Romi Revola is an artist, sculptor and entrepreneur who lives in Bangalore. She talks about her creative childhood, her definition of inspiration and advice for women in a male-dominated profession.
Q: What does a typical day in your life look like?
The best thing about being an artist is that no two days are ever alike. I hate being stuck in a rigid routine and love that my schedule is so dynamic. I work on large scale sculpture projects so my day is really based on what stage each project is at.
During the creative stage when I'm researching / sketching or still deciding which concept to work with or which design to finalize, I work in solitude at home.
When the project gets into the execution stage, all the action shifts to the metal fabrication workshop for a few weeks where I work with a team of 8 to 10 assistants who help bring my ideas to life. Subsequently the finished sculpture is moved to the final site where it has to be installed. Installation usually takes a few weeks as the sculpture(s) are brought in multiple components to the site and assembled there to arrive at the final artwork. So in these two phases my day is very hectic with either site visits or workshop visits.
After all the frantic activity I usually get a few months off before a new project starts off and then my days are more relaxed and I work on my Studio Revola handbag label - a functional art label wherein I paint on canvas and then craft them into single-edition handbags.
Q: How did you choose your career path?
I've always been creatively inclined and grew up surrounded by art as both my parents are artists.
I was my dad's apprentice since the age of 7 and he involved me in all his art projects giving me a great deal of responsibility.
Some of the best childhood memories I have are of the three of us working late into the night on one of dad's ambitious installations or assemblages.
Eventually sculpture became my pathway to the world of contemporary fine art and I slowly carved my own niche. I started off working in Bronze and through a series of chance events I started using stainless steel as my primary medium.
Q: Where do you look for inspiration for your work?
This is a question that stumps me most of the time. I can only answer this by saying that a bird sings because it is in its nature to do so. It doesn't really look for inspiration. If one is a creative person one is compelled to create or express through one's chosen medium, be it dance, painting, sculpture or music. As one grows in life, one also grows as an artist.
Having said that, I'm also curious by nature so I really enjoy stepping into other people's worlds. I love discovering new books, new food, new people and new experiences that often lead to new perspectives on life. I may not be directly inspired by these things but they invariably add depth and a fresh dimension to my work.
Q: What's the most interesting place you have ever visited?
I love travelling but haven't had a chance to go far and wide yet so out of the few places I've been to I'd say Manali is the most beautiful and the most interesting. The Himalayas in the background; the gurgling, pebble filled river Beas in the foreground; winding mountain pathways and flower filled valleys just blew me away.
Q: What is your favorite piece of clothing?
I have this coral lace dress that I really love. It has a very salsa / latina vibe to it which I adore!
Q: What advice do you have for young women who are just starting their careers?
Just be yourself, be confident and put in a 100% into whatever you do.
All the perceived obstacles would then melt away and the rest will fall into place. Most of all, if you work in a profession that is male-dominated don't lose your femininity in an attempt to be seen as an equal. The idea is not to become a man or be like a man. It is to be a full blown woman and at the same time be an equal.