We’re excited to share with you, our July artist spotlight! A macrame artist and small business owner, Sanjida.
People of Bangladesh are not familiar with the term macramé yet, although if surveyed, many of their household decorations, be it hangings or some stationary models, the presence of knots and ties can be noticed. With the vision to enlighten people about this relatively old yet new form of art, Sanjida Islam started Boonon. Starting from macramé induced wall hangings, plant pot hangers, bags to ornaments and lampshades – she has not only given new definitions to macramé arts but also has helped us to spot their beauty with eyes wide-open. Not only macramé but also her art products deal with faux and dried flowers and gift bouquets. Today we are going to tread along the summary of her creative journey with Boonon and learn about the artistic morsels of Sanjida’s life.
Content Editor: Rifah Nawar
IG handle: @parchmentstains
Q: Tell us a little about your creative journey, how and when did it spark a start?
It all started from a very young age, my whole family is creative in their own ways and inspired me a lot. Growing up I saw my brothers and sister do sketch art and their pieces amazed me. My mother’s creativity had the most profound impact on me, she used to make household decorative items from scratch and I helped her along and witnessed the whole process of an inanimate object come to life, and to this day her creativity inspires me.
The truth was stated when someone wise once told that one’s creative foundation is built by one’s family. We are now sure of it seeing the story of the Sanjida’s artistic journey’s inchoate. Given the aesthetic significance of her mother’s work that she grew up seeing, we all think that she deserves some credit for the success of today’s Boonon.
Q: What are your indispensable tools and materials for painting and illustration?
Measuring tape and sharp scissors. A sharp scissor can make a huge difference since I work with macramé. The first thing I have to do in every project is to measure out how much cord I need and start cutting. A sharp cutting shear definitely saves a lot of time.
Spoken just like an experienced craftsman! Who else would better understand the importance of a well-sharpened shear and scissors if not someone like Sanjida who needs to deal with threads and cords on a daily basis!
Q: Where do you look for inspiration?
From all around, shapes of objects inspire me the most and Instagram is my go-to social media for inspiration. There are a lot of talented macramé artists on Instagram and their creativity is awe-inspiring.
Sanjida’s simple admission of her source of inspiration implies the fact how much enriched today’s Instagram community is. There was a time when people used to consider Pinterest as their only place to derive creative ideas from. But today, given the community guidelines and the amicability of the Insta-souls, artists are feeling more motivated to show off their creative persona and thus act like inspiration to many thousands. While Sanjida has kept on finding her creative genius in this platform, at the same time she has been radiating a similar vibe which is acting as an inspiration to other creative people like you and us!
Q: Where do you see yourself and your business in the next 5 years? Do you have a vision?
The art of macramé is still relatively new in our country and I want to integrate the art of knotting into our day-to-day lives as much as possible. In the next 5years, I want to shape Boonon as the ultimate platform for macramé art in the country.
That is what we expect from Sanjida and Boonon too! Macramé is yet to attain that acclamation in Bangladesh that it has already gained as a part of the boho culture around the world, which is obviously saddening for us. But the existence and the thriving of organizations like Boonon is definitely good news for every local who has an eye for international art. We hope to be a part of Boonon ‘s journey to prosperity without any limitation to years.
Q. 5: Among all the things you have created, what is your most favorite piece?
It is quite hard to choose because each piece is made with love and care which holds a sentimental value to me but if I have to choose I would say my first macramé necklace. The day I shared the picture of the necklace I never thought people would like it so much, the appreciation and love I received for that design were overwhelming.
This is a question that we hate asking because being the dwellers of the same world, we know how tough answering it can be. Yet, we end up asking because every time the answers help us learn something about the artists. Doing something different for the first time takes up a lot of courage. Kudos to Sanjida for braving up and for introducing new forms of macramé to the netizens.
Q. 6: Other than macramé weaving, what other hobby do you have?
Painting, crafting a bit of gardening but mostly exploring new craft ideas. Every week I try to learn something new and it gives me a whole new perspective and inspires me to combine different methods to create something new.
In today’s fast-paced world, people have little incentive to learn new things than staying within their comfort zone. But then again, it is very essential for creative people to have this in practice because only that way, they can display their creative exclusiveness. This is something that we all need to admire about Sanjida and at the same time, learn from her.
Q: Do you have any special piece of work that holds a good memory?
My first ever macramé project, which I made almost 8-9 years ago. One of my siblings first introduced me to the magical realm of Pinterest and the first project I undertook from Pinterest was the macramé friendship bracelet.
Who can forget the charm of those knotted and braided bracelets that we used to tie on the hands of our then soulmates! We still remember the attempts we used to give to make ours stand out from the others. But none of our ideas were as chic as Sanjida’s. Now that we are becoming nostalgic and all, a macrame bracelet on 8-10-year-old friendship days would have hit differently!
Q: What is your advice to newbie crafters/artists?
Keep at it and don’t lose hope! In the beginning, you might not have many original design ideas and that’s okay. Browse through the internet and educate yourself about the nooks and crannies of the medium that you’re going to work with. There are lots of craft groups on Facebook, be a part of that craft community ASAP. You’ll definitely learn a lot from them as most of the artists or crafters are self-taught, they share a lot of tips and tricks or hacks they’ve learned on their journey with the community and that will help you with your projects. Share your projects with them it’ll give you the boost of confidence that you need.
It’s not a sin to copy arts, especially if you are a beginner and have much reverence for the original. Because that is the only way you are going to be able to master the art and give a touch of your own creativity to it. The advice that Sanjida has shared is definitely going to come to use to anyone and everyone who dreams of having their own art store but is afraid of facing the competition out there. We wish Sanjida all the very best in her future endeavors with Boonon and keep on being a constant part of her creative expedition.
Don’t forget to visit her IG store and show a little love while you’re there!