00:00.00
charukaarora
Okay, so we’re recording now. Okay, okay, welcome to the arch two hearts podcast. How are you doing? Thank you for coming and thank you for waiting for me Marissa you actually look you just said you know.

00:06.71
Marissa Childers
I I am doing Well thank you for having me.

00:18.71
charukaarora
I’ll tell you something I didn’t say I said at the point we were talking but when you said you were you had your exams you know the grading and all of that and at one point I thought that you were still in college because that’s how you look like you look so young and fresh and then you said oh you’re teaching at um. You know the college and you know all of that. So Let me start by, um, you look lovely and you look so fresh and radiant how okay before we go into the conversation I am really looking forward I’ll tell you how I discovered your work I remember.

00:44.50
Marissa Childers
Thank you? oh.

00:57.11
charukaarora
Um, so on arts charts project. You know we share other artists’ works also on Instagram and I think that is that’s something I do myself? Um, we have a system if we have someone else handling social media so I make sure I share content and they can post it at a post certain time or whatever. But for the past few months it’s myself handling all of this and one day so I have this group where you know anytime I’m scrolling social media I share people’s work that I like um and when I want to share it I pick one of the works that speaks to me at that moment and I share and I remember 1 of your.

01:36.40
charukaarora
Jars sculpture video which I think had went like had already gone viral or something and I shed that and I was so stunned and I loved it and then I think I went off to sleep and you know whatever. And I Also remember that I was so um I did it in such a hurry that I’d forgotten to Tig you or and that’s how our conversation started but the moment I came back? yeah and moment I came back and I realized oh my God I’d forgotten to Ti you and whatever, but our feet was blown because people were like.

01:57.83
Marissa Childers
That’s so funny.

02:08.24
charukaarora
So much doing over your work. So that’s my first recall of your work. That’s how I discovered you thanks to social media thanks to Instagram the good things they bring but I’m but tell me now I want to hear from you who you are can you introduce yourself a little bit not formally, but just you know.

02:17.67
Marissa Childers
That’s hilarious and.

02:28.22
charukaarora
For us to everyone who’s listening for me to know you better and then we’ll go from there.

02:34.78
Marissa Childers
Yeah, so just a little bit about myself. Um I’m actually from a really really small town. Ah still within the United States but in a different state and then I just moved to Oklahoma. Which is where I’m at right now three four years ago um and I just moved here for grad school. So. It’s the first time I’ve ever moved away from home so that was like a really big step for me. Yeah, so and I think that that has a lot of information that kind of feels.

02:59.75
charukaarora
Um, away from home. Yeah.

03:07.28
Marissa Childers
And fuels into the work that I’m doing um it was one of those things where I didn’t know what I was talking about you know with my work and I was like with grad school. You’re like oh they they want that that content and meaning behind the work and I’m like I don’t know what I’m doing and so.

03:08.50
charukaarora
Um, I yeah I can relate that.

03:22.27
charukaarora
I Know yeah.

03:27.50
Marissa Childers
It was one of those things where it took a while but I kind of realized that like that that kind of absence of home or moving away from home was really what was starting to fuel the work. Um, and it really just kind of made me a little bit more connected to my work in that way. Um, like you were saying earlier about work kind of being an extension of yourself. That’s kind of how I started looking at it. Um, and then I kind of just like it’s It’s kind of Cliche to say I became one with the work but that’s kind of how it started to um.

03:49.52
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

04:02.19
Marissa Childers
Kind of present itself to me once you know I got halfway through grad school.

04:07.91
charukaarora
Oh Wow and um, okay, can you tell me a little bit about before you’re moving. Okay, let’s also see so your work is very influenced by domestic objects and I love how you add those you know the cable sweater net.

04:20.80
Marissa Childers
I Yes, yes.

04:25.31
charukaarora
Works and like you know the patches and the textures and I am somebody like who loves loves textures. But um, tell me something did your work always had association with something like this or you were working very differently did your work. How how has it evolved over the time. Let’s say.

04:42.77
Marissa Childers
And yeah, so honestly I’ve only been doing clay for 6 years so I haven’t been doing it for very long and so in some sense like 6 years seems like a long time. But.

04:49.30
charukaarora
How it start to get.

04:59.17
charukaarora
Um, yeah, verify now.

04:59.35
Marissa Childers
You know as I’ve gotten a little bit older like the time passes really quickly so looking at it on like 6 years is not that long. Um, so I actually I went to college to be an accountant and was doing yeah.

05:10.85
charukaarora
Oh my goodness.

