1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
My name is Vidhi Khandelwal and I was born and raised in Delhi, India. I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember mostly because my parents always encouraged me to create things, enjoy the process they could see how happy my paints made me from a very early age. I graduated in textiles in 2014 and later that year was selected for an Incubator program. I moved to Bangalore in 2015 for a year and started conceptualising The Ink Bucket as part of the program, launched it the same year with my illustrations printed on canvas and leather bags. Currently, I am based out of Delhi and working full-time as a botanical painter, hand letterer, textile designer, freelance illustrator and an entrepreneur.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
I love the outdoors, pastel color palettes, flowers, anything handmade, vintage finds and I feel that reflects in my work as well. I love combining botanical illustrations, hand lettering and muted colors. I am also a big fan of the traditional painting process, there’s something about an actual brush hitting the paper and not knowing how the final strokes might turn out. It’s beautiful to create as well as to look at.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
I love painting with gouache paints because they can be used in so many different ways. They can turn opaque and you can layer the lightest color on the darkest one or use them as watercolours with a little more water. Either ways, it’s absolute fun to work with.
4. What is your artistic process like?
I don’t quite remember a day when I haven’t painted or at least thought about what I would be painting next, It’s a big part of my day. I work out of a corner in my room, right by the window so that I have plenty of natural light during the day. I always start off with a rough pencil sketch and once I am happy with the layout and placements, I move on to the painting part. I often use real flowers, leaves and other objects that I can find around me as reference points. It gives a sense of authenticity in my work. I also like to have some music playing in the background when I paint. Sometimes, I create an entire artwork, hate how the end result comes out, discard the whole thing and start the same thing all over again. Not too fond of that part, but it does happen.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
I am always inspired by the old world charm, hand-drawn things, traditional tools, botanicals, muted colour palettes, nature, hand-made type, because of how beautifully they convey the peace, beauty and harmony that exists in nature and around us. I am a big day dreamer and dream of being at so many places and doing a lot of things and always enjoy the things I do and that inspires me to a great extent to constantly push myself and keep growing and learning.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Being a little bit of an introvert, I have always found solace, peace, and happiness in art. It has helped me get closer to the person I always wanted to be and the things I dreamt of doing. Art in all forms is a powerful medium to express yourself and speaks more than words ever can.
7. Where did you study?
I studied textiles at National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself having a real studio, a dog, surrounded by loved ones and nature, travelling more often and creating more.
9. What about in ten?
I dream of expanding my brand, maybe open an offline store and spread as much art as I possibly can and write a book. I also hope to find someone to share my life with, haha and have a cozy little place of my own away from the city, always surrounded by nature and loved ones and never stop painting and working.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I easily find peace and happiness in the small things, my morning tea, bringing a fresh bunch of flowers every Sunday, a new set of paints, finding an old letter or a painting, the night sky, a walk on the grass, a dog’s wagging tail and the list is a big one. In a world where we are constantly surrounded by wires, technology and gadgets, it becomes easy to lose track and move into a more materialistic approach and forget the things that really matter and the beauty around us. Sitting and painting and taking inspiration outside of Instagram and Pinterest help me stay closer to these things and I hope I always remember them. I also want my art to be a reflection of my love for the old world charm and I hope to help people create more, do more of what they love and live a creative life.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
I love a cheesy lasagna, egg biryani, momos, North Indian and street food.
12. Favourite book?
I read a lot of non-fiction. Tuesdays with Morrie would be one of my favourites.
13. Favourite genre of music?
As stupid as it founds, my taste in music changes as quickly as my mood and I like listening to anything that sounds soothing and happy. Some of my constants right now are A.R Rahman, Lucky Ali, Maroon 5, Coldplay, Above and Beyond, Jason Mraz. I also really like Back to December by Taylor Swift.
14. What are your hobbies?
Apart from painting, I love cooking and travelling.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I think I would have joined a culinary school and become a chef.