Saturday, January 23, 2010

featured artist : Padmaja

Pink Graffiti is happy to feature artist Padmaja Chaluvadi! a wonderful textile artist and surface designer from India, Padma is a New York resident, with a studio in Brooklyn. a fascinating person that i am lucky enough to have met and call a friend, she is traveling in India at the moment, painting and visiting family.

Padma working in her studio. her Etsy shoppe currently sells clothing, home decor and accessories, all hand painted and printed in her Brooklyn studio. we actually met through my mother and her friend, Rauf, who lives in India.

Padma was kind enough to answer some of my interview questions:

Tell us a bit about yourself, your shop, what you design/create!

Well, I am an Art director/advertising by profession but always been drawn to fashion and textiles since childhood. So now my work has the mixed influence of advertising, fine arts, as in having an idea/concept/thought behind the patterns. As well as cross cultural iconography, indian motifs with a western twist, a western motif with an Indian subtext.
When did you start creating things?

Five years ago, one Fall day, just for fun, I enrolled in an evening class of experimental screen printing at FIT, and now forever got hooked on the tactile medium. The interplay of the substrate is simply addictive.

How do you like selling on Etsy so far? Would you like to start selling anywhere else?

I just started, and I like the venue very much, but all the sales I made so far are from my friends and family :). So, That's not exactly true measure of sales... Yes, I want to try other avenues, high end boutiques, museums and custom orders.
What kind of materials do you like to use? What are your favorite tools to work with?

Natural and eco-friendly materials. I really try to be a fair trader and use low impact resources in the production process. My favourite tool is a loaded brush:).
Do you enjoy any other crafts or hobbies? What do you do when you're not crafting?

A lot of photography (my main source of imagery), a lot of reading, 'looking' and painting.

Where do you look for inspiration?

Everywhere... Nature, literature, and new york city streets.
Any tips for other artists starting a craft business?

Don't give up on your dream, and don't give up on your day job until your dream becomes real/possible. Personally and surprisingly, I am more creative and productive when I know my bills are getting paid than being a full time Artist and I am a 24/7 worry knot.

Where do you see your business going? Any future plans?

I want to enter home furnishing and interior design market and explore custom designs for fashion houses.

Anything else you'd like to share?
Thank you Lesley for your time and interest.
thank you Padma, we are so excited to hear about your work! Padma and i have had lovely conversations about design and combining interiors and fiber design. we wish you so much luck and a wonderful, enriching time in India!

you can also see her beautiful hand-painted and silkscreened designs here:


Ruth said...

I've seen a photo of Padmaja in India taken by rauf, now I've seen a photo of her in the U.S. Thank you for the interview, Lesley. I am so impressed with Padmaja's designs on Etsy, and I like how India influences the West and vice versa. Majastudio is beautiful too! Silkscreen is a wonderful medium. Those designs and patterns would make GORGEOUS interior accents, and I can totally see upscale designers taking hold of them. The natural leaves, florals, fabulous colors, wow, Padmaja really has an amazing talent. I hope I meet her one day - maybe in the spring?

Indu Balachandran said...

Padmaja or Max as we call her is about the most sparky, brave, full-of-surpirses designing genius I have met! She made an amazing impression on us the very day she joined our Ad Agency (JWT) years ago. There is so much artistic energy she spreads around too. She is going to be FAMOUS! And am so glad she takes these time-outs to hang around with us old mad coots in Chennai:-) Indu

Padmaja said...

Lesley, Ruth and Indu,
Thank you so much for all the love, compliments and support. I feel truly lucky for having you guys and so many other wonderful friends all rooting for my success. In-Shah-Allah/God bless:)

lesleyanne said...

mommy - thank you, and yes, Padma is so talented and a wonderful person, i hope you can one day meet! i think she will be back in NYC in the spring...?

Indu - thank you for the visit! it must be wonderful to have Padma visit in India.

Padma - Of course!! i am so happy to be a part of your life and share in it. we all wish you so much luck!