Thursday, January 02, 2020

Happy New Year 2020

Happy New Year 2020 !

Have a wonderful year ahead.

Dr. Seema Kumar

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Things I Learned on My Job - As an Employee

I have been an employee for several years now. I have also been a freelancer and a small business entrepreneur. Over the years, I have heard good and bad opinions about "jobs"as well as "businesses". While both have their pros and cons, hearing about frustrations of being an employee and things that one does not enjoy in a job is quite common.

I had been pondering over the positives and negatives of jobs as well as businesses; employment versus entrepreneurship. The list below was saved in my drafts for quite some time now and when I came across it recently, I thought let me complete it and post it. This post is only about jobs, not for the purpose of any comparison. Just some things that I learned as an employee.

Things I learned on my job:
  1. Discipline: Wake up on time, reach the office on time, meet the work deadlines and complete the work on time. Yes, this applies to anything that you do, but jobs demand it. You get paid for it and you are evaluated for it, you boss may be keeping an eye on you to do this efficiently. You need discipline to do this and keep doing it day after day, year after year. Yes, jobs do teach you discipline.
  2. Punctuality: Not all organizations allow you flexible work hours or are lenient about your work timings. One of the first things that become a daily habit is time and punctuality. There are organizations that deduct your salary or mark you on half day leave if you turn up late by 15-30 min. However, not only because of fear, if you are a sincere employee or just because it is something expected of you, you tend to get into that habit of being punctual. 
  3. Keeping ego in control: One of the most important things that I learned was to keep your ego in control. I am an employee, getting paid for my work, and I might as well perform and be happy. All anyone cares is about the job getting done, and a job well done always brings personal satisfaction, whether appreciated by employers or not.
  4. The value of money: I have realized the value of money. Yes, money is not everything, but without money, you cannot do what you need to do or want to do; you cannot feed yourself or your family; you cannot pay your bills. Bottomline is that it taught me the value of money. I also learned how much effort goes behind earning that money that you need even for basic survival, leave aside pursuing personal interests, passion, hobbies and indulging in luxuries. 
  5. Multitasking: Do one thing at a time. Yes, it increases your focus and makes your work perfect. The current job culture does not allow that luxury all the time. Some of the jobs that I have been in required me to be on phone, work on emails, complete filing and sort through a multitude of things, all at the same time. Sooner or later, jobs teach you to multitask. Good or bad, it often becomes a part of your life.
  6. The importance of work-life balance: Your job is very important, your work and clients are important. However, your family and your life is even more important. One cannot be sacrificed for the other. You need the job to keep your family and you need your family to help you do the job efficiently and productively. Family is there by your side after retirement, through job changes and on your rainy days. I have worked like a workaholic and like crazy and have seen how it affects your health and family life. It may be okay for sort duration once in a while, but not on a regular basis or as a habit. The importance of work-life balance should never be underrated. It is important and there are no two ways about it.
  7. Savings: Jobs come with a paycheck, usually some fixed part and for some people maybe some variable part. You may be rich month after month till you keep getting your paycheck. The day the paycheck stops, you start wondering what next. Saving for a rainy day, retirement, family, sickness, vacation or anything else becomes an important aspect to be considered while you are earning. I have had my rainy days. Even if you are not a financial wizard, you need to save month after month from the same paycheck you receive every month while you have it. Even to generate passive income, you need either money or time. There is no magic wand for money. 
  8. There are no free lunches: Everything comes at a price, be it time or money. Even if it may seem that organizations are providing some things for free, it is not free. You work for them, you spend your time, effort and energy towards making that organization successful. It may be their positive work culture, good organizational ethics, employee retention plan, and could be many other things. It is good on their part. But any job is a give and take relationship; they will only give you if you are giving something to them. Remember, it ends when you are no longer with that company.
  9. Love what you do: Do what you love, but more importantly, love whatever you do or whatever you have to do. At the end of the day, it should result in inner satisfaction, not turmoil or dissatisfaction. As they say, be dissatisfied enough to improve but satisfied enough to be happy.
  10. Jobs don't last, but human relationships do: Many companies I have worked for moved or closed or merged with another company. Mergers and acquisitions are not uncommon. I am still in touch with many of my ex-colleagues. Some turned out to be very good friends later on even when we did not continue to work together. Jobs don't last, but human relationships do.
  11. There are no perfect jobs, satisfaction is in the job done perfectly: There are no perfect jobs but satisfaction comes for any job done perfectly - or as close to perfect as possible 
  12. No-one is indispensable: One of the hard facts you learn over time is that however much you or your work may be in demand, however perfect and recognized you may be in your field, you are not indispensable. Every employee has a place in an organization, but there is no one who cannot be replaced for work purpose. People come and go, but the show must go on. 
Learning is a process that never ends. Every experience in life teaches us something, if we are willing and open minded to learn. Every coin has two sides and every 24 hours has a day and a night. Job or business, it is a means to an end. Fulfillment and satisfaction for a job well done is what matters the most to me.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

My Spring - Summer Garden

Silence can be a good thing. Helps to contemplate, meditate and look inwards. But I am not going to talk about philosophy here.

