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Keep Calm & Scratch On

Amrita Krishnan, a twenty-year-old college student, has an interesting hobby - SCRATCHBOARD ART!

Amrita sparked an interest in this form of art as a youngling, growing-up around two avid scratchboard artists - her father and grandfather. Amrita says that watching her dad paint was what lured her into the magical world of scratch-boarding. Her family regularly travels, and art was always a way for her to encase memories while also adding her own personal flare and style, like her father who loved the landscape.

Scratch-boarding is a form of art that has been around since the early 1800’s! It was originally used in British and French newspapers, before photographs were popular in printed media. If you aren’t entirely sure what a scratchboard is, it’s a layer of black Indian ink on white china clay. By pressing a sharp object, such as a scalpel, you can carve off the black layer, exposing the white material underneath. You can create a massive variety of textures by using different stroking techniques and applied pressure.

Amrita is passionate about creating her own style of art using the scratchboard technique and she believes it’s a great method for her to process her emotions. Her favorite piece was made a few years ago when she was feeling conflicted internally in making an important life-changing decision about friends, school and her future. To process this feeling, she made a scratchboard art piece depicting two antelopes with interlocking horns. This young artist says that art has a magical way in resolving her problems that is communicated through art. She claims there is often a correlation between her art and her life. Working on the two antelopes helped Amrita to gain clarity on her emotions and a greater sense of calm. She could now hear her internal thoughts and better focus on life related events.

Amrita is a perfectionist! She says the longer she looks at her work, the more mistakes she notices, and it is sometimes a challenge to know when to stop. It’s easy for her to get sucked in and just keep nitpicking her art, but she always wanting to make it better. This is why Amrita finishes her work based on how she feels. If her gut tells her it’s time to cease the scraping, she stops.

If you want to see more of Amrita’s art, be sure to check out her website at She sells originals, as well as prints, so please contact her if you are interested!

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