Time for art – at work and beyond

I am priviledged to work for an employer that values work-life balance and wellness.

By Surya Suriyan - April 29, 2021
Surya Suriyan quote
Surya Suriyan is a Digital Media Producer for Health Content Management at Elsevier. She is based in Chennai, India.

I was born in Indore, Madhya Pradesh (the central province of India) and brought up in Chennai. Being a Saggitarian, I’ve loved to draw and paint since childhood.

Though my mother was not an artist herself, she has been an inspiration for me, always positive and confident. When I was 5, she did a beautiful pencil sketch for my school project. To illustrate the Hindi poem “Chanda Mama,” she drew a mother giving food to her child in the moonlight. I was overwhelmed with joy to see her artwork.

From that day on, she encouraged me to participate in every drawing competition. She always said, “No matter if you win or lose, the most important thing in life is to enjoy what you do.”

Now, I find that joy in the work I do at Elsevier.

Combining art with business

I have been with Elsevier for more than 3 years, and it has been a wonderful journey; every day brings exciting opportunities and new experiences. In my role as a Digital Media Producer for health Content Management, I develop and support the creation of multimedia assets and eLearning courses for our health sciences and S&T business units. We create assets for various platforms, including ClinicalKey, Evolve and Elsevier eBooks for Practicing Clinicians. We have teams in our St Louis and Chennai offices. I interact with content development strategists, book project managers, acquisition editors, publishers, editors, authors, suppliers and developers. I have been given the authority and autonomy to oversee my projects. Every site or multimedia asset is like a baby for me until it is published.

Elsevier has not only provided professional development, my colleagues helped me realize that personal development is very important. Having participated in the Developing Female Talent Flex Track Program last year, I had the opportunity to complete the Emerging Leaders Programme, developed by our parent company, RELX, and Harvard Business Publishing. As part of this program, I received guidance to further define my career goals, purpose and connection. The program also allowed us to form a mentoring connection. My mentor is a colleague in Oxford, and she is guiding me further in my career journey.

This year, I started my postgraduate degree in Business Management and Marketing at one of the top business schools in India so I can equip myself to grow at Elsevier for many years to come.

Throughout all this, Elsevier’s work-life balance, inclusion and diversity, and MindLife sessions have given me the strength to overcome challenges brought on by the pandemic.

Time for family — and my own art

"Light of Life," acrylic on canvas (Surya Suriyan, June 2020)

Like many parents, I found it very difficult initially to separate home life from work when working from home and home-schooling my two children. Ultimately, the guidance and flexibility Elsevier offered helped my husband and I find a solution that has benefited our whole family.

The work-from-home option has reduced a lot of travel time to the office. Every week, my my husband and I plan and share the work load at home so that both of us can excel in at our jobs. Having flexibility in my working hours has helped me in having the same energy and zeal for my personal life. My kids feel secure that their mother is around them for anything they need. Every day, I’m getting closer and closer to achieve my dream of having a successful career and an effective motherhood.

Fortunately, I also have time to pursue my own artwork. I do all types of art: pencil sketch, pen and ink, acrylic paint, water colors, poster colors, charcoal, wall painting, canvas painting. I also do digital art in Adobe Illustrator. Art is something which gives me happiness and sense of fulfillment. I sit for hours, even days, to complete one work of art.

Here is another example of my work.

"WInter in Alaska," acrylic on canvas (Surya Suriyan, June 2020)


Surya Suriyan
Written by

Surya Suriyan

Written by

Surya Suriyan

Surya Suriyan is a Digital Media Producer for Health Content Management at Elsevier. She is based in Chennai, India. As Co-Lead and I&D Champion for Thrive Chennai, she supported and co-hosted the relaunch of the Elsevier Women’s Network as Thrive globally in 2021. She is also a core member of Elsevier’s Global Employer Brand Ambassador Program.

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