Meet Indira Dutta, an artist and a doctoral student of computer engineering at UL Lafayette. She works in paper cuts, pencil, pen and ink, watercolor and acrylic. Inspired by nature and her childhood in Bangladesh, Indira hopes to encourage others to explore art and create works of their own.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started making things.
I traveled to Lafayette five years back from the other side of the world. I came here carrying the essence of Bangladesh in my heart because that defines my sole existence. As a kid back home, I always used to make greeting cards for my friends and family on different occasions. At the age of nine, I started going to an art class and that has changed my life completely; it opened up a new world of imagination for me.

What does the term “Maker” mean to you?
For me “Maker” means someone who creates something new and also when that creation helps other people to imagine and to discover the unknown.

Who or what inspires you?
My art reflects the way I see the world. My inspirations come from Mother Nature, my family, friends and my life that evolved from Bangladesh to America.

Is making your hobby or your business? How does it relate, if at all, to your day job?
Making is neither my hobby nor my business! This is a key part of my life. My artwork is the only refreshment in my daily stressful life. Whenever I see an opportunity to create something, I give my heart and soul to that. In the future, I surely have plans to share my skills and my creative ideas with the rest of the world.

Why is making important to you?
It gives my life a purpose. It gives me so much pleasure when my artwork spreads joy, helps other people imagine and encourages them to create. This is my favorite medium of expression.

What have you made that you are most proud of?
From my childhood till now, I have gifted my dear ones numerous handmade greeting cards. Whenever I think about the positivity and happiness I shared with all of them, it makes me feel proud.

What would you make if you had unlimited resources?
I wish to establish an Art Academy and inspire all to explore this mesmerizing universe of creativity.

What up-and-coming maker trends excite you the most?
Now the trend is more towards Technology Driven Arts. I believe every person is a “Maker” and technology eases the process of making.

What advice can you give someone who wants to get involved in the Maker movement?
Never stop dreaming and never stop inspiring other people with your work. Every person is unique. When you put your imagination and thoughts, your creation becomes one of a kind.

Tell us something surprising about yourself.
I am pursuing my Ph.D. in Computer Engineering at UL Lafayette. I was trained in singing from the age of four and I am an enlisted singer for Bangladesh National Radio.