By Bushra Hassan, 33, Melbourne
I was born in a town called Korajahanabad, close to Lucknow, UP. I grew up in a household where almost everyone paints and so did I. Later, I studied in Nainital, and then got a formal arts degree from Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi.
I worked in an international fashion magazine in Delhi for a while, and in 2010, I started making quirky hand-painted homeware called Indybindi inspired by ethnic Indian art. It was a great time in my life; I had the best of the corporate world as well as creative fulfillment. In 2013, I fell in love, got married and moved to Sydney.
That was a difficult phase for me: I couldn’t find a job, and couldn’t even understand the local accent. Luckily, we moved to Melbourne and I fell in love with the city. I volunteered my skills and began selling Indybindi products at ‘makers markets’.
Soon, I was noticed by an art organization who invited me to conduct workshops. In the meantime, we had a baby boy.
I now freelance as a graphic designer, teach Indian artwork and also make my own products. Last month, my painting was selected for display on a Melbourne tram, and will run for six months. I feel really proud to represent the art and culture of my country.
Life has both ups and downs, but art has seen me through.