By Hand From The Heart is a curated makers market event in Chennai, South India. UPCOMING EVENT: CHENNAI: AUGUST 3RD – 4TH,
Paper sculptor Moka Satish Kumar is based in Vizhag; he creates intricate portraits and framed art works using paper sculpting techniques.
Tell us a bit about yourself & your early days as a paper sculptor.
My name is Moka Satish and I am a paper sculptor. I graduated with a B. Com degree at A V N College, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh in 1990 and worked in various private organisations in Nagpur & Visakhapatnam, for the last 24 years.
Since my childhood days, I have been fascinated towards art; especially sculptures and sketches. 10 years ago I saw a paper collage, crafted from different & colourful paper swatches – it captivated me so much that I was inspired to sculpt realistic paper portrait in my free time.
From 2005 to 2012; I began to horn my skills; I began to observe and practice various sculpting techniques. My initial portraits were primarily birds and animals. With a demanding career, sculpting human portraits was difficult, as I was always pressed for time.
In 2012 I resigned my job and took up paper sculpting full time; I would spend 15 hours a day at my home studio and soon I took on customised orders. In 2015 I got the recognition from Indian Book of Records and also from the Ministry of Textiles and Handicrafts.
Your creative process.
I import my paper from various parts of the world. Its a specialty paper that is treated for acid proof; this gives better life to my art works. Paper sculpting is laborious and intricate. It takes almost 15 to 40 days to execute a portrait; I spend close to 12 hours a day at my home studio. At any given stage of work; a wrong etch will cost me to start all over again. Fine detailing matters and so precise execution makes this art a labor of love.
Tell us about your recent works and your proposed showcase at the By Hand, From The Heart.
I will be presenting my latest work at By Hand From The Heart Art Show – The Lady – a paper sculptured portrait that I took 40 days to sculpt. Sculpting the flowing hair of this subject made it my most challenging project till date.
What/who inspires you? Or how do you find inspiration?
I am largely inspired by the works of Kelvin Nicholas and Jeff Nishika. Both have a great portfolio and distinctive styles. I am glad to have found my own niche in this rarely pursued field of art, in India.
Nature is my inspiration; animals & birds are my favourite subjects. My art works have to be realistic and not abstract; I want to reach out to all through my art. My narration has to be easy to understand and appreciated.
What would you say to someone thinking about selling their work?
My advise to all artists – first, make the art as the priority. Give it your 100% . Every piece of art must have a soul, a story. Take time to bring out the best; only then your work will speak for itself. Your work will attract its own audience. Commercial success takes time; so focus on your skills, interact and collectively all your efforts will take you to greater heights. This is my story, my learnings.
My dream is to teach youngsters from underprivileged backgrounds and develop a team of skilled artisans.