By Hand From The Heart is a biannual Makers Market held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello! I’m Arsheen, a fashion designer who graduated from NIFT. I worked in a design studio for a year creating bespoke clothing and on the side I would make little accessories to go with it. And that’s where I realised I wanted to learn and know more on that front. I hence decided to head to Bombay to do a short course at IIGJ and learnt jewellery making. Once I was back I started experimenting and creating my own pieces of jewellery and also tried my hand at footwear, and created a range of different pieces, and that’s how I started- Pretty Random on a small scale. On a lighter note, I’m one of those silent workers, with a not so silent mind where I’m always creating! And I’ve always been inclined to art and design for as long as I can remember.
How would you describe what you do; and how long have you been making and creating?
I’ve been creating for a while now but I was initially experimenting and putting my stuff out there mainly to get views and inputs on what worked and what didn’t. After a positive response I took it more seriously and have been showcasing at retail outlets in Chennai since two years. My products are always a fusion and I don’t follow a certain theme or trend and I love incorporating a lot of different materials, colour and techniques, but at the same time not going over board to ruin the aesthetics of each piece. My style is mix of tradition yet having a modern appeal.
Tell us about your recent works and your proposed showcase at the By Hand, From The Heart.
My new line that I’ll be showcasing at By Hand, From The Heart Artisan Market, is going to have lots of colour, metallics ,denim and brocade footwear for women and kids. And some interesting surface techniques.
Can you describe your work place / space?
I work from home for half the day And I head out for the rest of it to a workshop where I work with skilled artisans and create my pieces.
What is a typical day at “Pretty Random” like.
I don’t restrict myself to being too structured and give myself a little freedom in seeing what needs to be done first as I start my day. Plus running a brand has you running in all directions most of the time. I’ve now learnt to create more of a balance. That said, I love every bit of it!
What/who inspires you? Or how do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in the smallest of things. I’m always attending different workshops to learn a different skill and this I’d like to think has an impact on my work and inspires me and widens my imagination. Even when I travel I make it a point to explore the art scene and learn something new always. The different materials I work with in itself is inspiring.
Can you describe your creative process and what is the most rewarding part of the creative process for you?
Like I mentioned, I work with a bunch of materials/trimmings together which isn’t necessarily similar to each other and that challenge of creating a fun fusion of styles is what I start to create with. As and when it’s being made, I make necessary changes or add a few elements to it. I have a lot of fun with it which is when the best pieces come out! What’s rewarding is to finally see the product come alive. And clients coming back to tell me how my shoes/ jewellery were conversation starters and were well received once worn. Having it noticed is a huge boost personally and only makes me work harder!
What’s the best thing about being a crafter / designer?
I think every crafter/designer would agree when I say it’s the whole lot of freedom that comes with it.
What would you say to someone thinking about selling their work?
Before you start, test the waters and share your products with people. Keep improving with all the feedback you get. And believe in what you create! If you have a whole lot of passion for what you do, you’re half way there.
Anything exciting on the cards for the coming months?
I’ll be adding a few more products to my range and will be more easily available online. I’m also looking into doing a full fledged line of casual footwear for men.
Arsheen will showcase her hand-crafted footwear collection at the By Hand, From The Heart Artisan & Farmers Market | 7- 8 August 2015 | 10 a.m – 8 p.m | Hanu Reddy Residences, 41/19, Poes Garden, Teynampet, Chennai.
Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/791353340961431/