Fighting anxiety with watercolours
Instagram is killing these days and as often times as we find somebody who isn’t in this platform, we either imagine they are living under a rock or look at them as if they possess some superpower. In any case, Instagram has kept us all hooked with a wide variety of visual elements ranging from millionaire lifestyles to travel destinations to photo-shopped butts. I am not complaining, rather I am reporting.
The amount of competition on these platforms has skyrocketed. Yet, among the crowded imagery and information resides a colourful corner, an Instagram page without so much of stuff and information. A world of a little girl sending peace and healing with her cream pages and watercolours.
Meet Esther Rai. Once a little girl who used to paint just for fun found her older self aspiring to become an animator. A turn of events ultimately had her end up in an architecture course. She is now a professional architect and an expert illustrator.
Links to her work are at the bottom of this page.
We had a short conversation with Esther, where she shared how an imaginative girl with only a box of colour pencils and drawing pad has now grown into a practising architect and quite the painter. In the conversation we had with her, she finds peace and clarity of mind when she paints these minimal paintings and it suffices to say, that she has spread the same out to the world. We understand from her conversation about how therapeutic painting has been for her, in times of confusion and uncertainty.
RED: Can you tell us a little bit yourself and your work?
ER: My name is Esther Rai and I’m a practicing architect and an illustrator. I’m from Namchi, Sikkim, India. I love cats 🙂
RED: What is the motivation behind your work? The ‘why’ behind it all?
ER: I have been drawing and painting ever since I was a child. I drew because it was fun and art took me to a world of imagination, colours and expression. My parents couldn’t afford expensive toys for me when I was little and I didn’t need much, just a small box of colour pencils and a drawing pad were enough. Now I draw simply because have to.
RED: What is integral to the work of an artist?
ER: Interest, process, fundamentals, practice.
RED: How has your culture affected art and vice versa?
ER: My culture and my home has affected my art in so many ways that its difficult for me to explain
in words. So I only paint.
RED: What are you not very good at?
ER: So many things. Haha.
RED: What are your most gifted books and why?
ER: The Book of Verse by Ruskin Bond because his poems drew me near the hills and mountains whenever I missed home and The Book of Proverbs gave me some of the best advice. I would also like to mention Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert because it taught me about creative living.
RED: What advice would you give to your younger self?
ER: Trust the process, work hard, be humble and cherish every moment of your life.
RED: What positive major investment of the past still impacts your present day?
ER: My parents sacrificed everything for me to get good education and this has been their major investment that has made me what I am today and will help me become a better person and artist in the years to come.
RED: Where do you see yourself in the next 6 months, 3 years and 5 years?
ER: I don’t know but I want to be able to practice architecture and be an illustrator at the same time so I am working towards that.
RED: What are the things in your ‘not to-do’ list?
ER: Maybe never do a free-fall. Hahaha. Just thinking about it scares me.
RED: What are some of your favorite failures and why?
ER: Well, I wanted to pursue animation as a career choice but I couldn’t. Instead I got into architecture. It offered me a different perspective in which to see the world and I could also draw and paint for myself without any external pressure such as having to earn a living out of it or to impress the teachers. That one failure liberated me.
RED: How do you stay productive on a lazy day?
ER: I always reward myself for completing a job whenever I feel lazy, which is most of the time, to be honest. For me, rewards are mostly food.
RED: What feeling you didn’t want to feel, and why?
ER: Anxiety. It doesn’t let you live and enjoy the present.
RED: What keeps you ticking during difficult times?
ER: The ‘why’ behind everything you do is important so if your ‘why’ is good enough, you’ll never give up.
We wish her all the best and congratulate her on creating a peaceful corner where I, myself visit from time to time when I need some mental clarity.
Check out her brilliant works of art on her Instagram page.