Stroke of the Sacred Ink – An interview


Title Interview_RGB

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.

IMG_4004_without logo

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.

IMG_4025_with logo

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.

IMG_4040_a (1)a

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)

Ludhiana to Bangalore via Chandigarh


Life is not how we imagine it to be, most of the times… Isn’t it? Well, this time on-board, it spelled its magic onto me. The black roaring smoke of events… expected, unexpected and full of shock, sudden and surprise. I thought of the blog-post in March to be ecstatic, full of fun and frolic, entertainment and joy and not forgetting about the series of pictures I thought I’d be sharing to kick-start my travel-posts too. But then, Life moves on and yeah, it doesn’t always functions how we imagine it to be.

This time, I am blogging from inside of the ‘Rajdhani Express’ train that is scheduled to reach Bangalore early next morning. Did I mention? Bangalore it is… My new home away from sweet home in Ludhiana.

This journey, odd 3000Kms long, made its mark on February 4th 2014 and would be taking a halt tomorrow after almost a month! Woohooo… I must be one of those patient passengers of this journey or something that I calmly kept witnessing all the emotions of Life that this journey kept raining down upon, one after another.

From seeing myself getting ready as one of the most happy and excited brides ever to celebrating our wedding tale in as much royal a way as possible; To having aboard my friends and relatives at that wonderful occasion. And if I continue… the emotions also go from leaving my parents, my city and going away from my home that I labelled as “mine” to settle down afresh at a new place with new people altogether with everything new.

But right there, as if some black spell was cast or something! On one side where I was trying to engulf so much of happiness, on the other side, I was suddenly pinched with the news that my adorable father-in-law had been admitted in the emergency ward of hospital ‘coz of ill-health just the same day of our wedding. Slowly I witnessed before my eyes the shades of life. Turning, from the brightest ever to the dullest ever on the demise of my father-in-law just the next day of our wedding. Clock kept ticking, journey was on, and days went by and as they say ‘Time’ is the biggest healer ever. I just wish his soul rest in peace.

I am peeping out to the new upcoming days with hopes… hundreds of them! And dreams… filled to the brim in my eyes.

A.C.16 copy Plain

Still in the train, I am seeing and observing so many things on go! The rushing trees and places behind me, they seem like whispering to me to focus on what is lying ahead and focus on where the life is taking now. The joy is being shown to me by the rising bright sun today, peeping through the dense clouds. The blooming flowers in the farm are telling me to smile, the sky and the land laden with green grass tells me that everything is fine and in here, the times would keep changing, be bold. It is just the weather to the universe, what we end drawing conclusions upon and we all are mere particles in this huge galaxy. The rain, hitting on the window panes of the train, pokes me that hey, everything is still okay and it is all here, right here, just somewhere around. At this moment, I want to get lost in the nature and its beauty… My journey is doing good and yeah, I am keeping all fine too.

Ludhiana to Bangalore via Chandigarh – ‘The journey’ has been much thought provoking ever…  As if, realising my soul in and soul out. A new start always has its memories with it and it is great to store them in some way so that we can lean onto them in times to come. All my new beginnings have made a mark in their own way and for this journey; I am hopeful that we will be blessed with better and happier moments.

Hoping for good times!
Live, Love, Laugh & Keep smiling everyone.

Yours Lovingly,
Amrit Ammu

Eternity


The year 2014 sailed through beautifully and before I considered writing articles and posting photographs from the stock I kept gathering these months, the word ‘Eternity’ was keeping me bound and yeah am still flowing in its magical world 😀

Eternity here, comes from the ‘band baaja and bride’ scenario that is keeping on a thumbs up mode my side and Ooo.. how exciting and nervous it is getting  .. ! I can’t even probably frame it correctly right now 😉

Of colours, vibrance, sweets, music, dance, happiness, emotions so pure, lights and pomp and show… Marriage is seeming such an awesome start to the eternity, which I am observing and experiencing from quite a close like never before !!

Of all the mixed emotions I am going through.. I think they all are so pure and worth experiencing! I might be bias to quote this or something, but the lord has instilled in a woman so much more power than a man that she is able to smilingly go through this society’s law.. Where one day in her life, she has to leave her maternal home to settle down at a new place, new home and with her new family. Femina for sure, rules the word called ‘power’  🙂

With all these happy yet hopeful connotations, it’s time for me to declare another break and I will be back with a bang in March and this time, right from Bangalore.

Live. Love. Laugh. & Keep smiling everyone !!

Yours lovingly,
Amrit Ammu.

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.

IMG_2614 with logo

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.

IMG_2620 with logo A

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.

IMG_2727 A with logo

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.

IMG_2817 C with logo

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.

Making things happen..


A beautiful blogpost that I read today was written by Jasmine Star and I really inspire her fluent way of living life and working towards her dreams 🙂 She is a happy soul and I much adore, how she has a sharp focus in life. Hey there, “Focus” Hello, Hello ? Focus for that matter isn’t a living thing that will talk or respond to me I know 😉 but I am always on a conquering mode for the same.

While reading her post today, I found some inspirational doze that smilingly, I am sharing below. All of us have dreams and all of us want to travel that extra mile to make things happen. So here you go, cross check everyone, if you too are going on the right track or not.

Step by step, in her own words she says:
“First, set your goal.
Second, vocalize your dream to your trusted allies.
Third, create an action plan to make things happen.
Even if it takes ten months or ten years to make it a reality, work toward it.
It’s liberating if you’re stuck in a windowless office and a sack lunch under your desk.
Trust me, I was there too.

Sitting on the rooftop at sunset made me realize how happy I was to have worked toward my dreams.
I hope wherever you are in the process of following your dreams, you don’t lean on your crutches
or hide behind veils of excuses…
Just Go out and make things happen”.

IMG_8637

Awww 🙂 It’s been 5 months since I started working on my dream project and I realize that even in this short duration, I failed two times more than how much I succeeded, could convert half of the total calls received, earned about half the money expected and re-tried innumerable times to be able to climb that one step of the multi-leveled ladder I see hanging up there for me. With all the things that I might have done or might have not done is altogether a different story but I sense that little amount of satisfaction that enlightened up my heart for good, somewhere. Mine, as I see is a path finding story, enfolding into a new day everyday, a new story and then right before I am all set to go in my wonderland mode, I take a return, cool down, take a deep breath and envision of that beautiful long route trudging up in front.

Today, I am sitting in my backyard and embracing this moment, all of it as much I can, while experiencing the fall of the shiny sun onto me. It’s a good feeling and it is suddenly feeling cozy.

See you soon everyone. Do share your thoughts and views on inspiration and more. Would love to hear.
Live. Love. Laugh. & Keep Smiling.

Yours Lovingly,
Amrit Ammu

AA Photography_C New

.

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..

Give Away Top 2

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 🙂

KS1965-111

KS2279

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.