Saturday, May 09, 2015

A Cup of Chai…{A photo book about the many cups of chai in my life.}

Today seems to be the day when my 'to-do' list is negligible and I don't see any herculean tasks in the horizon that need my immediate attention.
So I put the kettle on and open the lid of my favourite new tea blend.
The aromatic infusion of citrus, cardamom, lemongrass refresh my senses to a state of immense happiness.

…and I sit down with my freshly brewed cup of tea to tell you all my lovely Rang Decor readers, the story of how 'A Cup of Chai…' A Tea Table book came into being.

I started pursuing my passion for photography in 2006 on flickr, an online platform and community for photographers to share their work and get inspired. Over a period of time I realised I delighted in capturing the steam emanating from my cup of chai, or the compositions and the mood associated with tea time. Soon I had a set full of chai photographs! Do take a quick look here~

Caustics and pattern play...

Morning chai in Jaisalmer…

Chai in our terrace...

Chai and sunflowers from the farmers market…

A Cup of Chai… A photoblog about the many cups of chai in my life came into being in 2008 as a space to share photographs dedicated to my love of tea. 
Soon it became a platform for tea-lovers around the world to come together to interact about their love for chai!

Better Photography Magazine one of India's leading photography magazine ran an article about my work. This was an interesting turning point since my passion for tea and photography was recognised and covered as a unique personal project.

I wanted to capture the moments of having tea in the most spontaneous manner possible. I believe that spontaneity is the key to personal projects. So while a daily ritual of a cup of tea may seem monotonous, with spontaneity and creativity you can break the monotony. For me, creative compositions are important as they can bring the mundane to life.

Being a graphic designer, I am instinctively drawn to unique and creative patterns, frames and compositions in whatever I come across in everyday life, even when I shoot my everyday cups of tea. So whenever there is an occasion for a cup of chai, I ensure that my camera is always nearby. You never know when an interesting composition may come up.

While I continue to shoot my daily vignettes of chai everyday, I share it on Instagram, Facebook and  also on 'A Cup of Chai...' photoblog dedicated to tea. This has resulted in a beautiful confluence of photography and tea, two things that I am so passionate about.

The most natural culmination of a project like this is a book that has the finest collection of photographs that celebrates the eternal cup of tea. A Tea Table book, very unique in it's concept and a great memoir to gift and pass on to chai-lovers, tea-drinkers and fine art photography admirers.

I took the leap and self-published the photo book on in March, 2015.

Glimpses into the book, it also has our family Masala Chai recipe:-)

You can purchase 'A Cup of Chai…' on Click here to order now

I am also working on looking for publishers in India, to make it a cost effective option.

If you have suggestions on which publisher would be a great fit for 'A Cup of Chai…' do let me know in the comment section. It would be greatly appreciated!

Hope you liked reading about my 'A Cup if Chai… with your cup of tea in your hands;-)

Have a great weekend everyone!

(Images by Archana Srinivas and are copyrighted)

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Once Upon a….

Sounds like a line from a long forgotten fairy tale?
Today Rang Decor brings to you one such narrative where dreams become reality when one decides to go that extra mile.

Once Upon A Tea Time…a blog by Priya Iyer tells a story, a visual story of creative individuals, bohemian art and global design all painted against the backdrop of floral tea cups, pattern play of hand block print, Suzani textiles and of vibrant dreams.

Priya Iyer is a research biologist and public health professional by training but she loves sharing her great love of global design and eclectic decor on her blog where the readers are invited to a virtual tea party with delightful imagery of decorative cups of tea and where creative conversations are initiated.

Having grown up in Middle East and spent the last 18 years in the United States, she says that her style is more global, bordering on Bohemian-style and her love for block print patterns and textiles can't be denied.

To commemorate 5 years of blogging in 2013, Priya decided to start a digital publication- A magazine. She even decided to try publishing it on a monthly basis. 

She says, "With every issue I wanted to tell stories, introduce amazing people with boundless creativity and share them with my readers. For the whole of last year, we published on Issuu and our magazines were available for free."
A glimpse into her studio…

Here are some visuals of Once Upon A Tea Time... magazine evolving with each issue.

Priya describes the Once Upon A Tea Time magazine as a space where the readers can dive deeper into the stories behind a great product or read about the creative journeys undertaken by an artist.
 …all this over cups of tea.

The Anniversary Issue…