05:16.45
Marissa Childers
Was doing a lot of math and numbers and I got to my junior year of college and decided like this is not what I want to be stuck doing for the rest of my life. Um, and I actually dropped out of college for 4 years and worked a lot of just. You know odd-in jobs and my dad is a woodworker so he does cabinet and furniture and he makes hardwood flooring and all of those things and so I actually started kind of working with him. Um, when I was like nine or ten years old

05:40.93
charukaarora
Um, oh.

05:55.12
Marissa Childers
So I kind of got you know in that routine of working with my hands and making things but I never looked at it as an art form I just saw it as like like a craft yes but not necessarily an art form and I think that was just because of like my dad.

06:01.73
charukaarora
Possible.

06:09.14
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

06:15.70
Marissa Childers
Having that as you know that was his job. That’s what he did on a daily basis and so I just viewed that a little bit differently. But then once I dropped out of college I was like you know what? like I think that I am happier doing that like something with my hands. So.

06:16.94
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

06:27.47
charukaarora
And.

06:32.37
Marissa Childers
I Went back to college and was like I really want to you know, do something within the arts I Just didn’t know what and so um, yeah, and so I was like I knew that that’s what I wanted to do but I just didn’t know exactly what medium or what it was I wanted to do so when I.

06:37.66
charukaarora
And I can so relate.

06:47.65
charukaarora
Both.

06:50.50
Marissa Childers
Enrolled back into college. Um, the only class that was left available because I enrolled so late with ceramics and so it was just kind of like this nice little like accident that I ended up in the class and I didn’t know what it was so I mean.

06:55.23
charukaarora
As as.

07:07.40
charukaarora
Was.

07:09.99
Marissa Childers
Showed up on the first day and they’re like here’s your clay and I was like what are we doing in this class and it was really funny at the time but I looked back at it and it was like well that’s really nice that like I had no expectation you know for what the class was going to be and then it like completely ended up like changing my career path and.

07:12.90
charukaarora
Are.

07:24.90
charukaarora
This this person.

07:29.80
Marissa Childers
My life and it you know I just had this when I sat down with the first project I had like this instinct connection with the clay and it was something that I had never felt doing anything else. So I felt like that was you know my. Ah moment where it was like okay this is what are doing Yes I.

07:48.50
charukaarora
Did you like were you able to relate were you able to relate like seeing your father like working with both as like you know and then you working with your hands um with same material like you not say.

07:58.66
Marissa Childers
And yeah, it was very interesting.

08:02.41
charukaarora
Same process probably like you know the movement of hands and the material and shaping it and kind making nothing like something from nothing.

08:09.25
Marissa Childers
So yeah, like it’s It’s super relatable and like no, it’s not the same material but like I approach play in the same way that I do would like the same like thinking process and like the forms of construction is all like very similar.

08:16.44
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

08:28.22
Marissa Childers
And so that I think is kind of what had that familiarity for me and kind of clicked into place and made a lot of sense to me and so naturally I just caught onto it very quickly and I mean it definitely doesn’t hurt to like be good at what it is that you like to do so.

08:39.88
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

08:43.51
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

08:48.31
Marissa Childers
But yeah so I started doing that and um, you know when I was doing it in undergrad I was stacking my classes so I was taking all those classes very quickly just so that I was like you know I’ve already spent. I don’t know almost four years in college thinking I was going to do accounting I was like I don’t want to spend another 4 years like trying to do ceramics right? So I was stacking all of my classes and it wasn’t until probably my last semester of undergrad.

09:07.83
charukaarora
Oh goodness to do care.

09:22.27
Marissa Childers
My work started kind of taking on its style and becoming something that wasn’t just like random work that I was producing but but it was still I would say very tactile and had a little bit of text there and was still influence.

09:29.81
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

09:35.75
charukaarora
Yeah. Um, yeah, yeah, yeah to.

09:41.79
Marissa Childers
By you know, domesticity but not quite as much as it is now it was really it really took a turn once I got to grad school.

09:49.90
charukaarora
Tell me something I really am interested in knowing about this because I think I have had a pretty similar journey as yours like you know I I didn’t come from an art school I actually did history and then find myself like trying a bunch of things advertising and then I was like okay i. Even then art never seemed like a possibility so I was like fashion has always been my calling I wanted to design and I did fashion design I do take trend and only then you know a couple of years later when I’d been working and even though I was always and then from that point I was always in the creative field. Um. I um, for some reason I mean it was never an option to become an artist because it never seemed like a career. It always started like okay I it was it was a hobby and I never had met a real artist in the sense of a working artist who could make a living out of there.

