Workplaces offer unique insights about a person, be it an artist, writer or accountant. Zeenab Aneez goes studio hopping to see what artists of the city have to say about their personal nooks

A typical day at the shared studio of artists Parameshwar Raju and Koeli Mukherjee in Masab tank begins with a glass of chai. “While some of the work happens in the studios, the ideas come to us in the oddest of places,” says Raju, who carries his broad-nibbed pens and notebooks with him at all times, like a mobile studio of sorts. “Some of my works happen on flights from Hyderabad to Delhi,” says the artist. Apart from finished works and black canvases, the studio is littered with books on culture theory and mythology - research for Raju’s work, which is curated and documented by Koeli. While Raju’s style is defined by controlled strokes and in depth research, Koeli’s is free flowing, evolving with each stroke of the chiselled bamboo.

Fawad Tamkanat’s space is tucked away in a cosy corner of Banjara Hills. The walls of the little space are lined with finished pieces, works in progress, posters from group and solo shows across the country and world and a few of his daughter’s drawings. Fawad is currently working on a series depicting scenes from the street. “I have a routine; every morning whether I get up late or early, I pack my food and water and come here. I work till about 11 p.m. almost every day. I have a studio in my home as well but I prefer to paint here because here I can entertain people who want to see my work or watch me paint. I have been here for the last 15 years and have grown quite attached to it; it’s a small space but there is enough natural light. My friends are free to walk in the evenings and chat while I work. I enjoy that so long as the conversation is not about films or cricket.”

Priyanka Aeley’s studio is nestled in a nondescript apartment in Somajiguda. “I don’t want things to be too neat here with just the one canvas that I am working on. I like it that the other works, incomplete and complete ones are here, that there are rolled up canvases here; that gives me the motivation. I have a lot of books here – so whenever I want to relax or take a break from work I can sit back and flip through something. You keep changing the studio space as well; there is a lot of experimentation happening because you don’t have to worry about anything else as in a home. It feels like a studio to me only when I personalise. The moment I come back here, it’s completely about work. I leave everything else back home; no other ideas follow me here.”

Artist Deepa Nath’s studio is a tidy little space that she calls her ‘hideout’.

“This is basically my hideout where I want to be completely cut off from my family and friends; in fact none of my friends even know this place, I don’t entertain anybody here. That I live so far away helps. I just want to be with my work and my art books. I play music; sometimes classical, sometimes some old Hindi songs. It takes time to get into the flow of painting something and if I am interrupted, I have to start again.”