Architects show how to meld art and craft
Miha and Mithila are two architects hailing from Namma Chennai. Having discovered their shared penchant for “all things art”, they always wanted their passion to materialise into something concrete. Hence, they gave life to “Art Fusion Academy”in 2014, an art studio specialising in Bespoke Art and Craft Workshops curated by them.
They want people of all age groups to be able to participate and enjoy their workshops and hence they constantly strive to come up with interesting and innovative activities of varying difficulty levels that will cater to anyone who thinks art is inborn and cannot be honed!
Mithilia reminisces her earliest memory of associating with art. “I remember being about two or three years old, sitting in my room to draw a person whose form was composed entirely of scribbled shapes a scribble head, scribbled torso, scribbled arms”, she recollects.“I don't often draw without some sort of intended outcome these days and it's nice to think I started doing art without so many self-imposed constraints”, she adds.
Art for Mithila and Miha is therapeutic and always helped calm them down during the most stressful days of their course. “Art is an escapade for us, when it comes to our understanding of Art. It’s a huge part of our lives which helps us express how we feel, gives a feeling of contentment at what we do, where we have the complete freedom to picture our life the way we want it to be, the way we wish to see the world and the ideas we wish to put on a paper with colours when our mind fails to express itself through words,” says the duo.
Art and Architecture go hand in hand and their inclination towards art began early into their college years. Both of them are practising architects who conduct art workshops on weekends. “All architecture has art in it. The connection between art and architecture is a harmonious relationship. "While every form of art need not be architecture, every form of architecture ought to be an art,” they explain.
It was all trial and error that they learnt to experiment with a variety of craft materials. They believe art is a platform of self- expression and hence has no age limit! They have conducted over 50 workshops in the last 4 years catering to children as young as 3 as well as adults. “We conduct regular workshops at Utopia in Abhiramapuram and at Little Millennium Anna Nagar West & Korattur,” adds Mithila.
Talking about their struggles, they say “art being our passion, we considered everything that came our way as mere surmountable challenges and not struggles.” The initial challenge was to devote and allocate additional time to their workshops without compromising on work commitments. “But once we struck the balance, it has been a smooth journey ever since,” reveal the duo.
The field of creativity is indeed competitive but it is symptomatic of the dedication that the people involved feel towards their work. Initially it may not seem like the most lucrative career choice but if it something that one truly derives happiness and satisfaction from, then perseverance and patience will pave the way for ample opportunities towards a flourishing career in art. Both feel that today the internet has broadened the reach of art and made it possible for artists to showcase their talent through various social media platforms and thus making art a sought after career choice
The architects usually base their activities on the elements and principles of design such as the visual components of colour, form, line, shape, texture etc, both in 2D and 3D. But the duo also feels that traditional arts and crafts of India are dying due to modernisation and technological developments. “Every corner of India has a different motif, a different art, a different craft that tells a different story. Art Fusion Academy is doing its bit by working to expand and add to this vibrancy and create more awareness for India's youth about revival of dying crafts through our workshops,” says Mithila and Miha.
Art Fusion Academy's long term plans include commercialisation. “It’s important for artists to be able to sell their work. It keeps the fires in their kitchen burning, it encourages more artists to pursue their talent and by putting a value to it, it makes the general public appreciate work and try to understand it better”, feels the duo.They have two upcoming “Glass Mandala” workshops that the readers can sign up for on August 5 and the other on August 19.