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Published: Verve Magazine, September 2014
Photograph by Toranj Kavyon

Artist, Rouble Nagi, has done more than 800 murals and installations worldwide. She’s a style maven, a mother and runs her own welfare foundation for underprivileged children

Rouble Nagi

“I get inspired by life – it is a learning process and our experiences are a part of it.”

Though Mumbai-based Rouble Nagi studied Fine Art in London’s Slade School of Art, she had actually been painting since she was a little schoolgirl. She can still spend the entire day with a blank sheet and crayons, even though she experiments with materials for her murals and sculptures. Her father was from the armed forces, so travelling and finding inspiration wherever she went was a natural process. “You learn something every day if you just pay attention, the journey through life is just a long learning experience, without a destination. I’m loving it – creating a new milestone every day.”

She has always been inclined towards working in a three-dimensional medium. Murals are her first choice along with installations when it comes to a form of art. “I hope people develop an interest in and liking for public art. The installations are always site specific, as many things including the surroundings have to be taken into consideration.” She always has a strong emotional connect to her work. “Art without emotion isn’t art at all.” The 34-year-old has a mixed roster of patrons for her work, including artistes and Indian cinema personalities – all art lovers with whom she has a personal equation.

Rouble divides her time between her workshop, her family and her NGO. “As an artist I believe I must give back to the people.” She started working along with the NGO Pratham before she started the Rouble Nagi Art Foundation (RNAF) two years ago. “India’s youth is a powerhouse of infinite energy and all we need is to direct their energy in constructive channels that lead to development and progress. RNAF is dedicated to the care, welfare education and rehabilitation of underprivileged children. Equality and not charity is what we believe in.” Despite being passionate about her work and the NGO, she manages to be there for her family, which includes her two-and-a-half-year-old son, Vivaan.

“As the saying goes, ‘Fashion fades but style is eternal’. My confidence is my style quotient; it’s never about how well you dress or the brand you are wearing, it’s about how you carry it. Your style is about who you are.” Always immaculately turned-out, her favourite piece of jewellery remains her wedding ring, to which she has a strong emotional connect.

Rouble Nagi has a powerful mantra for living life meaningfully: “Success isn’t about what you accomplish in your life, it’s about inspiring people to do what they think cannot be done. Success can never assure you happiness, but by being happy with what you are doing, you have already succeeded.”