American Trappist monk Thomas Merton famously said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” These words could not be truer for Niranjana Krishnakumar, a co-incidental art enthusiast, and the founder of the handmade notebook and fabric journal brand Citta Handmade.

Niranjana was not always knee-deep into paintings and sketching but she could qualify as one of those people who loved trying new things. Her curiosity and passion for learning and getting her hands dirty took her down several paths. She played Ultimate Frisbee, pursued a degree in electronic media and was even a founding volunteer of the NGO, Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI).

At the brink of an unsatisfactory academic pursuit, she stumbled upon the Young India Fellowship at Ashoka University. It was a liberal arts program with over twenty-four subjects a year—a true delight for someone with several interests like Niranjana. “Many people came to YIF seeking a career shift,” she says, “But to me, it was the place to kickstart my career.”

Of the twenty-four courses, the Art Appreciation course…

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