Painting The Blues Away: Yashna & Nimisha’s Monochrome Blue Self Portraits

Image Credits: Bitturaniii x kouchpotateaux
Image Credits: Bitturaniii x kouchpotateauxBitturaniii x kouchpotateaux

Humans are social animals, and it goes without saying that being locked up in our houses, unable to have a human touch or being able to meet friends has taken its toll on a lot of us. Quarantine blues are haunting us all, and what’s a better way to express that than through art? Yashna Jain, a 23-year-old design graduate who considers herself “an artist–a stylist, makeup enthusiast, and selfie timer aficionado” along with Nimisha Chandel, a 22-year-old painting student from Shantiniketan who likes to “paint and take creative self-portraits”, came up with the concept of Monochrome Blue. A look inspired to emote the quarantine blues we have all been experiencing.

What was the ideation process and vision behind the project?

Yashna: Blue is one of the colours I’ve been resonating with through the pandemic but never found the right moment to really champion it in a look. This little project seemed like the perfect time to move out of my comfort zone and create a cool-toned monochrome look in my typical fusion style, complete with sparkle to amp it up. Think Euphoria, but desi!

Nimisha: I’ve been working on my graduation project which revolves around studying colours. I have come to understand that colours really do speak for themselves and can have multiple interpretations as well as have the power to evoke tremendous emotions. Blue is a colour that I’m currently using a lot in my paintings very subconsciously, it just feels like a very comforting shade to me in this period of isolation in my life. Thus, I felt an urge to bathe in blue colour quite literally and I thought let’s see how it feels to see myself with a blue face. And, I truly just felt quite docile in blue.

Nimisha's Instagram

What inspired the Monochrome Blue look?

Yashna: A cross between the stunning embellished sapphire-blue gown from Schiaparelli SS20 and the gorgeous runway HMU at Givenchy 2015 by Pat McGrath. Of course, I gave it a twist by using my favourite accessory as the hero — the humble but timeless bindi.

Nimisha: Honestly, the entire look I did just happened. Yashna and I were exchanging references and we decided on doing a blue look with some glittering stuff and add forever amazing bindis to give a desi touch to it, but when I sat to get ready for the shoot in my studio, seeing my blue face just turned everything around for me. I felt a very strange silence which immediately reminded me of a lonely desert, so, I almost automatically added the jewels inspired by the nomads of Rajasthan who wear absolutely stunning costumes and decided to wrap a blue cloth (a pallu/ ghunghat) around my head as if I’m there, in the desert and it just happened!

How did the collaboration come about?

Yashna: I have always loved Nimisha’s edgy and inimitable style. She radiates positivity and her creativity is something I aspire to. So, when she suggested we could start creating looks together, there was no way I could say no. It’s an incredible thing to make a friend through a creative process and to grow and learn together. This isn’t the last you’ve seen of us!

Nimisha: I love Yashna’s work. The way she pulls off these amazing theme based looks, I was completely blown away when I first saw her pictures. Therefore, I approached her a few months ago and then we did our first collaboration ever, which was creating looks inspired by Japanese and Chinese traditional makeup. Right from the beginning, she was so sweet and we connected. I just couldn’t let her go with just one collaboration, so, we talked more, developed a friendship, and finally did our second collaboration, which is this blue look. I’m extremely glad that through these projects I got to know her, she’s just so amazing, I absolutely love her, her vibe, her style and we’ve decided to do more looks together, so I can’t wait.

Yashna's Instagram

What motivates you both to continue creating art?

Yashna: I love to create beautiful images that tell a story — my recent work is heavily influenced by Southeast Asian face painting and the potpourri of colours and cultures of India. My personal style is a reflection of my design and fashion philosophy- colourful, thrifty, and unabashedly OTT.

Nimisha: I have been heavily inspired by fashion, movies and music of all times and genres, Vintage and Punk being one of my favourites and it makes me want to experiment more and more. I enjoy being an artist, it’s a dream come true for me.

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