Meera Lee Patel is a self-taught artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Her lovely illustrations are inspired by the magical mysteries of nature, quiet moments, secrets, and bold, exciting, colours that remind her of India. From animals and flowers to mandalas and bicycles, her images are spiritual, poetic and meaningful. Even depictions of everyday objects seem somehow blessed with an ethereal or natural quality. This may be due to her choice of media. Meera works with watercolours and this lends her creations a decidedly dreamy quality.
As well as being a talented image-maker, Meera is a published author. Her first book, DAILY ZEN, published by Ulysses Press in October of last year, is a daily journal that leads the reader on a guided journey through meditation. The book is intended to encourage creativity and mindfulness, and imparts advice on how to use these tools to create stunning images. Meera has collaborated on other publications, and has created illustrated children’s books too. Her second solo book, START WHERE YOU ARE will be published in September 2015.
Meera’s reflections on life as a creative are as beautiful as her watercolour creations. If you can’t get your hands on her books, her blog is well worth following for weekly inspiration, as well as a peek into her studio and upcoming project plans. Seemingly a great fan of collaboration, she has worked with some impressive clients and a fantastic group of creatives, such as photographers and writers, on personal works.
Meera has said, ‘living in New York, I see a lot of people. Most weave through my days imperceptibly, leaving as quietly and quickly as they came. One of the reasons I love making things is because it’s a gateway to others. Much of my life is solitary. I work a lot, spending hours creating paintings for shows and stringing thoughts into stories. I pack orders, send out invoices, edit manuscripts, and continually chase a to-do list that perpetually seems to outrun me. Many of the people I talk to are faceless, and most i’ve never met: I correspond with other artists and creatives through email and respond to followers all over the world via Instagram. As with the people I see in New York, most of these interactions last only seconds, dissipating into the atmosphere as soon as my feed refreshes. This is okay; life is made up of the temporary.’
An inspired, no-nonsense creative, we love Meera’s attitude towards creating new works and teaming up with others to create fresh and original pieces. Luckily for you, her work can be found, not only on her blog, website and in her books, but also in her online shop. Prints, calendars, and tea-towels are guaranteed to breathe sunshine, fresh air and a touch of zen into your everyday. We’re looking forward to the release of START WHERE YOU ARE and seeing more beautiful illustration from this artist.
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Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth