The Quill-er!

Hello hello! Me back! Yep, that speed breaker did have it’s little impact but I’m over it and have left it far behind. Now, it’s my way on the expressway! Yipee!

I never stopped interacting with people, however. I’ve met some very independent thinkers and doers which makes the circle even more positive. My little downtime helped put things back in perspective. I was on this rickety drive and I knew if it were not for the speed breaker..I would have crash-landed for sure! 🙂

Moving straight ahead and having found the 5th road in the cross, am back to picking up more of those lovely wild weeds. And from where I stand, I can see there’s a whole garden full with a variety that will baffle you at first but soak you up just as quickly.

Sahana’s. The name is not so common. Yes, it’s a name of a cute little toddler. But the greater significance is that it also represents the work of a very talented quilling artist.

What is quilling? Simply put, Quilling or paper filigree is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs.*

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And the artist behind this is Hridya Anand. An Indian homemaker based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A self-taught quiller who also is gifted in the art of glass-painting and sketching. Her branding is after her daughter, who she says is the reason she decided with this art form that has gained quite a bit of attention over the past year.

People wear ornaments and no one can guess this could be cheaper than gold and precious metals. Hey, the best part, is you create your own customized jewelry! So much so, you can never run out of options…except like me….all i can think of when i see colored paper is to make streamers of it! Ok…fine, I’ve progressed to buntings!! :p

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Talent is aplenty! One needs to look for it 🙂 Not only does this make as adornments but there’s no limits when it comes to wall art or even decor around the house or as gifts to crafty individuals.

Frankly, at first when I heard of it, I didn’t quite understand it myself. I was thinking more like…quill..ink…writing…(like in the days before the fountain pen was invented..)…err…no! Then I heard and then I SAW! This takes talent, people. And it takes a whole lot of patience in addition, which obviously is not one of my virtues :p, so I decided to have a little chat with Hridya and find out why she got into it and what’s in store for the days ahead.

Here’s an excerpt.

1. On Starting Up

I actually did not have the idea of starting up but going by the response to the pictures I posted on Facebook and the initial couple of orders I managed to bag even before starting a page separately made me think over the startup idea. And around June/July 2014, I decided upon the name and the logo for the start-up. And yes, my daughter has been a key-reason to start realizing my dreams. Normally it’s the other way around but am blessed she values me for more than a mother. 

2. Quilling has come around to be quite popular. How do you ensure to stand out from the crowd?

Yes, definitely. Quilling has become very popular, that it is part of the curriculum in a few schools around the world. What started off as a hobby, to soothe the frustrated and tired soul, ended up throwing up endless opportunities to explore. Every other person I meet online or through some forum was a quiller and it kept poking me somewhere saying what am I doing what others are not… So I tried my hand at all possibilities available to make use of paper and quilling art – so my products just don’t feature the typical paper jewelry. In addition to that, I also make miniature dolls, name plaques, quillography (quilled calligraphy) (featured above)etc. So like the art, there are a variety of options to choose from!

3. Will quilling grow any more or do you think it’s a bit limited with what you can do with it?

Growth looks promising, people want variety and with paper there are no limits, it is the new gold and the ability of this material to blend with other mediums is amazing. So mixed media is the future I see – be it beads or polymer clay or wire wrapping, paper can work with all. So the possibilities are endless.

4. What is your signature style?

I love to work on quillographic projects- basically calligraphy with paper. And I love minimal stuff, too much on a piece of paper bothers me, so you tend to see a bit of white space in most of my quillographic projects haha. Even with jewelry, I personally do not like to overdo something, trying to keep the designs and embellishments minimal but still maintaining the elegance.

5. What’s in store for 2015?

I had already received a few orders towards the end of 2014 for 2015 and that is what is taking up my time these days, so till mid 2015 I have my hands full! I am having a lot of new ideas and wish to implement them as and when I complete the ongoing projects and yes, trying to collaborate with professionals in other streams to get my work noticed.

20150101_152504-(2)Hridya, seen here with little superstar, Sahana. The force behind her initiative. Find more of her work here.

She goes on to tell me that working for herself has been a very fulfilling journey. She can manage her daughter, her home and the business quite easily. She makes sure that she is lenient with her targets and she does only how much she can without having to compromise on anything else. She says that working for others mean that there are targets to achieve for the company and very less personal time. Here she gets time to invest in her art as well see her daughter grow up and be there for her anytime she is needed.

Working from home or on your own does come with it’s own challenges though. Social media needs a lot of time and attention which she is unable to devote. She just updates status on her  page as and when she can find time to upload images. Having some one to get the products photographed, edited and marketed in the social media will definitely make her life more easy. (Oh, I Hear ya! 😉 )

Before we sign off, here are some of her final thoughts, to other entrepreneurs.

Patience and perseverence!! You need loads of it especially in the initial stages, it will take time for people to notice your work. Just keep at it, one day your efforts will surely pay off. Try to think of new things to include in whatever you are doing, new techniques, new add-ons etc. These will completely change the way the end product looks, it will grab someone’s attention and that will change your life forever!”

Well, Hridya, I really hope that before you reach Mid-2015, your books fill up for rest of the year and you grow each day, not only with your brand but also in learning of the trade and in your personal accomplishments too.

And for everyone out there, keep an eye for her exhibitions and product lines. Stop by her page, order some keepsakes and show her some encouraging love.

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my personal favorite from the jewelry line

Of course, in the meantime, also stay tuned for many more wild weedz, I will personally be hand-picking. Another day another story!

My ramblings are about  life, the roads less traveled, the hurdles crossed. Let’s discover our journeys together. Let’s spread some wild weeds.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quilling   ** all images courtsey Hridya Anand

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