If you would like to be featured here, send me an email and I will send you the list of questions/prompts.
Today's interview is with Asha Ramesh:
1.Where did you grow up? How was it there?
I was born in South India and grew up in a university campus in North India. There were many tall trees and wild growth that had not yet been cleared to make way for buildings. I would often go with a friend or two to explore this place and listen to the chorus of bugs and birds. One of my cherished memories is of waking up to peacocks cooing from the terrace of my childhood home. I'd run up the stairs to get a better look and see them disappear into misty mornings, their piercing sounds echoing from farther and farther away.
I don't remember my earliest artwork but I believe I was in Pre-K when I drew a rose on a paper the size of a postage stamp. I traded it for a coveted eraser. When I was 4 or 5 years old, I made a crayon drawing with the sun, moon, and stars shining together at the same time. In that skyscape, I also made a pink cloud because a friend had told me that clouds were actually cotton candy and I liked pink ones better.
3. What did you do for fun as a pre-teen and a teenager?
I often wondered how it would feel like to fly. In my younger years I would try to fly by tying helium balloons to my arms and jumping from see-saws or holding on to kites. In my pre-teen years, I discovered that if I ran fast enough and jumped over bushes, it gave me a transient feeling of flying. I loved participating in all kinds of athletic events and the school sports day was my favorite day of the year. Around this time I also surprised myself by winning a local art contest.
4. What is your educational background? What was your first job?
My first job was as a Junior Resident Physician in a hospital. Later, I did my Masters in Business Administration and worked for a high-tech company in Silicon Valley. During an Artist's Open Studio in 2008, I was attracted to the beautiful work of a skilled metalsmith/jeweler. I asked her how I could learn to create with metal and she pointed me to Cabrillo College.
5. How has your work changed?
Over the years, my work has become more aligned with my thoughts, whimsies and even as an outlet for questions I grapple with. I have also become more receptive to what the metal wants to do even if it is not what I had in mind.
6. Some of your favorite artwork?
One of my pieces that people seem to connect with emotionally is a pair of asymmetric earrings from the 'Hinged Disconnect' series. It explores states of disconnect between the heart and the mind. Another piece that I like just as much, is an arm bracelet titled 'Flying with the Flow'. It depicts a woman holding on to a kite and flying through the cosmos. The inspiration for this came from my childhood fantasy.
More recently I wanted to create an intricate and alluring old-world box. When I was done fabricating this box, my daughter christened it 'The Magic Box' and my son put into it, a little clay heart he had made when he was 6 years old. I thought this was so apt, for isn't love magic?
'Breathless' by Kenny G is one of my all time favorites. I also enjoy Hindustani vocal music by Bhimsen Joshi – he sounds like the ocean waves! I love how Pandit Shivkumar Sharma plays the santoor, and especially his album 'Antardhwani I'. Santoor is an ancient string instrument that sounds to me like the amplified resonance of falling water droplets, big and small. I also listen to Ravi Shankar's sitar music and old Hindi songs from my childhood.
9. A. What are your favorite movies/tv shows?
I like Life of Pi, Dolphin Tale, Matrix, Star Wars, Shark Tank and Project Runway to name a few.
10. Do you believe in magic?
Yes! Love, Life and Art are all Magic!
11. What advice would you give to others?
I am happy to share what works for me as an artist. When I am designing, I try to allow my thoughts and feelings to flow onto paper without editing. It is important to me that the design excite me at an intuitive level. During this process, I consciously steer my mind away from thoughts of what techniques I would use to execute the design. When I am able to do this, it allows creativity to flow with originality and unbridled possibilities.
12. Where can one buy your artwork?
My wearable metal art pieces and art objects can be bought through my Etsy Store: AshaRameshDesigns.
You can also buy my work through Many Hands Gallery in Capitola, California.
I also love collaborating with customers directly to make custom pieces. I can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
It gives me deep satisfaction to contribute a portion of the proceeds from every sale of my metal art pieces to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. I am not affiliated with the center, just a regular person who finds their work to rescue children in danger, outreach programs for child safety and rehabilitation invaluable.