Grewal Twins

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We are Sukhman & Hernoor Grewal - identical twins, born and bred in London.

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Dilrani Kaur

Dilrani Kaur

Our featured artist for this month is adding some colour to this cold and dreary February day!

An artist and designer from England (who recently moved over to Dallas in the US with her husband), Dilrani's artwork is all about bold patterns, geometrical shapes and LOTS of colour.

You'll find her doodling away on paper, trainers, and even handbags all of which are available to purchase on her website dilranikaur.com 

If statement jewellery is your thing, then you'll find a range of styles on her website too, all designed by Dilrani!

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Tell us about Dilrani aka Dilusionall

So recently, recently meaning since around July, I decided to completely re-brand from “Dilusionall” to “Dilrani Kaur”.

For a number of reasons but the main being that I didn’t feel that “Dilusionall” represented me as an artist and where I want to take my art and how I want it to grow.

So my painting, art and ideas all started and developed from my love for Indian classical music and dance. I grew up heavily involved in the music and dance circle but often struggled connecting with those who didn’t understand that part of me and felt that I had a split character - the classical artist Dilrani and the more relatable “Dilrani” who could be easily understood, accepted and integrated with others.

From here I created “Dilusionall” - It almost felt like this character that allowed me to be both and here I would create Animals (easily relatable subjects) and fill them with intricate mehndi/henna like designs (the not so relatable part).

However I changed from “Dilusionall” to “Dilrani Kaur” as I no longer feel that I needed this character to hide behind, as I am who I am and I feel its totally okay not to fit in and you don’t need to change or hide anything about you in order to be accepted - however I also understand the fact that many people are also struggling with this and I hope to spread more awareness on this subject using my art and story.

So now I create work to aesthetically please the eye yet also keep both my worlds intact showing exactly who I am, however with this I am also trying to spread positivity, equality and strength to those who may be struggling with similar battles. (I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop right now and there is some really epic music playing in the background and its making me feel like I’m writing an epic, emotional, freedom of speech novel of some sort.. LOL)

Oh and also “Dilusionall” was a play on my name “Dil” and my surname which ends in double L hence the “LL” at the end.

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What challenges do you face on a day-to-day basis or have you faced in your line of work?

My day to day challenges and struggles is dealing with my clumsiness. I’m really clumsy and do some proper daft shit sometimes. I spilled water ALL over my recent piece which I’m currently working on. I thought the water bowl I keep next to me was my paint palette and I picked it up really fast and all the water went on my painting… I managed to save it though.

I also painted something on the wrong side of someones shoe and had to start over. :)

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If you had to, what would you get tattooed on your forehead aka, what’s your motto?

I wouldn’t necessarily get this tattooed on my forehead but its definitely my motto and something I say to myself almost everyday,

“Just take the fuck it pill”

This was something I learned when I was at drama school from an actress named Lena Kaur.  It sounds stupid but all you do is take an imaginary “f*** it pill” and dive into whatever you had doubt in. I can’t tell you how much this has helped me over come any battles I’d have within myself, i.e. Talking to new people, an idea that I thought was TOO far fetched, performing etc.

How do you stay motivated?

I always remind myself why I do what I do and what my goal is.

It’s easy to get side tracked from ‘the goal’ but then I always refer back to my motto, haha.

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What makes you feel good?

Hugs, late night talks with my mum, long walks with my dad.

What’s been your greatest struggle, and how do you generally overcome negative emotions?

Anxiety and self worth has definitely been my greatest struggle. After getting married and moving to America from England I realised how toxic and political it was, with very little support within the artist community back home, which was where my anxiety and questionable self worth stemmed from.

The environment within the artistic community in the states, for me, has been the complete opposite and having a supportive network around me has helped bring me out of my shell and opened up a whole new way of thinking. Because of this I feel less anxious and really value myself a lot more as an artist… but I will always be my own worst critic :)

Also because of this mind shift, I also want to show more love and support toward other artists.

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How have your family and friends encouraged you to pursue what you are doing?

Honestly, my family have been extremely supportive from the get go. Naturally both my parents were hoping for me to have a, so to speak, ‘normal’ job, a job that they were familiar with or something that was more steady in their eyes, which I totally got from their point of view. 

But the more they saw how serious I was and how dedicated and motivated I was to prove that “art and design” IS a real thing they started to really push me. Though my Dad thinks this is a phase and that I should get something more stable he still helped by investing in my art to get my first batch of art prints. My mum would sometimes sit on the laptop for hours and look for gallery spaces or coffee shops where I could display my art. She’d also go to ALL the Indian Jewelers and Desi shops in our area and try to convince them to display my earrings or art work, haha! – They both really dedicated themselves as much as they could to help me push my work. 

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Where do you draw inspiration from for your creative work or outlook or who/what inspires you?

One of my BIGGEST inspirations is my favorite fashion designer, Manish Arora. I feel that he doesn’t follow the current trends and if he does he just brings out a completely different perspective to an idea and creates something mind-blowing. So most often than not, I always try I keep this in mind whilst brainstorming or creating. 

Another inspiration of mine are The Singh Twins. Again for similar reasons, but also because they took a very traditional, ancient art from, mixed it with modern day events and issues and formed such beautiful pieces - that’s one thing that I hope to accomplish. 

Which is one of the reasons why I started creating art based around Indian miniatures. Indian miniature art is an ancient form of art that has been done to perfection for centuries and my idea was to expand and evolve it in my own style as I don’t wish to copy what already exists. So you could say, Indian miniatures with a contemporary style?

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You are having a dinner party – which three people would you invite, and why?

• Manish Arora.

• The Singh Twins.

• Lauren Hill, Erykah Badu, MIA.

I realize that’s 6 people, but numbering and grouping them technically makes it 3… right?

… and why? because I love them… and I also grabbed Erykah Badu’s butt (kinda accidentally, not really but maybe) when she crowd surfed at her concert in Dallas, her home town.

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Tell us an interesting fact you would like to share!

My dream was to be an actress. I used to perform in theatre’s and plays, up until university.

• I had an arranged marriage.

• I have a little brother who lives in Germany. He speaks English with a German accent.

• I’ve gone sky diving… twice.

• I danced on stage with Shilpa Shetty and Salman Khan.

…. One of these is a lie. ;)

More from Dilrani

dilranikaur.com

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