Colors inspire her, Indian ethnic designs and folk art move her, and she is trying to make them into her full-time career. Her abiding love for art has made her take a break from the “regular 8 to 5” job of construction management and inspection to explore her fantasies! Her artworks, designs, and jewelry are mesmerizing and are being widely appreciated. Meet the talented and budding designer Archa Malhotra, a resident of Washington and the owner of Aanuk, a shop where she showcases her fantabulous work and jewelry.
So how important is art in Archa’s life? “Very Important! It is an integral part of my life. It is something that makes me truly happy. To me, it’s not just a means of creative expression. It has a very therapeutic and meditative effect as well. So yes, art is extremely important to me.”
Archa’s story is as interesting as her work. This Desi girl grew up in India and moved to the United States to study Landscape Architecture. After graduating, Archa started working as a landscape designer and then moved on to construction management and inspection. However, her fascination for colors, their charming combinations, and Indian folk art never faded. Nothing could stop her from pursuing her creative interests. She kept working on DIY projects and gradually started designing jewelry, which soon turned from a hobby into a passion. A couple of her designs got published in the Bead Trends Magazine and then there was no looking back for her.
Many of Archa’s jewelry are one of a kind pieces because she collects beads of her choice and then puts them together. Archa started with posting pictures of her work on Facebook. Her family and friends loved them and encouraged her to showcase her work. That is how Aanuk was formed. But Archa did not stop there. She was fascinated by the idea of adult coloring books and decided to make one with her own artwork.
Fully aware that there are tons of coloring books in the market, Archa was clear from the very beginning about what she wanted. She planned to introduce a book inspired by an Indian art form, and what could be more exciting, colorful, and beautiful than Madhubani paintings! The response she got from people has been very heartening and she says she loves it “when people send me their colored versions of my artwork.”
Encouraged by the positive feedback, Archa now wants to reach a much larger audience. And when we asked her if she was planning to create more such books, pat came her reply, ” I sure do! I always loved all the Indian textiles and handlooms and I think that would make a really interesting coloring book. So that is one of the projects I am working on currently.”
“I am also working on a coloring book and a picture book for kids. My 4-year-old son absolutely loves coloring what I draw so he’s the inspiration for those two projects!”
Archa is thoroughly excited about her upcoming projects. It is inspiring to see her dedicated approach toward the promotion of Indian folk art.