Thirty-two-year-old Priya Krishnan Das may have studied literature and management but the art championships she won in school and college and her passion for handicrafts and art were at the back of her mind, always. Last year, the Mumbai-based Das quit her job as an Human Resource professional, and began to pursue art, vigorously. Soon, there was no place at her home to store her works. This year, after her best friend suggested that she could earn money from her art that accumulated over months, she set up Purple Soul in August.
The colour purple
Purple Soul was chosen as purple is Das’ favourite colour, and is also the colour of spiritual and creative energy (Das is a certified Regression Therapist). Most products available on the site are recycled from discarded elements including packaging material, used tawas (ovens), old visiting cards, pista shells, broken bangles, old cushion covers or kurtas, and chopping boards which get converted into coasters, photo frames, pen stands and wall hangings.
“For ideas related to recycling I am inspired by Newton’s Law which states that energy cannot be destroyed but can only be transformed into one form or another. Everything can be converted to an art or functional piece only if we seek the idea,” adds Das, who admits that she gets her ideas when she meditates and during the state between wakefulness and sleep.
Collect and keep
Heritage buffs and art lovers can check out her most popular products: Indian culture postage stamp coasters, vintage postage stamp coasters, paintings inspired by Jamini Roy on stone slates and tawas, painted coconut shell candles or the Love spectacles coasters.
Das states that she has turned down bulk orders due to a lack of assistance and is now looking to hire someone to help her. “I believe that duplication in large numbers is the work of a machine and not that of an artist. But Purple Soul is my business and I have to make it commercially viable and profitable too. While coasters can be made in large numbers if I hire someone, for the others I myself need to do it. Also, I usually do not replicate any of my work (excepting coasters),” she observes.
With every product Das also sends a hand-written note. “I should acknowledge the unconditional support and encouragement of my husband, who being an avid audio-DIYer himself lends me help in all possible ways like cutting and drilling wood, hammering nails, etc,” she reveals.