Bhubaneswar NIFTian Paints Dreams On Canvas & Apparels; Wins Hearts Globally

Bhubaneswar: She is creative and her love for motherland is deep-rooted. Her desire to take Odisha’s ancient art forms to the global platform has earned her recognition.

She is Tanaya Kar, a third year Bachelor’s in Fashion Design student of NIFT, Bhubaneswar.

Her journey to explore the world of Pattachitra started when she was still in school. After joining NIFT, she got an opportunity to brush up her skills and learnt about the unending opportunities that a traditional art form offers.

Like Tanaya puts it, “NIFT was like an arranged marriage that happened to me and it is a blissful relationship.”

Tanaya Kar
A blouse designed by Tanaya Kar for a client

Everything was going smooth at NIFT. “I was so crazy for Pattachitra that I drew art on anything I came across, infact my wrist watch had Pattachitra on it. I wanted motifs and faces in Pattachitra all around me, that gave me a feeling of fullness.”

This passion was noticed by my batchmates who wanted Pattachitra motifs on their personal belongings too. “And, I often obliged them. They would go home during vacations and return with a few more stoles or kurtas asking me to paint them with Pattachitra art.”

This is when the 22-year-old knew where her future and profession lay. However, pandemic struck and the institution was shut down. The students were left on their own. This is when their teacher gave them the assignment to open an Instagram account and showcase what they are doing and they were to be evaluated on it.

The Bhubaneswar-based girl opted to launch Maati and Tales. “I could have easily named my Insta account Tanaya creations and more like that, but I wanted to connect to the soil so after pondering for a few days I decided on Maati and Tales – stories of motherland.”

She started with eye-pleasing Pattachitra illustrations. Tanaya says “One should not  limit Pattachitra to the canvas. I wanted to change things and started making digital illustrations using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. This when she bagged an internship with Galang Gabaan of Lipsa Hembram.

“At Galang Gabaan, I was initially given the job to hand-paint Saura art on masks. After that Lipsa ma’am wanted to do something interesting for their Instagram page. She wanted stylised illustrations of their existing saris and I was given that opportunity,” says Tanaya.

“Lipsa ma’am, who works on kotpad cotton sarees, has an eye for detail and her penchant for perfection helped me chisel my skills in Pattachitra paintings,” says the youngster.

Tanaya Kar
Tanaya’s Creation
Her other inspiration is textile designer Pankaja Sethi. Some workshops with her opened Tanaya’s eyes to the plethora of ways in which the art form can be implemented.
At present, the budding designer is also interning with an overseas brand, specially designing children’s apparel.
Tanaya is the daughter of an academician mother (a professor in Sri Sri University, Cuttack) and her father is an assistant director at the Works Department in the Secretariat.
She feels blessed to have been given a chance by her parents to follow her passion. Despite being ranked 156 in All-India NIFT exam she preferred to stay back in Bhubaneswar as she knew the land has lots to be explored.
She signs off with quote by one of her faculties, “Every odd member in a family is a NIFTian”. I can literally feel how true that is as days are passing by, the NIFTian says.
Tanaya Kar


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