Joining The Right Dots – An Interview


Joining the right dots

To her, limit is not the sky and there is a will to travel that extra mile. Know more about this young star
Noor Sandhu, while Amrit Ammu finds out about her profession as an artist, a photographer, a play director and also a writer.

Something very bright, enlightening and radiant is named as “Noor” and so true to the meaning of her own name; this youngster from Amritsar has all these qualities intact! Meet Noor Sandhu, a versatile woman artist who is much talented in various art domains and well focussed to follow that light, illuminating inside her. She is definitely a bundle of joy, creativity, positivity and knows well how to connect the dots along her way. More than being just an artist, she is a dreamer, a believer and an achiever all the way!

She has been interested in Art ever since childhood and in her own words she describes how her pocket money would often go into buying new crayons and drawing sheets. An avid learner, Noor took her lifelong lessons on the colour schemes, balance and composition right during her school days which she kept on polishing while working in different creative areas she is now involved in. School also helped her in discovering her talent in writing.

A graduate in English Honours, She went on to pursue her Masters in Mass Communication, post which she started her career with a leading newspaper in Chandigarh as a features writer in 2008. Along the journey she also discovered her interest in photography and sooner she started enjoying and experimenting in this newly discovered talent of hers. With her own new style of taking self portraits, no wonder she started gaining recognition as a Self-portrait photographer in the online community. Things kept moving and in 2009, she moved back to Amritsar, her hometown. It was during this time that the destiny had even bigger things in store for her as she ventured into theatre for education writing and directing educational plays.

Joining the right dots_BackSome masterpiece self-portraits by Noor Sandhu

“During this entire phase, My photography also reached a new level wherein I used it as a personal diary, expressing the deepest of my emotions and experiences.” Moving further, with all the creative bells ringing, she mentions about her current project and says “I started writing my debut novel about a year ago. At the moment I am in the process of editing it. The idea of the novel was a small one but gradually I realized that it had the potential of something bigger. So I thought of a before and an after of the part that I already had developed. I plan to write the story in three parts.”

As a newcomer to the field of art, she had to face some hardships too, but then she kept going on with confidence. She is thankful to all her supporters for being there to help her and even promote her work in her initial days. On asking about her mantra that keeps her going, she says “The one rule that I live by is, to continue learning and keep improving myself in every aspect whether personal or professional. I look for lessons everywhere I go and in everything I do.”

Talking about her commendable ability of delving successfully into different areas of art from photography to theatre to writing, she says “It has always been about prioritizing my tasks and then putting all my energy and time only onto one thing at a time. Even for my current project, once I have the first book of the trilogy out, only then I plan to take up new projects. I have been working on several ideas but don’t wish to divide my time as of now.”

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She also points out that it is important for an artist to understand the nature of one’s work, so as to locate the right kind of audience for their work. For her, in photography the social media websites served as a right platform to reach to her audience while she also held 4 exhibits of her work across Punjab. Her unique identity in photography is that she is a self-portrait artist and the whole theme of self-portraiture being different and complex helped her gain the overall recognition and helped her to develop a niche for herself.

About her work exhibitions, Noor has had three solo exhibits in her name: THE DOOR WIDE OPEN in Chandigarh and Ludhiana (May 2011, April 2011 respectively) and ALEPH in Chandigarh (May 2010). She also exhibited her work in a group exhibition INSIGHTS in Amritsar (February 2010). She is planning to get back to photography projects, as soon as she finishes up with the release of her first book “The Sunset Traveller”.

Interview by Amrit Ammu

This interview has also been featured in the May issue of the Online magazine : Rang Punjabi (Refer Page 09-10 of the magazine)

Stroke of the Sacred Ink – An interview


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Beauty with brains might be a rare combination but this talented artist from Ludhiana stands at a step even higher! Meet Calligraphy Artist Kamaljeet Kaur, who is not only brainy and beautiful but is also blessed with super flowing creativity, compassion and abundant amount of positive energy which reflects in her artworks and definitely makes her She – The complete all-rounder!

A caring wife and a loving mother, she has successfully instilled her sweet home with as much joy, art and positivity as possible. Professionally, she is a calligraphy artist, a designer and a photographer. Connect them all and you find a very unique combination which has only, but yes one thing in common – Her eye in selecting colours. That is one thing which definitely makes her artworks a class apart.

