India Decorating Blog: Vineeta Nair: Art n Light
Vineeta Nair shares her journey – from the world of advertising and art direction, to design blogging and creative craft. Narrating the story of Art n Light, and more recently, her passion for photography.
I discovered design blogging when I was working in advertising and was so hooked that within months I was thirsting for a similar design blog experience from India. I didn’t find any. A friend, who knew how taken I was by this whole concept of design blogging, told me, “If you can’t find an Indian design blog, why don’t you start one?” That was that and there was no looking back.
All the while, I was reading how people were creating things and blogging about it. The best thing about blogging is how contagious it is. So here was this tray lying at home and it really needed a make-over. I hand-painted it, and then showed it to friends.
One of my friends just happened to be organising an exhibition and offered me a stall. I didn’t have time to hand- paint enough to fill a stall, so I thought why not decoupage. That is how the whole thing started.
The first decoupage work I ever did was a book shelf at home and my shoe rack. Neither did I know the technique, nor did I have the right material. I just tried it with fevicol. I was inspired by pictures of a decoupaged chest of drawers in a decor magazine that I fell in love with it – I just HAD to try it.
The next opportunity was actually a case of “necessity is the mother of invention”. I had a tight deadline when I said “yes” to an exhibition. I didn’t have a single product, and I had never made one. But I caught hold of a carpenter and a painter, got them to make trays and boxes. I decoupaged these for the exhibition. I didn’t know if it would work, but there was simply no time to do anything else.
As for the designs, I just do what I love aesthetically, I make the kind of stuff I would like to buy if I walk into a store. It is all very self-indulgent.
As a kid, I loved drawing and sketching, and later studied at an art school. So I guess it was a steady progression, but i was never particularly interested in making ‘things’. I just loved art in any form.
Home Decor India: My wall-art series happened at a time when I was seriously introspecting. I was looking at the way my life was, all that needed changing. It was a time when I just couldn’t bring myself to write my usual posts, as it didn’t come from my heart. My focus was inward at that point in time. I wanted to design just for the sake of designing and not for any client. So I decided to create one design a day and gift it to my closest friends. I set myself a deadline and went about it. Each day, I chose a quote that worked for me and created a design around it. Just for joy, just for love. Nothing more.
I printed the designs and gifted them to my friends and they were blown by it. I saw that it meant the world to them. That’s when it struck me that I must share it. I really had to think a lot before putting it up, because till then, I had only featured the work of others on my blog and wasn’t sure if it was good enough to show. Also, this work was very personal. Eventually I shared it one design at a time. I have yet to share a lot of the work I did at that point.
My products are currently available at Bliss and Loose Ends in Mumbai, Orange Bicycle in Bangalore, Sagaa Lifestyles in Ahmedabad, Maal Gaadi in Surat and Masala Chai in Chennai.
I still feel our design community is fresh and young in what it does, there are a lot of things that haven’t been done. But yes, from a time when I had to look for an Indian design blog, now it seems every day I discover another Indian design blog. It is great because within a similar design aesthetic I get to see so many interesting permutations and combinations.
India Decorating Blog: An interior design blog will eventually resonate the aesthetic of that particular blogger. I love what you are doing here at Prismma for instance. It is the first online design magazine and it is doing a great job in bringing the online design community together. The social networks are also helping in a huge way in this journey. These are very exciting times to be an online design entrepreneur.
My plans – to grow, for sure. Possibly venture into furniture design with my decoupage. I am contemplating setting up an online store. It is a question of time. To push my comfort levels, every day, to try new things, to be open to new ways of working. To just be more open and less judgemental as a human being. To share my truth and learnings honestly – in whatever way I can, through my blog or in other ways.
I love travelling. I try and do that as often as I can. I also dabble in interior design. Friends and acquaintances have often approached me to decorate their homes. I even did an office space last year. None of the projects are complete, so I haven’t shared pictures on the blog. I am also a brand and design consultant so I take on assignments every now and then.
Decorating with style
Get the light in
With mirrors, bigger windows, whatever works for you and is also practical.
Green your home
Plants at home work for me. They just add to a sense of homeliness.
Bring in colour
I can’t handle the endless beigeness of it all. Bring in a spark of colour.
Paint your walls
Texture them, turn a wall into a feature, get a simple mural done. It adds so much character to a space.
Personalise your home
Put up wall-art, typography, a poster – something that resonates with who you are. Put up your travel
photographs and your family photos.
My adventure with photography started when my closest friend gifted me a camera. It has been a charmed journey and my friends still joke that travelling with me is like travelling with a camera.
One experience that will always be special for me will be my trip to Nagaland. Normally, I am pretty reticent about shooting people and I preferred monuments. But the Hornbill Festival is all about brilliantly costumed people. The trick was overcoming my shyness and being willing to do what needed doing at that time. The pictures were so much more powerful after that.