Brinda Chudasama Miller studied at Sir. JJ School of Arts, Mumbai ( Textile Design) and Parsons School of Design, New ork ( Drawing and Painting). She stood first in Maharashtra in 1979, when passing out of Sir JJ School of Arts; and her most recent awards are The Rotary Club of Sealand’s’ Vocational Excellence and Appreciation ‘ Award 2008/ 9 ; and Women Achievers Award, Giants International, 2009.
She is also on the permanent jury of The Swiss Annual Award for Sir JJ School of Arts. She has had 13 solo exhibitions, and participated in group shows. Brinda has taken part in several International workshops and art camps.
Brinda has also been Festival Director of The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival almost since its inception. As Kala Ghoda Executive Committee member, she also looks into the upkeep and restoration of this art district. She is Hon. Chairperson at Artists’ Centre, Mumbai.
The artist has been instrumental in creating murals for Mumbai, and believes in bringing public art to beautify the city. Her other major projects include displaying Indian contemporary art at the newly renovated Mumbai International Airport.
Brinda lives and works in Mumbai, with her husband Architect Alfaz Miller.
Being rich and famous was never the objective “ My interest in art began at the age of seven years in school. The teacher realized I was good at drawing and painting. In second grade, I remember drawing a self portrait and being praised. I was painfully shy, and the praise meant a lot to me.
I come from a family of achievers. Being rich and famous was never the objective. No one talked about these things. It was taken for granted that my siblings and I would do well in our professions and that we would contribute to social causes. Being an artist made me resolve to do something for the environment.
I believe I can be a catalyst and can help several NGOs as an artist and art event organiser. I do not have my head in the clouds, I am realistic and practical.
I am fortunate to have an encouraging husband, who allows me my ‘ space’ and it is because of him that I am where I am today. He is an architect and appreciates what I do; it is related to his work. My elder daughter, Aahana has just graduated from Rhode Island School of Design as an Interior- Architect. My younger daughter, Aashti, is studying architecture at Cornell University. My husband, Alfaz and kids are my greatest critics.
As a woman, I can multi- task As a woman, I am able to multi- task. I think managing a home is the most difficult job. Hats off to housewives.! On a typical day, I leave for my studio every day around 11 am, after morning chores. I paint upto 5.30 or 6 pm as the studio is where I am not disturbed.
I go home to my adorable Labrador, Leo, if I do not have meetings.
I spend my evenings either at home… catch up on e- mail, or watch TV ( no soaps!) Sometimes, I go to an art opening or two. I also meet up with a few close friends or nights I go to the cinema with my girl gang.
I hate late nights. I am not a party animal at all! Two months before the Kala Ghoda Festival, I have more and more meetings and as it gets close to the festival I do not paint at all, as the programming of the festival rests on my shoulders. The rest of my life comes to a standstill. After the festival is over in mid- February, I switch off again for a while.
Art / painting de- stresses me. It is the equivalent of yoga and meditation. Travel is one of the things that influence me, or rather, my art. I need to be stimulated all the time, as I get bored easily. I need to keep changing things around ( though not the people in my life – they remain constant!).
The Festival made me a fantastic organiser I was lucky my profession allowed me to raise my kids and work from the house. My life actually began at age 40. My kids were grown up. I began assisting the Kala Ghoda Association for a lark as an executive committee member, organised the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, then in its third year, not realizing I would get so involved. Today, the festival is 15 years old. It has made me into a fantastic organizer.
Working for KGAF is stressful and exhausting. But it is also satisfying. I have learnt more from the experience than from anything else in life.
Never blame anything on destiny Today, education is the best gift we can give our kids. I get a lot of young artists wanting my advice.
I do advise them that a career in art isn’t as easy as it appears… I have worked hard to attain what I have.
A combination of many factors contribute to success.
Luck plays a very small part. Never blame anything on destiny.