The COVID19 Pandemic has taught me extra about face-masks than residing within the terribly polluted air of the Nationwide Capital Area in India. We have been ( in my family ), sporting N99 and N95 masks, no less than for the final couple of years. We even bought indoor air-purifiers for 3 of probably the most frequented rooms in our residence.
I used to be not overly panicky in regards to the availability of masks when there have been none obtainable wherever – on-line or offline. Or when those obtainable have been promoting at no less than 5 instances their unique MRP within the “black” market. I already had a stash of N99s in my retailer room. I shared just a few of these masks with my mother and father & we had sufficient to final us one other 12 months of air pollution. However not sufficient to final us by way of the pandemic. Because the pandemic is rather more fast and critical, the way in which I used to be utilizing masks for air air pollution, was not going to be sufficient.
The world’s main scientists and docs are nonetheless determining what is going on with COVID19. It’s no shock that we’re additionally, nonetheless, determining, what to do with our lives. Ought to we be sporting an N99 always? Will an N95 with the outlet valve be allowed? Why are there so many gaps in these blue surgical masks? Ought to the cotton masks have 2 layers or 3 layers? Shall I simply wrap a stole round my face as a substitute of sporting a masks? And so forth.
Masks have now been was a style assertion. Having learn either side : those that hate masks being was a style assertion and people who are capitalizing on masks being was a style assertion : I get either side and determined to put myself within the latter group of individuals.
Like just about everybody else on this planet, my bottom-line wasn’t simply hurting – I had no bottom-line in any respect. 90% of my income stream was images. And this was solely gone in the course of the lockdown. It seems prefer it’s going to remain gone for some time. And even when it comes again, it’s going to be in bits and items and at a lot smaller budgets than I’m used to.
I’m nonetheless in a position to make the most of my expertise and talent for portray. My hand-painted wearable artwork brooches have achieved exceptionally nicely – when it comes to me considering that I used to be portray them for myself, to me getting about 60 orders within the first 12 months of operations. It has been a small and barely unsteady stream of earnings.
The opposite income stream possibility was my Model Constructing / Social Media Workshops. The entire world was on Zoom and it appeared like the right time for me to take my on-ground workshops and consulting apply, on-line. Which I did. This too has been a small and barely unsteady stream of earnings.
Considered one of my youthful mates prompt that I wanted to get again to specializing in one large factor after which additionally take a look at extra income streams. I’ve not been ready to do that but, since each my artwork and consulting practices are a lot newer in comparison with my 16 12 months images apply. I’m hoping that images will proceed to be my primary focus when issues get again to a bit extra regular.
Till then, I’m exploring portray on quite a lot of surfaces, together with masks. I purchase the pre-stitched masks from a design studio that employs ladies artisans in Delhi. I then paint them in varied colours utilizing the identical impressionist / dots model that I used on a sequence of brooches.
I launched Flower Physician and Rust Peacock first and publication subscribers acquired dibs on an virtually 50% pre-order pricing. Over the past 3-4 days, I’ve shipped out all of the pre-orders and in addition a number of the newer orders. I’ve additionally began sending out masks as presents to a few of those that have helped me, a few of my mates, some editors and a few artwork trade leaders.
As soon as I obtain an order notification from my on-line retailer, solely then do I begin portray the masks. The masks is washed at a number of phases in the course of the creation course of and once I ship it out to clients, I point out, a number of instances, to please wash the masks as soon as extra prior to make use of.
There is no such thing as a medical or scientific certification that’s being claimed with these masks of mine. I’m not even claiming that they’re “breathable”. Once I put on them, typically I can breathe by way of the masks and typically I breath out and in, parallel to my face. I choose the latter as a result of it implies that I’m not respiratory immediately onto an individual in entrance of me. This does fog up my glasses at any time when I put on them.
It has been a meandering journey attempting to determine what material to make use of for the masks : I’m at the moment utilizing 100% Cotton Poplin. The material wanted to be sturdy sufficient to final some time – the masks are re-usable and hand-washable. The material additionally wanted to be clean sufficient to permit me to use paint evenly however not so clean that it might not maintain the paint.
Fortunately, I’ve already been utilizing paints which can be licensed non-toxic and UV resistant by European Requirements. Primarily ASTM. However I’m quickly going to expire of those paints since worldwide delivery continues to be fairly unreliable and gradual.
