Shristika is as adept at giving new spins to traditional textile art as she is effortless with words. She is known for her fearless cherry-picking abilities and her personal brand of zany energy. She has a thing for creating soft furnishings that explore exquisite materials in her works and commingle eclecticism and adventurism. In this interview, Shristika talks about her lifelong affair with fabrics, colors, patterns, and everything in between.
Hola Shristika, can you tell a bit about yourself to our readers?
Sure! I’m Shristika, a gleeful nerd, an Agatha Christie zealot, and a textile designer at Tulips. I did my Bachelors in Textile Designing from NIFT and currently live in Pune. I believe I got my self-actualization moment quite early on in life, which can be ascribed to my passion for reading, an unlikely source - many would think. I have been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember and had made best friends with Nancy Drew, Famous Five, and Hardy Boys. It was during those flights into the fictional world that I began cultivating love for artistic expression. What Agatha Christie and Enid Blyton did through their written words, I wanted to do the same with the infinite potential of textiles. That’s how I got into this field.
What is a typical day for you at Tulips like?
When the morning is young and the day is yet to be written, I like to begin by making a beeline for my favorite spot at Tulips workshop, which is the production facility. The energy there is just contagious as the karigars are always plugging away at their work stations and I love to explore design ideas with them with a fresh mind.
I work in the Retail Research and Development department and my day typically involves studying emerging trends and technological innovations in the interior field. It’s like amassing as much knowledge you can, every day, systematically so that you can use it to develop something new and exciting. This totally makes me tick.
The world is going ballistic over Spring-Summer trends for interiors. Which of the forecasted trends, according to you, look promising?
I believe a lot of us are becoming increasingly aware of our impact on the environment and are also feeling the need to escape from the digital distraction. As a result of this, people are seeking ways that will help them rebuild the bond with nature – so that’s why Greenery and realistic flora and fauna prints are being billed as the big trends for Spring-Summer this year and I think they are here to stay.
What is your design signature/style?
I like to pull off happy marriage between the conventional and unconventional design ideologies. When I design, I want the client to connect with it and at the same time be pleasantly surprised by it. I might pick a very traditional motif like Shrinathji and add a contemporary spin to it by pairing it with unexpected colors or elements. While it’s true that as a textile designer I plow my energy into thinking ways to beautify the surface of the fabric, I’m also drawn to the emotional aspect of it and try to underscore the intimate role it plays in our lives. Exploring domestic craft traditions and contextualizing them in contemporary narrative is also something that gets me excited.
Can you tell us about a particularly exciting/challenging project?
I must say working on Delhi store was quite challenging. As a concept store, it not only had to have relevant visual leitmotifs throughout but had to create an experiential draw that pulled the clients into the store the moment they walked through the door. As every alcove, recess, and crevice of the store was going to be put together artistically and had a story to tell, the intent was to make it all look well-collected and harmonious.
We wanted shoppers to experience our soft furnishings in situ so that it helps them picture how a product would look in a particular setting. Like for example, we designed this area to replicate a kid’s room, so we configured it with colorful products and elements–lollipop embroidered blinds, triangular tassels bordered curtains, and Scandinavian motifs inspired cushions. It enables our clients experience our products in their original context.
Likewise, a lot of hard work has gone to make window treatments, especially because it is our bailiwick and we wanted to ensure that they are displayed in the most experimental and unique ways. We wanted to show diverse stitchery and ornamentation techniques through them whilst making sure that they don’t look too overwhelming.
Our karigars and I, sunk our time, energy, and creativity to make this happen, and looking at the results makes us want to pat our backs.
With botanical prints being big league this season, how would you suggest our readers to incorporate them in their interiors without it seeming over-the-top?
I’m suckers for botanical prints!When it comes to this trend, there’s no famine of ideas. Adding a bold botanical print through a curtain will totally change the look and feel of your room, and turn it into a tropical haven. But if you want to want to go the subtle way, then you can use the print on an Arm chair through upholstery fabric or via a carpet bearing lush botanical print. You can also spice up your living room by adding large fronds or realistic flora motifs embroidered cushions and throws on your couch.
5 Quick fire questions with Shristika
Bold or muted? What color palette floats your boat?
Plain-safe or pattern-riot? What's your thing?
Pattern riot of course!
My interior inspiration comes from…
William Morris and the arts and craft movement.The whimsical undertone of stylized flora and fauna motifs is something which never fails to amaze me.
What’s your ultimate interior pet peeve?
That it’s grandiose and over-the-top to use bold colors in the interiors. Bold colors, if used judiciously will give your room a strong personality, which sadly many people don't realize.
What would be the sound track to your life?
Raindrops keep falling on my head.