From Russia with love: Cuddalore artist sculpts her way to happiness

Nivetha conducts online workshops and also travels to Chennai and Bengaluru to conduct offline sessions.
Bala Nivetha
Bala Nivetha

CHENNAI: I was sad and depressed all the time. I knew my life was missing something; a spark, the reason to keep going and the drive to do something for myself. I found the answers to it all after I went back and picked up my passion for art,” says 28-year-old Bala Nivetha, an artist and art tutor from Cuddalore, who explores art trends around the world and is known for her Russian sculpture paintings.

Divulging on how she happened to unearth this lesser-known form of art, she tells DT Next, “I think it is important to keep yourself up-to-date as an art educator. I feel the need to be able to offer something new and unique to my students. While researching different techniques, I saw the Russian sculpture painting technique. I immediately was drawn to it.”

“Like many people with an interest in the world of art, craft, and painting, I would also say that I have been keen on arts as a child,” she chuckles as she gives us a peek into her world. Having done her Bachelor’s and Master’s in fashion designing, Nivetha has always had the knack for experimenting and with new trends.

She started her Facebook page in 2014 and took up customisation orders for her customers. Not withholding her trade secrets, she also shared tutorials with several art groups on the platform. “I found immense joy in just sharing the art for people to try and benefit from,” she says.

After her marriage in 2017, she shifted her focus on her husband’s food processing business. “When the lockdown happened, we didn’t have work going on in the factory. That’s when I decided to rekindle my love for my craft.”

Not having picked up a paintbrush or touched a canvas in years, Nivetha began researching new art forms and techniques two years ago and tried perfecting them before starting an Instagram page. Being completely out of the scene and not keeping track of the emerging art styles, technological shifts and social media, Nivetha had to acquaint herself from the scratch.

“Due to disuse, my art supplies had all gone to waste. It hurt me to throw them all away because I had worked really hard at a part-time job to be able to afford them. I slowly restocked my supplies and began learning how to make reels and started posting more video content because I understood that is what interests people,” she says.

She says she found her love for teaching through her art. “Seeing my content, people got in touch with me asking if I could teach them a particular craft. I decided to conduct workshops and began teaching alongside fulfilling orders.”

Nivetha conducts online workshops and also travels to Chennai and Bengaluru to conduct offline sessions. Talking about her upcoming workshop at Merva by Maverick, Adyar on July 30, she says, “My workshop is going to be on Russian sculpture painting. I will cover the basics and guide them through trying it out themselves. I’m very excited to meet new faces and interact with people. It is even more amazing to know that we are brought together by art,” she says.

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