IVS - almost 20 years later

| IVS |

I graduated from Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in 2002 - the only place where I was given creative freedom.

For my thesis project, I made mix media art forms with nature as my source, using hand embroidery as the predominant medium. My thesis was a hit, but I learnt life lessons during the journey. To date, I benefit from them. Here’s one story:

I recognise that I've been my biggest enemy! Despite my hard work, deep down, I lived in self doubt. I was on a drive to achieve good grades and seeked verbal approvals only as permission to validate being "myself".

"Whatever you fear, smacks you in the face"

A day before the thesis presentation, I was  told to not show up for my final jury as my work wasn't upto the mark.

Despite working as hard as I could, I contemplated disappearing on myself that night. A force within pushed me otherwise. Allah mian was my confidante. I gathered confidence - I owed "showing up" to myself.

So there I was, ready to face the music, however, tongue tied at my presentation.

As always, my Confidante rescued me….
A few seconds into the presentation, a distraction was created, the session was put on hold for 10 minutes. In this time, a juror casually strolled towards me, pointed at a piece and asked if it was my first creation. I pointed at another one and began to explain.... the juror interrupted saying, "Tell this same story to everyone".

My jury was a breeze!! I owned my work and spoke of it from my heart. I learnt that there is no set methodology to create.

I graduated in 2002. All these years later, I’m back at creating my embroideries as I try to find stability in life. I still have days of self doubt but IVS makes me believe that I must be doing 'something' right. Especially, when I'm starting all over again with nothing but "Yaqein (belief)" in a bigger/better scheme of things. My thesis project became the foundation of my route towards myself.

No hard work goes wasted! I was told to cut up this piece but I hung onto it. 20 years later, I’m seeing it translate into a linen prints.

I don’t know what the future holds for me. But I’m baby stepping in the right direction.

Moral of the story:

Our problems are as big or small as we want them to be. IVS taught me that much as we want to be guided, the solution lies within us. The issue is resistance of belief in yourself.

"The power lies within YOU. There is no competition, it is only YOU, verses YOU".

I share this story, for all the students who will soon be presenting their thesis work. Work hard and own your work.

Lots of love and duas for all of you kids.

For my love of IVS!

Love, Amna Nawab

Written on 25th November 2021 - Toronto


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