Pavana Reddy: An Artist in Bloom
an authentic artist in bloom
Poetry is my secret weapon, it’s the language that unlocks the contents of my heart. To put it simply, it has a way of speaking directly to your soul and helps you articulate your thoughts and emotions.
As an introvert, it’s sometimes difficult to express my internal monologues and the conversations I have with myself. I often crave “me time” to unwind and reflect, and during these moments I like to put the rest of my life on airplane mode. It’s a brief moment each day where I tune everything out and focus on my emotions, or the one thing that’s bothering me, or a situation I’m having trouble understanding.
never rush to unfold
the content of your heart.
you are a strange flower
don’t let them pick and name you
before you have
the chance to blossom
I connected with Pavana Reddy, my South Indian soul sister who expresses the contents of her heart and struggles that life brings through her new upcoming art piece, Where Do You Go Alone. I asked her to share her story and she graciously agreed...
Photo by inpursuitofmoments
Who is Pavana Reddy, and how did she get started?
I started writing when I was really young, but gained more popularity when I was on tumblr. I brought my work to Instagram only about two and a half years ago and it’s amazing to see how far it’s gone since. From working on projects with artists I grew up admiring to self-publishing two books, it’s been an amazing journey.
Tell us about your first piece of art, Rangoli…
Rangoli is an art design popular in India made by using colorful sand or crushed petals to create symmetrical designs - it’s usually a way to bring good luck into an unfamiliar space. This book is a story about growing up a brown girl outside of India- but over the years the messages within this book have proven to be universal. I chose the name Rangoli because of how it represents entering a new space – this is my way of welcoming the reader into my family’s home. The art is all done by my mom.
How has your South Indian roots inspired your work?
I grew up listening to my mom’s stories about growing up in Tirupati, and I try to reflect those stories in my poems. I also spent about two and a half years in Bangalore, and my time there influenced my work heavily.
She Did That is a network of women looking to inspire, motivate, and encourage others. If you could go back and give your younger self some advice, what would it be and why?
I would tell myself not to waste so much time on what other people think - I think I spent a lot of my youth questioning my own dreams because of the opinions of others.
How do you balance creating space between your work and your personal life?
I do my best to only use social media for my work - I keep my personal life as private and off of social media as I can.
Pouring out your soul onto paper and sharing it with the world is so empowering. What inspired you to be vulnerable and share you internal monologues?
I never started sharing my work with the expectation I’d gain the response it has now - but it’s been a very humbling process. The vulnerability of readers is really what motivated me to be more open with my words - I don’t think I’d be able to do what I do if it wasn’t for them.
For those dealing with loss, with pain, with uncertainty, are there any books or authors you recommend?
I’ve learned you can’t prescribe a book to a certain pain, because we all experience it differently. I read and read until I found the stories that truly comfort me, and among those are “ Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese, “ An Equal Music” by Vikram Seth, and “A Fine and Private Place” By Peter Beagle.
Poetry taught me to tend to my soul first. Believe it or not, there isn’t a single person in this world that you need more than yourself. Thank you Pavana for sharing your story, and for teaching us all to stay authentic to who we are.