Mero Canvas – Enlivening the Spirit of Art in Nepal!
Art is a very underappreciated form of expression in Nepal, especially when looking at it as a full-fledged career. Be it music, paintings, theatre, cinema, or any other medium, an average Nepali chooses to pursue art as a career purely out of sheer dedication and the love for it, with no regard for financial stability.
Mero Canvas, a promising startup, is fixated on redefining art as a career choice in Nepal. The social media pages of the brand flaunt intricate artworks of celebrities and customized pieces for the general audience. Mero Canvas has been able to effectively monetize its artworks via social media and self-operated e-commerce platforms. Moreover, the brand has excelled in fostering an emotional connection with its clients through commissioned works for special occasions such as weddings, mother’s day, and others. Thus, we reached out to the co-founder of Mero Canvas, Sanjaya Manandhar, to learn about the story behind the brand.
How did the brand Mero Canvas come about?
I was in my hometown Manthari, Ramechhap, during the lockdown. My father asked me to make a painting of my deceased grandfather based on his description alone as we did not have any pictures of him. I received a good response from my family, relatives, and audiences on social media. After that, I started getting requests from relatives and friends. I started my own Facebook page and got my breakthrough when my painting of Madhav Kumar Nepal was shared by Routine of Nepal Banda. I received requests for commissioned works in increasing numbers from then. Thus began the advent of Mero Canvas with our first outlet in Sankhamul.
What are your motivations behind starting Mero Canvas?
My primary inspiration for starting the brand is to uplift the art industry of Nepal and establish it as a profitable sector to inspire art enthusiasts to pursue the field. My brother is an artist who studied at Lalit Kala Campus. However, he could not establish art as a profession owing to financial problems and resorted to doing business back in Manthali. Therefore, I took it to myself to foster the art industry of Nepal and support local artists.
How difficult was it to establish and grow your brand?
We started with zero investment. There were only minor business expenses at the beginning which we paid using our own pocket money. We reinvested the money we earned through commissioned works and grew Mero Canvas.
What is the Unique Value Proposition of your brand?
Overall, we make different kinds of paintings like digital, acrylic, oil paintings, and others. I believe our unique value proposition lies in our digital paintings. We put our best efforts to make digital paintings look very much like acrylic paintings. Also, digital paintings consume less time and are cheaper than acrylic paintings.
What is the price range of your paintings?
It depends on the size and complexity of the art. Our cheapest acrylic painting sized 12 by 18 inches is priced at Rs 12000. The expensive paintings can be significantly higher.
Are you planning to sell other forms of art in the future too?
As of yet, we want to grow the art industry using paintings only. We want to position our paintings as things that are gifted during special occasions. Also, we have ventured into restoring older photos that are not clearly visible. Artists need several materials to work on their art like canvas, colors, crayons, and several others. We also provide these materials on our website via our e-commerce platform. As of now, we are only focused on fine arts right now. In the future, we might expand our operations to other forms of art as well.
Who are your customers?
We mostly get orders from Nepalese living abroad. We also get periodic orders from the local audience.
What do you think is the future of the art industry in Nepal?
There is a huge potential for the art industry in Nepal. However, the effort to build up the industry needs to be collective. Nepal has a rich history of art dating to centuries ago. I believe that, collectively, we can promote Nepali art on the international platform.