As a part of its quest to showcase the talent of varied artists from around the world, The Uncommon Box is delighted to introduce you to Uncommon artiste Poonam Malpani.
Poonam is an artist with a difference- not only is she a dancer but she also uses the body as her canvas – body art being an area of skill and expertise for her.
The Uncommon Box caught up with this incredible bundle of talent, who lives in Paris at the moment, in a special heart-to-heart about her passion, inspiration and what makes her Art worth all the sweat and effort.
#TUB: Tell us something about yourself.
Poonam: Hi, I’m, a fun-loving, Franglais speaking, dance crazy Paris based colour freak of Indian origin. I am a full-time self-taught artist and dancer. I create and experiment with art on canvas, walls, clothes, mixed media, and even human bodies! My works are now living all over the world, from Copenhagen to Calcutta and Seattle to Singapore! I also do a lot of temporal art events, bringing together art and music to beautify both space and time. I am also a dancer by heart and give Bollywood dance lessons here in Paris to spread the joy of Indian contemporary culture.
#TUB: What has been your journey as an artist so far? When did you start taking your passion seriously?
Poonam: Born into a family of artists, it was very easy for me to follow my creative spark from a very early age. In school I was the one doing all the art projects for my friends. After school, I went to study fashion design at the prestigious NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology), where I topped my year at the national level, and won a gold medal from the then-President of India, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. I moved to France shortly thereafter, and have been developing as an artist, soaking in the contemporary European art culture and mixing it with my traditional artistic roots.
#TUB: What motivated you to take up your passion?
Poonam: I was always surrounded by art as a child. If I have to pick one moment, it would be when my uncle painted the ceilings and doors of his house in the 1980s in Calcutta, India, which was something way ahead of its times. This made me believe that sky is the limit and I could do anything I wanted as an artist.
My parents were exceptionally supportive, and let me paint and repaint the walls, floors, doors, anything I wanted when I was 8 years old! And I don’t remember a day since without having created art in myriad forms – paint, craft, clay, digital, prints, I love it all!
#TUB: What have been your sources of inspiration?
Poonam: Honestly I derive inspiration from just about anything: From nature and skies to buildings and architecture, from old warehouses to modern graffiti.
And of course, I am lucky to live in beautiful Paris, a source of inspiration for many, many artists. I enjoy walking around and soaking in the street art of the city. Anything can start a creative spark, from a little shop window in the Marais to a wall mural in the 13th arrondissement. I love textures, details of classical Indian paintings, modern European art, street art, alternative music culture… the list is endless!
Just realised this question was ‘Who’ and not what!
– My father K.K. Malpani, A.P.J Abdul Kalam, Rumi, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Sadhguru, Gustav Klimt, Banksy, Jen Stark, John Galliano, Salvador Dali, Pink Floyd, Meryl Streep, Micheal Jackson are a few of my biggest inspirations ever!
TUB: What inspires you to make a particular painting on a body? What kind of designs do you look for?
Poonam: I usually have a general idea of what I am going to do a body painting, but it’s never fully formed. I interact with the model and it’s like a co-creation process that gives birth to the final thing. I prefer to work with my fingers and hands rather than brushes because I find the tactile connection with my models helps me create. I use a lot of stencils, a million colours, and usually, want to make something visually happy and pleasing! 🙂
#TUB: What are some of the challenges you face as an artist?
Poonam: The biggest challenge I face is to find a space to create art. As Paris is a very expensive city, it is difficult to have a space large enough to allow me to express myself freely.
The other factor is the French administration. I work on many different forms of expression, and each art form has its own governing body. The administrative part of living as an artist in France is a challenge for me.
#TUB: What made you choose this genre of artwork? What training did you undertake?
Poonam: Ever since I remember being, I have experimented with art and have trained myself through experimentation and watching and interacting with artists. This is why I do not have a fixed genre, but more a style that borrows from many different genres. If I had to classify myself, I would call myself a contemporary abstract artist, because it’s what comes to me most naturally.
#TUB: What are your plans and dreams, for say 5 or 10 years from now?
Poonam: Hahaha, so many plans and dreams!!
To make more and more art and try oil painting, resin, sculpture, metal works among so many other things, the list is endless. The dream is to create a huge art and dance studio/gallery space for myself (basically my wonderland), where I can create and exhibit my work. Make that open to the public so I can share the joy art brings to one’s life!
#TUB: Any words of advice to budding artists like yourself?
Poonam: Believe in your madness, work hard, and don’t stop no matter what happens. When you are following your intuition and have the courage to do what you love, the universe helps you to succeed and create. This is the biggest truth of my life!
`Painting by : Poonam Malpani Models: Elodie Sele and Stephane Felicite Photographer: Fabienne CossardThe effervescence of this wondrous creative soul is palpable across the many miles that separate us. She is indeed a trail blazer, doing things that are extra ordinary and uncommon. She is inspiring to say the least. The Uncommon Box wishes her a stupendously creative life ahead of her!
You can follow Poonam on :
👉 Our platform curates quality content from all genres of creativity – we invite writers, artists, fashion followers, stylists, photographers, performance artists, bloggers, lifestylists, Food Lovers – anyone with a passion for making their dreams come true. We are a forum sincerely dedicated to the promotion of all spheres of creativity. You can be a professional or an amateur – you can be anyone starting your hobby a fresh! All that matters is your creative spark! So join us today and live the Uncommon life!