January 10, 2023 03:07 pm | Up to date 03:07 pm IST
Shipra Rohatgi and Sanjana Chatlani are calligraphers who’re exploring the chances of the artwork as entrepreneurs. They had been in Thiruvananthapuram for the Nationwide Calligraphy Pageant.
Carrying ahead a legacy
Shipra Rohatgi is a fourth-generation calligrapher. Her great-grandfather, Rij Pal, labored within the court docket of the final Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah. “He was the accountant, not as a result of he was nice at arithmetic however as a result of his handwriting was good!” says Shipra. Her grandfather, Radhey Mohan, labored for the East India Firm, and her father, Rameshwar Dayal, a financial institution worker and a prolific calligrapher has a shopper checklist with names reminiscent of Habib Rahman, Sonia Gandhi and Amitabh Bachchan.
Her first main project was making marriage ceremony invites for Priyanka Gandhi’s marriage ceremony. “When Sonia Gandhi wished my father to make invites for Priyanka’s marriage ceremony, he despatched me saying I can do it higher than him.”
Shipra’s calligraphy type is marked by flourishing — the artwork of embellishing letters with swooshes and swirls. Shipra’s Studio, began by her father, was rechristened Likhawat Designs in 2000. “My purpose is to make calligraphy part of our each day life. It’s a very small artwork type in our nation and I would like it to be seen in all places. So, aside from paper, I do it on stone, metallic, canvas, partitions, cloth (saris, stoles, scarves, jackets…), ceramic, wooden, automobiles and sneakers…”
She has been related to prime trend and luxurious manufacturers. “Amongst them are Mont Blanc and Chanel. I’ve additionally executed introductory invites for Ferragamo, Dior and Tod’s after they got here to India. For Tod’s, I made 1,000 handwritten invitations, which took me 40 days.”
The artist stresses that she has constructed her clientele during the last three many years primarily by way of word-of-mouth publicity and this embrace names reminiscent of Sharmila Tagore, the Bachchans and Deepika Padukone.
Along with Hindi and English, Shipra writes in Persian, Urdu, Marathi, Bengali, Gurumukhi, Sanskrit and French. Shipra takes on-line lessons in calligraphy and likewise teaches in colleges.
She additionally takes periods at Sree Aurobindo Society, particularly for senior residents. “It’s for meditation. They practise strokes with a calligraphy instrument. A gong is struck and until the sound lasts, they preserve transferring the instrument in a wave. Calligraphy requires focus and focus. Calligraphy soothes me. It provides me that ‘aha’ second and connects me to God.”
In the meantime, Shipra is comfortable that the fifth era — her daughter Leela and son Schwaaz, even have tried their hand at calligraphy. “I want to take calligraphy to completely different establishments throughout India and overseas. Additionally I wish to get pleasure from life at the same time as I proceed to do calligraphy.”
At 24, Sanjana Chatlani stop her high-paying job with a French firm to comply with her ardour — calligraphy. Six years later, she runs The Bombay Lettering Firm, ‘a boutique calligraphy, lettering and design studio’ in Mumbai, which has a formidable shopper checklist.
Though she was artistically-inclined from childhood, Sanjana says that she didn’t consider making a profession out of it. To start with she made merchandise for household and pals. As soon as she discovered it “therapeutic and meditative”, she went deep into it. She explains: “As you’re employed with the instrument, your respiration additionally will get right into a sample — for each upward stroke you inhale, and for a downward stroke, exhale. It at all times transports me into one other world the place I don’t have to consider something besides my pen, ink, nib, pen, paper, strokes… I was on my cellphone on a regular basis until I took up calligraphy.”
She was a part-time calligrapher till there got here a month when she earned extra from her artwork than her company job. That was the second she determined to stop her job.
Sanjana has been doing copperplate calligraphy, a kind of pointed pen calligraphy developed within the UK through the 18th century. “When you grasp the principles of a selected type, you possibly can break it by including your persona to it. Including refined nuances could make a method distinctive.”
A fan of Spencerian type (pointed pen calligraphy that originated within the US) and fashionable calligraphy, which is “extra playful, bouncy and youthful”, she can also be studying Devanagari from veteran calligrapher Achyut Palav and was within the UK for 3 months to be taught completely different types from famend British calligrapher Ewan Clayton.
In addition to ink on paper, she does lettering on wooden, acrylic, mirror, engraving on glass and so on. Clients push my boundaries as an artist, she says.
Amongst her high-profile shoppers is actor Deepika Padukone. “She reached out to me on my Instagram web page. She wished to make customised stationery. We did calligraphy designs for her skincare model launched not too long ago.”
At Priyanka Chopra-Nick Jonas marriage ceremony in Jodhpur, she made the place playing cards for a sit-down dinner. Sanjana observes that wedding-related calligraphy is an enormous market, as calligraphy may be included in invitations, signages, reward tags, thanks notes, stationery and so on.
She provides that it helps when a shopper is aware of what she or he needs. “An organization was internet hosting its worldwide crew in India and wished invites in Devanagari script for an Indian contact. Alternatively, there are manufacturers that follow a selected type. Louis Vitton, for instance, has their normal black ink copperplate calligraphy, which is adopted the world over.”
She has labored with Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors, The Ritz Carlton, Rolex, Moet Hennessy, Longchamp Paris, Vogue, Cartier, Google, Gucci, and the Ambanis, amongst others.
Her Copperplate Collective, launched through the pandemic-induced lockdown, has pre-recorded on-line calligraphy lessons. “I’ve college students aged 17 to 55 and 80% of it are girls. Among the finest months for me profit-wise was the height month of COVID-19. I used to be busy educating and holding workshops for kids, adults, corporates and so on.”