Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Art&Light at Serendipity 2015 - Part 2

Sharing a few vignettes of the exhibition. Like I've figured, it is better to not have the time to click pictures at your own exhibition than the other way around. So here are a few quick pictures clicked early before the day began, of my products and fellow exhibitors. I have still not managed to click any pictures of some exhibitors whose work I really really liked - for instance Nikita Bose's Flying Fish Jewellery, Indigene Craft or Banwarey - all of who had jewellery and clothes I fell in love with.

 And may I have the privilege of sharing Manju Tomar's gorgeous ceramic artistry.

 Now this piece is such a masterpiece. And is the recipient of a few national level awards. 
 A closer look. Had to post this. so one can see better the embossed pillow, the water blue bowl and the curious congregation of the birdies.

 The very gorgeous Swathy was there with her splash of irresistible Bhang (sarees)
 My favourites Sumiran Kabir Sharma of Anaam & Jayeta Rohilla of Mae were there as well. We became friends during last Serendipity & stayed in touch. 
 Dithi  in front of her powerful Baul Kali print

Harshita of Nomad (Pic courtesy: Serendipity & Shrikant Narayan Arora)

And one of my absolute favourites from this times Serendipity Colour me Autumn. 
Baby Baniya's eclectic jewellery is right after my own heart. I haven't seen anyone having so much fun with jewellery and yet it is SO wearable. Fantastic balance. Fantastic aesthetic. 
I wish I had more pictures of so many other fabulous brands that had really good work there, and I just might update this post if I manage to get more pictures.
At Serendipity, it is never about just selling, it is truly a celebration of the arts and what celebration is complete without music. The Roohani Sisters and Raagleela infused the evening air with the evocative magic of their voices.
So that was the gorgeous Serendipity, Colour me Autumn. What a fulfilling happy time an experience. That we got to spend quality time with Dithi and Arnab, and  Aarti and Rahul just made the show feel more like home. Thank you Kuldeep & Shallay :) for putting together such a cool bunch of people, for making it so easy for us, for taking care of everything, For giving us SUCH a good time. It takes a LOT to organise and market and put up an event. To share your space unstintingly, to give of your spirit and your love. We hardly saw Kuldeep or Shallay sit - which is why it was so tough to get a single picture of either of them. 

Art&Light at Serendipity, Delhi, 2015

Serendipity 2014 was a beautiful experience for me which is why I decided I will definitely be a part of their "Colour Me Autumn" Festival. And what a good decision it turned out to be. Not just because it makes good business sense to exhibit and sell at Serendipity, not just because I really like Kuldeep Kaur and her gorgeous one of a kind haveli turned concept store, but also because of the people who showed with me and the quality and the variety of the work and the entrepreneurs I got to meet and spend time with. Dithi Mukherjee was showing her art for the 1st time in Delhi and so was Aarti Karwayun Chawda. Both close to me and whose work I respect immensely. Just to see these artists with their work was very inspiring for me, and if that was not enough I saw that Kuldeep Kaur of Serendipity and Shallay Bartholomew of Ispirato had brought together an extremely talented line-up of entrepreneurs of irrefutable calibre, most of whose work I had heard of and seen and admired online. 
From the left, moi, Aarti Karwayun Chawda, Dithi Mukherjee, Manju Tomar, Manju's friend, Shallay Bartholomew of  Ispirato, Vinati Bhatt, Harshita of Nomad, Meha Gupta of Baby Baniya

Exhibitions are a great time to hang out with, get to know and interact with fellow entrepreneurs who are mostly in other cities, honing their work, shaping it to be be what it is. You see the work, you see it change and grow. And it is nothing short of a privilege to get to meet the real flesh and blood person behind the 'brand'. So this is the person who is most likely designing the product, making sure that the suppliers and the vendors make it the way they saw it in their head, checking for quality control, styling the products, modelling in them, shooting it, writing the invoices, taking care of the inventory, packaging. And you will feel this is a fancy job where they get to follow their passion and work out of their homes/their own offices at their convenience and they call all the shots. And the reality is that both these statements are true. These are all creative people who need the time and space to re-invent their work year after year, keep it fresh and interesting atleast to themselves if not anyone else. And the fact that their business is afloat is testimony to the fact that they are doing a halfway decent job on all these fronts. Over the years I have come to not take lightly the opportunity I get to meet this breed of people.