10:45.72
charukaarora
Creativity and also I think the notions were very different for me at that point and today I think very differently and I really want to talk about that. Um, someone who has had like you know venues there is I’ve met people on the podcast who from the day one get go. They got into the arts they studied. You know all. ve had that journey which has been very consistent and then there are stories like yours and mine and there are more but I’m just trying to pinpoint for what I can think of now. Um, where you know you do a bunch of things and you and I had the same sense of urgency like you did and. It was just that you know oh I’ve faced it this much time I have I need to make the most of it I need to make the most of it I need to go quicker and faster and that there were a lot of more in insecurities and inhibitions. Of course there were a lot more strengths and I want to speak about both I’m sure because a lot of our listeners. Um. Have the same parts like you know for me for say one of my biggest fears was because I had moved so many different things I would have this fear that I don’t know if I would be able to stick to this or not because anytime you go deeper into something you figure out. Oh my god this isn’t what I thought it would be. Did you have what were your fears in the sense of did you have any fears for the first and if first at were those.

12:08.16
Marissa Childers
Yeah I mean I think that there’s a lot of fears that arise when you decide like hey I’m gonna pursue art because I and I know it’s different. You know around the world and depending on like what kind of background you’re coming From. But. I didn’t come from a lot of money so you know like the idea of like ending up, not with a lot of money I’m like okay well I’m used to that but it would be nice to be able to actually make money from what I’m doing you Write. So I’m not like struggling and I’m.

12:29.10
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

12:35.11
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, have some.

12:46.28
Marissa Childers
Finding myself in some like weird strange situation where it’s like oh like it’s putting a lot of stress on me. Yeah.

12:49.86
charukaarora
But did that means that means for you the first association of being an artist was also the idea of starving artist pursuing a and most of us had that.

12:59.18
Marissa Childers
yeah yeah yeah yeah I think it’s a very common um interpretation of you know when someone talks about being an artist like is that you’re poor like that’s the first thing you think of. So you know like I had to sit down and ask myself like is this something that I could actually do and make a career out of and I think at the end of the day it was more so just like is this what I want to do am I willing to to kind of have those risks. Something that I enjoy and actually like love doing and I loved it enough that you know that wasn’t a big deal for me to like to turn me off and like make me go pursue something else and you know once I had decided yes, this is what I want to do.

13:42.50
charukaarora
And.

13:52.60
Marissa Childers
I think I I kind of just had a chat with myself and was like you know like this is what you’re doing. There’s no turning back like you need to be motivated and dedicated to this and like make it work and I think when you can do that for yourself and be kind of like your own motivation. It definitely makes things a lot.

14:02.42
charukaarora
Yeah.

14:10.57
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, what do you think was um, the pro or the advantage of not coming um, coming from a different background. Let’s say um, having because you know.

14:11.62
Marissa Childers
Here.

14:28.80
charukaarora
I’ll tell you I’ve spoken about this also on the podcast a lot of times when I so I studied history and then I did fashion and all of that and when I decided to be an artist every time I would move from 1 thing to another I had this huge shame and guilt. That the money the effort and time I have put into something will be no longer refuse. So I always thought like even though I did history and you know I studied and all of that I felt like oh my god I’m no longer be able to use this I mean I’ve wasted my time. Oh my god and then you know. The bigger shock for me was when I actually wanted to do fashion and when I closed that business and you know I was like oh my goodness I and I spend a huge amount on my education because you know like fashion and like you know, art schools and design schools. Do not come cheap.

15:18.80
Marissa Childers
No, they don’t.

15:19.81
charukaarora
And I had this huge huge gate absolutely and it was a huge baggage like I was like I don’t know I mean I had this huge shame and guilt that um I will led the effort and the money and everything I put into it. It will no longer be a fuse little did I know and that. How limiting was my thought at that time today I think history which I had no idea ever I will be able to use in my life has such a big and you know impact on who I am my work fashion informs so much of who I am and every little thing that I’ve done so far and I don’t think I would have been. Where I am in my own creative path if I had not had those experiences because they have literally been the biggest like parts of my existence. Do you think you’ve had anything that you know that has so much shape who you are today in terms of you know what you have had done in the past.

16:10.68
Marissa Childers
And oh yeah, definitely I mean I I mean I get I get what you’re saying completely about the like I feel like I wasted my time and my money with this and then I’m like changing my mind and going over here I think it’s completely normal to kind of have those feelings because I Mean. It’s essentially life is a race against the clock unfortunately and it it seems like like I look at it now like right? So yes.

16:35.32
charukaarora
But it’s a self self time clock. It’s it’s not like somebody’s put us I I was thinking this so I’m turning 30 this year I mean this year what I’m it of q days actually and I’m like it’s like I don’t feel that rush in me.

16:46.35
Marissa Childers
Yeah, yes.

16:54.19
charukaarora
I really don’t um, but when I see people around me with like you know they want to see oh checklist before 30 and like all of this and I feel like so much and I think social media has a lot to do with that I’m like an I’m not an extra word. So.

17:06.93
Marissa Childers
And.

