How COVID Has Affected Our Artists

Over the past year, I have been getting pleas from our artisans over their situation due to Covid.  With no domestic customers buying statues in each country and no tourists creating any other domestic demand, their only source of revenue has been Lotus Sculpture.  

We have tried our hardest to support our artists during this time by ordering more statues to help make up for their overall loss of orders.  A full four months into this year we have already ordered as many statues from our artists as we did all of 2020.  

I have asked a couple of our artisans to say how covid has affected them. Here is a collection of their responses.

~Kyle, founder of Lotus Sculpture

It took me 5 years of searching to find the small village where the majority of wood statues in India are produced. There, in Tamil Nadu, I met my wood artisan Natarajan (the man to my right pictured below). It has been over 13 years, and I have been working with him ever since.

Here is what Natarajan has to say about COVID and the relentless effect it has had on his business, his family, and his artists:

How has covid affected my family? How has it affected the business and my artisans?

Last year march 24 Indian Government implemented lockdown all around the country and the news suddenly became a big shock for us, because we don’t have any plans to face lockdown, At that time everything get shutdown and things turns into nightmare in our life.

While being safe and secure we need to follow all the rules and regulation implemented by the government but at the same time we requested the government to do some help to stable our life during covid time, lots of days and months get passed but we faced the crisis made by covid , Myself and My artisans need to earn money daily to run our day today day life but all the way get closed and I took some decision to help my artisans personally by getting loan from the bank and giving them monthly salary, rice and vegetables as much as I can to make their life little bit stable during covid and it continued till august 2020 and After september 2020 government made some changes in lockdown and it helped us to resume our business but it didn’t get accelerated fastly and still moving very lag and slow, Before we getting recover from covid first wave covid second wave started spreading fastly in india, lots of states already faced lockdown and we don’t know what covid second wave going to do in our life, because we didn’t get our normal life after covid first wave, Currently we are trying to get vaccinated as much as fastly we can and,All we can do now is to pray the god to help us not being affected by covid.

Balan is my dearest friend in India. He is like a brother to me. I contact him every night and it makes me so sad to hear news about the current situation

“We cannot go to the hospital for regular checkups. I am diabetic, also my 72-year-old mother. We are advised by doctors to not come to the hospital, use the same medicine.

My daughters don’t go anywhere… I am afraid they may get depression. I am not allowed to make any statues. At the same time, I need to take care of my artists’ families. I don’t want to cut their salary, so I sold many of my family gold.”

“The local police stopped everyone from moving place to place. I can’t go more than 2 kilometers.

Each and every artist faces many sad stories. A stone artist’s salary is 1200 to 1500 Rupees. In COVID time, they work as a gardener, cleaner, any work, for 500 Rupees just to live

After the first wave of COVID, many stone artists become auto drivers and gardeners. They don’t come back to stonework. Stonework is very difficult. Sometimes artists have accidents. Since COVID, I have not seen one new person come and learn how to be a stone artist.

It is difficult to find stone artists…”

~Balan, Stone Artisan

Click here to view all Balan’s sculptures >>>

Piyush is my brass artist in New Delhi which is at the epicenter of where the virus is exacting the harshest toll at the moment.

He has had three people in his immediate family pass away from the virus in the past month. I often say that the media overinflates the bad news, but in this case, I do not think they are doing the current situation in India justice. It is very bad there!

“Covid has affected us from our housekeeper

to my wife and from my wife spread to me.

Due to Covid, there is a shortage of oxygen.

Our artisans are sitting idle. Now they do not have work! They want to manufacture but they cannot !

Covid has made our life severely ill!”

~Piyush, Brass Artisan

Click here to view all Piyush’s sculptures >>>

Christian lives in Bali, Indonesia with about half the artists he works within Bali and the other half in Java. Right now Bali has no tourists and thus, no business.

“I think the business from tourists is only 5% compared to before Covid.

Thank God for you. All of our workers still working normally. We try to help them as much as we can.

Many jobless people now leave Denpasar-Bali back to their village and change from worker to villager now. .”

~Christian, Stone Artisan

Click here to view all Christian’s sculptures >>>

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