The success mantra of Neethu Krishna aka Neethu Navami is simple. This mural painting artist, who creates wonder in fabric, believes that one does not have to go down the traditional route and follow convention if it doesn’t suit him/her. Neethu started mural painting five years ago and through social media platforms, her fabric designs took off within a short period. Like many homemakers, who deftly use social media as a marketing tool, Neethu also garnered attention when she displayed her marvellous depictions in clothes on her Facebook page.
“The real challenge in the business is to find room to showcase your outstanding style. Since many people are doing such work in clothes, sometimes my distinctive paintings have been mistaken for the works of some other person,” says Neethu, who now adds copyright sign in the photographs of her works. She earns between Rs 30,000 and Rs 45,000 a month from her passionate art.
“I used to paint since my childhood. But I have not got any formal training in mural painting,” she reveals. Neethu, who resides at Valiyavila near Thiruvananthapuram, first tried her skills on her husband’s shirt, and then there was no looking back. The 28-year-old strives for uniqueness in her fabric-designing and makes it appear inimitable.
“There are five colours in murals that are apt for painting on fabric. Cotton, silk and Kancheepuram saris are good for painting. When I get an order, I purchase the fabric and give it for stitching. Then I start to paint the designs preferred by the customer,” she explains.
Neethu has a wide range of customers, including celebrities, in and outside the country. Actors Priyanka, Yamuna, Souparnika and Sajan Surya are part of her elite list of customers. She brings out mural paintings of gods after observing stringent penance, she says.
“My Facebook page is a great platform to showcase my designs. Moreover, I get feedback from my customers promptly. Most of my orders come from Facebook friends and family. I usually take three days to two weeks to deliver an order; depending on the work,” reveals Neethu.
How does she hone her skills? “I regularly watch tutorials on YouTube and read articles and books of noted artists. I prefer natural fibre for my work. Most of my mural arts have been done in high quality cotton and linen,” she adds.
Notwithstanding her roles as a tuition teacher and a homemaker, Neethu finds time to push forward her passion. She proves that a constant effort at exploiting one’s skill would bring fortunes.