By Hand From The Heart is a biannual Makers Market held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Alamelu Annhamalai, 22 years old with a degree in Visual Arts from Stella Maris College, Chennai. I’ve always loved creating things. I probably spent too much time working on art projects in school and drawing in books, which led me to choose art over the conventional subjects despite doing well in my studies. I love reading, people-watching and am a huge cricket fanatic. Being a very visual person and having a constant motion picture in my head, I feel a painting is limited only by the imagination of the viewer.
Tell us about your works and your proposed showcase at the By Hand, From The Heart.
A lot of my work is figurative or representational, drawing inspiration from everyday life as I am fascinated by people, their behaviour, their interaction with the society and the complexities of human nature. Currently I’m exploring my roots, and how childhood memories, incidents, and thoughts have impacted the person I am today.
I will be displaying a series of pen, ink and charcoal drawings on old printed pages of the book The Art of Remaking Men by Paul Campbell. It is largely inspired by the content on each page and certain words that stood out to me. The series (30 pieces and counting) uses minimal line and drawing to represent my interpretations. Apart from that, I hope to display a few other paintings, each with a concept on its own but with a common sense of nostalgia.
Can you describe your studio/work space?
As I work from home, my studio is the space between my bed and the computer table. An easel, shelves of material, a desk and stacked canvases surround me. Music 24×7 gives me the right ambiance.
What/who inspires you? Or how do you find inspiration?
The simplest answer to that would be people. People, nature, music, books, history, theories, psychology, everyday life, other artists– it could literally be anything. Also currently, Jedidiah Jenkins – a travel writer and much more. You can find him on Instagram for the most thought-provoking and inspiring posts.
Can you describe your creative process and what is the most rewarding part of the creative process for you?
Most of the time I work out the concept, develop sketches and experiment with the techniques. Sometimes I abandon all thought and try to create a piece of work and then analyze why I gravitated towards what I did.
The most rewarding part of the creative process is the fact that you’re creating something with your head, heart and hand and people connect with it.
How do you get around creative blocks?
When I have an idea or an interesting conversation or dream, I write/doodle it down in a journal. It helps as a library to go back to when you don’t know what to paint/do. Sometimes a break from the routine is the best. Music and travelling.
What’s the best thing about being an artist?
To me, art is a reflection of the mind and it lets you express what you cannot say and that’s why I am drawn to it.
What would you say to someone thinking about selling their work?
Do it. The art market is a tough place for beginners but with online galleries and more people appreciating and buying art, selling your work will encourage you to create more. This is exactly what I’m saying to myself as well.
Anything exciting on the cards for the coming months?
Hopefully! Fingers crossed.
Chennai – the city.
Born and raised in Chennai. I’ve always loved this city and its people, but the last month or so has made me incredibly proud seeing how we’ve responded to the rains and flood. The art scene has picked up over the last few years with more opportunities for artists and the general public interested in buying art and craft for gifts.
How was business for you at the event.
Great! This was my first time taking part in an event organized by BHFTH and I couldn’t have asked for a better response. My new series of works were well received by everyone and I was able to sell quite a few of them. Some people even contacted me after the show to know if some works were available. So encouraging when people are able to relate to your paintings and positive words and energy is spread around.
Describe your market experience.
It was a great opportunity to meet so many like-minded yet diverse artists and makers from different cities. Received a lot of comments, suggestions and appreciation from a lot of artists and other visitors. The event was so well organized and promoted, which resulted in a lot of people coming for the show and talking about it across social media. Overall an incredibly amazing experience. Hats off to the By Hand From The Heart team! Having taken part in other shows, I felt this was done very well.I would love to take part again.
What was the outcome of your participation.
Great contacts, positive feedback, new friends, and motivation to create more! What more can one ask for?