Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Aarti Karwayun Chawda (Featured Artist)

Hello and welcome to a very special feature on TECD! Special because the featured artist today happens to be one of my absolute favorite Indian artists whose work is not only distinctly Indian in style but is also exquisite in every sense of the word. In conversation with Ispaceart founder and artist extraordinaire, "Aarti Karwayun Chawda" !!! 
Aarti is a versatile creative personality whose mind strategizes and envisions a myriad compositions, while her heart is the sounding board that she listens to carefully and a steady hand transforms her artistic visions to reality.....
A fine arts graduate from Jaipur with 10 years of experience as a visual merchandiser in fashion retail, Aarti gave up her corporate career and surrendered to the creative streak in  her. With Ispaceart as her launchpad, the versatile artist based out of metropolitan Bangalore, has an impressive portfolio that consists of fine art projects, commercial works in collaboration with interior designers, innumerable commissioned projects and the latest being a magnificent range of home décor wall art. With a mushrooming client base and fan following, Aarti’s creations have taken the art world by storm in a short span of three years.
Using reclaimed windows as a canvas, Aarti creates art that is reminiscent of a by gone era.
TECD : Welcome to TECD Aarti! We are truly delighted to shine the spotlight on an enterprising and multifaceted creative personality such as yourself. You as an artist " Eat, Breathe and Live" the word ART. I would love to hear how do you as an artistic soul, interpret this three letter word? 

Aarti : “Art for me is the most profound tool of expression that comes with infinite freedom and responsibility. It comes from a place deep and it touches people on many levels and creates as many emotions. Art is creation that can evoke responses with enormous possibilities of what and how. I also believe art is an intimate route to one’s uniqueness and to connect with many more who find similar grounds.”
Re:imagining old photographs - A series where Aarti adds her perspective to old pictures  
TECD : You have a very impressive portfolio. One look at it and we can tell that you love to experiment with different mediums. What is the medium most preferred by you?

Aarti : "The fact I have got back to art after my college years, its feels like a completely new beginning and I feel like a child who at this point is still finding, exploring and experimenting with different mediums of expression. I have experimented with acrylic colors, wall paints, ink, pencil and charcoal. But I have to say, I have a soft corner for charcoal as I may have found my comfort with it and I am very happy with what the outcome has been."
 Fearless Charcoal series - the attention to detail is breathtaking

 Aarti's grandfather's vintage photography book from the 1940's is the inspiration for this series of mixed media art.
TECD : Your work reflects the strong ties that you have to your cultural roots - India. Are there other aspects/artists/people who you admire or influence your work ?  

Aarti : "Yes, that’s true. A lot of my commercial and commissioned work revolves around Indian motifs, colors, style and themes. I have spent almost 20 years of my life in Rajasthan. The vibrancy of the land filled with so many inspirations for me as an artist has been deeply rooted in my heart.
Influenced by the Mughals to the Rajputs, the wall art love collection is a must add to your home if your looking for a true desi touch.
However, if you take my fine art work, Women have been a very strong source of inspiration for this series. I love to tell stories centered around women,  and my contribution to the  "Never let go" series is also an extension of this fact. Here is  a video I would like to share.
"Never Let Go" - series in charcoal dedicated to women who swim against all challenges but never let go of the one thing that truly accounts for their identity. 
My inspiration list would be incomplete if I did not mention Frida Kahlo and Olaf Hajek. Frida's vibrant personality and the very unique way of carrying herself has been inspirational to many artists like me. Her life and her work have been extraordinary, she was self taught, which also meant that she was following her deepest calling and love for art. I'm drawn to her portrait work, her use of colors and her work around her own life. As for Olaf Hajek, the German based illustrator,story teller. fascinates me with the way he blends culture, mythology and religion in his work. He creates beautiful textures and his use of bold colors, is way too intriguing."

TECD :Your artworks showcases a lot of intricate details. This kind of artwork is time consuming and needs utmost patience. The inquisitive me wants to know  approximately how long does each of the creative processes take you to churn out the work that you do ? 

