Babbu\'s Blog

ਫੁੱਲ ~ Phula

ਫੁੱਲ ~ Phula
Flow·er is called Phula (ਫੁਲ) in Punjabi.

 

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As many of you may know Babbu is an Indo – Canadian who builds a bridge between her two cultures to create meaningful art. But it goes beyond putting a “South Asian twist” on western concepts. This journey is bigger than that; it is about discovering one self in different spaces and environment. Her work takes different shapes and forms and focuses on the struggle of an immigrant who feels the need to assimilate to a new world and all the grief attached to it. But Babbu did some soul searching and realized that maybe she didn’t need to assimilate, she needed to re-invent herself.
For as long as Babbu can remember she would wear her parents clothing around her house. She would even go to high school in her mom’s oversized kameez, her dad’s oversized kurta and wore bindis and shawls with a pair of jeans and a cute top. Slowly it became natural that it didn’t feel like she was trying to force two styles togethers. It was the perfect blend.

 

Project Phula is one of Babbu’s favorite collaborations with boutique Kiki’s Korner. Babbu handpicked different Indian textiles to create an exclusive collection of kurta’s. The collection consists of four different floral prints, which inspired the name for the collection. Babbu designed specific silhouettes that are one size fits all just like her father’s kurta. Fine Fabrics were hand picked from India, later stitched and produced in Canada. This line is to embrace and share that blend we have all become a part of.
Designer ~ Babbuthepainter ~ instagram.com/babbuthepainter
Stitching and Production ~ Kikis Korner ~ instagram.com/kikis.korner
Photography ~ Happy Jazan ~ instagram.com/happyjazan

 

 

kur·ta

ˈkərtə/

noun

  1. a loose collarless shirt worn by people from South Asia.

bin·di

ˈbindē/

noun

  1. a decorative mark worn in the middle of the forehead by Indian women.

shawl

SHôl/

noun

  1. a piece of fabric worn by women over the shoulders or head or wrapped around a baby.

A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE?

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Instagram is no one’s career, it is a tool we use to excel at our careers. Specifically for artists. Instagram was a blessing for most of us. In the past i’ve talked faintly about the struggles i’ve faced in the art world and Instagram became a safe platform for me to create and share my ideas. Coming up with ideas is an art of its own, especially good ideas. It takes days, sometimes even months maybe more. I reasearch, start conversations with other creatives, my friends, my parents. Get perspectives on things that i’m unfamiliar with. Putting myself into new situations to broaden my comfort level. However Instgram only saw the glamorous side of Babbu, they saw the finished product of the idea. “Every piece of art that exists in the world started as an idea. Every idea was turned into something real by an artist. Every time that reality met or exceeded the idea it’s because that artist put blood, sweat, and tears into not only the art but the years of learning and practice that preceded the art. Art isn’t free. Stop acting like it is.” – Brian Geddes

I was born in Bathinda, India and brought up in Rexdale, Canada. Coming to a new country as a child I always felt the need to assimilate. Slowly that changed and I realized that I never needed to conform myself to the ideals of the western society, but to mould myself positively with time and space. While being true to myself. And truly I love Indian food, watching cheesy bollywood movies and overdressing every time with lots of jewellery and embellished clothing. I don’t give an “Indian twist” to work/myself. I’m an Indian – Canadian who builds a bridge between my two cultures to create meaningful art. This isn’t a skull that I put an “Indian Twist” on, its more than that. It talks about the struggle of an immigrant who feels the need to assimilate to a new world and all the grief attached to it. It’s a stem of the anger and depression that I suffered as a child and sometimes still continue to deal with.

