ART, ARTISTS, CRAFT, Creator, CULTURE, GUJARAT
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“My Art Helps Me Explore the Unventured Territories” Meet the Miniaturist Shirali Patel from Ahmedabad

Miniature is a thing that is much smaller than normal, especially a small replica of a particular thing. Introducing the Miniature Artist Shirali Patel from Ahmedabad, who is amazingly fascinated and bitten by the miniature art bug, since she was a child. A self-taught and a self-mastered artist, Shirali shares her story with Roots and Leisure on how the culture of India has become her inspiration towards the creation of her artwork Small Idea.

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  • Share a little details about yourself and what you have been up to?

Hi I’m Shirali, a Bio-Chemist turned Fashion Designer turned Miniaturist. After working for over a decade in Retail Industry, I left my corporate job and pursued my passion for creating miniature. I am a self-taught and I have mastered this art after many years of mistakes and experimentation.

“It’s been 8 years now that I’m sculpting miniatures and my quirky little utility and collectable products bring smile on many faces.”

  • What initially sparked your interest in this field?

I just love miniatures. Miniatures fascinated me as a child and it still gets me excited as an adult!! Also my personal taste is more biased towards quirky and one of a kind products. Back in 2008, before I started working professionally, I had made customized pen-drives for myself and some gifts for a few friends. I tried my luck selling few pieces online and people did purchase them. And hence, there was no looking back for me.

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  • What do you do full-time? If part time, how do you manage?

I’m a full time miniaturist, with a very quaint studio that has all kinds of equipment and raw materials ranging from wood-working, soldering to thermo-forming. I spend 8 – 10 hours daily working on miniatures in my studio. My work is my passion.

  • What’s your creative philosophy? Where do you take inspiration from?

I fall in love with the process of the creation to do a really great work and I let myself make as many mistakes as I need to, so I can learn from them. I like to get my paradigm shattered.

“Life is a teacher for me. All my inspiration comes from real life, real people, real situations; and of course not to forget, real food!”

  • What do you hope people take away from your art?

Love – your love for passion. Love for creation. Love in sharing. Love for humanity. Love is what I hope people to take away from my artwork.

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  • What gets you particularly excited about your art?

Innovation! What I love about my work is that it helps me explore the unventured territories. It gives me an opportunity to create something that has never been miniaturized. It provides me with a wide arena to explore and engage in new things and grow as an artist.

“My work is my soul expression! It’s free-spirited, adventurous and undefeated.”

  • How has your roots inspired you to do what you are doing today?

My roots have a huge influence on my work. Though I am very versatile in my work and can sculpt everything from miniature books to shoes, my favorite genre to sculpt is food. And India is a culturally diverse country. With 29 states and various cuisines, it’s a rich source of inspiration for me!

My goal as an artist is to create top 20 miniature staple food of every state and create a food trail across the country. I have started working on this project, and to my amazement, I found so many overlapping similarities in local cuisines from one state to another. Same food, similar recipes and yet different names!”

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  • Can you single out an item from your work which you are particularly proud of?

Yes, I recently did a miniature food series on Mangalore, which had 15 local cuisines that I recreated in 1:6 scale. I have never tasted or seen these cuisines but it was a delightful challenge to recreate it in realistic miniature form. My next, work in progress is the cuisines of West Bengal.

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  • Share links to your social media accounts

You can get connected to me through Facebook Instagram

Asmita Das

A Storyteller, a Word Weaver, a Theatre Artist, a Foodie, and a Dreamer - with a long wish-list. Currently working on checking off the lists! 😀

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