She’s a born traveller, she says.
And each travel experience was precious enough for her to not even miss a single minute of it. She vividly remembers her first train journey that took her and her family from Kolkata to Darjeeling when she was a toddler. She would sit with her face tightly pressed against the bars of the train window – absorbing the view, the sounds, the feeling that came from speeding over the tracks and going towards a new world and beyond. Nothing could keep her away – not even hunger or thirst – as she felt that she would miss out on something.
Young Riddhi Manna – who was born into a large joint family in Kolkata – was keenly attuned to all things visual and tactile. She laughingly tells us that she could talk before she could walk. Right from her childhood – Riddhi would take notice of and find joy in the smallest of things – soaking up her perceptions of the world around her like a sponge.
Her well-developed sense of her surroundings and a desire for its’ expression found itself in drawing and painting – in which she was happily able to immerse herself for hours Guided and encouraged by her mother, who is a highly gifted amateur artist and her father – a well-known theatre actor – young Riddhi was to the artistic manor born.
The logical course of study post school – was formal training in Art and the gifted young artist got admission in to the National School of Design ( NID ), Ahmedabad. Post her foundation course, Riddhi specialized in Graphic Design – which she believes to be the Mother of Design. Riddhi believes that her Graphic Design training has enabled her to learn and decode Aesthetics and work well with Spaces. Proof of this is in her being able to spread her wings in Design across different formats and mediums and in the products she creates, credit for which she gives to the discipline of Graphic Design.
Today Riddhi is not just a graphic designer but a design educationist and entrepreneur. She creates lamps, lighting systems, creates installations with recycled materials and murals. She creates doodles, illustrations and is an avid photographer. Riddhi also custom-creates gifts and crafts lifestyle products.
Her work blends seamlessly with her more or less constant travelling. Her itchy feet have taken her to all parts of India – but mostly off the beaten track to remote villages and undiscovered places.
She continues to learn from people and experiences of her travels – from food, folklore, songs and more. Each experience is re-created as a story and finds its expression in Riddhi’s talent for taking a two dimensional concept on paper and turning it in to a three dimensional work of art.
Riddhi believes that each piece of her work is an “ expression absorbed from my interaction with the unknown “ … a process that she pursues across boundaries, borders and dimensions. In the process she connects with her own inner self and discovers a whole new side to herself and her work.
As she says – this is only just “ Aarambha ” – the beginning. Check out her collection here.