Matters of art

Matters of art

Despite being a prolific crafter, Shyla Prasad shuns the limelight.  The artiste has more than 30 years of experience now, as a teacher with Pidilite, and an extensive list of techniques and skills that she has mastered over the years but with a view that  art is akin to meditation, she has refrained from tom-tomming about it, even on Facebook!

"I started my training in this field after I did my MSc in Zoology and that  helped me grow into a better and more confident person," she says, adding that her mother has been a source of inspiration for her in this regard.  

Shyla's varied range of skills include fabric painting,  freestyle painting, simple murals, ceramic work, paper craft like origami, tea bag folding, punch craft, parchment paper craft, oil painting and more. "My favourite is one stroke painting. It is a very easy method and anyone with a little bit of practice can do it."  

While Shyla initially used to look for inspiration all over the place, the advent of the internet has made this  process much simpler, though she admits that "nature is the best teacher".  

"My favourite motifs are floral and  abstract. I used to do a lot of floral work and making flowers with all kinds of materials was a much-loved activity of mine. But then I decided I should come out of my comfort zone and moved towards Zentangles, mandala art and more," she says.    


She loves gifting her creations to friends and family. "Once you become too commercial, the purity of the art is gone. For me, art is something that comes from my heart and so I love gifting my works. Even if it is a small thing, when you gift it to somebody, they value it."  
 "When my daughter got married, I made some freestyle Ganesha paintings as gifts for the guests. It was quite simple but the people I gave it to loved it and said that it was one of the best gifts they had received. I was quite touched," she recalls fondly.


Shyla takes classes for college students and housewives 2-3 times a week. "I love teaching, it gives more satisfaction. I don't want to stop teaching because when you teach you learn. I also keep updating myself and attend whatever workshops I can. I also sit with my work everyday for about two hours, to revise whatever I know.  At the end of the day, when you sleep, you feel at peace knowing you have done something for yourself," she adds.

When asked about her family, Shyla is vocal about the support she gets from them. "My  husband and mother are the ones who motivate me and push me to do something or the other all the time. My daughter, son-in-law and grandson also very supportive," she says.  

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