Hello, my name is Abhinaya. I am the curative head of The Artist Project. Being a recently graduated architect and also working for an architecture firm (Sidharth Ninan Architecture), I am just as curious about exploring the fields of product design and the fine arts as I am about architecture. Naturally, being a converging point of both my interests, the world of handicrafts and the culture that surrounds it is what I subsequently started spending time with the most.
TDS – What is The Artist Project about? What inspired you to begin this company?
Abhinaya – The Artist Project is an initiative to promote talented creativists, who’s work would stand to exemplify handmade craftsmanship. This space would prove to be as much about celebrating as it would be about showcasing the works of potters, jewellers, painters, khadi and alternative artists. We aspire to be a hub that’d allow for a healthy exchange of energy between our folks and the artists who interest them.
What became fairly obvious in all my travels is that the standards and the interplay of the form function dynamics incorporated by the different artists in their work is so unique, it deserves to permeate an audience and a market much bigger than the limited customer base that they have set for themselves. A vast majority of these artists don’t have the inclination or the means to promote their works on social media or at tourist outlets, and it’s precisely the works of these kinds of artists that I hope to put in the spotlight with The Artist project.
TDS – Tell us a little about your milestone journey.
Abhinaya – I was right out of college with no business organization module to have been familiar with so I had to formulate my own work methodology. That was the first but my inertia kept me motivated to sail through that. Further down the line I realised how to accommodate setbacks that come with a system where people are so used to online shopping which is so quick, they aren’t as willing to understand that it isn’t enough to only appreciate handicrafts but also understand the time put into each piece. So, speeding that was my next challenge. But these challenges have in a way helped me educate myself about what works and what doesn’t.
TDS – How has your experience with “The Artist Project” been so far?
Abhinaya – I feel a sense of belonging because it’s over a year old and is something that is now well imbibed into my daily routine. Now it feels like familiar territory and I am able to gauge things better in terms of the commercial aspect of products. The relationship I share with my artists have also helped me because we are constantly working to improvising not just the products but also the way we as a company project ourselves. Thanks to the Sunday shout outs I ‘ve also been able to interact with artists of a wider spectrum that helps me evaluate my own perspective time and again.
TDS – Do you believe in dreams? If you had to motivate people to follow their dreams what would you tell them?
Abhinaya – I do believe in dreams but dreams happen only if you have reality as your anchor. We often put these two in separate sections and very often in contrast to one another when really they are so complimentary!