Instagram scrolling becomes a delightful experience when its algorithm brings to you for what you are looking. I am yet again lucky to come across this amazing artiste, Kasturi, who goes by the username @thegirlfromthenortheast.
Once you have landed up on her page get ready for your eyes to be treated with an explosion of colours dipped deep in strong girl-power messaging.
And that is not where it ends, it rather just begins. Our Girl from the NorthEast, or rather from our good ol' Guwahati, is doing some amazing clay work on her biz page Moromere Official.
Here is an excerpt of our conversations about how she sucked at “drawing” class, to joining NIFT, becoming celebrity stylist to starting her budding business. And, how beautifully she has put in about Moromere: "In a world that's eaten by consumerism and fast fashion, I dreamt a rather unrealistic dream, a dream where we made small batch, slow-made, handcrafted, one of a kind goods.
1. Hola Kasturi! First, let’s talk about you and learn your story. Tell us who this soul is, where she is from what she does.
Hi. So so excited to be talking to you all about my art journey as well as my small biz! Firstly, thanks for asking! I am an illustrator and branding consultant, and I also make unique pieces of jewellery and home decor out of clay!
2. Were you a born artsy person or you just happened to stumble upon the spot from where rainbows start? – Basically, tell us about your love with art and the journey?
So my journey starts from the beautiful Northeast of India, in the now extremely busy and bustling city of Guwahati! As a kid, I used to suck at “drawing” class. Then art school happened, and though I enjoyed the activity, I thought that doing this for a living wasn’t ideal. But I my heart would be like , “I know you want to be an artist” and my brain would shut it out…But you know what they say, if something is meant to happen, it will. I was really inclined towards the creative/fashion side, and I ended up getting admitted to NIFT for college. And man, those 4 years of ground experiences changed my life/my complete perspective and understanding about my forte and future. So I am a Bachelor Of Design in fashion communication, and I have one motto that has been constant throughout - No Regrets.
And so I dabbled - from being a naïve art intern in an ad agency, tobraving Bombay streets armed with clothes worth lakhs of rupees as a celebrity stylist, to dabbling with scriptwriting, and poetry and the written arts, I have prett much spilled my creative juice all around, exploring, trying to find my best medium of expression. But design and communication had always been a constant, so I found myself designing campaigns for some amazing global brands as a designer in the ad world. I later made a switch to the client side of things and providing them with core branding and visual identity solutions. That’s when I was really inclined towards working more as a consultant, rather than being stuck with just one brand/client, which I was I do now, and I also have recently started a teeny business which is a result of the labour of my love named Moromere, but more on that later.
"My art focuses more on what feminism and gender biases look like in the 21st century"
3. You are a digital artist, and not just that, your creatives unapologetically send out strong vibe and message on gender equality – tell us more
Well, that’s the aim. In a society where we are only interested in trending issues, sometimes art needs to be reminding us of things that should really matter. We still have a long long way to go in terms of equality, but first of all my art focuses more on what feminism and gender biases look like in the 21st century. I still have a long way to go in terms of perspectives and expression, but you know what activist Maggi Kuhn said - Speak (your mind) even if your voice shakes. So trying to do exactly that.
4. You celebrate the feminine energy through your art, what does that tells about you?
Illustrating on a daily basis has made me reflect and look inward for inspiration. I am constantly learning new ways of the universe, the purpose of our existence and just how incredible and powerful the machine called “The Mind” is, and I like to share this with my audience. I share my learnings, my opinions and my thoughts, and I think that’s why the feminine energy is prominent across my feed. I am an extremely spiritual being, and my art helps me understand life a lot better.
"Moromere is a slow made, small batch, sustainable line of jewellery and home decor. Moromere is more of a lifestyle, as each piece you choose will also push you to inculcate a certain practice of mindfulness in your life. These pieces are not just decor, they serve a purpose as well"
5. Tell us about @MoromereOfficial - from digital art to getting into earth literally, how did it begin?
As I said, for me, my creative process made me look inward, seeking to understand my core. I had never been a person who likes to be rushed to do stuff, but living in the city, in a fast paced job, that’s what I had been mindlessly doing for years. Creating/designing had merely become adhering to deadlines and briefs, even my illustrations are digital and dependent on an Instagram algorithm. So I decided that I needed to have a different creative outlet too, something that had nothing to do with technology whatsoever. And that’s how my childhood love for clay came back, and I have nurtured it into my own venture. Moromere is a slow made, small batch, sustainable line of jewellery and home decor. Moromere is more of a lifestyle, as each piece you choose will also push you to inculcate a certain practice of mindfulness in your life. These pieces are not just decor, they serve a purpose as well. Some of my best selling pieces are incense holders : just the simple practice of lighting an incense (in a beautiful holder that you resonate with, and not just on some door crack) uplifts your mind, urges you to be more mindful…maybe take a deep breath and take it slow. That’s what I want Moromere to do for people.
6. Where do you see yourself as an artist going ahead? Tell us your views on running small businesses in India and the challenges that are still there.
I wish I could tell you guys, but I seriously dunno at the moment of where I see myself as an artist. Art is extremely personal and moulds and evolves according to our thoughts and situations. In terms of design and branding, I would love to work with more startups and smaller clients with new age, sustainable values and since it's a good time to be alive for such connections, looking forward.
About running a small biz, or any biz actually, it’s a tough world. Any big business today was a small business once :) Optimism is key, clearly. And understanding the market is crucial. Best part about running a small biz is you can actually inculcate the values you believe in. Especially in a scenario, when the entire world is still fighting a pandemic, with businesses shutting down left, right and center, the goal is to be agile and realistic. And, listening to your heart, that’s always a good thing : money or no money!
More About Kasturi: Hi world! My name is Kasturi and I am an illustrator and a full time clay mom at Moromere, where I make handmade home decor and jewelry and other cute stuff! Lover of the moon and Ghibli world. Also can’t live without my Americanos and Hawaiian Pizzas (yes, I am the one who loves pineapple on her damn pizza).
*For all illustrations and clay craft images in this page, copyright belongs to @thegirlfromthenortheast and @moromereofficial