By Hand From The Heart: One Show, Many Stories!

By Hand From The Heart is a curated makers market event in Chennai, South India. UPCOMING EVENT: 24th – 25th, AUGUST, CROWNE PLAZA, CHENNAI

Meet The Maker: Shishu Suman, Mithila Artist

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Tell us a bit about yourself.

We are two passionate art lovers Shishu and Chetna, behind the brand “Madhubani Motifs”. We belong to Jitwarpur village in Madhubani district (Bihar), which can be referred as the prominent center of Mithila art. Our grandmother belonged to the first generation of artists who presented Mithila art to the world; she received the prestigious State award for her contributions.
Both of us are registered artisans under Ministry of textile, govt. of India and have received the scholarship from Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT). Currently employed as software professionals, we spend our weekends either creating art or studying about and experimenting. We work out of our sheer passion for folk arts. Extreme care is taken in designing each and every piece. Apart from traditional canvases and paper, we love to explore different surfaces. We are always on a lookout for items that could be worked upon and turned into exquisite pieces of art.

How would you describe what you do; and how long have you been making and creating?

I would call it “labor of love”. It’s the love for art that drives us work for painstaking long hours on each product, but the satisfaction that comes seeing the finished products is worth all this. I would say I have been creating ever since I was able to hold a brush in my hands. I was greatly attracted to painting even as a kid, back then I used to help artists around in an art center running in our compound. Then slowly I started creating my own little pieces as greeting cards or wall arts and gifted them away, most of my relatives have my paintings on their walls. Commercially I started doing it only in 2013.

Tell us about your recent works and your proposed showcase at the By Hand, From The Heart.

This time our products are designed keeping the upcoming festivals in mind. We have kept the color and composition vibrant that will suit the festive mood well. We are bringing Mithila paintings, Greeting cards and envelopes, hand painted pendants and earrings, makeup and multi-utility pouches, keepsake boxes, hand painted combs, wall hangings and canvases.

Can you describe your work place / space? 
We work from our humble 2 bedroom apartment where one room serves as the warehouse cum work studio. Our study table is where you can find us in deep thought or working, on designs.

What is a typical day at Madhubani Motifs like?
For us weekdays and weekends are different. Weekends are when we do most of our work. On week days I try to paint at least for an hour every day.

What/who inspires you? Or how do you find inspiration?
I grew up in the ambiance where creativity and art flew in abundance; we have witnessed some great artists and their work closely. This enables us perceive things and express them in an artistic way .Nature, mythology and spiritual India is where I find my inspiration always.

Can you describe your creative process and what is the most rewarding part of the creative process for you?
We always perceive nature and incidents happening around us, painting for me is expressing those perceptions on paper. I visualize a lot before starting any piece, once the concept takes form in my mind then I start with a rough sketch on paper, after that I start working on the actual surface and draw the out lines and markups in pencil. Once the design is finalized, I work with color. Unleashing the creative side of your own self is the most rewarding thing that I love about this.

What’s the best thing about being a crafter / designer?
I love the joy of creating; it’s the most beautiful feeling to be able to create something.

Anything exciting on the cards for the coming months?
The first outing in the coming months is at By Hand From The Heart Artisan Market and we are pretty excited about this. From work perspective, I would like to experiment more on hand painted jewelry; apart from that I always keep searching as what other items I can paint and convert from mundane to beautiful. Also, I want to indulge more in traditional Mithila painting. I am working on my website as well.

Shishu Suman will showcase her creation 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:


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