Published: 22nd May 2019
This miniature artist in Hyderabad can freeze your memories in minute detail. Here's how
Ridhi loves the smiles people have on their faces when they see these miniature forms of something they’ve only thought about and this is her driving force
You always have to stay connected to your passion,” says Ridhi Gupta, 20. A miniature artist, Ridhi manages an online store called Teeny Genie, where she sells carefully handcrafted miniature pieces to a wide array of customers. “I love the idea of capturing special moments and things people value into small spaces,” gushes the BVoc (Retail and IT) graduate from Hyderabad.
Made largely out of recycled and reused material, these tiny structures are recreations of our world in miniature. Ridhi says it’s been about one and a half years now since she made her first miniature for an actual client. Prior to that, she pursued it as a passion and churned out structures on a smaller scale for her close friends and family.
You get these readymade parts that make the process easier, and people have told me that I need to be practical and do it that way too. But the charm in my work lies in how every single thing is handmade. It is tiring on some days, but it’s just something I want to do
Ridhi Gupta, Teeny Genie | (Pic: Ridhi Gupta)
A startling amount of detail and finesse goes into her work and Ridhi says that her absolute insistence on perfect customisation and on creating every part from scratch is what sets her apart from others who sell miniatures. “I am working on this piece where on one side there is a study room, and on the other side, there’s a zoo and a zookeeper. The piece was commissioned as a gift for an engineer, who really wanted to be a zookeeper. I’m calling it ‘Passion and Profession.’ For the piece, my client wanted two clocks, one tuned to India time, and the other to the US, and I put that in with the exact time difference. This kind of detailing is what appeals to my customers,” Ridhi shares.
Although most of her business is run via word of mouth and through her Instagram page, Ridhi had set up a stall in August last year at the inter-college fest held by St Francis College for Women. For this fest, Ridhi, a graduate from St Francis, went in with a specific theme. In her words, “If you can see your dream in front of you, then you are motivated to achieve it.” And so, she designed intricate structures depicting the various professions that women are pursuing with freedom and pride in this age. She left space for a name tag to customise the structure on the spot for the prospective buyer. Such innovative thinking helped her build quite a following that day and allowed her business to grow.
Although it may not be considered a worthy investment by some, Ridhi believes her’s is still a beautiful art and she wishes to share this love with people
Managing a business and full-time studies is no mean feat. Ridhi admits that it was challenging to dedicate enough time to her craft when college work was always, inevitably piled up. “I used to take fewer orders than I intended to. I had to prioritise college, but I would try to take at least some time out every day for my art. What really helped is my work is my pastime. This is what I love to do the most. Carving and creating keeps me relaxed,” she quips.
Going forward, Ridhi wants to keep creating for more clients and reach more people. To accomplish that, she aims to join a digital marketing course to better leverage her platform. However, her plans don’t stop there. “I plan to hold workshops for all those who are interested to learn miniature art. I won’t be setting any boundaries. Whatever they dream about, whatever is special to them, I’m going to encourage them to craft a part of their own lives,” the young artist and entrepreneur enthused. She also plans to start teaching miniature art through a YouTube channel.
A scene from work: One of Ridhi's work | (Pic: Ridhi Gupta)
It took Ridhi quite some time to convince people about the value of her work. “They used to be dismissive of the effort that goes in, just because the end result was so small,” she says, while adding that any young entrepreneur must realise that there are no instant results. Summing up her experience, Ridhi says, “You have to stay persistent and you have to absolutely love what you are doing. It’s about more than just an income. For me, the biggest motivation is the smiles on people’s faces when they look at their ideas and precious moments recreated down to the last detail. People should be able to love and recognise you for your work. That gives you satisfaction. Digital media can give you a platform if you can use it properly.”
Some of Ridhi's work:
For more on her work, click on instagram.com/