Art

A brush with letters

In broad strokes Vidya Kumaresan

In broad strokes Vidya Kumaresan  

Vidya Kumaresan of Namakkal talks about her entry into the world of calligraphy

“My first commission came when my colleague asked me to design a wedding invitation. When that was well received, it seemed to me that the universe was telling me that this is what I was meant to do.”

The joy in Vidya Kumaresan’s voice is palpable as is the excitement as she speaks about her art. Through her calligraphy boutique, The Wishing Ink, Vidya caters to any kind of personalised lettering or gift needs like greeting or name cards, posters, invitations and more. “Anything you want handwritten, I do it,” she says. “The emphasis is on handmade.”

A love for art and design

A love for art and design  

Info You can use
  • Vidya will conduct a workshop in the city on Brush Lettering
  • When: June 16, 10.30 am to 2.00 pm
  • Where: Dugout Cafe, 13, Amman Kulam Rd, Pudur, Coimbatore
  • What: Registration fee of Rs2000 which includes all materials. Open to all above 10 years
  • Call 9789378305 to register

Her interest in this form began when “I stumbled on Instagram in 2016,” she recalls. “I loved art so I would look for related posts and found one on brush lettering.” She was hooked and began looking for someone to teach her. “There was no one in India,” she says, still sounding a bit incredulous. Finally she decided to jump in feet first by trying to replicate what she liked.

“I made so many mistakes,” she laughs sheepishly. “I didn’t realise there was a technique to it. I bought wrong material, which was also pretty expensive. I was on the point of giving up but decided to do some more research. Then I found that there were practice sheets with basic stroke patterns. Some are available for free online. And that’s what a beginner was supposed to start with.”

Name cards designed by Vidya

Name cards designed by Vidya  

Other interests
  • I love bright bold colours, says Vidya, who is now exploring European folk art.
  • Her favourite artists are Peggy Dean, Stefan Kunz and Dinara Mirtalipova.
  • She also loves reading novels and dancing to the tune of her favourite song of the moment
  • Vidya can be contacted on Instagram handle @thewishingink

From here, she progressed rapidly. Once she got the hang of the art, she began to develop her own style. “It takes time to evolve one,” reflects Vidya, “but once that happened, I began putting out posts of my work.”

Earlier this year, her work was noticed when the Bengaluru Louis Vuitton store asked her to be a part of its Valentine's Day celebration. “They wanted a calligraphy artist to be at the store for two days and create personalised handwritten notes for Valentine’s Day purchases. I was very nervous but they were nice and very down to earth and ensured I had everything I needed.”

She’s learnt a valuable lesson from this experience, she says, which is that “we are still very reticent about expressing love. People came and bought stuff but the minute you asked them to compose a message, they would hesitate. We spend so much money on gifts but cannot say what we feel. I would encourage them and help frame what they wanted to say. I realised how important it is to express what we feel and a handwritten note is such a personal way of doing that. So I brought that into my calligraphy and brush-lettering boutique, The wishing Ink.”

A sample of Vidya’s work

A sample of Vidya’s work  

Based in Namakkal, Vidya says she travels only for workshops or work-related stuff. She studied in Coimbatore (“I did my B Tech in Agricultural Information Technology from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and later a two-year diploma in graphic design,” she explains) and also worked in the city as a graphic designer. “But I wanted more than a 9-5 job,” she says, “I missed art. So I took a break for a month and that’s when the brush lettering and calligraphy happened.”

It’s been 18 months since she created The Wishing Ink but Vidya is sure that this ink is not going to fade away soon.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 12:03:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/art/vidya-kumaresan-on-her-entry-into-the-world-of-calligraphy-and-brush-lettering/article27862408.ece

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