Manya Kumar’s Art Space
Arts Speak

Manya Kumar’s Art Space

Divya Menon

Divya Menon

The word Skadoosh reminds one of Kung Fu Panda and literally means, “destroying someone with your awesomeness”. An unusual name for an art studio perhaps but the moment one begins to talk to Manya Kumar, the owner of the space, gifted with a sense of dark humor and sarcasm, all doubts begin to settle. The lovely Manya will hold her one day workshop in Cochin on 28 July, 2019, on brush lettering and nothing could be more inspiring than a chat with the young blood whose brush wields more promise and drama than what one might imagine!

Manya is a calligraphy enthusiast from Bangalore who first found herself lost in the mesmeric charm of colors at the age of four. Phenomenally inspired by her artist mother, grandfather and a teacher at school and having won several state level art contests, she also bagged the Kala Ratna Award at the age of 8. From then on, life has revolved solely around art. Initially all her creations took birth on MS Paint and then paper; today, she paints on just about any medium she can lay her hands on.

She joined an Architectural course in college but soon found herself drifting towards visual design, typography, graphic designing and finally decided to pursue her heart’s call and went on to join The Purple Turtles as a full time graphic designer.

About three years ago while interning at Goa in an architectural firm, the artist with beautiful handwriting discovered calligraphy. Gripped by its magic, she taught herself the art form and in recent times, has been conducting workshops in co working spaces in collaboration with mycopiepage. Meanwhile, Skadooosh, is her studio at home in Bangalore where she showcases what she loves doing most and that is creating great art and great stationery too.

She calls herself ‘selectively misanthropist’, ‘socially awkward’ – someone who is easily overwhelmed by crowds; someone who prefers to spend time entirely by herself, and finds herself largely silent in public! She believes that there are many people like her out there who create art as an expression of their various inherent traits and thoughts.  She defines art as not just the purpose of her life but also the elixir of her life. She says, “I don’t have any philosophy on art but I see art as meditation, a way to beat stress.”

These days when abstractions have become very important in the world of contemporary art as a measure of one’s ability to be different, imaginative and successful, she categorically states that she is on the ‘visually realistic side of the spectrum’ and quite incapable of expressing herself through abstracts. While she carries a minimalist and contemporary sense of design when working on brochures or posters, she tries to make her paintings more realistic. She says, “My normal life is quite grey but I love color on paper!”

Somewhere within the various layers of this largely self-taught artist, one also finds an astute business woman who has great plans for the future. She is currently working on developing Skadooosh as her own brand, launching an e-commerce website, publishing her own blog and so on. There is so much to be accomplished. But the greatest dream she has been nurturing is to splash colors across large spaces like walls, floors and ceilings as a mode of self-expression.

Something that started as a hobby has today become a great passion and at the forthcoming workshop on brush lettering at Cochin she will teach basic strokes and lettering tips and tricks. She will also impart lessons on brush pen calligraphy, water colour paint brush calligraphy and compositions.