We had the good fortune of connecting with Tanvi Lonkar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tanvi, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think that most people who are successful in their careers or life, have made decisions that have first scared them. Nothing extraordinary comes out of staying in your little comfort bubble, and which is why I think that risk taking is so important. I have yet to take big risks in my life, but if I’m not being too hard on myself I think I am where I am today because of the risks I have taken. The first big I risk I took was coming to the United States by myself, at the age of 19, leaving my family behind in India. Of course I see them every year, but I took a big risk of finding a new path in a different country. I have now been in the US for 7 years, and finally realizing that when I left my life back in India at 19, it might have been for good. I mean who knows? This was a big risk for me, and I’m still gratefully living it everyday. I studied Psychology in my undergrad, and decided to switch paths without any experience into Sustainability for my masters. So today I am pursuing a Master’s degree in Sustainable Design because I found my true passion a bit later in life. Switching career as a foreigner in a country was a big risk for me, because when you try to find a job you need years of experience in the field. I am taking risks everyday, while working hard towards my dreams!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My career as an artist started when I was five, designing necklaces through my drawing for my mother. Growing up I also preferred being locked up in my room, doing art for hours, without any human interaction for hours. I remember caring more about creating art than watching TV, which is why as a grown up I really don’t get references from Pokemon or Sponge Bob Square Pants! I honestly have no idea why I didn’t end up going to art school, but I did add art (painting to be precise) as a minor in my undergrad. This is when I tried oil painting for the first time, and really felt inspired by the Me Too movement that was going strong a few years ago. Having acted in the film Slumdog Millionaire as a child (I played the role of Middle-Latika), I had learned about woman being trafficked into sex at a very young age. I found myself wanting to talk to women from different cultures, countries, backgrounds, and ethnicities, and asking them about their stories – the good and the bad. This when I started my series called “Women of the World”, and was soon recognized my news channels and media in Georgia. Atlanta Journal Constitution featured me, and I was invited to a couple universities for artist talks. I felt so overwhelmed with happiness and finally started myself an artist. Today I am studying Architectural Studies in Sustainable Design for my Master’s, where I am trying to put artistic abilities into bettering the planet one design idea at a time.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Let’s pretend for a minute we are living in pre-covid times, yeah? My best friend just arrived at the airport, it 8am, and I take her straight to my place so she can rest for a few hours – because oh boy am I gonna make her do tons of things around Atlanta! That afternoon I will her to the Beltline, and get lunch at Krog Street Market. We will walk around the beltline until we’re tired, get lots of cute pictures and stop when we’ve reached Ponce City Market. This evening we’re having dinner and drinks while watching the beautiful sunset on Ponce City Rooftop! The view from up there is just, what do you say, a chef’s kiss. The next day we will explore Piedmont Park on our bikes, do outdoor yoga, and finally stuff our stomach at the Vortex – the burgers are SO good! The third day, we’ll do the touristy things in Atlanta which was definitely worth it, like Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca Cola! At the end of the day, I’ll take her to Sky Lounge to experience the night view of Atlanta. When the weekend comes around, we’re going out baby! Even though I do dig bars in Buckhead and Midtown, my really favorite place to go out at is Loco Luna. It’s literally always a fun time, and lots of dancing when we go there. I know my best friend will enjoy it as well. On her last day, I’ll definitely take her shopping at all the cute thrift stores in Little Five Points! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to my parents. I know it sounds cheesy, but I wouldn’t have been where I am without their support (and money lol). Like most parents out there, they have always wanted the best for me, and so selflessly they decided to pay thousands of dollars for me to have an education in the US – fees for international students are ridiculously high in the States. They are not some really rich Indian parents, in fact we are a middle class family. Back in India, they live below their means so that I can have a better lifestyle here. I have really never met any one as selfless as them, as their life revolves around giving me and my sister the best education out there.
Other: My fitness IG: https://www.instagram.com/tanvi.fit/?hl=en
All image credits go to me