The moment :)

 Serendipity 2015 was very very special for me because here is where Ritika, Dithi & me met together for the very 1st time. The 3 of us are incredibly close to each other. But we - all 3 of us have never spent time or even met together - same space, same time. It took serendipity to bring us together I guess :)
 Just to spend time with these 2 is good for me & my soul
 It was just amazing to see Aarti Karwayun Chawda stand in front of her gorgeous colourful work.

 Dithi with her art prints, her bauls, her kaalis and her laal jobas.
Click here to buy her work.
Pic credit: Serendipity & Shrikant Narayan Arora
Pic credit: Serendipity & Shrikant Narayan Arora

And then there is Kuldeep, the genial and generous owner and host of Serendipity and this year I got to meet Shallay Bartholomew, the very genuine and talented brain behind Ispirato a brand that houses fashion, textiles, jewellery and decor under its umbrella. Together Kuldeep & Shallay made sure that all of us showing at Serendipity not only had a good show, but were well fed, looked after and had a great time.

Coming up next more pictures from the exhibition & glimpses of the gorgeous art and design pieces at The Colour Me Autumn Festival.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

*NEW* Art&Light Message Coasters on

After so many requests for coasters - Here are coasters on the art&light online store. Coasters are roughly used products and have the maximum wear and tear. Which is after making the 1st batch of decoupaged coasters, I stopped making them, because they were not long lasting. So that didn't work. But the Kalaghodha experience - and being asked if I had coasters by every 2nd customer for 9 days made sure I have coasters in my product line. So here are some typographic coasters which were sold out in a heart beat at my previous exhibition.

All of these guys and more at the Serendipity, Delhi exhibition put together with Inspirato, in a beautiful celebration of Art, design & Music.
This is the event page. Do click on going & just come!! All of you who were there last year, we will all be waiting to meet you. 

Oct 17th & 18th, 11 am to 9 pm

Beautiful Home Wares, Fashion, Saris & Jewelry, Vintage Flea Market Finds, Art & Photography.

Lounge & Relax with Middle eastern Food, Wine & Cocktails and as the sun sets enjoy Live musical performances.
Sufi Jugalbandi with the Roohani Sisters (Oct 17th)
Indian Classical fusion with the Raagleela Band (Oct 18th)

Serendipity Address: 238/4, Jonapur (Chattarpur), Mandi Road, New Delhi, India 110047

Saturday, September 19, 2015

*NEW* ArtnLight Table Mats now available on

One thing that became clear with the Kalaghoda exhibition was the list of products that people wanted from me - which I wasn't making. So the better part of this year has gone towards working on those missing products. One of them was Table Mats. So here they are, Artnlight Table Mats- in your favourite designs. So go right ahead - add a pop of artnlight colour to your dining tables. 
The great part about this is they are very easy to use. Just wipe clean - 1st with a damp and then a dry cloth & they will remain as good as new for however long. They are also easily stackable, storable - when you want to use your other Table mat sets.
Size 12x18 inches. Available in sets of 2, 4 and 6. These are up on the artnlight online store
There is a mix of the most favourite and running designs + a few completely new ones. These have already had a great response at the exhibitions I have been part of. So happy to finally make it available on

Completely excited about this set of 6 different Vintage Postcard inspired Table Mat Series, with my favourite botanical illustrations and with one food quote each.
Buy it here.
"One of the nicest things about life is the way we must reqularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating" - Luciano Pavarotti
Buy this here.
"Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the desert cart." - Erma Bombeck

The Bird Face Set.
 Check it out here.
Check it out here.

And the old favourite. Onef my 1st designs & still the best seller.
The Rajasthan Series, now available in Table mats too. 
 Buy it here.
You can buy it here.

There are many more designs and there is going to be one more post atleast on this. 
Meantime you can browse or buy the range right here

Interviewed on Once Upon A Tea Time Design stories.