The silence on my blog has been due to all this, yes, but also because other things have been keeping me occupied. For example, gardening, traveling and my usual day-to-day work among other things.

I do like to come back to this blog and keep posting. Here is a glimpse of my garden, or I should say vegetable container garden. This spring was busy trying to plant vegetables, grow them with organic ingredients, and now I am enjoying the fruits :).

A glimpse of my vegetable container garden

Green Chili Pepper plant ready to flower
 I hope to write more about this gardening venture, as and when I get time. 

Saturday, January 05, 2019

New Year 2019

Happy New Year 2019!

2018 went by quickly. I will remember this year for my Ph.D. degree as convocation and final degree award for Ph.D. was in Jan 2018.

In terms of my art, Vangoart closed and my profile does NOT exist any more. Am sad about that as it was a good exposure and sold some work there.

My profile on Saatchi Art is and I will keep updating it. Will be happy to have your feedback.
Seema Kumar's Art on Saatchi Art

With a new year comes new hopes and I look forward to 2019 with hope. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Friday, November 25, 2016

Art Sale on Vango

My Vango art page ( Seema Kumar - ) for the very first time announces 20% discount across all art on the page (if not already sold), for a very limited time period. 
Why? Because today marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S. - Black Friday following the Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Therefore this discount to the art lovers and people who want to gift art this Christmas season. Hope you will enjoy the art :).:)
*Vango now ships internationally.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

My New Website as an Artist

Just wanted to share that I have a new website with a new blog there that would be focused on art, design and creativity.

My new website as an artist is

Right now the basic website is ready and more features to be added soon. Look forward to any comments or feedback from you. 

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Another Exploration - Online Art Galleries

Ok, so I finally decided to pursue some art websites and online art galleries for uploading my art for sale as well as feedback. I have browsed some websites earlier. When I was in India, even then I used to come across some websites. But never signed up for any. I used to draw and paint, though less frequently than I am doing now. Given my full time job, long drives and hectic schedule with a kid, fnding time to pursue online art galleries and art websites were not very lucrative, nor did I think I had the time. Now, in a new place, where I hardly know people around, online art galleries seemed to be a good option to explore.

After moving to USA, I got more time to paint, write and think. Introspection is necessary for me before moving on with anything new. Although the thoughts or ideas come intuitively, it is follwed by some amount of introspection.

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”
― Leonardo da Vinci

Art and writing are two things I have been passionate about since my childhood. What better time than "now" to continue pursuing those full-time. My poetry collection was released in 2015 along with some of my drawings (some drawings here) and now I am trying to create the poetry that can be seen.

Since we moved to US, people often ask me if I get bored here at home. For 16 years, since the year 2000, I was working full time, without a break. Also was involved with many different activities apart from full tie job. The obvious conclusion to draw would be that now as I am not in a full time job, no television at home, not many friends and family to spend my time with, I would be getting bored at home.

Somehow, sitting idle for very long has not been in my nature. If nothing else, I have a long list of things I want to read. Other than the books from the local library, internet is loaded with information if one really wants to explore, read and learn something. Every morning when I wake up, I am eager to get back to my canvas, paper, paint and pen. I get so engrossed when I start drawing or painting, time just flies!! This sense of timelessness is something all artists and creative people aspire for, something Mihaly termed as "Flow" (reminds me of my PhD thesis draft, that I submitted a couple of months back, where I have referred to the "Flow" theory or the "theory of optimal experience").

I started to explore some online art galleries as well as print-on-demand art websites. Fine Art America has some of my paintings, starting from my college days when I was studying Drawing and Painting (Honours) for my graduation. I am yet to fully explore this print-on-demand market for artists.

Saatchi Art has some of my more recent work, drawings and paintings. I have been taking my time to update it, slowly. During the process of exploration, a lot of things come up, some of which I like, some I don't, and some may or may not be suitable for all art platform.

Art and paintings submitted to Vango are curated based on the requirement of their platform. So the artwork on Vango is what they have selected to be sold through their websites. Hopefully, I will talk more about these platforms later.

As I mentioned in my previous post, more updates have been on my Facebook page lately, also on Instagram @seemakumar9 and Twitter @seemakumar9, than on my blog or website. Writing took a back seat when it came to drawing and painting.

Some of my work or links to my work is on my FB page:
I would appreciate your suggestions, feedback, critiques, comments to improve, and find my way around in a new country, new place as an artist-designer.