TheGlitz ‘Super Woman: Shalu Juneja, Co-Founder and Director of the Uno Lona Academy

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Shalu Juneja

TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’ Shalu Juneja is the Co-Founder and Director of the Uno Lona Academy. A believer of erudite learning and an adherent of creative experimentation, Shalu Junejais not only a successful female entrepreneur, she is also a pioneer for intrinsic Art and design education in our country. Being the lead educator, Shalu is responsible for designing curriculums, delivering these curriculums and also training her team of pedagogies.

After being an artist for several years, Shalu realised that her true passion lay in Teaching, and further went on to become the chief educator at the Uno Lona Academy for arts and design. Today, she has dedicated herself to shaping the careers of her students who are passionate about art and design. She wants to provide them with a more holistic approach that would eventually build their confidence in their trade. Moreover, her independent work as an artist also touches upon topics of freedom, women’s empowerment, Social calamities, etc. Topics that many artists refrain from touching upon today. No wonder, Shalu Juneja is TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’.

Your journey has had many momentous milestones. Could you tell us about your life-changing journey that has moulded you to be what you are today?

Starting Uno Lona Academy with my son has been a life-changing moment in my life both as an artist and as an art mentor. It has helped me grow as an artist and nurture young artists at the same time.

The academy demanded that I catch up with times in terms of art education and started training myself again which helped me grow. Additionally, we have a rule at the academy wherein you cannot be full-time teachers. You have to be a practitioner or a researcher to also be a teacher. So that rule pushed me to resume my career as an artist and learn about the industry too on the way.

Could you list 3 of your major achievements?

• To have made a place for myself in this world amongst other women of substance in my city.
• Pushing myself to become a lifelong learner and not stagnate at any point.
• To have created a platform that aids in fulfilling the dreams of many young artists and designers.

What are the setbacks you have faced? How did you tackle these setbacks or challenges? And what lesson have you learned from it?

There have been several tiny setbacks, but those are all a part of the journey. I believe my biggest challenge is with myself. I wish I were more consistent and focused than I am right now. My journey has had several breaks in between and a few distractions too which have broken my consistency and my focus. But it’s never too late and I am now trying to create a balance between my preferred laid-back life and ambitious work life.

When you look back, what are the three qualities in you that have helped you become what you are today?

• Being a good human being and treasuring human relations.
• Treating my passion as my profession
• Constantly learning to be relevant with the times

Who are the people who have been the wind behind your wings?

Definitely my family, especially my husband Charan and my son Harsimran, who pushes me constantly to be brave and hardworking. My team at Uno Lona – who have in fact been with me for nearly 2 decades – without whom it just would not have been possible to achieve so much. And perhaps someone up there who gave me an extra load of creativity.

Lastly, if there was a quote to define you, what would that be?

“Mono no aware”. It’s a Japanese term; I live with the awareness that everything in existence is temporary.

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