Aarti :"My charcoal work of total 12 paintings, including conceptualizing etc had taken me 3 months. Commissioned work has time limitations and so it needs to get over in a months time (If its like a painting project I have done for restaurants.) My other home décor wall art and other series that come under Ispaceart is a one time limited edition collection and the entire process of visualizing and painting,  takes anywhere between 15 to 25 days. "

TECD : Since art has the capacity to touch and influence people on so many levels, what socially relevant issues are you campaigning for and lending your voice to? 

Aarti: "As an artist its important to play that role and I have tried to do my bit through  my contribution to the project, “The Fearless Collective by Shilo Shiv Souleman". It was a call for all artists to come together and unit against sexual violence against women and use their art to encourage women to live fully and freely .
Fearless the poster collective series - a tribute to women for who fearlessness is not a choice, it's a compulsion.

I've also participated in various "Art for social causes"  like the Gulabi Gang Art Project”. An endeavor to share, contribute and lend our voice in support of women's empowerment!" 

TECD : Aarti tell us about your most recent creative ventures that you've thoroughly enjoyed working on. 

Aarti : "I have been fortunate to have been able to experiment with a lot of  different kinds of work. This has enabled me to figure out what I would like to stick to in  the long term. In my fine art work, I've just completed a new series on“Never let go”. 
With respect to commercial  and commission work,  I was involved in the interiors of the Black Rabbit”(newly opened restaurant in Bangalore) where I was commissioned to  paint bells that form a fascinating focal point of the interiors of this restaurant.  And in my home décor series for “Ispaceart”, I have recently put together a collection of work for Jaypore, which is now online."
The sight of 16 over sized bells is grand enough but the fact that Aarti was commissioned to hand paint each one of these bells to replicate motifs borrowed from Indian miniature paintings is mind-blowing.  
TECD : What has been the most challenging experience for you as an artist?

Aarti : "In this yet very small journey as an artist, I have liked to explore as much as I can and therefore do various kinds of work to challenge myself and stretch my own boundaries. While this happens at one side, on the other side I am continuously searching for my uniqueness to develop/create a path of my own. My difficulties are with time - limitations on the number of hours each day means that I don't get to practice, sketch and exercise my skills as much as I'd like to. I would also like to devote a certain amount of time everyday to observe and study the things around which is very important for an artist’s growth. Something that I am chasing as of now."
TECD : What are your future plans to take Ispaceart to the next level ?

Aarti : "I do hope ispaceart can be available at more locations. Right now it retails via “The Purple Turtles" store in Bangalore and at " Dhoop" in Mumbai. Online you could find us at Ispaceart and Jaypore

I am  also focusing on expanding my work in the fine art segment."
TECD : Not many people get to live their dream like you. What advice would you give the folks out there to answer their creative calling?

Aarti  :"The wish always is that we all can live our dreams.  Firstly, its to find that streak of uniqueness and then be able to risk things and take the plunge. We are all gifted and talented.  Not everyone needs to be an artist but its important  to be connected to ourselves and therefore know what path to choose. Inspiration surrounds us and we should be open to receive it, transform it and then believe in it. I have learnt and come to believe that to truly know what our calling is to shut our mind and open our heart and we shall hear, see and know what is for us."

As said by Mark Twain- “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”.
The lovely Aarti doing what she does best with her magic wand....
And that was the lovely and uber talented  - Aarti Karwayun Chawda.  Every single time that I was working on putting this post together and I reviewed her portfolio, I  had the urge to pack all my stuff and move to a new place in the greed for more wall space to own and display Aarti's art. If you are as smitten as I am by Aarti's work and want to make one of her creations a part of your home, this where you need to head.

Image Copyright/Credit -  Aarti Karwayun Chawda. The images may not be reproduced under any circumstances without the prior written approval of the artist.


  1. I am speechless! what an amazing artist!! I was spell bound by looking at her charcoal paintings. Thank you for introducing us to Arti.


    1. Thank you Deepa. Aarti's work is truly splendid !!!


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