Having two Calligraphy exhibitions in her name – ‘Aneeq’ in Ludhiana (2011) and ‘Sadaf’ at Chandigarh (2012), she was also awarded with the title of “Bhaskar woman of the year” in 2011 and presented with the “Naari shakti award” in the field of Art in 2013 by Hind Samachar Group. With all these feathers in her cap, she has been featured in various print media articles for her divine Gurbani Calligraphy and her unique art style. She has a burning desire of taking Punjabi language and Gurmukhi Calligraphy to new heights so as to make it reach to the masses.

Amrit Ammu talked to Kamaljeet Kaur about her journey so far and her future projects.

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1.)    Tell us something about your background and qualifications?
          I basically belong to Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and finished my schooling from there. I did my graduation from Sophia College, Ajmer and then went to Chandigarh for my post-graduation in Clothing and textiles. Later I got married and came to Ludhiana in 1994. That was the time when I was actually exposed to the Punjabi culture as in Meerut it was all limited within our family. Despite of belonging to a Sikh family, I was never actually interested in reading, writing or even speaking in Punjabi. Surprisingly, even after I came to Ludhiana, for quite some time I only used to talk to people who were from other states as it made me feel more comfortable. It was only gradually that I developed an interest for the Punjabi language and I got fascinated by the beauty of it that I started making efforts to learn it over a period of time.

2.)    How did you start off your career?
           I started off my career as a Lecturer in Fashion Designing which I did for 2 years till Sehaj, my daughter was born. I left that job to be with her and started doing all that I could do, from home. I always knew I wanted to do something creative so I started painting wall pictures for my friends according to their home interiors. I used to paint landscapes, flowers or whatever people would like for their houses. I would keenly go to their place, see the colour scheme of their house, take measurements and suggest them what frames would look good. Then slowly it got spread from my friends to their friends and so on. But then later when I started doing paintings with Gurbani Calligraphy, that was the time when people started buying them and that’s how it all clicked.

3.)    So tell us how did you discover your path towards Gurbani Calligraphy, especially when you learnt Punjabi at much later years in your life?
         I used to do Calligraphy from a very young age and I was always very fond of fonts but I didn’t know at that time that this particular art is called Calligraphy. I used to create cards, magazine covers and write titles for my files and folders. I still have got that set of 8 nibs which one of my friends had gifted to me in class 12th. Fonts used to fascinate me a lot and in that fascination around 12 years back, one day I just calligraphed the Mool Mantra (The main chant of Sikhs) and later on tried to understand it. That was when I thought that I should also have the knowledge about the alphabets and the Punjabi language. That is how I developed an urge to learn it.
Calligraphy was a dying art at the time when I discovered it, so I felt that this should be revived and since I belong to a Sikh family, I felt that I should be doing it in Gurmukhi. Today I have become known for doing it in Punjabi language, although my work is available in Hindi and English too. I really try that the colour scheme of my artworks should be very soothing to the eyes. I want to give that touch, that colour and style to this language that the people should feel proud to display it in front of their rooms and offices. I have a desire that this art should reach to the international standards and it should have a class which other calligraphy works have. That is my constant aim.

4.)    As a novice calligraphy freelancer, you might also have had your struggle days in your career. Can you share some insights?
          I started working as a Calligraphy designer for a renowned brand in Delhi. I tied up with them as their concept was also very new and since it was a brand promoting heritage, so they could relate to me. I worked with them for around 10 years and made a lot of Gurbani artworks and other designs for their store.
And struggle days- Yes, definitely I went through a lot of struggle as whatever I earned, I used to invest back in my art and being a housewife, I used to invest in my house also. I kept circulating the same thing while elaborating on it.

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5.)    Were there any Marketing strategies that you embarked upon to commercialize your artwork?
         There were no marketing strategies as such, that is the reason why it took me so long. I evolved on Calligraphy art slowly and searched a lot to know various options and diverse scopes. Even today I start my day with an online search to know what’s new in calligraphy and what new can be done. My art just got spread through word of mouth and since it was a unique art so that really helped.

6.)    What are the challenges that you face as a female calligraphy artist?
           The biggest challenge is to make a balance between the house and work. There are many roles that a woman has to play as a daughter or as a wife or as a mother and on that I think that I still did well.

7.)    So how do you strike a chord to make a Work-life balance?
          Time management is the key. I set a schedule for a day and stick sincerely to it. I also did social Management and just discarded the people who were wasting time in my life. I limited my friend circle and avoided all the negative elements. It happened slowly as I learnt with time. But this is what something that has really helped me.

