Spotlight: Reena Ahluwalia
Reena Ahluwalia is an all around fabulous woman that we admire. Not only is she an award winning jewelry designer, but she is also a passionate and very talented artist. Reena was recognized as one of the Top Masters of Jewelry Design in Canada and her work is coveted among collectors worldwide. We caught up with Reena to get a glimpse into her background, her work, and her life’s philosophy!
Check it out:
How did you get your start in jewelry?
I have vivid memories of my childhood and always being occupied with painting, sketching, and sculpting. Creating something new out of the ordinary and realizing that I could transform them was thrilling. I became totally fascinated by symbolism, context and concept of adornment, my fascination led me towards following my artistic passion and jewelry-making as a profession. I graduated from India's top design and art school, I was fortunate to land my first job as a jewelry designer at one of the largest diamond companies. I had won a couple of International Diamond Design Awards and earned scholarships that helped me fine tune my jewelry skills. Later, I established Reena Ahluwalia Design Inc., along with creating jewelry with world's most coveted diamonds, mostly private commissions, my company is a strategy adviser and design consultant to some of the top diamond and jewelry houses worldwide. Parallel to jewelry design, my painting career developed with same intensity. I paint, sculpt and teach jewelry as a professor. Combined, these are the experiences that have shaped me as an artist I am today.
What inspires your designs?
I am a storyteller. I am motivated by the idea of creating something memorable and meaningful. Inspirations can come from anywhere, of what I see, feel and experience. It's when these diverse ideas collide, and interconnect; that’s what feels special for me to explore and expand into a piece of my work. My artistic life has always been about re-imagining, re-inventing, going beyond the obvious. In my jewelry designs and paintings, it’s always more than what meets the eye. They are multi-layered and steeped in symbolism. I am not interested in stating the obvious, rather the meaning and mystery intrigues me. For example, "Canoe" Canadian Diamond necklace is not only about Canadian diamonds and their origin, but also tells the story of the pristine Canadian landscape, Canada's First Nation people and canoe (boat) as an iconic symbol of Canada (my home), of discovery, journey, harmony with nature and courage. Same way, in my diamond paintings, diamonds are not specimens, they have soul and stories and for me a reflection of human spirit and attributes. That's what motivates me to paint diamond, because they are like each one of us, full of tremendous potential that only we can unleash.
Please tell us about your artwork
I paint diamond stories with highly nuanced, hyper realistic diamonds with ultra-magnified facets. Having looked into the depths of diamonds all my life, I see diamonds as a reflection of human spirit; bright, brilliant, luminous, radiant and much more. My paintings tell positive, uplifting and empowering stories that connect to all of us and our aspirations. My artwork benefits Jewelers For Children (JFC) charity, to help children who are the victim of catastrophic illness or life-threatening abuse and neglect.
What differentiates your artwork?
Imagination. To be an artist, basic jewelry making and painting skills is a given. Many people have skills, what differentiates my art is imagination. That's what connects my story, my imagination to my art. One of the most intriguing thing about artists is why they do what they do and how has their journey influenced them
How do your jewelry and art complement each other?
Significantly! Creativity has no limit. I express myself through different mediums and all these mediums are part of my creative journey and expression. The more you create, better you become in expressing your story. So my jewelry and art are result of my experiences and feed off each other, making each richer and nuanced.
What advice do you have for aspiring designers/artist
Know why you create and what your true passion is. That answer comes from deep within you. Go full force and follow it up with hard work, persistence and honesty. Question your comfort level and push your artistic boundaries constantly. Learn as much as you can, when you can. Create to express not impress.
To learn more about Reena >>> http://www.reenaahluwalia.com/