Tea stall, or rather tea stalls because we live in India. Tea is all around us, as a matter of fact, writing this interview I’m having a hot cup of chai and basking in the plethora of spices added in it. She too wants to own a tea stall, like many do in this country, but wait, her future tea stall is not the stereotypical; Tapri, you sit under smoking a cigarette and gossiping with your colleagues or friends. Nidhi Jha is an established Painter, who is a certified engineer and is currently working with one of India’s biggest corporate firm- Zomato. To be precise, she is a Madhubani Painter who is from the Madhubani/ Mithila region and is strongly inspired by her own culture. Her goals are crystal clear and she is adamant about them. A painter who has a dream of owning an Art gallery and a tea stall with a pay as you like concept, she boasts about her tea making skills and claims the whole country would love to have tea made by her. Let’s get to know this Painter/ tea maker a little more.
Please tell us about your journey and shed some light about your artistic inspiration?
My grandmother was a politician and there were large number of people always gathered around her. I had always been very excited as a child looking at those conferences and meetings which consisted of politicians, artists- dancers, musicians and painters. My grandmother had a huge impact on me, she also taught me how to cook and I imbibed the culture which eventually led me to paint beautiful and intricate stories from my native place.
Curious Hounds: That is indeed commendable, your grandmother must be very proud of you.
When did you realize you had the talent to articulate your stories in fine art form?
I was trained by a local artist in Ranchi, and at that time I was not sure if I wanted to pursue painting, because the painter was devious. But, like I said, my grandmother had a huge impact on me; I never gave up and started on my own.
What kind of stories do you like to paint mostly?
I am extremely fascinated with Indian Mythology, colours, deeply delve into Vedic scriptures, puja ceremonies and am religious. And that reflects in my paintings. I also paint Mandalas for pujas and maybe connect myself to the universe (smiles divinely)
Please tell us about your achievement in the world of art?
Firstly, I would like to thank the Art teacher in my school, he was a brilliant painter. He noticed my work and invited me to his house and showed me a room filled with huge paintings and I was overwhelmed, he told me to continue with my painting because it has a lot of potential, since then I have never stopped. I remember selling for the first time back in 2010, it was a meager amount but I bought my first phone from that money, I sold my work in Assansol for 7,000 rupees. I have also painted for the famous Indian film director and producer- Prakash Jha, and I am not at all related to him (smiles funnily upon asked this specifically) I have also painted for the Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago. The only thing I detest is when people ask me for my paintings for free, no artist would prefer that. Art is to be appreciated and not to be looked down upon.