About Us Contact Us Help




6 Women Who Are Charting Their Own Creative Paths


Fatima Farheen Mirza,  Novelist

“I have always loved writing,” says Fatima Farheen Mirza, who in 2018 at the age of 27, published her debut novel, A Place for Usunder Sarah Jessica Parker’s imprint for Hogarth. “What [initially] held me back was that it didn’t feel like there was a path for someone like me, especially back then.” Now a New York Times best seller, the novel explores the lives of a Muslim family in California using interwoven perspectives to tease out complex dynamics: the bonds that bring them together, as well as the differences that pull them apart. “Writing A Place for Us and feeling like I was devoted to it was a way for me to follow my dreams, because it felt like I was doing it for something outside of me,” she adds. “But actually, it was for me. [Writing] was the only thing I wanted to do with my life, and [the book] gave me the courage to be able to do it.” ...more

Melanie Chandra,  Actor, Writer, and Producer

Best known for her work portraying Malaya Pineda on CBS’s medical drama Code Black, Melanie Chandra recently produced and costarred alongside Surina Jindal and Kal Penn in Comedy Central’s Hot Mess Holiday, a clever ode to Diwali with two South Asian women leads at the helm. But her path toward commercial acting success wasn’t an easy one. Not only did she choose to pursue her craft after establishing a successful career in STEM, but Chandra, 36, recalls the lack of South Asian representation in the film industry as the biggest hurdle to achieving her dream. “I grew up first-generation Indian American, a child of immigrants, in the Midwest, and we had no ties to the arts or entertainment world,” she says. “I felt like an outsider.” ...more

Tanya Gupta, art Director and Photographer

A former NASA engineer-turned-multimedia artist, Tanya Gupta, 25, had no idea she could spin her lockdown hobby into a nine-to-five job. “I didn’t think this would be a career or anything beyond something fun for me,” Gupta shares of her creative practice, which involves crafting kaleidoscopic digital compositions comprising bold motifs, surreal photo manipulations, and augmented reality. Over time, unpaid opportunities started turning into paid gigs, and validation from brands like Lancôme and Aerie—who commissioned her work for advertisements on social media—gave her the confidence to apply to the prestigious Adobe Creative Residency program in 2021, though she didn’t expect to get accepted on her first try. “I was going in with this attitude of, ‘Let me put my lottery ticket in; if it doesn’t happen, I’ll try again next year,’” she notes, regarding the competitive application process. ...more

Deepica Mutyala, Live Tinted Founder and CEO

You may recognize Deepica Mutyala, 32, from her viral YouTube beauty tutorial wherein she covers her dark circles with red lipstick. Or from her recent TIME magazine feature, in which she is dubbed a Next Generation Leader as the founder and head of her beauty brand, Live Tinted. She even has her own version of the “Desi Barbie” in partnership with Mattel. But when asked about her recent successes, Mutyala attributes her wins to the South Asian community. “They always tell me to keep going, and I think it’s like they almost know I need to hear it,” she says. “I constantly hear it—Brown girls in my DMs telling me to keep going.” ...more

Monika Sharma, Product of Culture Cofounder and Creative Director

Faced with the choice of buying her private practice in Beverly Hills or doubling down on her efforts with Product of Culture, a collective she cofounded in 2017 with Archana Misra Jain that amplifies the voices of South Asian brands and creatives, Monika Sharma, 30, chose the latter. “I felt like our time is valuable, and I don’t know if I’ll get the chance to do this again,” she says. “And this is something I love. That created this sense of urgency where I just needed to dive in and try it.” Originally an audiologist focused on treating hearing loss and balance disorders, Sharma didn’t officially pack up her medical office until 2021 to invest in Product of Culture as a career. She bet on herself, and it paid off—within six months, Product of Culture was partnering with brands like Google, Instagram, HBO, and Netflix to host events that celebrate and spotlight the broader South Asian community (most recently, a Bridgerton-themed dinner hosted by Simone Ashley). ...more

Reva Bhatt, Creative Director, Stylist, and Brand Consultant

“What does it mean to be in fashion in 2014 as a Brown woman?” Reva Bhatt, now 29, once asked her younger self. For Bhatt, it meant dispelling monolithic points of view and overcoming outdated cultural beauty standards through chronicling her outfits online. “I was body-shamed for my curves, so I leaned on personal style to feel confident, and it became my thing,” she divulges. “By dressing not like how everyone else was dressing, I became known for how I dressed.” Armed with a camera and closet full of clothes, Bhatt launched her blog, Hybrid Hues, on Tumblr almost 10 years ago, having since migrated to showcasing her signature looks on Instagram and TikTok as @hybridhues. Known for blending Eastern and Western influences, Bhatt aims to make a sustainable impact through authentic visual storytelling. She’s worked her way up to styling a number of stars; her most recent endeavor involved Bangladeshi American hip-hop artist Anik Khan who was featured on a Spotify and Gold House billboard in Times Square. ...more

Bookmark and Share |

You may also access this article through our web-site http://www.lokvani.com/

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Copyrights Help