Today we’d like to introduce you to Meera Patel.
Hi Meera, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I’ve always appreciated artwork created by artists of all stripes but never truly considered it as an active choice for myself until very recently. My name is Meera and I practice earth-inspired abstract expressionist art, and am slowly and quite seriously turning my creative obsession into a consciously crafted career.
I started my art journey experimenting with fluid mediums as a way to create freedom from postpartum depression and De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, a painful affliction of the wrists and thumbs. Newlywed, in January of 2018, our honeymoon souvenir was gifted to us in the form of an unplanned but very welcomed pregnancy. My dreamy expectations of practicing yoga and dancing to the “baby mama dance” were put to rest as I began experiencing pain in my spine and hips towards the end of my first trimester. My body was clearly changing and new restrictions being placed on my body forced me to give up the way I had chosen to express joy all my life; through the art of movement and dance.
Fast forward postpartum seven months, I was hit with another round of turbulence, and this time it was reverberating from my body and into my mind. PPD was nothing like what I had read about or seen in the movies; I was irrevocably in love and beautifully connected with my baby boy. My depression came in the form of anxiety, paranoia, self doubt and lack of confidence, which as a result directly affected my interpersonal relationships. And so, my initial intent as a maker in January of 2020, was to unlock the healing potential of artistic production; to extend my capacity for acceptance, mindfulness, and joy.
Sure, my wrists were incapable of typical artist paint strokes, but I most definitely could pick, press, and pour. I’d find inspiration through nature and began using mixed media to create abstract art inspired by Earth and its elements. I started with glass, using it to act as a canvas, adorning it with pressed botanicals followed by a thorough hand-drenching of crystal clear epoxy resin and Goldleaf. I aggressively worked from home as a naptime artist, with the intent to create pretty floral things and gain momentum and exposure through Instagram.
Since then, I’ve expanded my work to include high frequency Orgonite crystal energy paintings, flower preservation blocks, alcohol ink wall pieces, floral and fern jewelry, botanical serving trays, floral charcuterie boards, memorial tea light holders and custom Young Living aria domes. I’ve recently welcomed a glorious incoming wave of wedding bouquet preservation orders made by brides sending me their florals after their long-awaited post-pandemic celebrations. I’m absolutely honored!
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It can be difficult to connect with an artist tribe, especially due to the pandemic. I’m working on creating partnerships with floral designers, epoxy artists, artists of all stripes really, and trying to find my place within the larger arts community. I truly believe in the collaboration over competition mindset and want to lead by example. Imposter syndrome can be severely detrimental for us in the creative community, and I think it’s important to motivate young, emerging artists into taking the necessary risks to further career and personal growth. There is room at the table for everyone!
Another struggle has been working out of my home studio while raising a toddler. Resin work requires full PPE (personal protective equipment), which includes goggles, gloves, and a respirator. It would be amazing to connect with like-minded epoxy artists and discuss holding a lease for a gallery/studio space near our community in Summerhill.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m South Asian and would love to offer my services to the South Asian wedding scene! It’d be absolutely amazing to incorporate sacred items used within the wedding ceremony or elements worn during, such as bindis or floral garlands into a resin block for families to keep near their Devastan (Temple.)
My most recent clients are brides looking for a way to hold on to their stunning and carefully planned flower bouquets for longer than just on their wedding day. Fine art created from preserved wedding flowers is a wonderful way to bring joy into the home and revisit that special moment on a daily basis. It’s the one thing I regret not doing from my own wedding day, and unfortunately, my wedding planner didn’t bring it up either!
In addition to recently launching floral resin block tables, I’ve also begun creating diamond ring holders, faceted floral wine stoppers and necklace holders.
What are you known for?
I’m known for 3D flower preservation resin blocks, 4D high-frequency Orgonite crystal wall art, functional botanical decor for the home and young living aria domes featuring pressed flora and painted fauna and nature-inspired jewelry.
What are you most proud of?
Today I’m most proud of the layers upon layers of pouring and patience it takes to create a 12”x12 inch floral resin block. Tomorrow, it may be something else. In fact, I hope it’s something else. I’m taking the time I need to evaluate my relationships with the world around me, allowing my feelings to fuel future creations. I want to grow and evolve while advocating that fluid art has been a tremendous part of my personal healing journey and can be for others as well.
What sets you apart from others?
The natural inclination I feel towards working with flora is very much derived from my Birmingham rooted, Downton Abbey-loving, British, South Asian mother. As a young girl I’d poke around my mother’s private things (secret’s out now!) in an attempt to get to know her better, and as I’d flip through her old paperbacks, each pressed flower I’d find in between the pages was like finding a tiny little secret about her. It is here that I’m able to bring uniqueness and charm into my art. My friends who know me say I carry my heart on my sleeve, and now, the inner workings of my mind and heart trickle out and spill into my artwork. My aim is to create and design bespoke “living” art to harmonize your surroundings, soothe the senses, lift the soul and connect you with Mother Earth; my sole purpose is to enhance your safe space.
Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
I have no formal art training! I carry a clinical degree in Psychology, which was obtained here in Atlanta, and an advanced MSED degree which was obtained in New York City. I wholeheartedly believe these two very opposite cities have shaped my artistic identity and have set me up with a unique paradigm perfectly suited for the life I lead. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to learn, live and soak up the culture and diversity found within both places. It’s offered a blend of social, psychological, and spiritual advantages that I subconsciously feel fuels my work.
Another surprising thing that people may not know is that I frequently book out months in advance and my time consuming resin process, curing and production schedule means a single piece takes an average 16 weeks or longer from start to finish. I encourage clients to reserve months, or even years in advance.
- High Frequency Crystal Orgonite Paintings (For Yoga Studios or the Home & Office) start at $875 for a 24″x24″ and range up to $1800 for larger 4D wall pieces
- Botanical Structural Art (Floral Resin Tables) $750
- Floral Resin Blocks starting at 8″x8″ $375 – $650
- Young Living Botanical Aria Glass Domes start at $150
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.meerkatblue.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/meerkatblue
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/meerkatblueart
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2HP6Q4A4AR_LLgK67K8VYw