Meet Our Heartists


Ms. Mitul Pradeep is a woman whose life revolves around art. She is the daughter of the illustrious Hindi cinema poet and lyricist, Kavi Pradeep ji, who is best known for his patriotic song, Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo, written as a tribute to the soldiers who had died defending the country during the Sino-Indian War. Ms. Mitul’s mother was a painter and she believes that she has inherited her artistic genes from her mother. Ms. Pradeep views the world from her distinctive artistic perspective. Ms. Mitul has a gifted voice but she is an ardent painter,  sketcher, and freehand drawings artist. She serves as the executive director of the renowned “Tulika Art Academy”.


Arup Malakar has been gifted with immense artistic skills by his grandfather. Mr. Malakar has been recognized for his talents in the State and District awards he has won. He works with Sholapith and also with Mitti in his art. To keep up with the current trends and to stay ahead of the curve, he updates his designs continuously for his art to expand in the modern world. Arup Malakar believes that discipline trumps everything, and although he had come across financial setbacks, he has never let his hope waver and has continued to work hard to achieve his dreams.


Inspired by his brother’s paintings, Mr. Bheem Malhotra decided to pursue art. After working in Delhi for a long time, he started conducting art shows and participating in various exhibitions across the country. Today, he has conducted over 20 solo shows all over the world, including countries like Korea, London, and Indonesia. His immense talent has been recognized, and he has won national and state awards, as well as the renowned AISACS award. His paintings, inspired by the many moods of nature, showcase his artistic skills, which he now imparts as an Associate Professor, teaching students.


Having started her independent practise at the age of 15, artist Chandrika specialises in traditional Mysore-style paintings, like her father. Her inspiration being her father, she took up painting as her main profession and started participating in various exhibitions, a one-woman show, all over the world. She has restored paintings given to her by the Wadayer of Mysore, and she has painted multiple walls in the Fern Hill Palace in Ooty. Not only does she spend over eight hours working on her paintings daily, but she teaches over five hundred students every year, spreading her knowledge and expanding their skills.


Deepak Bharti, a man with many feathers in his hat, was brought up around art and artists. Being inclined towards learning, he was taught Madhubani by his parents at an early age. During the pandemic, when many artists faced setbacks, Mr. Bharti conducted online classes, imparting his knowledge of the art, and has now shifted to offline classes too. Registered in the Ministry of Textile, Mr. Bharti was also asked by the local government to teach Madhubani to students at Nirmal Bharti Public School in Delhi. After having won many honourable certificates, Mr. Bharti strives to win the National Award.


Belonging to the native Chitara family, Mr. Jagdish is now a renowned Mata Ni Pachedi artist. He was taught this art as a child and now he is one of the foremost artists to hail from Gujarat. Mr. Chitara even shifted from his small town to Ahemadabad to expand his artistic horizons. He also teaches his children this art, continuing their legacy. He has even published books on the art form and his journey with it, showcasing his skills and hardwork. Through his products, Mr. Chitara has had a huge role in reviving and helping gain awareness of the art.


A Patua artist from Bengal, Mr. Laltu Chitrakar belongs to a new generation of artists that keep the age-old art alive. Belonging to the Chitrakar community, Mr. Laltu has been creating both traditional and contemporary Patua since his childhood. A seventh-generation artist, he has participated in multiple exhibitions in India and has also showcased his work in a museum in Singapore. His products are sold all over the country, and tourists come from around the globe to learn from him. His unique art has won him the state award and he has also come first in multiple local art competitions.


A brave and hardworking artist, Lohit Kumar Saini has had to overcome many obstacles in the decade he has worked as a Jaipur Blue Pottery artist. The 28-year-old Saini was not afraid to take risks when he re-opened the pottery shop that his father had closed due to risks in the business. Although there is a 40% chance of the pottery breaking, Mr. Saini persevered and is now one of the very few Blue Pottery artists whose products are sold all over the world. With determination and resolve, Mr. Saini believes that he can achieve anything he puts his mind to.


