Friday, 17 April 2015

Artist's Corner: Shilpa Srinivasan

Research shows that children who grow up in non-restrictive, non-evaluative and less controlling environments tend to be more creative than others and parents who support children’s autonomy and freedom tend to foster creativity. There is scientific evidence to support the fact that children who show creative potential normally grow up in stress free households characterized by a lot of warmth and the freedom to express themselves .
      This is exactly the kind of household Shilpa Srinivasan seems to have grown up in. Born to a management consultant from IIT and a speech therapist who prepared her own therapy material, Shilpa was never forced to pursue engineering or medicine unlike others from her generation. In fact she had to coax her parents to let her study Science while they encouraged her to pursue her creative interests.


Shilpa says she has a lifetime's experience of illustrating, starting with the walls of her parents home at age 5. Having honed her skills in illustration in fashion school, and various creative ventures later she unexpectedly stumbled on creating art for commission after the arrival of her little one. You will find her work on her FB page-Haiku in hue. Here's what Shilpa has to say about her work:

"Watercolour is a really simple medium, but it is unforgiving. There are no ways to recover from errors and it needs absolute focus. When I paint it’s an absolute opposite frame of mind to my baseline self of a multi-tasking mom. The subjects I most love to paint are Moms and small children as I began painting again while I lived in Brooklyn finding inspiration in the lively community of amazing moms and toddlers."

"It struck me one day that there are exactly 2 pictures, highly cherished nevertheless, of me under the age of 1 while there are close to 4000 of my daughter and a similar number is probably true of any child whose parents possess a smart-phone. It’s hard to cherish a single photo when you have as many. When I paint a watercolour of a moment in time, it takes so many hours to do so. There is a timeless tactile quality to it that offers an irreplaceable authenticity .It is an interpretation of a fleeting moment that’s worthy of a picture frame and a space on the wall, precisely for the huge deliberate effort that goes to expressing a moment of joy and intimacy. I feel immense gratitude for being able to do this."

 Shilpa, I am sure there are numerous people out there who are immensely grateful for the many talents that you possess! I strongly believe that for most creative people, one creative outlet is not good enough and they need to express themselves in a variety of ways. This ravenous compulsion to create, more often than not, urges an artist to seek a secondary creative outlet. This could be in artistic or non-artistic ways like writing, music, cooking or even gardening.  This is true for Shilpa as well. She has worked for a non profit Asian American Story telling company, used to design a line of handcrafted fabric jewelry called Spicy bijoux and writes poetry. That explains the 'Haiku' in the 'Hue'!         

Shilpa loves being outdoors, taking long walks and going on offbeat adventures in New York City. She also loves being around children and says she was the go-to baby sitter for many years before her own daughter came along. Shilpa’s love for nature and children is reflected in her work. Recently, she came across a picture of a little girl in Humans of New York and was so inspired by her and her imagination that she decided to illustrate the girl and her imaginary world. This little girl's heart warming story of a country called Manizao, between India and China, has been beautifully captured by Shilpa.

Presently, Shilpa is working on a children's book titled Nelly Elly - a picture e-book for toddlers in the age group of 0- 3 yrs which she is writing as well as illustrating. She agreed to let you take a sneak peak at it....

From the little girl who used the walls of her parent’s home as her canvas to illustrating another equally imaginative little girl and her stories, Shilpa Srinivasan has come a long way. I cant wait to see what this multi-faceted designer, poet, storyteller and artist has in store for us next. While I was chatting with Shilpa she let on what's next on her agenda but I am going to keep that to myself for now. Suffice it to say that Shilpa Srinivasan and her 'Haiku in Hue' are going places and you will  just have to wait and watch this space to know where she is headed.

Shilpa's FB page-

You will find her poetry at