17:10.43
charukaarora
I mean my contact with people is very limited and is very contextual about work and you know all of that but sometimes social media early takes a toll on you like I will be doing fine and create well one day and I look at someone and I’m like I don’t think I mean I know I wasn’t a part of that race. But I start to question myself like. Should I I mean should I be worried about this am I doing enough am I not doing enough and like it’s not like somebody’s it’s yeah we when we were younger I think it’s it was a lot more different because we didn’t have autonomia word of our own decisions as adults today.

17:45.89
Marissa Childers
So.

17:49.33
charukaarora
It’s not like anybody’s going to pitch us if we choose to eliminate ourselves from something or and you know if we choose to be a certain way and I think you would relate to this because I come from an I grew up in a small town and I you just mentioned that you also come so when I move to the bigger City I can see the difference in me. Being from a smaller town and being from a bigger city I see that difference I see the perspective difference and I see the stability and I see how I behave like ah, it’s like like you said like you know we feel like we’re on a clock but are we I I Mean. We do I feel like we aren’t early but we want to put ourselves on a clock I don’t know maybe it gives gives us thrill or I don’t know.

18:29.55
Marissa Childers
And right I well like you said with the whole social media thing I think it’s just like us putting ourselves in these boxes of like what we feel like society says is appropriate for the time being right? And so um. Like I’ll be 32 this year and honestly like my twenty s the whole time kind I’m hoping I’m hoping my face just stays this way for the rest of my life.

18:52.23
charukaarora
Um, you still look like 16 Ah, he really looks 16

19:04.60
Marissa Childers
It’s It’s really funny when I go in to teach my classes. They don’t know like that I’m the professor and so they’re like is are they not coming and I’m like I’m right here, you’re just all larger than I have. But yeah I think that when we’re looking at you know.

19:08.35
charukaarora
Yeah, they did. Yeah.

19:18.85
charukaarora
Ah.

19:22.21
Marissa Childers
It’s really hard because social media is such a prominent thing and like social media drives me crazy. But it’s also like the only way that I can get my work out there for like people outside of where I’m at to be able to see like what I’m doing.

19:37.37
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, um, yeah, absolutely.

19:39.58
Marissa Childers
And because I mean like you wouldn’t You wouldn’t have seen my work if I hadn’t posted it. You know and so it’s like how do you?? How do you post and get your work out there but then like not look and compare yourself to everything else. That’s being put out there and so I had a really hard time with that in my twenty s just. Even when I was you know trying to decide if I was going to grad school or what it was I was doing for my career and my life and I was like well what if I want to have a family What if I want to get married what if I you know it was like all of these what Ifs and it was like.

20:01.64
charukaarora
Are.

20:11.41
charukaarora
Yeah, glads. Yeah I suppose do yeah.

20:16.16
Marissa Childers
This is the timeframe I’m supposed to do it in and then like yeah and it took me several years um like really the whole time I was in grad school of me just like dissecting. You know what I wanted my work to be about and like who I was as a person for me to realize like.

20:33.26
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

20:35.94
Marissa Childers
No like I get to decide those things I don’t There’s not like this this rule book that I’m having to play by like that’s just something that you know society is made up that we’re supposed to like fall into this trap. But um I’m trying really hard to just you know, kind of.

20:36.80
charukaarora
Right.

20:47.20
charukaarora
Do.

20:55.73
Marissa Childers
Do What’s best for me at the time and not try to make all these lifelong plans because like we really I’m trying to like live in the now you know and see how that takes me through the world. But yeah.

21:08.39
charukaarora
Takes you you know I I really liked what you said because I do agree like I have a very I have a very similar situation with social media. But also how I’ve been thinking a lot about it. Um.

21:23.93
charukaarora
I As an artist myself I have figured this out that I cannot run On. You know the trend field and because I have so many things in my life like even as a part of my own job I Just do not have the bandwidth to like you know, put my. Put so much effort into I Really want to put whatever effort I have into my work more than you know, putting it on so ocean media and like the way I put it and also I think something feeling like I don’t It’s not my authentic voice. It’s not who I am I’ve never been someone who’s driven by Trends or like faster. And you know I’ve been always questioning even with building my own practice building arts 2 hearts are in my own life. How do we build it in a more sustainable way like how do I not feel that pressure of being on a wheel and yet you know keep growing like. And I think it has a lot to do with like expectations and I think this also happened with my own work So before my mother’s passing away I think I was this person who felt like oh my work I had to find something in my work. It had to be like this or you know like the certain. Like the pressure that we feel like our work has to stand out and like you know my after my mother is passing away I think my biggest lesson and I struggled a lot with was you know letting go um, accepting like you know things because it was such a big shock of life and.