Had to share this with all of you. Many of you must be familiar with the visually stunning blog & magazine called Once Upon a Tea Time...Design Stories. For years now we have all enjoyed the steady stream of eyecandy that Priya Iyer serves up in this space.

Last week I got interviewed on skye, so yes its an audio interview and you will actually hear my voice. In this whole business of being an entrepreneur, you are so busy doing what needs to be done, that there is not much time to reflect on it, on your journey, and how far you have come. I am very grateful to Priya Iyer for making me stop and asking me those questions that are so pertinent.
It is 37 minutes long, so like Priya says, sit with a cup of tea & biscuits. 
What was so amazing was speaking to the creator of Once Upon A Tea Time Design Stories, exchanging our experiences of blogging and getting to know her a bit more. Speaking and connecting real time on skype - desite the different time zones, gives us such a beautiful sense of the person. I loved meeting and speaking to Priya. 
You can listen to the interview here:
While on the subject of entrepreneurship, I've got to be honest and say that the one feeling that has been consistent is that I wish I had known that I will always have to be ready to see myself as more that what I am - You need to be armed with an "I am enough" attitude. Because more often than not what stops you or scares you is going out of your boundaries of who you think you are and who you think you are not. Eg: "I am a creative person and I'm not good with finance". If something like this is strongly engraved in your mind it just wont serve you. "I don't know packaging, logistics/ adminitration is not for me." All of these are just labels and notions you have made of yourself. As the owner of your brand all of this is your business. The point is not to scare off the creative people reading this post. The point is that I have had all the above notions and they didn't help me. The point is I have made my peace with this very necessary aspect of being on your own. To take complete accountability of what I do, whether financial, administrative, marketing or creating products or packing and shipping it out well and on time, with all of this, the buck does stop at me. And if i say I have a business and that is Artnlight - then all of this is very much my business. The sooner I accept this, the sooner I can begin to start bringing in my care and love to that aspect. Without which the business will just not be whole. I'm still on this, reminding myself everyday that all of this needs my impartial attention and care. Those of you who run their own businesses probably resonate with it & it will be wonderful to hear from you your take on this and your experience of how you deal with this. Looking forward to hearing from you. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Keep Creating.

I was browsing Pinterest - the creative worlds new inspiration black book - to see if there is something inspirational that I can post on the Artnlight Fb page. A quote that speaks to me. something that will give someone a push or a quiet hand - or just an insight - when I saw this - wham!
I read this & saw how beautifully it is done & it took me right back to when I started art college and when I started my 1st years in advertising as a visualiser. I felt everyone around me was way more talented than me as far as art was concerned.
Words came to me easier than art did. The moment I got a brief I thought of words and lines and ideas 1st. And here I was hired and paid to do the visual thinking. I felt like a complete fraud. I tried and tried and I kept seeing artists work & working harder at honing what I had chosen as my vocation. When I look back the initial years still feel like a mass of yearning and yearning and struggling to do something that I wasn't naturally great at - good or decent maybe - but certainly not awesome. It was not an easy spot to be in - to not be at peace with the quality of your work. 
Sometimes I feel as a creative person, the goal post keeps shifting & that's the way your work grows. You keep seeing work that inspires you to push yourself harder and that is the cycle. 

So this is what I want to tell everyone out there who is working on getting better. Do yourself a favour. Stop judging yourself & instead do more work. Just keep creating. You need not share it with people if you are uncomfortable. But don't stop creating. 
Creative people are naturally very sensitive. Don't let your sensitivity become fear, don't let it stop you from creating. So yes, you feel your work has a long way to go? That's perfectly ok. We are not all born brilliant. Can you grow talent? Yes. Keep walking the path and keep creating. Set yourself deadlines to complete things. Say one new artwork a week. One article a day. One complete painting in 2 weeks. 
That is the ONLY way to get better. To work and to complete. Repeat.
And for all the people who are curious about the beautiful typography in this post - it is created by 
Casey Ligon. And guess what, there are videos that show us how she creates her gorgeous hand-drawn typography - right here.

