Journals of joy

Young artist Theertha Suresh makes journals that define you

Published: 07th June 2022 01:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th June 2022 01:38 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: As you flip through the pages of Theertha Suresh’s journals, you’d be entering a world with mysteries of its own. Crumbled, stained pages stuck with dried leaves and flowers are placeholders for all things that hold true value in life. It may look like a total mess to some, while to many, her vintage ‘junk journal’ is a keep safe. It has paintings, movie tickets, shells - any bit of memories to treasure.

Theertha’s art extends beyond journals. She finds art in all sorts of things. She has special handmade watercolour journals for artists, those meant for daily writing and mix media journals that are hand-sketched. Her brand ‘Vridha’ is a specialty brand for journals that define you.

According to the 21-year-old, the term Vridha is used to define things deemed messy and worthless. “I like it when things are disorganised. Chaos helps me focus. That is why I named the brand Vridha,” quips Theertha. Since childhood, Theertha has been storing anything and everything she found intriguing.

“These materials were my medium while making handcrafted items. People used to ask me what joy I get from storing scrap. Vridha in itself is an answer to all those queries,” says the Chemistry graduate from Kannur. 

The handmade sustainable journals have an old-world charm - rustic binding, ferns and wooden pieces adorning the front and back. They are not fancy. They’re simple and whimsical. “The ‘junk journal’ was my friend’s idea. She listed out her interests and all of them went into its making, that’s when I began making such unique journals. The only thing I keep in my mind is to mismatch, scatter, and add vintage aesthetic,” adds Theertha. 

The world she creates out of the journal radiates peace and happiness. “Art in itself is therapeutic for me. I enjoy the process of making journals. Collecting each item would seem laborious, but that’s the fun part. The process is liberating, I can create whatever I want. I want people to feel the same kind of freedom,” says Theertha. Patterns on the journals are mostly inspired by nature, packaging with them a certain sense of hope.

Theertha uses everyday things — leaves to sticks and stones — for her journals, making them cost effective and eco-friendly. “Though the intention was to cut cost, eventually I understood that’s the right way and since then my works are in tune with nature,” says Theertha. The one-of-a-kind works can also be customised. Aside from journals, she also has a niche collection of bookmarks.

India Matters


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