Meet Priyanka Katumuluwa, an artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She designed a custom card for us to share with our community while also telling her story of tea. In this conversation she spoke to us about the inspiration behind her artwork and her experiences with tea. Find her art here.
While Priyanka admits to drinking coffee a lot more than tea, she grew up in a family of Sri Lankan origin where tea is an important part of culture. Making tea with milk or malted milk, especially Horlicks, and sugar is how her family has been preparing and consuming the beverage. Aside from experiences of engaging in the routine tea time with her family, Priyanka’s bag is filled with warm moments of enjoying a cuppa of chai made by her friend of Indian-Australian origin during her days at college. Priyanka fondly recalls how this chai was prepared with so much love in addition to the comfort of loads of fresh ginger and cardamom! Her friend loved to engage in that ritual of making and sharing tea. It was this experience that they shared together over chai which Priyanka says she hasn’t really been able to recreate for herself.
Priyanka also loves a good chai latte and her story of having discovered DONA’s masala chai concentrate is no less than serendipitous. She loves going to coffee shops and trying their chai lattes. It was in the process of taking an active interest in where the concentrate for her chai lattes come from that she came upon DONA. Turned out that the chai lattes she liked the best were using DONA.. She feels utmost delight at the fact of having enjoyed this whole relationship with DONA’s existence well before creating the art for us!
In narrating her thought process while going through creating the artwork for the cards she had the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland in mind. The illustration of a kettle with multiple spouts was inspired by the events of that scene. She was also excited to draw the hand holding the kettle and make sure that it was brown to foreground that color and culture of which tea is an integral part. Leaves and florals are indicative of her style and she believes that drawing them brings her a lot of calm, hoping that it does the same for the viewer when they look at them.
We are thrilled to have Priyanka design the cards for us and love the joy and snugness manifested in the illustration which takes us to tea, required to endure the cold festive season!