Letters belonging to strangers, bills, and worn, old diaries from the bygone era—these are of little value to most people. However, for those who nurse an affinity for anything vintage, these are priceless possessions and hold more value than age-old heirlooms.
For Bengaluru-based artist Bakula Nayak, collecting old pieces of paper started at an early age but converting them into nostalgic and unforgettable pieces of art has been a recent journey.
Through vibrant illustrations upon old love letters, grocery bills, diaries, official records and even pieces of sheet music, she is breathing life into the otherwise forgotten lives of unknown people and giving us all a slice of history, along the way.
It was her father’s passing that led her to this unusual path, and the very first illustration she made was upon a letter that was exchanged between her parents during the early days of their marriage.
“My parents had rarely stayed apart from each other except on very rare occasions, so during that brief separation, he had written a letter to my mother every single day. I came across these letters after his demise, and it triggered something in me,” says Bakula to The Better India.
For the rest of the world, these may be a collection of papers, but for Bakula, within these letters, there existed an exchange of words, emotions, life stories, and a world that encompassed all of them.
She somehow felt responsible for these faded and forgotten letters as well as every single piece of paper that she had collected from across the world. The need to bring these stories back is what paved the way for these works.
“These might not carry the value of heirlooms that people have handed down through generations, but these fading pieces of paper from another time—these are slices of history that open a window into their forgotten lives,” she adds.
Get ready to lose yourself in the stories of strangers from the past with these touching and colourfully illustrated vintage pieces of art by Bakula.
You can check more of Bakula Nayak’s work on her Instagram handle here.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)