Friday, July 17, 2015

INSPIRERs - Ritika Mittal of MORA

Here's the poster girl that inspiration might have well chosen for herself.
Ritika Mittal of Mora needs no introduction.
When she announces her annual online sale people who have spent a year maybe 2 or 3 saving to buy a piece of art - a MORA saree - that she created, drop everything else in a mad rush to be that 1st person who lays claim to the only piece with her name on it. Because it is truly 1st come, 1st serve and there is truly only one piece ever created. No reproductions, no 2nd editions - Just one piece of art that you get to call your own & when she sends it to you - she sends it with a handwritten note, which she sits down and writes herself.

Nothing about her work is assembly line. Everything about her work is aspirational. That she dances where angels fear to tread, that she revives dying forms of textiles and weaves that would have never seen light of day were it not for her, that she mixes and matches like rules didn't exist.
That she lives most of the year in a mobile van travelling to where no public transport ever goes and places which have seen no electricity in this day and age.  

I was hoping Ritika would say a yes to being part of this series & in a second she did & reading what she sent gives me the goosebumps. Whenever I feel doubt or a lack of courage this is the post that I'm going to come back to.
So here is Ritika Mittal for you - telling you how she does what she does best. I had asked for 3 things that she has learnt in her life. And here is what she said:

The idea that there is a wrong and right limits us.
This is born out of conditioning of our birth, upbringing and the choices we make based on those. 
Its an absolutely woohoo moment when you suddenly see there are really no set rues to live by.
Your start taking your life as your own. the choices thus you make as your own. the responsibility and accountability your own. the laughter and tears it brings your own. You start to be your own. 

Yes, many times you will have cold feet. Many more times hot flushes. Many break downs.

But then, there are many more "yesssssss", "ooooooops i did it, how??... anyways", "so its possible",  "i said something to myself that's so new, i am loving it", "bring it on baby"!!
And that rush, that euphoria of following your heart and doing things you always wanted to do... is priceless. Cant tell it in words! its like you take that big leap of faith and jump... that one long jump... and see yourself floating thereon... forever flying... its like you have exchanged the wind for the land below your feet and you see all you wanted to always do was to fly and now you are flying... an endless beautiful flight... and thats how you are going to go... doing what you always wanted to do. ! Its that absolute sense of completeness, the becoming of you!

People tell me all the time... you have an easy life- no home, no marriage, no children. you are lucky! 
I want to say, we are all lucky. we can all have easy lives. 
We just got to make choices. Choices that make us happy. Choices that make us feel complete. Choices that are driven by WHO YOU ARE and not WHAT YOU SHOULD BE! Choices that give us the strength to get up and say, this is my life, i decide.

So not once we have to say, "oh, i wish"!!
not a moment of envy!
not a moment of regret!
Imagine a space like that!

And its possible! its possible when you take courage to be yourself! To hide nothing! To be same inside and outside! To let go of the fears. To accept life and love as it is.

I was born in a small village in punjab into a joint family that followed strict rules for everything. 
Today, I am 32. I started working at 14. I worked in media and did night shifts. I was paid in 6 figures towards the end. Left it overnight for the love of travel. Got married and stayed married for 3.5 years. Left in love. Found more love.Life on the road is such. Found textiles as my medium to express. Travel as my lifestyle. 

Now i am part of the stories we read in anthropological books. Its beautiful out here!

When friends ask me how you did it... i say just jump! don't think just jump! and believe in the jump!

Believe that there is no universal right or wrong. Its just our perspective that makes a difference.

One practice that i follow religiously in life is not to overthink. The moment love happens with anything, i follow it with love! So much love that it becomes me and i become the love!

Overthinking makes us cautious, fearful.

I believe we can totally live by the moment. and its possible. a life of no certainty is possible! 
Before you even know, whatever comes your way will soon be more exciting than knowing what you are bringing on!

I am a creation of life. I can not create. I can merely express. So, i choose to express freely. with abandon. without rules. without timelines and deadlines. Without the wrongs and rights. without the dos and don'ts. Without the fear and limitations. 

With nothing else but love!

And love is all it takes to be you!