22:40.22
Marissa Childers
And.

22:56.32
charukaarora
Made me realize like you know at some point there are things that they’re going to have with their own timing. They will have their own reasons and I may not have a lot of control over them so I will have to accept sometimes life assets and embrace it and that changed a lot of things for me with my own work I stopped forcing and I just. Started following. You know whatever I felt and believe me I feel like you like you said I’ve never felt more one with my work and all of those times where I knew nothing what I was doing where was going I just kept on going because I was like you know if I tried to hold it too much. I mean it’s not going to work I tried that I tried that in my life and once I let go of my mother in the sense of a physical being I started to feel like it was it just got easier for me to let go of everything else and when I let that go. I just followed wherever my heart and soul or whatever it was that was guiding me and things started to come together in its own and I think even though it feels like a very hard process in a lot of places like you know I know I mean. I no longer have an expectation of my we do going viral or I have to have thousands of followers and you know I’m like if it’s meant to happen it’s going to happen I can’t push myself or hold that expectation so I need to have this like you know.

24:23.36
Marissa Childers
Yeah, no, it makes total sense I mean I think that that’s something like when I first started doing social media I was so caught up in the like oh. How do I make my videos go viral. How do I post this and post out what’s the right content. But it was such like a struggle of it was like I would look at my my Instagram feed and like okay like this isn’t even me like I don’t know like what I’m wearing at this time but then like once I went through grad school and I keep referring back to that because.

24:45.28
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

24:59.85
Marissa Childers
They drill you on like you know your work needs to be authentic. It needs to be you but I was like I’m trying to build this platform but it’s not authentic. You know if that makes sense. Yeah, so it was.

25:00.90
charukaarora
Um.

25:09.17
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, absolutely you know something you know that’s I really want to share 1 more incident like you know this is something that I realized so.

25:17.44
Marissa Childers
Yeah, yeah.

25:22.68
charukaarora
I have intentionally cut down a lot of my own like not cut down in the sense of in the sense of maybe sharing and like you know I try to do it when I feel ease of it. But um I figured that it wasn’t just my art but the way I do Business. You know what I want to do in life. When I consume too much and I see things around too much even though there is no intention of me being influenced I still get influenced my my actions change my expectations change a lot of times and I did that a couple of times and I. I Made that mistake and I realized that had I been doing this. Um, if I had not seen someone or maybe had that influence and I figure that now it’s a practice anytime I’m doing something specifically you know in my art. I Think for me, it’s easier with my art now because anything that feels difficult in the sense of okay this isn’t if my instinct is not responding I put it pack it there I’m like when it will I will come back to it but let’s say with business with you know I will keep questioning. Do I want to do this because this is me or do I want to do this. Because for some way reason I’ve seen this around me and I feel like I need to do this too and I felt like this had so much influence on me like like even with my own art career I think I was I at a where a lot of I just did my soul show and I per se I didn’t I.

26:53.96
charukaarora
You know, a lot of pressure that we put on so on ourselves and goals. We put ourselves with social media like is it coming from you or is it coming from what you saw around when you felt like you had to do this too.

27:06.11
Marissa Childers
Yeah, no I Totally get that and I think it’s it’s it’s hard to kind of find the distinction between the two like that is a very blurry line in between and so I mean I like to believe that it gets.

27:10.73
charukaarora
Um, yeah, it’s prettyty hard. Yeah, um, yeah, that’s too.

27:22.94
Marissa Childers
Easier as you get older and kind of like start to figure out yourself a little bit more um at least for me I think because I mean I’ve started like going back to what you were saying like I have started late kind of.

27:26.55
charukaarora
Ah.

27:40.69
Marissa Childers
I Guess eliminating these like toxic relationships and different things in my life that doesn’t kind of line up with what I’m wanting for myself or like morals or if if it’s something that doesn’t make me happy I’m like okay well we just need to get rid of that. Um.

27:42.39
charukaarora
Yeah.

27:59.70
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

28:00.37
Marissa Childers
Because essentially like my work. Yes, it is inspired by you know, domestic spaces and comforts. But it’s also like the idea of like connection and like these joyful like smaller moments in life and so I’ve recently just been trying to.

28:15.17
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

28:19.80
Marissa Childers
Really like hone in on that and like create those smaller like Joyful moments for myself and so a lot of that comes from just like trying to get rid of those toxic relationships and not so happy situations that we often find ourselves in um and just seeing like live.

28:25.88
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

28:38.21
Marissa Childers
A little bit more simply and I think that that like has been working recently for me I’m just hoping it kind of keeps that trend.

28:38.31
charukaarora
Yeah.

28:47.48
charukaarora
You know I’m sure it will could tell me something another thing that I feel like want to ask you I haven’t asked this really anybody yet for me. Um I feel like growing in up growing up in a small town has had a huge impact and I think um I think.

