Published: 22nd May 2020
Want to try Psaligraphy? Perhaps it's time to get into one of Neetu Sam's classes
Neetu Sam, who is a Hyderabad-based artist, also takes up commission work and she likes drawing mandalas and she uses watercolours as well. She especially adores monochrome sketching. So cool!
Intricacy acquired a new meaning when we saw what artist Neetu Sam could do with paper and a blade. This 27-year-old carves out detailed and complex paper carvings, an art known as psaligraphy. From inspirational sayings to the Buddha to Wolverine, she can do it all and you really have to see it to believe it. An art teacher at Ekam Early Learning Centre in Hyderabad, Neetu has been doing this for about five years now so, yes, she has had a lot of time to practice. "It's a tricky art, one that requires a blade and a ton of practice," says Neetu, who pursued her BTech degree from JB Institute of Engineering and Technology.
She was about to conduct her first workshop but then the lockdown was declared. She hopes to conduct one in August
Neetu, who displays her work on her Insta page @ abrowngirlbasket, herself chanced upon the art while self-admittedly and aimlessly scrolling through Facebook. She had already mastered the art of minute detailing, so paper carving also came naturally to her, albeit eventually. "The challenge was to figure out the right thickness of paper, which I now know is 220 to 330 GSM. So newspapers and copier papers just won't cut it, be warned," laughs Neetu, who has worked with British Council in the past and as a freelancer too. And there is less scope for error in this artform because one wrong cut can take you back to square one. "Once, I was carving out a phoenix and was 90 per cent done. That's when I made a mistake and had to start all over again," shares the self-taught artist.
Neetu Sam | (Pic: Neetu Sam)
Neetu Sam is a fairly popular name in the field of psaligraphy but many people don't know that she is a solo traveller as well. She took a year off between jobs to travel throughout India, visiting several places from Jaipur to Puducherry and from Himachal to Karnataka. Currently, this Carnatic singer and Kuchipudi dancer is brushing up her singing and dancing skills. "Often, we assume passion is everything but it doesn't always pay the bills. And then to pay them, we tend to take up commissioned work which might lead you to resent art itself. You have to strike a balance between the two if you are an artist," says Neetu about being a full-time artist. Dismayed? Don't worry because she leaves us on an encouraging note. "Be patient, put all your energy into it and you will achieve," she concludes.
More of her art
For more on her, check out instagram.com/abrowngirlbasket