Aalie Tandon in Conversation with BHFTH - Meet the Maker Series
Today on the blog, we feature Bangalore based, fluid-artist & Resin-crafter, Aalie Tandon; she is also the Founder of 17th Art Street by Aalie Tandon which she runs with her unofficial integral partner & Co-Founder, Devanshu Dugar.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I hail from the quaint town of Lucknow and I have a Textile & Fashion background with a Degree in Textile Design from NIFT and a Masters in Apparel Design from NID.
I am extremely fascinated by stories both real and imaginary. Often, I get so engrossed while reading or watching them that it is almost as if I am living that story for real. I am quite a nerd when it comes to a skill or a process based anything in general that spikes my interest and until I find my answers, or just get that curvature right to my liking, I cannot be rested. Sophisticated rawness in the nature is what inspires me. I feel the brilliantly executed authenticity and richness in the raw nature around us, is something that is replete with endless possibilities. It is quite likely, that because of this very reason; though it might sound unheard of; I almost never run out of inspirations. In fact, very often; practically all the time; I find my mind overflowing with so many inspirations that I literally have to lucky-draw one, to get started ‘unbiasedly’, since all of those are so so creatively compelling, and for me, this is the real challenge. Eclectic interpretations whilst combining natural bits with man-made ones, coalesced through extensive amounts of detailing, colour, texture and material mixing, is something that marks my signature style.
My unofficial integral partner, Devanshu, who also happens to be my much better half, and the vital support system for 17th Art Street; is the one who essentially takes care of everything else that is quite crucial to enable me be the Maker. Managing a full time job that majorly supports us, to helping me in all the paper work and technical stuff, be it our website, taxes or even regular chores, he is the engine that keeps 17th Art Street running. He also happens to be a very finicky critic and even though this might make me cringe at times, but it surely has contributed significantly towards constant improvisation in my art practice.
Why did you become a maker?
I have always been a maker, right from my formative years, when I was literally crafting all kinds of makings, aka modern day DIY, right from simple water colour paintings to sand crafting, clay modelling, jewellery making, flower making, embroidery, etc etc all the way through my professional education, where I acquired a more sophisticated, industry-standard crafting & making know-how.
So making and crafting with my hands is something that comes quite naturally to me. In fact making something by myself, on most occasions, happens to be the first and the most dependable options that I rely on, rather prefer. For something as simple as wrapping a present, even if there is enough time for me to get it wrapped from the store, I still prefer doing it by myself, adding a few personal touches here & there.
Why is making so important to you?
Sometime back, when life happened, it happened like an unpredictable thunder strike, catching me and people close to me, completely off-guard. It was as if my entire philosophy of life, up until then, professional as well as personal, was thrown off the window. I was in a state of seemingly endless rut for quite a while and it took every ounce of my will-power to try and rebound and more importantly, to re-invent myself. That was a time when, if it wouldn’t even be the last thing to go wrong, it still and surely would. In such a trying time, the only one I could rely on to pull me out was my-own-self and, the only things that I could think of doing to get myself back on my feet, were those, that I could majorly do all by myself with as minimal reliance on anyone else as possible. That is when my childhood passion for ‘making art’ re-surfaced and it wouldn’t be even the slightest exaggeration, to say that it was then indeed, that I truly re-discovered myself by way of self-teaching and “Making” Fluid-art. That truly was my ‘renaissance’ moment, the one that reinstated my self confidence, that I have always had ever since I was a kid, but, that had gone missing in that span of, as I like to call it, ‘The Dark Times’, with no pun intended.
“Making” by way of self teaching; since I am not an artist with a professional training in art per-say; is what has given my life a new meaning, more aptly, a new beginning. Since, within me, all that while, was a literal cacophony of emotions and expressions, making Fluid-art, better known as paint-pouring; as the name suggests, literally gave a vent to let those pour over and spill through, which was a much needed respite. Perhaps because I know how it felt, when at a personal front nothing seemed to be going as per ‘my’ plan, there is a rather magnified abstract sense of ‘vibe manifestation’, I have come to consciously believe in, and that perhaps is why I also like to incorporate healing crystals in most of my artworks to resonate therapeutic energies.
How did you begin & how has your business evolved over the years ?
In conjunction to what I talked about why making is so important to me; even though, the very idea behind starting ‘making’ by myself was to regain my lost footing and to re-invent myself; it did take a little while for the manifestation to seep in, .............................. Continue Reading...
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