28:59.35
Marissa Childers
He.

29:05.76
charukaarora
Informs so much of my work today and I know that for you 2 you know so I will break this question into 2 parts one. How how has your own journey of yourself like we said you know we are an extension of who we are. Our art is an extension of who we are so how has. You’ve also moved you state your whole life and you know into a smaller down and then you know being exposed and being on your own in a bigger city. How has that transition felt how has that impacted your work and then we’ll talk about you making a work that you know has an influence of. Being in a smaller town more domestic life and those influences.

29:45.49
Marissa Childers
Yeah, so it affected me like at the beginning I Really didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Um, when I was moving I had lived in the same town. My entire family.

29:49.77
charukaarora
Yeah.

29:58.50
Marissa Childers
Was fifteen twenty minutes away from one another like everyone my grandmother my cousins like everyone lived that close together and we had always lived like that. Um, so when I decided to move I had moved on it was for an internship.

29:59.48
charukaarora
While.

30:15.33
Marissa Childers
Right? after I graduated so I graduated and moved like three days later like packed up everything from my house shoved it into my car and just like was like bye I’ll see you later cause I was like yeah getting out of here. But you know when when you’re used to being that close to.

30:25.50
charukaarora
Um, gone. Yeah.

30:34.39
Marissa Childers
Friends and family for 28 years it really has like a larger impact on you. You start to look at things differently and you start to realize that like some of those things you took for granted and didn’t realize um because you know it’s nice just being able to like.

30:40.64
charukaarora
Um, this um.

30:48.15
charukaarora
Um, I’m yeah.

30:53.73
Marissa Childers
Call your mom and be like hey let’s go get lunch or hey dad let me come help you at work and those things I quickly realized like weren’t going to be part of my daily routine anymore and so I mean I think that that had a huge impact and it was like okay well.

31:07.57
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

31:12.93
Marissa Childers
What am I supposed to do now and it in you know, like sure it had an impact in that way where it it. You know it made me emotional and it made me like Miss home. But it was also like. A really big stepping stone for me like figuring out who I was as a person because I didn’t have that to fall back on.

31:29.32
charukaarora
Are you all? Yes, yeah I get that like I totally agree because I think it’s such a symbiotic relationship. Um, being where you come from. It reminds me who I am.

31:45.11
Marissa Childers
And.

31:47.22
charukaarora
Specifically when you go out I’ve been staying away. Um I’ve built an entire life for the past ten years um from somewhere I didn’t come from so that gave me an exposure of really who I am I I wasn’t defined by who I where I come from in the sense of you know. Um, my family or I could and also like it’s not like it’s it’s also necessity that shapes you but it’s also you and you undiscovered like how far can you go who can you be who you are. But then also another relationship with you become someone because time needs you and when you move um and you know you live a life and you always want to come back to the place and rose to remind you who you are or you know this answer who you are do you feel that way. Anyway.

32:43.73
Marissa Childers
Yeah I mean right? and I think that that’s why because I you know all of this was happening right before I went to grad school when they kept telling me like what is your work about and I was like you know I didn’t have answers to those questions and.

32:44.89
charukaarora
Because that’s what nostalgia is in our.

33:03.20
Marissa Childers
You know they just kept telling me to be authentic and so I really had to sit down and like it was ridiculous but I had to sit down with like my sketchbook and I was like who are you like written on paper and like would put bullet points of like just like. Different words I would use to describe myself and then things that I enjoyed that like truly made me happy and then like different emotions that I would feel each day and then it was almost like a word journal and then after a while I would just see like which words just kept popping up.

33:29.86
charukaarora
Yeah.

33:37.66
Marissa Childers
And I’m like okay well maybe that’s what my work should be about and so a lot of it came back to just you know the the feelings that I had when I was leaving home and then you know what it was that I enjoyed about home and those connections I was making with those people. Um, and that’s essentially like what led to the work that I’m doing now and I mean I feel like that’s probably true for a lot of people. Um you know, just they come into they come into like what their work is about in weird ways.

34:02.76
charukaarora
Yeah.

34:11.54
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

34:11.60
Marissa Childers
But you really have to like sit down and ask yourself like who you are as a person before you can kind of feel like your work is an extension of yourself.