“The fact that so much stuff is out here for free isn’t a sign that art isn’t worth anything. It’s a sign that artists are all out here paying our dues.” – Brian Geddes. I want to speak about a very touchy subject matter. I appreciate each and everyone of you for showing my so much love through the years allowing me to have a safe space to create and share my art. But it’s really hurtful when we artists, inspire others to create beautiful works but credit isn’t given where it’s due. I’m not jealous, i’m not threatened instead i’m flattered that I was able to create an idea that other creatives can resonate with. But is it a lot to ask for credit where its due? I’m told constantly “You can’t do anything about it” “The best thing you can do is make more powerful work”. If I speak about it i’m portrayed as jealous artist, or perceived to the online world as if i’m cyberbullying. I need your help and advice how can we grow as a community start thinking of art and ideas differently. I’ve referenced Brian Geddes a couple times in this blog post from his article “Art Isn’t Free. Can We Stop Pretending it is?” And I wanna end this post in his words “Start thinking of art differently. Start thinking of it as a gift given by an artist who is struggling. Medical school is a struggle that ends with the payoff of those big doctor paychecks. Art is a struggle, too, and it’s scarier than medical school. There’s no guarantee at the end of the artist’s path.”

I love and appreciate each and every one of you again for providing me and many fellow artists and creatives with a safe space. Let’s start crediting inspirations and spreading love. #badbeti

  • Babbu xoxo

 

MUA: @Jasminelakhesar ~www.instragram.com/jasminelakhesar

OUTFIT: @Kikis.Korner ~ www.instagram.com/kikis.korner

ARTICLE: https://bullshit.ist/art-isnt-free-can-we-stop-pretending-it-is-a1d633d4fe6f#.fiknmh8ri

 

Images Featured on Buzzfeed: https://www.buzzfeed.com/soniathomas/bad-girls-do-it-well?utm_term=.teAvKg8B3A#.bgbzDZAdRW

Chilli Milli ~ Body Building Sonya

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Chilli Milli ~ Part 1 Background

Body Building Sonya

“Throughout a woman’s life we are taught to be one way or another. Some of us are berated for being too beautiful, too athletic, some too sexy, others too opinionated and strong. “ – Sonya Gill

A twenty-two year old south asian woman with an unconventional career in the arts, is as interesting life gets. Pursuing the visual arts was definitely a rebellious act. I was a highschool rebel that did not believe in the school system. I thought maybe proposing to go the an Art University my mother would freak and let me off the hook.But since when did life really pan out the way you planned? So with the little talent I had at the time I applied and to my surprise I got in and this is where it all began.

I never got used to living with my parents in the Suburbs, heavily populated by south asians and commuting into the city which was filled with people from all over the world. I was too Canadian from the burbs and too desi for the city. But I guess that’s the identity crisis most of us are going through? So I began making art about my confusing state of mind which only got worse as I got older. And of course no surprise to me, I hated going to university because I learnt a lot of things I wish I did not know. Thus, every morning I reminisce about the good old days where everyone was “nice” and “equal”. I learnt I will never be paid as much as or equal to my male colleagues even in my “unconventional” field. The colour of my skin will always matter. And the skills I have will be Judged by the time and effort I put into my makeup every day. I can’t show off my amazing dark circles otherwise I look “sick” but I also can’t work all caked up. Can’t look too slutty but have to show just enough skin to give someone a hint. I was already having an identity crisis but I was beginning to realize my gender was adding a whole new plot twist to all this. Oh! And let’s not forget I was a young adult through all this, so I was beginning to party, drink, have lots of fun shun and more parties, and more drinking and more partying.

So what did I do? Simple, nothing. I stopped listening to the people who were constantly telling me “NO”. I whole heartedly put my energy into the things I believed in and was repeatedly told I could not achieve. I was turned down by lots galleries because “They did not have a market for my work” or “My work is not sellable”. I made a market for my work. I was told to make my art “prettier” to make it more sellable. I started painting beautiful ladies with their boobs out. I heard no so many times that now I am the Babbu The Invincible Painter.

Bringing us to the first series of Chilli Milli ~ Body Building Sonya. I met Sonya Gill a couple months ago through a mutual friend and at the time she was training to participate in a bodybuilding competition. Sonya was one of the only Punjabi Woman I personally knew of who was entering a bodybuilding competition. That made me spark a conversation about all sorts of things; participating in this sport and what were all the aunties thinking? her comfort level of showing off her skin? being part of an environment that is male dominated. Then I realized a lot of what I was doing was very similar, just a different field and skill. Which sparked the light bulb in my brain and created a series “Chilli Milli”. This is me, highlighting the strong women of colour in my life. Showcasing their love for their culture and unconventional parts of their life.

