I love art. I am an artist myself. I believe anything and everything related with art is magical. And, I also want to believe that every creative person can transform their talent into a lucrative business. The purpose of this new series on 'Artist and Brand Story' on my blog is to spread the love for handmade creatives, talk to artists, learn about their brand stories and inspire others to do something on the same lines. I love repurposing waste/old stuff and making green gifts, so be ready to hear more on those lines from other artists as well. Here, I begin this series by interviewing Sumita from WoodyTales. I have always admired her work and this was a great way to know more about her brand story.
1. Tell us about yourself, your background and your brand? When did you start? Did you have any theme behind it?
Hello! I am Sumita, an artist at Woodytales. I love upcycling and painting furniture and also creating home décor pieces like nameplates, wood signs, photohangers, kitchen utility etc. After working in corporate for almost 9 years, I took an extended maternity break and during this time I ventured into Woodytales.
Raising a child meant that I was at home most of the time, I would keep thinking ways to bring the things lying idle in my house into some utility or create something which can be a décor piece as well and can also help me organise my house. But I always felt that my ideas are too much to put into practical use, I started spending a lot of time on pinterest and youtube and it would give me satisfaction that there are creative weirdos like me who share similar interests.
Finally, one day I felt brave and ventured into the store room to discover a leftover wood piece from some furniture. I created a nameplate out of it and it was totally out of box idea. I felt crazy about it but felt proud that I did something which I have been thinking for a long. It wasn’t easy to work with paints and so much material with my toddler who is in a “discovering his environment stage” but since I wanted to do it so I did it.
Out of excitement, I shared the image on my facebook and I was surprised with the love that I received on that picture. My friends actually wanted me to create something similar for them. I couldn’t believe what was happening, I literally had no intensions or did I thought that I will be making something that people will be willing to pay for. And then I did a few pieces and actually started enjoying the whole process. I am a creative person but was never into hardcore art or something, when I paint, I don’t know how I do it or from where do the ideas come, I feel that I have always known this and I feel I am taking some therapy to get rid of the lifestyle stress.
2. What does repurposing mean to you? What is your take on the 'Go Green' concept?
I always like to work on a budget when it comes to home décor. I started targeting my brown – boring, old furniture and started planning to upcycle them. In Europe and parts of America, upcycling is highly appreciated. My whole house became my canvas. I was now continuously researching and finding ways to upcycle and restore things to give them a fresh new look. I did spend a lot of time exploring and experimenting with a variety of eco-friendly paints, processes to work on wood, researching local vendors, online resources, then testing the durability and usability of things that I created. After the tremendous love and appreciation that I received from friends, I finally decided to start selling commercially under the name of Woodytales.
3. What materials do you use and what do you enjoy doing most?
All my creations have a story associated as how it came into picture. I use as environment friendly materials as I can since I work from my home with a kid around so they are extremely safe doesn’t have any harmful chemical components. I have put a lot of research and efforts to find the materials that brings durability to the products. Also, I highly promote upcycling of the existing products at home and frankly, I don’t throw things easily unless I have evaluated it as a certified waste. Also, I highly recommend to go for local because there is so much of talent around us and these local products are made with beautiful and precious hands specially for you. I am also a big fan of DIYs and an interior enthusiast and always prefer to work with my local vendor to create it than to buy it from some luxury brand store.
I love to do nameplates because it gives me immense pride that people want me to design the first impression of their sweet homes. I see so much of emotions attached when I speak to them and their expectations from that one piece of décor.
4. Talk about your best work or works!
One of my boldest creations are the dining chairs that I did in multi-color. I had these almost 25 years old chairs which I took from my in-laws because they were discarding them. I spoke to the carpenter if they can be repaired and put them to use again. Then the next challenge was that I wanted to give them a new look. Then suddenly this weirdest idea came to my mind to paint them. And I wanted to have colorful chairs instead of having chairs having same color or polish. I painted them in bright bold colors, all different and then upholstered them in different fabric. And I was so happy with the look that I got, it drastically changed the look of the dining area and brought so much warmth to my home.
5. Were you always an artist or you discovered your calling eventually? Tell us about your favorite art style.
The story above gives it away that I found my calling eventually. I discovered my way to it. Now, I mostly work with chalk paints and acrylics and wood is my favourite canvas. Each and every piece that I pick are sanded and pre-worked to perfection by me. I take utmost care with the prep work because that is the foundation. I love to experiment with colors and patterns and keep adding new designs to my collection.
I am an Indian and India has many interesting traditional art forms but I am not into traditional or ethnic style. Having said that I am also not a fan of modern décor. My style is more of minimalist boho, eclectic because I love bringing different styles together. I also love the retro look of 70’s and of course distressed and farmhouse look. I am literally eccentric when it comes to art forms and like unconventional art forms.
My aim through my products is to bring a purpose to home décor. Home is a place where we live and it deserves the best treatment and it reflects who we are. My products are highly customisable to meet your needs and style. So, whenever you are gifting or buying a Woodytales product, it is actually made keeping only you in mind.
Woodytales products can be ordered on Instagram - @woodytalesbysumita or on Facebook @woodytalesbysumita