It is a routine for all residents of Delhi to be endlessly stuck in traffic. Either while commuting to work or while going to some special date (where you can’t be late!) - we have all spent a large part of our lives just sitting there, staring out of some automobile window.
This time that passes, one second at a time, has an existential beauty about it. As a designer, Jyotirmayee wanted for people to appreciate this ordinary everyday act by merging it with something extraordinary. “There is nothing more extraordinary than finding a new detail every time you look at something; and Indian craft is the perfect medium to attain that,” she feels.
Jyotirmayee’s design theme focuses on ‘Dilli Haat’ - an open-air bazaar, bursting with life and colour, located in the heart of Delhi. Just like Taxi Fabric gives different artists a platform to showcase their art and ideas, Dilli Haat gives a platform to traditional artists from the entire country to showcase their crafts. “It’s not just a place to buy traditional handicrafts, but a melting pot of ideas that transcend more than just crafts. It is an oasis of aesthetic experience (visual/crafts/music) set in the centre of the city - unique and colourful, just like Delhi and its people,” she says.
Her experience of designing the rickshaw was mind-bending to say the least. But it didn’t come without any bumpers. “Surfaces of an auto-rickshaw can be really tricky to design for, as well as mapping the design to the scale & cracking the right placements,” she reports. However, she recollects the thrill at how it eventually all turned out.
Even her interaction with the rickshaw driver was particularly interesting. Since he had never been to Dilli Haat himself, he asked her a lot of questions about the place, seeing all the patterns and elements in the rickshaw design, out of curiosity. There was a wonder in his eyes, like that of a child’s. And he seemed to have visited Dilli Haat just through her eyes and designs. Jyotirmayee hopes that there will be a similar response from the passengers who sit in the rickshaw as well.
Personally, Jyotirmayee loves the art scene in Delhi. “There is inspiration and positive energy in every corner, be it Graffiti on street walls or Type Ventions in public spaces, the city has something new to offer everyday,” she feels.
Also, as a designer she is fascinated by the ancient architectures of India. For instance, Humayun’s Tomb of Delhi, Hawa Mahal of Jaipur, Sun Temple of Odisha and so many more. They are all most beautiful & ingenious examples of Indian craftsmanship and Jyotirmayee aspires to be one of the finest craftsmen of her time.
She recently switched her profession from a UI designer to a Calligrapher/ Type Artist. It was a big leap for her and not in the least bit easy. But now, she does what she loves which primarily keeps her going. Initially, she had to invest a lot of time and effort creating a unique style and a considerable body of work. She is still working her way up but enjoying the process.
She feels while design is still an evolving scene in India, it needs to be more emphatic & experimental. Enabling collaborations, welcoming new cultures and styles of learning will help prevail a better future for everyone. She believes that Taxi Fabric an amazing platform for designers to unleash their creativity on such a dynamic canvas. Her advice to fellow designers is pure and simple: ‘Find your niche and perfect it.’
Photographs by Archisman Misra, Himansh Sang & Geetika Bhandari