Own your roots, live in your skin, be authentically and unapologetically you. That is really all that will matter at the end of your life.” – Sonya Gill

 

Chilli Milli ~ Part 2 Seeking

Body Building Sonya

“Where being assertive and competitive are thought to be qualities for successful leaders, women are constantly told to tread lightly as to not run the risk of being disliked by our male counterparts. We are constantly heeing and hawing between the different ways in which one should act and how we should be perceived so we feel accepted.

But if we were to take a moment today to think about how powerful we actually are, you would stand proud of the women we have become today. We are surrounded by strong-willed, hardworking, purpose driven women who don’t care for anyone’s opinions anymore. We are here to serve the world and inspire each other along our journey. And if you look closely, a shift is already happening.” – Sonya Gill

So there I was twenty-one years old fresh out of school with no idea what to do with my degree or life. All I thought about and practiced for the last four years of my life was Art. I really had no skills or passion for anything else. But I didn’t grow up thinking i’d be an artist so everything was a surprise to me at this point. All I knew was that I wanted to host my first solo show in the city, and make it big! At the time I didn’t have many resources or connections. But I did know of a wonderful punjabi woman who enjoyed my work a lot and was the owner of a creative collective called The Glass Museum; “The Glass Museum is a creative collective based in Toronto, Canada that works to create, promote, and proliferate what they believe to be honest art.” I started a conversation with her about what I had envisioned for the show and she was in. The next thing on the list was to make a run to the art store. I bought so much raw canvas and wood that I ended up making two canvases eight feet by eight feet, two 4 feet by 8 feet, and a couple smaller various sizes canvases. We painted, marketed, promoted and curated my first show, Babbu’s Bhaag, all in one month. I WAS SO SCARED. I didn’t know if anyone was going to show up, and if someone did show up would they like the work? And again to my surprise, the show was a success, till date Babbu’s Bhaag was my best show ever. It was my first love. But I know it would not have been possible for all the positive and encouraging people in my life. But it also wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t hear so many of “no there is no space for your art”. Babbu’s Bhaag was the start of it all, and sure after that it was hard to be a full time artist  right away because it is an unconventional career. But I believe in hard work and energy. The universe has a way of making you meet people that will bring you closer to your journey. Almost exactly a year later I’m able to do art full time and I owe it to the universe for providing me and my work with so much love and support. Talk very soon till next time on series two. Tag the people who support you so they know it’s for real.

 

“Throughout a woman’s life we are taught to be one way or another. Some of us are berated for being too beautiful, too athletic, some too sexy, others too opinionated and strong.

Where being assertive and competitive are thought to be qualities for successful leaders, women are constantly told to tread lightly as to not run the risk of being disliked by our male counterparts. We are constantly heeing and hawing between the different ways in which one should act and how we should be perceived so we feel accepted.
But if we were to take a moment today to think about how powerful we actually are, you would stand proud of the women we have become today. We are surrounded by strong-willed, hardworking, purpose driven women who don’t care for anyone’s opinions anymore. We are here to serve the world and inspire each other along our journey’s. And if you look closely, a shift is already happening.
Own your roots, live in your skin, be authentically and unapologetically you. That is really all that will matter at the end of your life. ” – Sonya Gill

Muse: @Sonya_gill

Muah: @jasminelakhesar

Photographer: Sachin Kala

Powered by: @goclean

Hello world!

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I (Babbu) will be talking about all sorts of things here. I’m not much of a writer so lets see how this goes. I do talk a lot so i’ll just be going on rants most of the time. And other times pouring out my feelings about everything.

ALL THE CRAZINESS OF BABBUTHEPAINTER.

Email about things you’d like to here me talk about! e: babbuthepainter@gmail.com

Let’s get it started!!