Our Textiles and Artisans of Northern India tour includes two days in the pattern-filled city of Jaipur and a full day print-design workshop with Renu Bhagwat. Here the architect, town planner, clothing brand founder and pattern book creator talks to us about her work, her city and her love of print and pattern
ECT: How did your interest in print and pattern begin?
RB: With social media! Instagram especially introduced me to a whole new world of illustrations and challenges, such as 30 days of painting and 100 days of print-making. I was so thrilled by the dedication and passion behind these challenges that I decided to set one of my own - 100 days of daily sketching. It wasn't easy but I did it and what's more, I kept going. I've just passed the 400 day mark.
ECT: How did your book Jaipur Patterns: Colouring Book for Adults Inspired by the Doors of the City Palace of Jaipur come about?
RB: This habit of daily drawing produced a lot of sketches and, as I started to think about how I could use them, I realised that pattern was a recurring theme, so I decided to create a colouring book for adults. It did so well that I was commissioned to create some prints for a very well-regarded women’s clothing brand. Now I am busy turning all my drawings into printable designs.
ECT: What makes Jaipur such a rich city for pattern lovers?
RB: Its beauty. I’ve lived here since 2003 and, even after all this time, visiting the old city still makes my heart skip a beat. You can see patterns everywhere, from the man-made artworks on the palaces and Havelis to the natural shadows caused by the sun.
ECT: Why did you decide to start running workshops?
RB: I wanted other people to get as much pleasure from creating prints and patterns as I do – it’s like a cobweb; the more you get into it, the more you’re attracted towards it.
ECT: What can people expect to do and to learn at one of your workshops?
RB: The pattern workshop I’m running for the ECT tour is designed to make the participants look at Jaipur slightly differently. We will identify and interpret the patterns we see in both nature and the built environment, then draw them, create repeats and add colour. One of the most interesting things is seeing how a single inspiration can produce so many different interpretations. I love that.
You can find out more about this tour here