We have the pleasure of collaborating with Shachi Kale, a talented artist who creates captivating artwork inspired by the beauty of Arizona. Her art encapsulates what it means to appreciate the natural landscape of our state and embrace the flora and fauna of the desert.
To learn more about her process and inspirations, we asked Shachi a couple questions to help us (and you!) connect with her art even more!
Q: What made you want to start creating Arizona-inspired art?
A: I’ve lived in AZ for over 20 years now, and during this time, I've fallen in love with the mesmerizing beauty of the desert. The desert offers a diverse array of shapes, patterns, textures, and a unique color palette that captivates the senses. Additionally, I have a fascination with creatures such as javelinas, quails, lizards, and snakes that are found here, along with a wide variety of animals, birds, and critters. As I immersed myself in the natural surroundings, the elements of nature began to organically appear in my artwork. It has become a permanent part of my artistic expression because I simply can't get enough of it!
Q: How long have you been making art?
A: Art has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember. I recall feeling immensely proud of a sketch of a hoopoe bird I created as a child in Delhi. Pursuing art has been a lifelong journey for me. I studied graphic design in college and have been working in the field for over 25 years, illustrating several children’s books along the way. However, it's only in the past six years or so that I have truly dedicated myself to my art practice.
Q: How has your art style changed over time?
A: My art style is a reflection of my personal growth and exploration. It keeps evolving as I try new things and embrace change. I am a perpetual learner, constantly intrigued by different facets of art creation. Over the years, I have taken numerous classes to delve into printmaking, ceramics, fiber arts, watercolor, and more. Each medium I explore brings a fresh perspective and adds new dimensions to my art. I also find inspiration in other artists' work and their insights on art-making. My artist friends are a constant source of motivation as well.
Q: Describe what an average day in your studio is like.
A: A typical day in my studio begins with a rejuvenating yoga and meditation session, setting a calm and focused mindset for the creative journey ahead. I then savor a cup of tea while attending to emails, correspondence, and my to-do list. After lunch, I settle down at my desk and immerse myself in the art-making process. Sometimes, I work on projects or prepare for exhibitions, but what truly ignites my passion is when I allow myself to play and explore freely. I strive to create art every day, even if it's just a small sketch in my beloved sketchbook! Once my kids return from school, the day revolves around family activities and meal preparations. However, more often than not, after dinner, I find a second wind of inspiration and return to my studio to create art once again!
Q: Do you have any artists who influence your work, such as subject matter, style, or colors?
A: Absolutely! I draw immense inspiration from folk art from around the world, particularly their vibrant use of color, mesmerizing patterns, and simplified perspective. Indian, Mughal, and Persian miniature art captivate me with their intricate details and patterns. While it's challenging to name specific artists due to the multitude of influences, the works of Amrita Shergill, Frida Kahlo, Gauguin, Kehinde Wiley, Edward Gorey, and Mary Blair come to mind. Furthermore, Russian children’s book art, Roberto Innocenti, and Maurice Sendak's illustrations have left a significant impact on my artistic journey.
Q: Lastly, which of your own pieces is your favorite?
A: Choosing a favorite among my own pieces is an incredibly difficult task since I cherish each one during the creative process. For me, it's the journey itself that brings joy rather than the end result. Every piece teaches me something new, and I find moments of flow and elation that make each artwork special in its own way.
Working with Shachi has been a wonderful experience, and we are very excited to showcase our collaboration with her! A selection of her pieces will be featured on a variety of our eco-friendly products, including but not limited to the: Insulated Canteen, Insulated Tumbler Mug, and Camp Mug. We are beyond excited to go on this adventure with such an inspirational and vibrant artist!