At 25, Sravya Attaluri is already a star with thousands following her on Instagram.
For Attaluri, a" third culture" child as the Independent described her to be — born in Hyderabad, India, but brought up in Korea and then Hong Kong — life has been full of ups and downs. For most part of her life, she has been continuously trying to adapt herself to new places and cultures.
“Sometimes I feel like I can associate with all the cultures that I’m exposed to, but at the same time I feel like I don’t belong in any,” the Independent quoted Attaluri as saying.
A child brought up in the age of globalisation, Attaluri learnt bits and pieces of the language of the places she lived in, but couldn’t speak any of them. But it was when battling her patchy identity, that Attaluri discovered art as a channel for catharsis.
That’s when she took to art as an effective mode of communication and even deal with her loneliness. That is not all. She took up arts to deal with mental health problems and address various kinds of stigma. In one of the pieces, she says “We all choose to cope with pain in different ways. I choose art.” In another piece of work, she said “being happy is hard work.”
“Art was a way that I could communicate to everybody and is universal. So, it became my language,” she said. Her daily “routine” itself reflects an eclectic mix of the east and the west.
For instance, she begins her day with art work, drawing “what comes to her mind” -a habit she calls “daily doodles”. This is followed by online therapy sessions, yoga, and meditation classes. “Now, I need my morning meditation more than I need my coffee,” she observes. Currently she pursues her unique lifestyle in Hong Kong, but hopes to head for London, once the Covid-19 scare recedes.
Attaluri, who graduated from the Roski School of Fine Art, University of Southern California in 2017, has now set up a platform — Draw for Mental Health – to empower artists to deal with the issue of psychological well being while breaking taboos and stigmas through art. Later in 2019, she even attended London College of Communication for a short-term certification course.
Today Attaluri’s main focus is to empower girls and women. She is also determined to stand up for women of colour and ensure that they are “better represented.”