With spring in the air I seem to be getting attracted to the season’s colours in various things around me. So during this year’s Windmill Design Festival my elder sister and I went crazy about the gift envelopes designed by Harpriya Singh, which had stylized rosettes and elephants. Since it matched our sensibilities I decided to spread the word about her work.
This bubbly young woman’s studio is in Defence Colony, New Delhi. She is an ex-Sanawarian (alumini of Lawrence School, Sanawar) and has done History honours from Lady Sriram College, New Delhi. Like many of us, she went to a boarding school as parents resided in a small town Katarpur, near Jallandhar in Punjab.
She proudly began with telling me about her first ‘BOSS’ and major design influence, Pradeep Sachdeva, who is a renowned Indian architect, renovating heritage public buildings and hotel properties. In her two yrs. of being at his architect firm she grew from researching for public space projects, assisting him in taking care of Windmill Art Gallery to eventually putting together visually appealing presentations for their architectural pitches. Crammed in her subconscious mind are also the big beautiful mughal gardens of her maiden house in Punjab, whose blossoms cannot be ignored in her work. Rina Singh (mum’s sister who is an artist by profession) has now become her lifeline, whenever she feels creatively burnt out.
Listening about her short stints in interior designing and teaching (being her childhood dream) I remembered Sarah Dessen’s quote “It is amazing how you could get so far from where you’d planned, and yet find it was exactly where you needed to be” from What Happened to Goodbye.
During her wedding preparations she took to designing her own card and other wedding props for all functions. But it is only after being praised and coerced by friends and family did she start her own design outfit, catering to the ever burgeoning Big Fat Indian Wedding, with contemporary invitations and accessories for stylized themes. With time she has also included personalized stationery to her kitty, adhering to gifting etiquettes for several social engagements. ‘Design-wise’, she is presently taking pleasure in doing the traditional Indian motifs in unconventional colour palettes, using solid Indian colours as delicate laser-cut backgrounds and sticking to her favourite English art prints. But is busy finding ways of incorporating origami (Japanese paper art), which as a child she remembers doing all day in her Kartapur lawns.
Bestowed with unlimited energy, for singing and dancing since school days; love ballads, Thinking out loud by Ed Sheeran and Mein tenu samjhawaan ki by Rahet Fateh Ali Khan are her favourites, lately. Entertainment is about chilling with husband’s friends, or special coffee dates each week with four BFFs from college. Fantasy fiction- Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince where Dumbledore is killed by Snape willingly, kept her locked away in a room till she read the climax of the story, herself.
So Harpriya agrees about similar stuff been done to the hilt, but there’s yet scope for it to be done to the nines!