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Inspirational Woman: Deepti Nair | Artist, teacher and homemaker

Introduction: Tell us about yourself, your background and what you do currently

I wear many hats. I’m an artist, a teacher and a homemaker. As far as art is concerned, I’m largely self taught though I owe a great debt of gratitude to Prof Mahendra Damle and Mr Arzan Khambatta for their guidance in helping me navigate the art world. I’m also a trained teacher with a master’s degree in English Literature. At the moment, I work from home, trying to foster a love of words in children and keeping my own love for art alive. I work mostly in oils but enjoy charcoal and dry pastels as mediums too.  I hold with Cézanne who famously said that the culmination of all art was the human face. It’s my favourite subject.

Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote

It’s not a project per se, but I’d love to see more being done to promote creativity in any form in our educational system. We need to change the conversation from marks and grades to actual thinking and doing. The arts have a huge role to play there and it’s an area we need to mine seriously.

What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?

I think I’m still on the road to success, but I think my greatest challenge has been finding acceptance without a formal background in art.

What has been your greatest achievement personally?

I was proud to be a part of the inaugural edition of the Economic Times Women’s Forum this year, where my installation ‘She” was on display. I was also part of amazingly creative team that designed and put together a 3D installation of paintings called ‘Contrapuntal’ for the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in 2015.  I also feel a great sense of achievement when the children I teach begin to appreciate the nuances of the written word.

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?

I think I’d be doing exactly this, more of it, with a little more travel thrown in.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I don’t have a single person who inspires me, but I’m inspired everyday by my family and friends who all seem to have a never –say- die attitude. Their positivity in dealing with the travails of life and the way they go about quietly working to make their dreams a reality is an object lesson for me. I’m surrounded by generous, supportive, resilient and inspirational people.

What does the future hold for you?

More art, I hope!


My family is largely from the armed forces, and I grew up in various naval bases and sometimes joint armed force bases and consider myself lucky to have grown up in that environment, seeing a lot of India and a bit of the outside world. I studied English Literature at the post graduate level and it was brought home to me then, that literature as an art form connected in so many ways to all the other forms of art and expression used by humanity to share their understanding of the outside world.  Art was always a part of my life, though it held a secondary position till a serious spine injury put paid to my returning to the workforce in any serious capacity. Prior to that I taught English at the senior school level and enjoyed that part of my life tremendously.  I’ve lived in Mumbai for most of my adult life now and consider it home. As my children grow older, I find more time to paint and that, I think, charts my course for the future.


instagram : deepti181273

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