Art from the heart

What happens when you put a musician, a tattoo artiste and a painter together in a room? Why they open a studio where anyone with an artistic streak can walk in and pretty much go wild!

That’s exactly what happened when Smit Jain, a former band member turned entrepreneur, tattoo artiste Deepak Poojary and Mathanraj Chettiyar, a JJ School of Art graduate met at a common friend’s house. Today, two years after the three pals first had the vision of owning a vast studio for talented and upcoming artistes — they are living their dream by opening a design studio with a big heart.

Deepak Poojary (left) and Mathan Chettiyar display one of their abstract paintings on Bob Marley. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

┬áSet on top of a weary hardware store in Goregaon, wobbly steps in the corner lead you to Studio 62 — a completely different world where imagination rules. Spread across 950 sq-ft, Studio 62 is an art and design centre that displays the works of painters, graffiti artists and tattoo designers.

Says Jain, the main brain behind the venture: “I was interested in art since my college days and believe that art should be for everyone. But I realised quickly that there was a dearth of art studios where upcoming artists could display their work. I wanted to create a platform for art enthusiasts to showcase
their talent.”

Setting up the studio in Goregaon was a conscious decision (Studio 62 by the way is named after the pin-code of the location), says Jain. “Mumbai’s suburbs are thriving with so much talent. Yet all the big studios are in South Mumbai. There is nothing wrong with setting up one in the suburbs. People should appreciate talent irrespective of the location.”

Of course setting up a studio, getting prime real estate and most importantly getting the funds weren’t easy at all. “Mathan, Deepak and I discussed the idea in detail before we first started work from my bungalow,” he recalls. Once they got some funds together though, they opened Studio 62 last september.

So who comes here, we ask. Pretty much anyone who has artistic talent it would seem. You don’t have to be a Picasso to paint believes Jain and adds that people with funky creative ideas are also welcome. As Chettiyar recalls, “There was this guy who liked painting shoes, so we let him do that.” The three friends also offer customised services like mural and graffiti paintings, customisation of accessories, wall painting, tattoos and more at nominal charges.

Apart from being a thriving creative caravan, the owners also take up initiatives that help raise funds to sustain the studio.

Among the things they do to popularise art includes conducting workshops in schools, painting walls, murals and working on customised designs based on client demand. Chettiyar smiles when he explains, “We built this place with a lot of love and hardship. The studio is on a rental basis. We are not here to just make money. The idea was to create a platform for artists in the suburbs. I have many contacts from my seniors at JJ; so we do a lot of projects that help us pay the rent.”

So what next? “We want to create a free and fair platform for artists. We also want to do something that could beautify the open spaces in Mumbai like painting dustbins and walls that could do with more than a coat of paint,” he concludes.

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