1. How do you balance the various disciplines you're involved in? Do you have specific self-care protocol?
I often find myself overworked and overwhelmed, but keeping a healthy balance of diet, sleep, exercise and leisure time is what makes my practice possible. Realistically, it's difficult to do everything all at once, or even to do every single thing on a daily basis. I allocate periods of focus, and I take breaks, for weeks or even months, from one discipline to delve into another. This management also requires that I avoid spreading myself too thin, so I don't work on more than two or three projects at once. Over time, I have had to develop the habit of respectfully refusing to take on work that I can't wholly commit to; this means working on the art of negotiation and saying "no" to people and projects that I really admire. I wish there were an extra 24 hours in each day, but it's important to respect and work within one's established boundaries.
I've been a Vegetarian my whole life, and the key things that I focus on are staying hydrated and nourished [without treats (which, for me, manifest as sugary desserts)] while I'm meeting deadlines. When my days are more relaxed, my treat indulgences are in full effect, primarily comprising of coffee and cupcakes.
Spending time with loved ones who take care of and inspire me is a gift that I am continuously thankful for. Sometimes I find myself "too busy to interact with people," but whenever I do, it's worth it. Human interaction re-centers and motivates me. In fact, every face-to-face meeting that we stumble upon adds value to our lives.
Lastly, I can't over-emphasize the importance of ample sleep and physical exercise.
2. Can you speak about your process and tools?
My work is often driven by writing or images that I come across. I read books and collect images created by artists that I admire to explore new possibilities for manifesting my ideas. I focus on concepts that I wish to explore, and while browsing through precedent work, I'm able to materialize my thoughts.
Two-dimensional: for my physical work, I mainly use acrylic and gouache paints. My surfaces are usually canvas sheets or art board. My digital pieces are created using a digital drawing pencil and touchscreen tablet.
Three-dimensional: My sculptural work is created using cone 6 or cone 06 stoneware clay. All of my under-glazing brushwork and glazing is rendered manually, without the aid of decal transfers or stencils. My embroidery work is also done by hand, using cotton thread and glass beads.
I adore folk genres of different cultures, and so I incorporate these diverse instruments, beat sequences and vocal riffs into my own music. 95% of what I listen to on a daily basis is non-Western and non-English.
I record most of my vocals at my home studio. My primary equipment includes a condenser mic, mic stand, pop filter, interface, and CPU. This bear bones equipment generates good quality sound and proves handy while travelling. With modern technology, a high level of sound can be achieved in a quiet space of almost any home.
3. Where can I purchase your work and hire you for performances/workshops?
I sell high quality art prints, hand-embroidered goods, and wearable sculptures on my Etsy shop. I regularly stock my store with new items and I can be contacted for customizations and commissions.
For original work, catalogues can be requested via firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have a small team assisting me with bookings, and performance + workshop packages can also be requested via e-mail.
4. Why are you obsessed with pomegranates?
They exhibit aesthetic beauty, health benefits, and mysticism. I have had a lifelong attachment to pomegranates, as they were a delicacy on my visits to India. Upon seeing a pomegranate, my synesthetic response is to see deep maroon rubies surrounded by a crimson marble encasing. The physical similarity to stones and minerals connects to opulence and fortitude. If not careful, the juice can leave a permanent stain, proving an ever-lasting presence in the natural world. There is more than meets the eye with this fruit; although it has a smooth, hexagonical-rounded husk, there's a whole intricate world within the shell. Pomegranates have been poeticized for centuries, and I want to seek the depths to which this can be explored. My aim is to turn symbols into palimpsest, drawing from historical references and adding to their narrative with each new project. Through this technique, I hope for the pomegranate to become one of the symbols associated with the identity of my work.
5. Advice for young creatives or those just starting out?
1) Follow your curiosities. It's not important to know your passion right away, but we're always curious about something. Trying out different things is usually how we find our fit.
2) Believe in what is in your heart before you believe the hundreds of opinions of others. If you have a desire that is constantly gushing, it is there for a reason. Understand it as well as you can.
3) Keeping 2) in mind, take constructive criticism seriously. This helps strengthen future partnerships and makes your work the best it can be.
4) Don't get overwhelmed by looking at the successes and accolades of your seniors or peers. Instead, gain inspiration and insights from them. Strategy, patience, and rigour are the magic ingredients to making almost anything possible. Whatever is in your heart will manifest.
5) Know that you have considerable power and control over how you feel. Don't believe every negative thought that pops into your mind. regularly meditate on the things you're thankful for: your family, friends, career opportunities, geography. Being in a healthy space mentally is the best thing you can do for yourself, no matter what you're doing in life.