Tanya Kotnala – A beautiful story of a designer creating a social impact through art

By Adityobarna Mukherjee | 2 min read

Tanya Kotnala

Tanya Kotnala, a 27-year-old fashion graduate is keeping art alive by carrying it on and inspiring others to do it. Not just that, she is also generating employment that is a step towards women’s empowerment.

Indeed, art is slowly losing its existence but Tanya Kotnala is here to change that through Bhuli. That art can keep history alive is undeniable and we, the people at Mad4India are so proud of what she has been doing.

Founder’s Background – Tanya Kotnala

Tanya Kotnala completed her graduation from the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Shillong in 2015. She hails from the state of Uttarakhand. But after her graduation, she spent two years in Meghalaya and Assam. She worked for the Ministry of textiles there. 

After returning from there, the desire to research and learn about the various native art forms had sparked in her. Soon she wore her explorer shoes and started researching about the native art forms and that’s how Bhuli was born. The three words that she lives by are simple, sustainable, and swadeshi.

Tanya Kotnala
Image Source – Twitter

Tanya was interested in drawing ever since she was a child. She shared a happy memory of the times when her mother used to make her draw on the back of the letters her mother wrote to Tanya’s grandparents.

She also had the habit of drawing around at every corner of her house when she lived in Mussoorie. She loved illustrating gardens and steeply sloped houses.

Bhuli – Introduction

Bhuli was launched in the year 2017 and the word means “little sister” in the Garhwali language. Bhuli mainly aims to resurrect the art of Uttarakhand. Bhuli was founded by Tanya Kotnala and Tanya Singh. As said by Tanya Kotnala, she was the illustrator and Tanya Singh was the content writer. They worked closely with the anganwadis on illustrations to share essential information and spread social awareness on topics such as anemia, breastfeeding, etc.

Tanya Kotnala
Image Source – Website

Tanya was always interested in the art side of fashion rather than the glamour of the profession. Her first illustration done for Bhuli was based on the concept of a woman dressed in a cloak with floral patterns all over it. She designed it in a way that one stem came out to give it a lifelike look. “Feel the bliss of authentic Indian arts and crafts culture” was its subtitle.

Tanya Kotnala
Image Source – Website

Bhuli – Painting Beautiful Stories

Tanya Kotnala said that she has worked with several craft clusters across rural India and most of them were with all-women run units. So, she made it a point that no matter which culture she is representing, it should be a direct doorway to the heart, just like what we say about the eyes.

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While working in the remote areas she learned that most of the population was illiterate and realized that art played a significant role in passing on knowledge.

Tanya Kotnala
Image Source – Website

She had also started developing IEC [Infographics, Education, and Communication] materials on health issues for the Government. And for topics related to nutrition, she has created plenty of infographics with minimum text.

The visual language of Bhuli Art is unique, and it has been termed as Tim Burton meets Madhubani style, as said by Tanya Kotnala. Her knowledge of several Indian arts and crafts during her college days had an enormous influence on her style of art.

Tanya Kotnala
Image Source – Website

To know more about Tanya Kotnala, please check – LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter.

To know more about Bhuli, please check – Instagram, Website, Facebook, Twitter.

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