Hello once again,
Please welcome my new artist --- Pooja Ajmera, from Mumbai, India.
Pooja is a simple, crazy, funny, girl next door, who recently discovered her true calling. She herself says,'' It was an "AH HA moment" for me, when I made my first papercut and realised - this is what I wanna do for rest of my life.'' She is a self-taught paper artist and entrepreneur who believes “In life and in Papercutting, everything is connected. One story leads to another.”
I just loved her delicate paper-cut art work which she sent me in my mail... Now it was my 'AHAA... moment to see such beautiful handmade gifts... So, why not ask Pooja a bit about her journey as a paper-cut artist, and how she makes such pretty designs from a single sheet of paper using sharp blade, patience and lots of love !
How would you describe yourself?
I would describe myself as a dreamer who dares to takes risks. I am an entrepreneur, founder and cleaner of Teekhii Chhurii. I cannot live amidst clutter.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Due to single handedly everything from social media, website, meeting the vendors, speaking to clients, designing, cutting and every other aspect of my work, I am really left with no time at all for myself in the end. But somehow if I do have some time, I quickly plan a trip and go out of town to rewind. I love travelling and exploring new places!
What's your favorite color?
Red for its vibrancy and liveliness!
Tell us about your first project and the idea behind that theme... and also about your favorite project so far...
I made my first papercut as a birthday gift for my sis-in-law. I remember, I was sitting on my bed which had a flowery print bedsheet that day. I took the paper and made a free hand drawing and started cutting it and after some 10 hours, I had this beautiful piece of art which I had created. It now beautifully adorns the wall at her place. I am still yet to make something, which I can call as my favourite project. I put my 100% in all the papercuts and there is little sadness each time I have to part away with them. But at the same time I feel overjoyed because hence forward, someone else who loves the art will take good care of it.
Tell us something about your work style.
It requires extreme dedication, patience and concentration for paper-cutting. I like detailing so in most of my designs, you will see that. The hands have to be very steady while at work! I love customizing the work. It adds a personal touch to each of the art piece. After the design is made, I start cutting it, I use a single sheet of paper and knife which has a very sharp blade. I have to work very cautiously or else the finger will have a cut instead of the paper!! Ouch!!
Entire piece is interconnected; it is made from a single sheet of paper. The tricky part is to understand which part to cut and which part to retain!
When did you get the idea that 'paper cut art' was the thing you love?
When I made my first papercut, the entire process of cutting it, the design emerging out of the paper and the wow moment when I detached the last part of unwanted paper from the design. it was the most satisfying thing! I liked making papercut so much, I made more designs and continuously for 2-3 days, I made new papercuts back to back. I realized this is what I want to from now onwards!! The thrill, the excitement that is associated with this art gives me a high.
What is the USP of Teekhii Chhurii?
Pretty designs made from paper using a sharp blade, patience and lots of love makes papercuts so unique. A single sheet of paper can be turned into a something so beautiful amazes a lot of people. The beauty of Papercuts is that they can all be customized and every design is different from the other. The USP is to own an art piece that is not found just anywhere. These papercuts are painstakingly hand cut and are not laser cuts or prints or paintings. So if you are looking for unusual presents, gifts for men, house warming, wedding, anniversary, or for "people who have everything", these unique hand-cut papercut pictures may well be just the thing! Paper is traditionally a first anniversary gift.
Anything you want to share to your readers about setting up his/ her own business?
Be it any business, if you have the passion then nothing can stop you. Your own WILLPOWER will keep you going in those rough times. There will be times when things won’t go as planned but don’t give up and be persistent and keep working hard. People will try and discourage you, but don’t stop dreaming and believing in your idea!
Who is your dream client?
Well, as of now there is no dream client, because everyone who comes to me have their own little story which make every project so different from another. So I value all of them.
There is no person “special person” from whom I have to design but yes, my own house doesn't have any of my art yet (I mean papercut art, there are other painting and crafts at display of course) and that is because I am yet to making so special, something which I would just love so much that I cannot part away with at any cost!
Tell us a bit about your biggest challenge in your career, and the way you handled it?
There are lots of challenges that I face. The biggest challenge is letting people know what Papercuts are!! As they are not easily available in Indian market, people are not much aware about it. Hence it’s a challenge reaching out to the right audience who are interested in this art form. I am trying to reach out to the people through various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and so far the feedback has been very positive. Handling all the aspects of business like designing, cutting, marketing and sales is a real task, especially with little guidance but thanks to my family for being supportive and always being there with me even through the rough times, these kinds of problems become so manageable.
Your greatest inspiration is?
I get inspired by anything and everything around me. Even the smallest of the thing can take a form of a design.
How would you describe your work place..?
I am a cleanliness freak and everything has to be organized around me, you will always find my table in spic and span condition. I have windows right in front of my table and leaves and flowers that I see really inspire me.
Where can people contact you?
People can interact with me and see my work at my Facebook page and follow me on various social media platforms.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Thanks so much Pooja for sharing such amazing art works... I hope that now, after reading to your views about this form of art more and more people will come to make it as their hobbies, and later on, their full time career...!
See you all very soon !