34:20.91
charukaarora
Yeah, and I think um, this has so much to do with self. Um I Remember when I started my journey I was like I will never become like I would never make Indian art or like you know and I wasn’t like even though I was. It was my culture and everything I was was so much a bigger part of like it influenced me so much I never had enough acceptance and I never embraced the fact of how much it meant to me and I was like. I always thought Okay, oh no I wouldn’t I mean I would make something different and you know all of that. But when I went out and the more father I felt bent I realized that I was missing that part of me. And I started embracing it and I started to embrace myself my culture. My roots my uppringing um my my growing up coming from a smaller town and all those things that maybe I didn’t wear as a prided before became a badge of honor for me I started to embrace that and it completely changed me. It completely changed my work for the good and I feel like I don’t know if you’ve had that kind of an experience because once for me when I get got into the city in a bigger city and you know or from X background where I began went into the arts I feel like I had to be certain way I had to fit in I had to like you know and.

35:45.31
charukaarora
That meant I of course when you’re new into something. You do not understand that you can just be yourself and found me find your way in the existing system to be yourself or that you don’t have to necessarily fit in but when you’re coming from a very different place. You feel like you have to fit in to be. You know a part of something. And I realized like I tried so hard and was like you know Chuck it I don’t want to fit in any longer I really want to be who I am and that’s when I started to make a place of my own did you feel anyway like that.

36:17.22
Marissa Childers
Yes, I am so glad you brought that up because I feel like that was like a huge part of it. Um, you know coming. So I grew up in Alabama which is very very south in the United States and there’s a lot of like stereotypes of just like Southern States being like uneducated and things like that which you know like growing up in that it made me really I don’t want to be I don’t want to say ashamed but like.

36:48.77
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely absolutely I get that? Yeah or that you you feel like you were different.

36:49.86
Marissa Childers
Not proud of being from Alabama and so it was kind of yeah it was the feeling of like well good like I want to go somewhere else like I don’t want to be stuck here forever? Um, but then it was also like so yeah, yeah, exactly and so. I had that feeling along with like being where I would help my dad at work right? So I would go to work with him and build cabinets and do flooring and build furniture and like there was always the question of like they would like look at me weird like when we were at.

37:12.94
charukaarora
Yeah.

37:25.93
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m good. Yeah, can’t do this? Yeah oh.

37:27.11
Marissa Childers
Customers houses and they’re like why didn’t you bring your son with you and it’s like well just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean that I can’t do these things too right? And so I felt like I was always in this state of needing to prove myself to someone like. Yes, I’m a girl but I can do this or yes I might be from the south but I’m not stupid you know and so it was always just this this need to prove myself and so I feel like there for a while it just made me like.

37:55.69
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

38:00.45
Marissa Childers
Not really like that part of myself. But then once I moved away I realized that those traits were what made me different and like gave me something to like give the world kind of thing. Um.

38:00.88
charukaarora
Yeah I get that.

38:09.63
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah I like that.

38:15.25
Marissa Childers
And so it took me moving a away to really appreciate those things. Yeah.

38:18.29
charukaarora
Yeah, and you know had you not been. Let’s say a woodworker’s daughter had you not been going to work with him probably your work wouldn’t have been the same that it is today probably wouldn’t have felt the same way that you’re doing today like for me if I hadn’t.

38:33.44
Marissa Childers
Oh definitely, not? yeah.

38:37.28
charukaarora
had him grown in a smaller town like you know I I did if I hadn’t had a mom who would go to like Chiton tailors and people and you know thrift things and you know put things together and like or if I didn’t drone up in India or like you know all of these things ma who I am my work. None of this would have made sense because it’s all it all came together when I started to embrace those parts of who I am and to share that stories and to relive those moments and to realize like how much how little they were but how much bigger they meant like now when I look back. I know what it meant to me and how it shaped me as a child. So yeah I mean it’s I really want to say and I I I really loved our conversation this way because you know so we get a lot of questions. Um people ask okay am I you know I am. 60 plus I’m an and early woman or I’m a middle aged woman who stuck who started into the arts now or I come from this or I come from that and I feel like we always we all of us have our own ways and reasons of how we fit in and how we don’t fit in. Who we are and who we are not but the but the beauty I feel is just who we are. It’s not like that we all have to be the same and the the problem I think is that.

40:09.76
charukaarora
We all sometimes I think we pretend to be the same but the more different we are the more we speak about our own journeys the more we want to do things our way it becomes so much more inclusive and brings inclusivity and anyone who’s listening to this I don’t know if you come from a smaller town or a different city. Or a small country There is always a possibility There is no limit. You can make your own definitions today I’m sitting in India I run an an international business I’m an artist by our also running business I have a gallery I have a podcast and. The way I see arts 2 hearts or this podcast are my creative practice I feel like I feel I look at it very differently than what people say you’re supposed to so like I really want to send out this message and thank you so much for you for sharing with us Marisa because. The sense and the beauty of who we are is I think the most magical thing as artists we have because imagine like how like if you look at yourself today like how have you your own journey so far. Your own unique journey have you have translated into something so unique and different and we all have our own stories and we all have our own journeys and how if we process that through a magic of creativity. How we can all put it into something out in the world like you know your gift to the world.

