Featured Artist - Vinaya Muralidharan

  • At Calypso we publish cards by artists from all over the world – tell us where you grew up and where you live and work.
    I grew up in a small town in south India called Hubli. After I finished my engineering degree I moved to Bangalore and once I got married, we moved to Sydney and I have been here ever since.

  • What is your work environment like, do you have a home studio? An ocean view? What sort of music do you like to listen to while you work?
    That is such an interesting question. I do have a home studio. My home overlooks the mountains so imagine a lot of trees, constant sound of birds and breathtaking sunsets. Since I mostly work in collections, the music changes with respect to that. If I am working on delicate colorful pieces, it would be something happy and if I am working on larger moody pieces, the music would be more deep. For the indigo collection, I was listening to classical music that reminded me of home, while for the florals it’s been more of podcasts than music.

  • How is your day structured as a working artist?
    It’s very important for me to have a routine. The mornings are usually a little slow and I enter the studio sometime around 9.30 - 10.00 am. I have observed that I am creatively charged if I go outside in nature before I enter so I try to do it as much as I can. I then clean my studio and light a candle for scent, put on some music or a podcast and the day begins. I paint for 4-5 hours before moving on to other admin activities like responding to emails, packing orders etc. As a working artist, there is so much to do and the list is never-ending. Once I have my tasks planned for the week, my schedule is pretty flexible on when to achieve them within that week. I close the studio at around 5.30pm since my son will be back home and I spend the rest of the evening with my family. I sneak in sometimes at night or early morning too if my son is sleeping.

  • How did you begin your career as an artist?
    I am an engineer by degree and used to work at a software engineering firm. After I had my son, I was on a maternity break during which I started painting every day. I had always been painting since I was a child but this was the first time I tried watercolors. I fell in love with the medium and did a 100-day project during which I created art every day for 100 days and posted them on social media. It was during this time that I found that people loved what I was doing and wanted to buy from me. It was also only then that I became aware that I could do this for a living and that’s how it all started.

  • What was your first big success as an artist?
    My first big success as art artist was when I found my unique voice to express myself. When I found my creative style/voice, it felt so authentic…I then launched my first collection which was really very well received and that’s another moment that I am proud of.

  • What inspires your work?
    This answer would really depend on the time of my life because had you asked me this a year ago it would have been florals, a few months back it would have been an emotion; currently I’m really enjoying exploring colors and how they work with each other. I am inspired by a lot of things… primarily nature.

  • Are there other artists that inspire you?
    There are many many artists who inspire me and I am discovering someone new every day. I have observed one thing though: the artists who are in deep connection with the creative process are the ones I am inspired by. Every artist has a different process and some of them are deeply connected and find great meaning in creating. I find them very inspiring.

  • What is your earliest memory of creating art?
    I think since forever. I was always known at school as the kid who excelled in art. I have always represented my college for arts. So art has always been there… it has come and gone in parts of my life and I am so happy to make it a constant now.

  • What is your favorite medium?
    At this moment, watercolor.
    I love a range of mediums and the one which fits best for my concept ends up becoming my favorite at the moment.

  • How has your style changed over time?
    My style will keep changing because as a human, I am changing every day and art is very much a part of me. As I evolve, my art and my style evolve too.

  • Of all the cards we publish by you, do you have a favorite?
    I love all of them so much … picking one is very hard. Maybe Charm...

  • Click here to see the entire Vinaya Muralidharan collection.