Family’s the inspiration to motivate engineer to become an art instructor

Apr 17, 2024 | Arts, Culture

Deepa Krishnan’s Canadian journey moved from self-educating herself on art to making one-of-a-kind designs to teaching a room full of people.

The Mississauga-based art instructor grew up close to arts and crafts during her childhood.

“My family is full of artists,” she said. “Right from my grandmother, my aunt, my father, my cousins and my sister, everybody is into their own field of art.”

However, Krishnan didn’t pursue visual arts in the beginning.

She studied engineering and then worked in computer and information technology with a software company.

“For 10 years, I’ve worked in I.T., then [my family and I] moved to the U.S.A,” Krishnan said. “Then three and a half years later, we came to Canada.”

Krishnan freelanced in I.T. when she and her family came to Canada in 2015.

From here, her creativity and love for art started to bloom, she said.

The Out of Box Creation was Krishnan’s first project, and she created furniture out of cardboard boxes.

The project’s blog page shows her life-size creations of a shelf, playhouse, desk, bookshelf, a kid’s sofa and shoe rack.

A lady with shoulder length hair smiling.

Deepa Krishnan, a paper quilling instructor located in Mississauga. She supplies all materials her students need and teaches all levels online and in-person. Photo credit: Eleanor Kate Iglesia

Ten years ago, Krishnan discovered paper quilling. It took her years to master the techniques and methods for this type of art, but it never defeated her.

She started teaching art classes for paper quilling to fulfill her daughter’s wishes.

“My daughter was my inspiration for starting the classes since she wanted me to become a teacher at her school,” Krishnan said.

But becoming a teacher has many requirements in Canada, so finding an alternative was the mission, she said.

“We started the art classes in the common rooms [of the apartment building], and all her friends joined, and she was so happy that I’m an art teacher,” Krishnan said.

All the designs are originals and are nature-based, she said.

“My first project, the Butterfly Garden [art piece] was inspired by nature with flowers and butterflies. The changing of the seasons inspired me to create the seasonal trees in quilling, and I love making different types of flowers, birds and animals in quilling,” Krishnan said.

Krishnan turned to hosting online classes once the pandemic hit. She partnered with PaintNite to continue her classes virtually.

A table filled with paper quilling art designs.

Deepa Krishnan displays all her original designs on a table for the guests/students to see once they arrive in class. Photo credit: Eleanor Kate Iglesia

The students who sign up online get a delivered package of all the supplies they said, she said.

Just last year, Krishnan started doing in-person classes again. Twice a month, the in-person sessions are at either The Rec Room in Mississauga or East Side Marios in Heartland, she said.

My family has been very encouraging, Krishnan said.

“My husband was okay with the loss of income from such a big shift,” she said. “My daughter was fully supportive and was so proud of me.”

However, her family isn’t the only reason for being an art instructor.

“I feel in Canada, paper quilling isn’t too popular, so this is why I do the classes,” Krishnan said. “I want to teach those the easy way of doing this paper art so they don’t have to experience the struggle I went through.”