Like any artist, trailblazer Vipoositha (Vipoo) Gnanenthra’s career in the fashion industry is a constantly evolving work in progress. For the most part, fashion photography is an unchartered career path in the Tamil community, and Vipoo hopes her contribution to this art form is laying the groundwork for other aspiring Tamil artists who share a love of fashion. As Vipoo defines it, “Fashion photography to me, is the art of creating beautiful, memorable images with clothes, models, setting and a story”.
Even as she carved out an educational pathway that led to a career in medicine, Vipoo’s passion for art and fashion have always dominated as a creative outlet. When the opportunity came to pursue medicine in a different country Vipoo realized that she was not excited to leave her family and friends to go away to pursue medicine. This was a turning point in her life because she knew that if she really wanted to achieve this goal, she would have been prepared to do anything to make it happen. After her many failed attempts at different career options, she turned to her love affair with fashion and art. Vipoo eventually parlayed shooting beautiful pictures of modelesque women into a full-fledged career through the help of her fashion photographer friend, Gobhi Theivendran, by presenting her portfolio to various agencies in Toronto. The first agency rejected her work as too amateur. However, her perseverance paid off because the very next agency that she visited was excited by her pictures. Through this agency, she encountered an agent who believed in her talent and offered to mentor and guide her. As she began to rack up experience and was given the opportunity to work on better shoots with veteran models, her body of work started to garner significant exposure and attention in the Canadian Tamil community.
Vipoo’s creativity and love for art is evident in all of her work. From a young age, she immersed herself in various forms of artistic expression. She admits that she likes things to be very particular, so she taught herself to draw, paint and sculpt in order to execute her own specific vision. Fashion has always been a deep love for Vipoo, and photography is the medium which she has chosen to express this passion. Vipoo loves being able to create pictures that are classically beautiful. She draws inspiration from the city of Toronto by walking around the streets of downtown Toronto and visiting fabric shops, boutiques, art galleries and museums. She keeps her work updated by reading blogs and fashion magazines and tries to stay grounded through the help of her most honest critic, her husband. She also engages in wedding photography because she genuinely enjoys helping couples capture moments that they will be able to treasure for a lifetime.
Vipoo’s advice for young entrepreneurs is simple- “Following the path of money will never make you happy. At the end of the day, do what you love”. She also thinks that it is important to frequently analyze the “why’s” behind your motivation. With every opportunity that she is presented, Vipoo always asks herself “Why do I want to do this?”, before deciding to commit to the project. Vipoo’s personal whys have been the driving force behind her business. First and foremost, she wants to establish a business that will generate enough success to take care of her family. Her next why, is to make a difference in the lives of others. Vipoo admits that she is still trying to figure out how she can make a ripple through her work that many people will be able to benefit from. This is a crucial component that dictates her own personal fulfillment for her future success.
In the ever changing world of fashion, Vipoo believes that it is important to know how to adapt to the new opportunities that come her way. When pursuing a new idea, Vipoo advises that it is important to have a clear outline of what you want, but it is equally important to be fluid and open to move in order to make it happen. “I know who I want to be, but I’m still working on getting there. I am following what I love, and what I’m good at and what comes naturally to me”. She believes that there is a place for everyone in this world and right now, Vipoo is trying to enjoy every moment of the process of her entrepreneurial journey. With every picture and new project, Vipoo is making her mark in the fashion industry. We can’t wait to see what she will create next!