8.)    Creativity and administrating a work profession are like two extremes, how do you probably manage with these both?
           My husband is taking care of all the administration work, which otherwise I couldn’t have handled. He is the one who is dealing with all of it while I focus on the creative tasks only. Doing it together, we are also able to spend a lot of time together and everyday seems like a Sunday to us! One more thing which is a blessing is this that because it is my passion, so I don’t get tired. With this, I can really sit up late and then get up again to do it. The whole work process is so enjoyable for me that there is no stress in it and so there are no complaints.

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9.)    In almost every profession, one also comes across certain tough times. How did you deal with them in your journey and what keeps you going?
           I did have lows in my career but my family has been very supportive. My daughter, despite being so young, is very supportive and adds to my inspiration. What keeps me going is the love of my family and the fire inside me that I want to do something.

10.)What would you like to suggest to the upcoming artists?
         Be honest, original and keep working hard. Honesty and sincerity will reflect in your work automatically and you will definitely get rewarded for it. Never try to adopt shortcuts because remember that the world is watching you. So anything that is built on quick steps will not last for long.
Be ready to experiment and ready to accept failures. If you want to achieve something, you will have to come across many kinds of negative forces. Everything is going to be a part of that, so be ready.

11.)Tell us something about your current projects and future plans?
         To keep exhibiting more work, to keep spreading this language and to keep adding more things so that I can relate to the youth and make them feel proud. That was the reason I introduced floor lamps, stoles, abstract paintings, mugs and wedding invites so as to give everything a very modern touch.
My upcoming artwork will be on women kurtis, silk cushions and calligraphy on old folk-instruments like Rabaab, Taaus and Dilruba. In photography, I am into child photography as I feel very comfortable with the kids and I think they love me back too. I also love to do wedding photography as I get really fascinated by the wedding celebrations.

12.) How do you sum up your well spent day?
          I end my day with dreams for the next day. Excited about the new projects and dreaming about them. Thinking about the designs and then I don’t realise when I fall asleep with all that in mind. I always wish I had some more hours in a day. My passion keeps me driven for doing better and better.

IMG_4022_without logoText & Photography : Amrit Ammu

This interview has also been featured in the April issue of the Online magazine:  Rang Punjabi  (Refer Page 07-08 of the magazine)

Everything but the girl


“Everything but the girl” is the exclusive photography service for female portfolios, under my label Amrit Ammu Photography.

‘Sukhleen’ was announced to be the winner of our first give-away and in this blogpost, you can see her smiling all the way to that fun photo-session that we had in my studio.

So here she is ! Starring : Sukhleen Babbar.

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I chose to provide her with a studio photo-shoot because one, that she came over to my home-office around noon and I really wanted to avoid harsh light portraits and two, that I am trying to be better and more better in studio lighting, so practice bell was ringing in my head 😉 As for the picture, I really loved this tangy orange top of hers which stood out really well in the black background and plus it really looked beautiful on her skin tone. We kept her makeup and look pretty simple, so as to portray her elegance and style.

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Now this is the picture which I finalised as I had to include atleast one full size picture in her folio. I personally could have over shadowed this picture with some close-up portrait but then ! It was a mini-photoshoot so I had to include all the main poses. I guess I could do a little more better in this, but anyways I thought that she is looking so adorable, that I needn’t worry much about that. But yes, oh yess, I surely realize that my mini-studio now needs to become a little bigger & better for that matter.

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This is one such picture which took me quite sometime to get it perfect. I really needed her patience to get this shot and if I can make a wild guess, I think she might never forget the hard work I made her do to get this shot right :p But all is well, when end is well. Woohoooo ! High-five my buddy.

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And here comes my favourite one. While I was directing her for this picture, I just anticipated the photograph to come worth it. As it was a window-light set up, I had to play a lot with the setting to get the exposure correct. I knew that I really couldn’t let this shot go wrong. After a couple of test-shots, I finally arrived at the setting but I had to face it ! Her pictures were coming less beautiful than that angelic face I was able to see with my eyes through the viewfinder.

Light was the only thing which could be at fault as I felt my setting to be okay. She really cooperated while I re-arranged her seating, posture, and my own angle.. and yes, finally I got it ! The soulful picture ! And yo ! That was it, the fun mini shoot for our 1st give-away winner 🙂 I will post more about the regular photoshoots under “Everything but the Girl” in upcoming posts.