Then there was the query of the elastic band. I needed to maintain it easy however I additionally needed good high quality elastic for use. This one is a commonly-available elastic within the Indian market. It’s thought-about to be of “good” high quality. There may be an choice to create a fabric cowl on high of the elastic band however I made a decision towards it as a result of the majority round my ears simply makes them harm extra. And it might have been much more costly to create that fabric cowl.
And all this was after I had ordered just a few masks and had been despatched just a few ( as PR presents ) and I discovered myself scrunching up my nostril on the horrible stitching or how simply the materials frayed after one wash or the flimsy high quality of the elastic bands or the coarse texture of the fabric. With most masks, I discovered that they acquired no less than ONE factor proper however the whole lot else was simply okay, if I’m being beneficiant. There was only one masks, which confirmed potential and I reached out to them to see if they’d comply with supplying me with small portions. I needed no more than 10 items to start with. Fortunately, it labored out nicely for the launch of my masks. On account of small numbers and negligible budgets, I’ve not but managed to determine material colors apart from the white and the rust that I’m already utilizing.
The one factor that I didn’t have to fret about – particularly for Home orders – was delivery. By way of my account with Instamojo, I’ve an account setup with VamaShip, the place I can use the dashboard and ship to wherever I need, inside India. Worldwide orders took some time to open up in the course of the lockdown and are lastly again on and as ridiculously costly as earlier than.
Under : portray in progress of the best-seller : Flower Physician. The primary set of -pre-ordered masks to be painted and shipped.
The preliminary set of masks additionally included a plain rust coloured 100% Cotton Poplin and a black elastic band. I had a tough time arising with coloration mixtures that labored with this rust. And the one which I lastly did provide you with, acquired bizarre reactions from mates and acquaintances that I confirmed it to. I virtually didn’t put it up on my retailer. Till I did and Rust Peacock turned out to have patrons! It seems GREAT when worn as a substitute of when it’s laid flat on a floor.
I used to be attempting actually onerous to keep away from gold on any of my masks as a result of the paint doesn’t find yourself as vibrant and glossy on material as I would really like. A lot shinier on my brooches, the place the varnish accentuates the refractive index. However then I used to be experimenting and made up a strategy to get SHINY SHINY gold onto material, with out impeding the breathability of the material! That’s how “Weddings To Attend” and “I’m Golden” have been created.
Packaging was not very difficult. I already had entry to wrapping materials that doesn’t stick to color, which I double wrapped every masks in. It then went into a transparent plastic packet, alongwith a hand-written be aware card and a flyer from my exhibition in Feb-March. This packet then will get wrapped with both bubble wrap or another thick, protecting materials that I’ve obtainable. After which it will get put into these mild pastel blue plastic courier luggage, which even have a clear pocket the place I put within the delivery particulars ( that are generated by VamaShip and I take a print out at house ).
And that’s how my hand-painted wearable artwork masks empire was born! Haha. Simply kidding. I’ve but to interrupt even. Pandemics aren’t actually time to promote style statements however, on the identical time, I couldn’t have presumably considered promoting hand-painted masks in India, earlier than the pandemic. There was zero marketplace for it. At the very least now there’s a marketplace for it and I simply have to seek out the precise discerning artwork shopper for my masks.
I feel I’ve already used the Made In India hashtag to demise on every of my social media platforms. And Made In India by an impartial artist : me. It’s, actually, wearable artwork! Which is one other hashtag I’ve used to demise and can proceed to make use of – so it’s probably not demise but 😛
These are fairly masks. Not medical or healthcare gadgets, as Instagram erroneously believes. You possibly can wash these masks, however don’t iron them as a result of the paint will follow the iron and peel proper off from the masks. You possibly can, nevertheless, blow dry these masks. Put on a masks if you exit. Whether or not you put on certainly one of mine or one thing else, WEAR ONE.
Store mine now!
Modeling for my masks : Adete Dahiya.
Every masks is a singular portray. No two would be the identical, even in case you order two collectively.
Thanks for studying by way of! If you’re sporting certainly one of my masks, please PLEASE do share a photograph with me! I’ll solely re-share on social media in case you consent to it, however in any other case I’d LOVE to see my clients sporting my artwork!
For those who’re seeking to place a big order, please e mail me on email@example.com and I’ll get again to you with a quote.
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