Moulding her destiny

Moulding her destiny

Her speech is crisp and concise, much like her designs. Unlike others, Renuka Prakash doesn't believe in embellishing her artistic dedication with words; she lets her work do the talking.

Renu, as she is known, comes from a family of artists with a common trait - none of them are formally trained.

"My grandmother, parents, sister, aunt - everyone is into arts and craft. And like the others, I am self-taught and have never taken classes for this."

This fact evokes a slight twinge of regret in her too. "I always wanted to get into Chitrakala Parishath but my father didn't allow me to go there. He felt that it was too far which also had to do something with the fact that he considered all this a waste of time. I still wish I could have learnt something properly; my dad too repents the decision now."

But destiny is too small a thing to stand in front of steely resolve and Renu now leads a life steeped in art and craft. Pebbles, used bottles, bathroom tiles - everything is a canvas for her now.

"I love making zentangles on everything. It helps me relax if I am disturbed and also looks great. Now it has become a habit;
I need to create something or the other everyday, at least a small piece of zentangle should be there."

"Even during travelling, I carry my pouch. When I get stuck in Bengaluru traffic, I start drawing," she adds.

Out of her extensive inventory, her favourites are the bottles and the pebble artefacts. "I pick out the pebbles when I go to different places. The differently-shaped bottles are sourced for me by my friends who come from abroad. I have a huge collection of these now."

Friends have been the recipients of her creations, as well as her family. "I have an art room where I display all my works. Usually people who walk in will pick up something or the other they like. Apart from that, I gift things to my friends who I meet once in a while. A good friend of mine has displayed my gifts at his house in Sweden while another friend from Hyderabad still talks about the neck piece and bottle I gave her," says Renu.

Her house is another testimony to her talent. "When we were constructing our house, I was clear that it should only have things made by me, whether good or bad. It's been 13 years now and I have remained true to this promise. I keep making new things and replacing the old ones from time to time."

Renu occasionally conducts workshops and summer camps now, though she is into designing full time. "Thankfully my family is very supportive. My
husband is a civil engineer who is into farming and he is very cooperative about my passion. My mother-in-law gets concerned if she sees me sitting idle and asks me why I am not making something. My daughter, a ninth grader, has taken after me. She is into brush lettering now and recently decorated a whole wall in the house writing words about me," says Renu with a smile.

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