41:45.31
Marissa Childers
Yeah, and I think you know I think that a lot of people get caught up in the like trying to figure out what the right path is and it’s like what what is what is the way to you know point XYOrZ and

41:56.43
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

42:03.53
Marissa Childers
I think the like the beautiful thing about that is that like there’s no 2 people in the world that takes the exact same path. We all have our own individual paths that we take and it’s at different times in our lives and so I think especially with art like there’s so many people that.

42:09.30
charukaarora
Yeah.

42:16.60
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

42:21.36
Marissa Childers
You know are introduced to art either. They come into art like we were talking about earlier. Maybe it was something they were brought up with um they come into it in their thirty s you could come into art when you’re like 70 or eighty and like.

42:35.65
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

42:37.56
Marissa Childers
Nice is like you still have a voice and it’s your voice and you have something to say and there’s always going to be people that are willing to like listen to that and accept that for what it is and I just think that that’s you know a really beautiful journey that you can take and it still be yours. You don’t have to mold that to anything.

42:55.83
charukaarora
Yeah I love that. Thank you so much marsa I know it’s been long and before I let you go I have a small rapid fire for you are you ready okay okay let’s start with 1 2 3

43:05.50
Marissa Childers
Yeah, of course I am.

43:15.71
charukaarora
What inspired you to become an artist.

43:18.49
Marissa Childers
And I think just the idea of being able to be free with expression and be who I am without restrictions.

43:26.12
charukaarora
I Love that what has been the best piece of advice you’ve been given by another artist.

43:35.33
Marissa Childers
Um, I would say best piece of advice would be to continue working and not be afraid of failure.

43:43.35
charukaarora
Um I Love that? Um, what has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your own creative career.

43:52.47
Marissa Childers
Definitely finding my voice as an artist. Um, there’s so many stereotypes in the world and trying to figure that out is a lot of pressure. So it’s just being able to like let go of all of that and then understand who you are as a person.

43:59.48
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

44:07.65
charukaarora
Okay, um, how about okay, are you a morning person or a late night which is your prefer time of creating oh wow really? okay.

44:16.79
Marissa Childers
Yeah morning 100% yeah I’m definitely a morning source music music for sure.

44:27.64
charukaarora
Yeah music or silence. What’s your preferd way of creating. Okay ah inspiration or hard work. What’s your key to success.

44:40.71
Marissa Childers
Yeah, oh can it be fifty fifty I feel like bother sounds for it.

44:46.37
charukaarora
Ah I think I think so yeah, yeah I agreed. Okay, what advice would you give to anyone who’s listening to this episode right? now you know, Um, as as an artist as I think. I’d love to hear your advice specifically in context to your own journey someone who comes from a place like you and I really really deeply wanted to ask you this because you know sometimes it’s just one a part on the back. For someone like you where you can see yourself into someone that person’s tell you you know you know if I did it So Can you go get it like it it that can give you a kick in the world that nobody else can give you So. What’s your advice to anyone who’s listening to this and look it’s up to you and it relates to your journey.

45:43.83
Marissa Childers
So I think the biggest piece of advice would just be just honestly like get up and do it. Um I think that for me a lot of times I would be like oh I’ll get to it tomorrow or maybe next week we’ll do this. But. If you keep saying that like tomorrow and next week is never going to get here and you know taking that leap into art if you’re wanting to be an artist or pursue that I think that that’s you know that’s a really big leap to take and I get that there’s a lot of insecurities and fear behind that.

46:03.61
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

46:17.50
Marissa Childers
Um, but I think like the biggest The biggest thing you can do for yourself is just say yes and jump in and commit to being an artist and once you have that commitment I feel like there’s no limitations after that.

46:29.76
charukaarora
I love that. Thank you so much Marisa and before I let you go anyone who’s interested in forwarding you back. Can they find you support you and if you have anything coming up that you’d like to share with us, please take the stage and we’re all us.

46:46.90
Marissa Childers
Yeah, so you can find me on Instagram at Marissa Underscore Ceramics and also at my website. It’s just marissachilders.com and then I’ve got a lot of exciting things coming for the next year tons of workshops and. Solo shows and a residency that I will be at for the next eleven months so I feel like I’m gonna be like on the go constantly so that will be a really fine interesting journey to kind of travel along with.

47:16.38
charukaarora
Ah, nice I Love that make sure you share the details with us so that we can cheer for you and share it with the community and thank you so much. Thank you so much for your time and I hope to see you soon again.

47:24.55
Marissa Childers
Yes, for sure. Thank you? Yes, thank you so much for having me.

47:36.32
charukaarora
You’ll have to hold. Okay.

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