Anu Raina Collection - Fashion Show – Sept 2010
Q So who is Anu Raina?
I am an emerging Textiles Artist / Designer.
Q Where in the world are you?
I am based in Toronto, Canada.
Q When did you decide to become a maker?
Having moved to Canada in July 2004, and with the arrival of my second child in 2005, I took a break from my career to take care of my kids. In July 2008 I happened to visit the Crafts and Design wing at Sheridan College. I was completely blown away by the creativity and the talent of the graduates. I felt challenged and knew it was my calling. I enrolled in the Textile design program right away. It’s a 3 year intensive program. I got an advance standing for the first year and graduated in June 2010 with High Honours and a Top medal.
My work is mostly Textile based but not completely restricted to them. For me it’s more about expressing my inner self, medium just becomes a tool to achieve this goal. But Textiles do work like a blank canvas for me where I can go crazy creating different textures with free hand drawing and many other printing techniques that I learnt at Sheridan. The beauty of Textiles is that you can cut, sew, manipulate it and actually wear your own art work.
I do like to work with discarded materials. One of my recent Autobiographical pieces titled “Chapter 2, Page 1” was made with discarded embroidery punch cards and fishing line.
I get inspired by anything / everything around me but mostly by my own journeys in life.
Q What motivates you?
A strong urge to transform my emotions into a visual language.
Q Do you create your work in a studio base or a home base?
My work is mostly studio based. After graduating from Sheridan, I got lucky to be selected as an artist in residence at the prestigious Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. It’s a very inspiring place and I get to share the studio with incredibly talented people.
Craft to me is art perceived by heart and conceived by hands. I believe it is not bound by time. It’s a timeless endeavour. Ingenious handcrafted objects have been unearthed by archaeologists from the prehistoric times.
How do you sell and promote your work?
As I have just started, I primarily promote and sell my work via my website and a few boutique stores in Toronto. You can see my work on my website / Blog ( I share my inspirations and concepts on my blog) http://www.anuraina.com/
Q What is your typical working day look like?
There is no typical working day for me as I don’t have a 9-5 job. Making art is fun and I love to have fun any time of the day.
Q What is your working style?
My working style is very abrupt and impulsive. If I don’t feel inspired I don’t work for days but when something inspires me, it just consumes me completely. My work tends to be complex, layered and sometimes obsessive. For example I recently made a piece of wearable art (a jacket in the shape of a stealth bomber) with over 10,000 staples and actually ended up spraining my wrist.
Q 3 words of advice for an aspiring Craft artist/maker...
Passion / Perseverance / Faith
Q Who is/are your favourite artist(s)/maker(s)?
There are different things I admire about different Artists / Designers. I love Canadian Fibre artist Dorothy Caldwell’s work. There’s something very spiritual about it. http://www.ccca.ca/ I love the lightness and beauty of Virginia Johnson’s prints. I wish I could inject some of it in my own work which tends to be on a heavier side. http://www.virginiajhonson.com/ I love the weaving techniques of Caitlin Earskin Smith. www.scattermint.com. I am inspired by the dedication of Arounna Khnnouraj to her craft. (she is a mother of two kids as well) http://www.bookhou.com/ I feel spell bound by Ray Materson’s work and admire his courage http://www.raymaterson.com.%20i/ totally love the inventive approach of Canadian artist / designer Denis Gagnon. http://www.denisgagnon.ca/
I love listening to Alanis Morissette, Joan Osborne, James Blunt, AR Rahman, Krishna Das and Rasa by Kim Waters.
Q 3 likes and dislikes?
I love simple hearted people, hot soups and my family. I abhor slugs and Potato bugs, falling sick and missing a bus.
Q What do you do to relax?
I cook for my family, surprisingly it works like a complete stress buster for me.
Clothing Show –Sept 2010