face for the mainstream News channel NewsX and on the other you are the proud founder of Asia’s 1st web on channel on arts called Hunar TV. Being a lady who/what was your motivation behind such class apart achievements?
Many people say that these are good achievements, thank you. But I wasn’t really thinking of making a statement through my work. It was my firm belief in the need for arts reportage to be part of the mainstream discourse that led me to do this. Having specialized in arts journalism for over a decade, I have managed to constantly bring issues on art to mainstream journalism both in print and television news. And that’s the reason I started a web channel focusing on the arts which includes visual artists, writers, performers, musicians, along with the art of cooking and travel too. Essentially, it was focused on looking at various aspects of life with an artistic point of view. My web channel is called Hunar TV, with the tagline of Making Art Accessible.
#3…. You also have a design brand of your own named Chamak Patti. How was this journey in bringing art straight from the streets in to homes?
Chamak Patti is a home decor, jewelry and accessories brand. And it has been quite a leveler in terms of bringing a street element to luxury homes. I make use of reflective sticker which is used on trucks and road signage. This glow-in-the-dark quality is lent to my art pieces which can well be called functional art. The copper goblets, wine glasses, platters, furniture and leather bags under my brand are all usable pieces. And what’s more, each piece is unique. It’s a limited edition. So you end up owning a piece which can never be repeated in production.
#4….. As we say physics is the acme of scientific knowledge, you are certainly the acme of creativity and leadership. How difficult was it to achieve this being a woman, a mother, in fact playing all roles in the society?
More than time management, what works better for me is task management. As a multi-tasker, I manage to slip in and out of my professional and personal engagements with great ease. I often take my toddler to client meetings and shoots. And I often hold important con-calls while taking care of my child at home. But most importantly, it’s impossible to balance this without a helpful mother and a supportive husband. My family is my pillar of support. I would achieve very little without them.
#5….. As an entrepreneur what should be the focus areas for a woman who wants to be in the business making profit.
Profits take time to come. They’re not instant. It’s a healthy sign if you are managing to at least recover part of what you put in. It’s unrealistic to start a business while thinking of profits right from the scratch. Your business is like your baby that needs to be nurtured before it starts showing signs of success!
#6….. I am quite sure your story is an inspiration to many women. In fact the recent interview with Femina too has a lot to say. What message do you have for the ladies out there filled with passion of art, passion of making a name for themselves?
Please follow your heart. You need to have your heart in what you are doing, that’s where the passion and drive comes from. Also, don’t get easily dissuaded by people who are forever around to warn you that things won’t work out. You need to tread your own path and believe that your journey is unique.
#7…. Ma’am lastly what message do you have for us, to the young and aspiring team of girls from Womentorship. How do you feel about this initiative and what more do you feel should we do to set examples just the way you have 🙂
I love the idea behind this initiative. It’s not just about identifying professionals but also getting young women connected to them and helping them in advice. It’s a sincere effort and I’m glad to be part of it. It attempts to build a chain and keep alive a thriving community of the established folk and the young folk!
Interviewer: Apeksha Mishra, Womentor 🙂