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Thursday, 20 March 2014

What Inspired Me to Create Art and Craft After 15 Long Years!

How My Pregnancy Became Colourful

I was pushed to a sedentary lifestyle for the first time when I got pregnant with a low-lying placenta. Doctors advised complete rest and even asked me not to climb stairs or go out on a drive on bumpy roads for the entire three trimesters.
It was then when I started doing one of the things I really loved doing as a child – draw and paint pictures. While on the net with a palm-top that I had at that time, I browsed for some inspiration and stumbled upon Thaneeya Mcardle’s website, . It was a simple website then, 5 years ago. But it was enough to inspire me and fire my imagination instantly. 
I hovered on her website everyday and the mere sight of her abstract and funky art inspired me in a way that nothing else did at that time. I remember the sweltering heat that year, 2008-2009 in Kolkata and the discomfort of a sedentary lifestyle and a newly acquired heavy body for the first time. But all that kept me happy, inspired and thinking more was Thaneeya Mcardle’s art.  More I looked at her abstract art section, I, for the first time, felt my imagination bubble and spill over with ideas of product designing and a do-or-die surge within me to accomplish the same!

Abstract Whimsical Painting by Thaneeya McArdle
Thaneeya's abstract and whimsical, colourful creation

About Thaneeya  
Thaneeya McArdle

To tell you a bit about this petit, ever-smiling, energetic Art Lady who is about my age– she was born in the summer of ’79 and experienced her first intercontinental plane ride six weeks later – a fact that she attests to her love for travel till date. She has walked Saudi Arabia, stayed with a tribal family in an Indian village, visited a civil war refugee camp in Sri Lanka, meandered in Nepal and had her palm read there, floated on a bamboo raft down a Thai river, picked wild berries in rural Wales, co-founded a Buddhist-inspired eco-retreat centre in the South of France and got married under a basswood tree in Australia. This little extract has been taken from Thaneeya’s website as the way she liked to put it! According to Thaneeya, Art is her way of assimilating and interpreting the world around herself – a deep thought, the imageries of which can be found beyond describable words in her art.
In 2009, Thaneeya started, an online forum on which, she started sharing tips and tutorials on art and art-making. Today, has an overwhelming 16.4 million page views from more than 5 million visitors and counting
Here is my first creation of an abstract art inspired by Thaneeya’s abstract art.

Colourful, Whimsical Design created by me
My First Inspirational Creation after following Thaneeya McArdle

Thaneeya’s art had a wonderful effect on my mind – they made me dream, aspire, look forward to life and explode my creativity in a way that I had never imagined myself to be. My favourite section obviously was her Abstract Art which I follow till date. They are cheerful and have a continuous flow and make for a beautiful proportion in its dis-proportion.
It is unimaginable how Thaneeya and her husband, Marcus, have accomplished their dreams of “seeing Thaneeya’s Art everywhere in this world”. In fact, the journey continues to become larger every single day with more products out in the market with Thaneeya’s colourful interpretations of her life experiences.

  • Thaneeya's art can be found on calenders, T-shirts, flasks, cushion covers, baggage tags etc. and all of these sell online for very reasonable prices at .

The Result of the Inspiration from Thaneeya’s Art
From the inspiration from Thaneeya’s art, the most positive outcome was my constant striving towards escaping into this beautiful world of my own where i had the freedom to create. When I re-started painting and drawing while pregnant, I ideated the hand-painted jewellery that is so loved by my friends and well-wishers. I also visited the sourcing centre for Fabindia with a few designs of my hand-painted jewellery a. After a lot of scanning and examining, Fabindia Delhi selected 6 of my designs and ordered 3000 pieces of the same. That was my first step into the world of fashion in my own small way, which led to showcasing my products in noted exhibitions in Kolkata and other places and a lot more henceforth.
My friend Ajopa Mukherjee, who is a renowned stylist and designer herself in the film-industry, showed her trust in me and made me design the whole jewellery ensemble of a very popular Bengali serial “Ghore Pherar Gaan”. Her sister and the leading actress Swastika Mukherjee also encouraged me to design her personal jewellery for 2 Bengali films (they were directed by Mainak Bhowmick – don’t ask me the names :P) . This was a huge pat on my back!

Hand-painted jewelry by Jaya in Ghore Pherar Gaan at Star Jalsa
Sporting a Jewelry made by me in Ghore Pherar Gaan

How Art and Craft can be Important in Life
I survived the biggest catastrophe and the darkest hours of my life from the inspiration that I carried forward through Thaneeya’s paintings. Her creations became a big source of hope for me. Touching, creating from nothing and the feeling of accomplishment from the same gave me the strength to survive, love life and most important of all, become the biggest strength to my son Pratham, who is 4.5 years old now.
I have read several articles on the net about the therapeutic effects of crafting. But I never realised the effectiveness of the same till I myself felt it through the darkest hours of my life. Today, in most of my art, craft and creations, you will still find the burst of colours and inspiration from Thaneeya McArdle’s art. It wasn’t just therapeutic – it was live-saving for me.

Recycled Alcohol Bottle Lamps
The burst of colours on the bottle embellishments are inspired from Thaneeya's Art

Thaneeya’s Personal Note to Me
Last October, I thought of dropping a personal message to Thaneeya and letting her know my gratitude to her for being such a big support in my life through her art. Since her very presence and business runs on the net, I did not expect a reply from her – owing to the thousands of messages that she and Marcus are given to handle each day! But within a couple of days of my writing to her, I received this sweetest reply from her. I am sharing this message publicly today because I consider this one of the best communications I have received in my life!

I enjoyed looking at your website and seeing your creations. Your jewelry is beautiful!
I am honored to hear how much my art and website helped you during your pregnancy. It is wonderful that it reignited your creative spark, and that art-making has been a therapeutic outlet for you ever since. I too see art as a therapeutic process. I hope you will continue to make art and pursue your creative callings whenever you have the time. It sounds to me like you have a good head on your shoulders and that you've weathered life's unexpected changes really well. You go, girl! :)
Thank you again for your message!

Wishing you all the best,

I will, forever, be grateful to you Thaneeya! Keep inspiring millions of people like you always do!! May every force of this universe take you ahead in every sphere of your life!

All photos of Thaneeya's creations have been taken from her website