Art, // June 18, 2021
Shruti Amritkar — ARTIST
Interview with artist Shruti Amritkar —
1. Who are you and what do you do?
Hi, I am Shruti Amritkar, an Architect by profession and Paper cutting artist by passion, based in India. I started paper cutting as a hobby and converted it into a part-time profession. I started my venture named “Art_de_papier” meaning “paper art” in 2019. I work on buildings in daytime and on building my dreams in the night-time. I was always fascinated by the intricate details observed in nature and Architecture.
That is where I found my inspirations for paper cutting patterns and my passion for creating these artworks. All the artworks are an effort to replicate what I observed around into varied paper creations, each having its own identity. In 2020 I launched my 1st collection of paper cutting frames. Each frame carved to enhance the experience of spaces surrounding us. Thus, combining both my profession and passion to complement each other.
2. Why art?
Paper cutting for me is my kind of art therapy or meditation after a hectic day at office. My interest in paper cutting or Kirigami developed in my 1st year of Architecture back in 2015, when the small workshop exercises excited me to go a long way. Paper cutting opens so many aspects and makes me look at my surroundings from a newer perspective. Each cutting is made with new thought process, new ideas, with the basic disciplines rooted. After hours of thinking it through, I make an effort to ensure the best of the quality of my end products.
The special part about paper cutting is that I enjoy the process more than only the final outcome. It teaches, patience and perseverance. Practicing the art daily as a hobby, eventually made it a habit and I started experimenting with paper. Gradually I developed my own technique and style of cutting. The 2020 lockdown drastically changed the scenario of my artwork. I started challenging myself and breaking my own records. Each day was dedicated to a new artwork and finally I made the most intricate cutting of Hawa Mahal, an architectural masterpiece in Jaipur, India. It took me 12 hours to complete the Hawa Mahal and the end result was worth all the time and efforts. Then there was no looking back, the level of intricacy and detailing just kept going up. I also created several mini paper cutting designs that caught the customer’s eye. And this started the journey of selling my art.
3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist?
I have always enjoyed art since my childhood. Sketching and painting were my favorite pass time. Less did I know then, how paper cutting would be a part of my life. Art has always been my form of expression and has developed me as a person. Creating magic through my art is what motivated me to be a Paper Artist.
4. What are your favorite subject(s) and media(s)?
My favorite medium has always been paper. All the artworks are carved and cut out of Japanese Ivory sheets. These sheets are thick, glossy and pure white in color. Even after detailed carving they do not tear and enables me to create more intricate patterns. Different colored backgrounds are used to enhance the cuttings. I use detail knife for cutting, whereas steady hand is the best tool one can have for support. Perfection is what I have craved for, while meticulously creating each masterpiece. Each cutting is a reflection of control and precision.
5. How do you work and approach your subject?
Since I have developed a unique style of my cutting, it is clear how to proceed with the whole process. Right from brainstorming, deciding the design, drawing and finally cutting each step is planned and executed. I love capturing the play of light and shadows created by the artworks. For customization, slight modifications are made keeping the original style intact yet catering to the Client requirements. My attempt is to introduces a varied range such as coasters, keyholders, frames, etc. A fresh approach to each creation helps create different stories out of paper which depict the same author.
6. What are your favorite art work(s), artist(s)?
Through these years, I came across many paper artists all over the world. Edina Nemeth is one of my favorite. Her artwork is a perfect example of how art and architecture can be blended together. It changed my perspective towards paper cutting and inspired me to create more stunning artworks.
7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
The best motivation for my work is the responses I receive from my juniors, seniors, colleagues and Architects all around. I am overwhelmed when people tell me they always wait to see what the next masterpiece would look like. Social media has played an important role in promoting my art. Apart from that my friends and family always share my artwork which boosted my Sales. The best response I have received is that you inspire us to relive our hobbies which were left behind in the race of life.
8. What do you like about your work?
As it is rightly said, the journey is more beautiful than the destination. Same is the case with each paper artwork. I enjoy the process of creating each art piece with utmost perfection and detailing. Each time I make a new paper cutting, my favorite changes. The best part is every creation is close to your heart. I have always loved to use pure white ivory sheets with a pinch of gloss. It gives the artwork a rich and authentic look. This in a way reflects my personality, a blend of simplicity and intricacy, with a zeal to create something new every day.
9. What advice would you give to other artists?
Every idea seems impossible until it is executed. Never let your passion die in this race of life. Because in the end that is what makes you happy and adds life to the word “life.”
10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
I hope my artwork inspires more people and gives them a spark to continue their art styles. In the long run, I hope to exhibit my artwork all around the world and take Art_de_papier to a new level with a varied range of products to beautify a space.