Always on the lookout for fresh faces in fashion, Tanya Maheshwari’s work caught our eye for her quirky and individual take on the traditional Indian concepts of knitwear. Tanya learned to take interest in art from within the confines of her own home whilst devouring art catalogs and appreciating art knick-knacks picked up by her parents from across the world.
The result is a series of fashion art and knitwear creations that are boldly colorful and refreshingly imaginative.
Hi Tanya, tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m currently studying knitwear design at NIFT, Delhi. So, I mostly work on knitwear like headgears, patterns embedded in knits, experimenting with structures, etc apart from fashion illustration. It was just last year when I sort of started developing an interest towards getting into this style. I usually shoot my work by wearing them myself and so I have loads of self-portraits on my iPhone with my work. I then use bits and pieces of these photographs to create fashion illustrations.
What initially sparked your interest in this field?
Well, to be honest , I’m not sure what to accord it to. My parents, although not artists, are casual art connoisseurs. So, I was surrounded by art catalogs when I was younger. We also moved around a lot until finally settling in Delhi during my 11th grade. At the end of it, we had a bunch of mismatched paintings, sculptures, artifacts all over the house. So, they’d keep changing the art decor at our house every six months.
“Growing up, we used to travel a lot because of which our house was constantly being transformed – with collection of mismatched local paintings, sculptures and artifacts from all over. As a child, it was pretty fascinating to see the changes with every new location like that. I found the possible permutations art provides pretty interesting, and that sort of gave me an eye and taught me how to appreciate the beauty of art – that comes in all forms.”
Though I hadn’t put my finger on what I would be. After school got done, I was pretty confused until I applied to NIFT and got through. It’s still been a whole lot of figuring out since then.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I have many philosophies / principles I try and stick to ( and fail many times). But the two things I’ve realized that is of utmost importance are, consistency and practice, with some caveats. Because although consistency is great, it’s important to not keep working with the same idea over and over again. I also ensure I practice what I do everyday, even if it’s just a little.I’ve noticed if I practice my craft every day, it becomes a behaviour of sorts and I don’t face that many creative blocks.
“I like to be inspired by many things, but the one thing that I haven’t used as inspiration is someone else’s work. What works best for me is when I derive inspiration from something I engage with on a deeper and personal level. Then, I put work into it wholeheartedly. I’ve always preferred to create art that is original and symbolic.“
What do you hope to achieve through your creations?
What I want to do keeps changing from time to time, but for now, I feel I want to get into wearable art (or some sort of fashion-art intersection). Fashion is a huge industry that has the power to create valuable change; I tend to make it personal and relatable so that people can engage with it. It doesn’t have to be the physical work so much so as the concept.
“If it can begin a discourse within or gets the message across to even one person, then that’s good enough.”
Discover some more of Tanya’s quirky and inspiring artwork on her Instagram profile.
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