Till then, I am inviting new entries for portfolio bookings. You can book your slot via email at amrit.ammu@gmail.com

Live. Love. Laugh. & Keep Smiling.

Yours Lovingly,
Amrit Ammu.

The give-away Winner !


It has been long since the first give-away by Amrit Ammu Photography had been announced 😀 Thank you for participating everyone, I was so glad to receive all your entries on the theme “Expressions”. I never knew choosing the winner would be such a task too ! 😉 Anyways, out of all the entries, the best two to qualify were the two happy souls – Nidhi & Sukhleen. And both these lovely ladies are the winners for me already, just that Miss Winner had gone a little more far in order to grab a few more pointers.

Here are their pictures below, Lovely you look both of you..

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And finally, the WINNER is……

Sukhleen

Congratulations Sukhleen ! You have won a mini- Photo shoot from us 🙂 Kindly revert back via email and we shall proceed further with your fun photo-session.

It was an awesome experience hosting our 1st ever Give-away and for sure, we would be coming up with bigger and better give-aways in future too! Yayy time to call off.. Have a happy day everyone.

Live. Love. Laugh. & Keep Smiling.

Yours Lovingly,
Amrit Ammu.

 

It’s Daughter’s Day…


Sharon- Daughters Day

Being a daughter makes me feel so elated ! From being a little girl to when I will get granny old… Well, I will still be a daughter’ known for spreading happiness and joy all around my home 🙂 This day which is specifically celebrated for daughters, is such a beautiful occasion to embrace the gift of the universe.
Happy Daughter’s day everyone !!

To celebrate the occasion happy, I made sweet flour halwa with almonds and raisins. My mumma surprised me with wishes, kindness and love while I heard her reminding my father of same. And to that, My daddy strongest replied, “Oh, but for me, everyday is Daughter’s Day” 😀

I am feeling a little nostalgic of my childhood days, so sharing a few “little me” pics right below. These were clicked back then in the 90’s by my so talented papa ! Yeah I am a 90’s girl *Giggles*

The images are copyright Kanwaljit Singh @ Art Punjab.comKS2125_11111

That is Mom n’ little Me below 🙂

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I feel I am one of those lucky daughter’s who has her complete childhood captured forever in golden frames and that too, right from the time I was only 2 hours old 😀 Gratitude is all that’s on my mind now!

Thankyou for stopping by everyone, Wishing you a very happy day again..

Live. Love. Laugh. & Keep Smiling.

Yours Lovinlgly,
Amrit Ammu.

New projects & a Give away !


With the sunny side up, I would like to thank all the dear ones who blessed me to keep going ahead. I am lucky enough to seek all your blessings on the way 🙂 Thank you everybody… I have no words to describe how much your wishes mean to me. It was a day to remember and after a very long time, I could actually see myself sitting relaxed, smiling and embracing the moment .. just all of it as much as I could.

Okay, actually there are some news that I want to be sharing with you all, through this post..

Last week I did two coffee-table books for my respective clients and though I shall take a separate post to share those images across, but the good news is this that I have now successfully tied up with the best digital print-service company of India for coffee-table-books and more. An icing on the cake which makes this news even more delicious is this, that all of those albums and prints come with more than 2 decades of color and binding guarantee..Yaayyy !! So in case you want your own ammazing coffee-table book, depicting your story in an exclusive way, then you know where to contact 😉

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Second news on list is this that throughout the months – July and August, Amrit Ammu Photography is running an exclusive photography service campaign for Feminine. I had made this news live on our facebook page as well and I sincerely thank all the wonderful ladies for their great response. The Bookings are still on and you can book your sessions here.

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Click here for booking a session with us.

The next news on the list is this that I came across the info to various Photography Competitions that are coming up in the next few months ! Excited to participate myself and thinking to share across all the info out here on the blog too ! Watch out for my next post, till the time I collect all the info right in place.

And last but not the least, I just realised that the blog now has over 1000 views in a short span of 2 months !! Yayyyyyy ! And did I also not notice the 900+ followers ! Whoa ! Thank you ! Thank you ! Thanks a lot guys for your love and support..You guys are ammmazing ! On this note, I am also planning for a first give away soon. I am sure, you would love to grab it !

That was all for now and there I go in a relaxing mode while sipping my tea along with the yummy cookies I grabbed from the nearest bakery.. ! Cya till next time..

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Live. Love. Laugh. & Keep Smiling.

Yours Lovingly,
Amrit Ammu.