Inclined towards art since childhood, his faith in God propelled him to create paintings dedicated to God. Taught by his brother-in-law over three decades ago, artist Mahesh Vaishnav took part in his family’s Tanjore Painting business. Mr. Vaishnav has won the state award and has come first in many state art competitions. His paintings have been exhibited in shows all across India, and he has sold his paintings to clients all over the world. Mr. Vaishnav has been teaching his art to students who come from all over the world to learn from him for close to thirty years now.


Maqbool Jan, a paper mache artist and trainer, learnt this art from his father. Having participated in many exhibitions, Mr. Jan never fails to exceed expectations and always manages to garner appreciation from the audience. Mr. Jan says that his innovative and creative artistic skills were very quickly recognized, leading to him winning multiple state awards. He was awarded the prestigious UNESCO Seal of Excellence for handicrafts, and so Mr. Jan continues to innovate and introduce the art of pottery machi. Mr. Jan continues to pioneer, and innovate in the field of clothing designer paper mache for the Kashmir Valley.


A talented palm leaf etching artist, Narayan Das has been brought up in a world full of art. Having been taught by his father since he was thirteen years old, Mr. Das has now only grown tremendously as an artist, and now he conducts workshops all over India. He has also taken 8 students under his wing and teaches them every day in his workshop. Narayan Das believes in being determined in everything he does, and even after facing a huge setback due to the pandemic, he rode the wave and has come out on the other side successful.


Having been inspired by a drawing in his local newspaper, young Prine Thonnakkal decided to take up art as a hobby. Having been in the art industry for close to three decades now, he wishes to set up an institution to impart his knowledge and teach others his well honed skills. A man on the top of his field, Prince Thonnakkal’s art has been displayed in temples, movies, hotels, and even airports. In order to carry his traditional art to the modern world, Mr. Thonnakkal combines the traditional art, that is, mural paintings, with modern styles, thus mesmerising the viewers. 


Ramesh Hengadi has been painting since he was a child, but when this thirteen-year-old artist competed in a painting competition, he realised that although this art form was a common feature in his village, it was an enigma to the world. It has been over two decades since then, and Mr. Hengadi continues to excel everytime. Mr. Hengadi believes that Warli art has a promising future with its hidden stories and legacies showcased in each piece. To expand its legacy and to share the stories, he teaches students and displays his work not only across India but the entire world.


Sarfaraz Khatri is a sixth-generation Ajrakh block printing artist who uses a thirteen-step printing technique that has roots in Indian culture. Artist Sarfaraz Khatri’s studio is multi-generational too. It was founded by his father and it uses over 800 teak blocks that were designed by the artist’s great grandfather. Mr. Khatri creates textile designs that span from traditional, honouring his legacy, to contemporary, to appeal to the modern market. He uses natural vegetable dyes that are bio-degradable and environmentally friendly, thus reviving the lost traditional techniques. His textiles are versatile and are often made into saris, scarves, shawls, and more.


Sindhe Sriramulu, an artist born into a family of traditional leather puppeteers, is now a national award-winning leather puppeteer. Taught by his maternal uncle, Artist Sindhe makes a variety of items besides the traditional puppets. To cater to the modern market, he exhibits and sells his newer products across the country.
By re-creating traditional motifs into creative wall art, artist Sindhe Sriramulu is helping to bring the languishing art form into the mainstream. He also trains women in drawing and painting on puppets and lampshades. The paints used by the artist are obtained from nuts, trees, and locally available minerals.


V.K. Munusamy started practising terracotta art independently at the age of 23. He decided to quit school after 8th grade to pursue being an artist full time. Having been taught by his parents throughout his childhood, he learnt multiple techniques early on. He incorporated them into his work to produce a wide range of products like terracotta fridges, water filters, images of gods and goddesses, etc. The innovator of miniature terracotta sculptures, Mr. Munsamy believes in training people to help them earn a living and has won numerous accolades. His artefacts have also been placed in prominent international museums.