By Hand From The Heart is a biannual Makers Market held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Illustrator and graphic designer, Amrita Nambiar is the owner & creative head of Olie; a home furnishings design studio currently based in Bangalore.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m an illustrator and graphic designer by profession, I always dreamed of making art that would change people’s lives, and that is when the idea for Olie was born. I started to design and craft lamps with our unique illustrations on them.
When you switched on a lamp, it transforms the mood of a space, rich in story and soul. We wanted to reach as many homes as possible, and we are so excited to see our dream being fulfilled slowly.
How would you describe what you do; and how long have you been making and creating?
What we do, is create magic through a labour of love. From the fabrics we choose carefully, to our inspiration filled illustrations that then get hand-printed onto these soft cottons and silks and then get crafted entirely by hand into cushion covers, storage and lighting – We ensure that every Olie accessory is full of soul and beautiful detail.I have never before been so deeply in love with what I do. Olie is truly special.
I have been illustrating since I was 16, so over 12 years now ! But we started with planning, designing and making samples for Olie about 2 years ago.
Tell us about your recent works and your proposed showcase at the By Hand, From The Heart.
Recently we launched 4 new collections, Lost in Flowers, A cycle in my Window, The Sea and I and Kolam Constellation.
Each collection is full of gorgeous hand-detailing, rich cotton silk backs, lighting in new shapes and a new range of floor and table lamps – lots to be excited about ! We take pride in creating unusual displays, so you should find an exciting collection at the show By Hand, From The Heart.
Can you describe your work place / space?
Our work space is also home – it is a bright, airy space and makes for a fabulous studio. We allow people to drop in by appointment and enjoy a good chat about decor over a cup of tea.
What is a typical day at “Olie” like.
We start work around 8.30 in the morning, check emails – make a list of all the orders that have come in and make a plan for the day. A trip to the unit, a little designing and a lot of phone calls make up for the rest of the day. Each day is different, exciting and always inspiring.
What/who inspires you? Or how do you find inspiration?
I am constantly inspired by small businesses like us, the ones who craft things by hand and are reaching a wide audience and making a name for themselves. I love to talk to them and find myself much more driven by their success. Besides which, design inspiration comes from instagram and decor bloggers that I enjoy following. I’m a big fan of minimalist european design, and it influences my work a great deal. Olie is rooted in India, firmly – but it gets a rather natural,contemporary twist.
Can you describe your creative process and what is the most rewarding part of the creative process for you?
I find inspiration in sudden bursts. A wondrous moment that I want to capture, a poem that stirs me, a song that makes me dream – all lead to a sketch, an illustration. The most rewarding part is when the final product reaches a home, and we have a client writing in, sending pictures and making it their own. That’s what makes Olie real for me, and worth all the effort we put in.
What’s the best thing about being a crafter / designer?
I think the best thing about being able to design and craft is the deep feeling of satisfaction you are left with at the end of the day. I love working with my artisans, I love how creatively excited we all are when we get together and being able to contribute to the world of Indian design every day. Even the low’s are oddly satisfying in the challenge they present.
What would you say to someone thinking about selling their work?
I would say, stick to your guns, stay different and price yourself right. Reach a wide audience, don’t shy away from social media – it is a gift to small businesses. Most of all, these things take time – be patient and don’t change your story.
Anything exciting on the cards for the coming months?
Of course! Do connect with us on Facebook and Instagram to find out !