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Once in a while, we get our readers dropping us a line sharing with us some cool artwork they’ve seen or suggesting us people we could write about on Eksentrika.
Recently, one of our readers alerted us to an amazing piece of fan art. It’s not your regular one as this piece by Shanita Lyn Kumar from Subang Jaya, Malaysia, has certainly set a high benchmark specifically for music, film, and crochet lovers.
It’s a crochet tapestry of Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury and it’s impressive!
According to the 23-year-old artist, illustrator and designer, it took her a total of eight months along with some unique crochet stitches to bring this piece to life after she had watched Bohemian Rhapsody with her family.
Being a huge Queen fan thanks to her dad who introduced her to the music of the legendary band when she was young, she initially thought of painting an image of Malik after being blown away by the film.
“I was just getting back into crocheting when Bohemian Rhapsody came out, which was what sparked the idea for this project!” Shanita tells me through a Whatsapp message.
What’s impressive is that it took this self-confessed serial experimenter a total of eight months to bring this piece to life. She was two months in when she had suffered a minor setback which forced her to re-do the crochet stitches all over again.
“This is my very first crochet tapestry. Prior to this I’d pretty much only made bags and accessories to give as Christmas presents,” the artist says.
Shanita’s love for crochets began through her grandmother who introduced her to the basics of the craft when she was in primary school (middle school for you folks in the U.S.). The art allows her to try out different things.
“If you’re creating something original, the initial step of coming up with an idea and developing a pattern is a lot of fun—it’s an exercise in both creativity and technical know-how. Then, once you’ve got your pattern planned out, it’s a very calming and repetitive process, looping yarn and counting stitches.”
Shanita loves the whole process of working with her hands and creating something beautiful out of almost nothing.
“It’s a hobby I’ve returned to on and off since then. I slowly began learning more on my own as I went,” Shanita explains.
It was no easy task because the process was pretty tedious and painful. Shanita experienced severe pain on her hands, wrists, neck, shoulders and back.
“I got a wrist guard to use while crocheting and made sure to take frequent breaks. I also got my mum to help unknot my shoulders every now and then.”
Shanita did all of these without letting her parents know of what she was up to.
“Since I wanted to surprise both my parents who are massive Queen fans, keeping the subject of the tapestry a secret for that long while living under the same roof was definitely another challenge. It was a lot of, “No, don’t look!” and “Wait! Let me fold it up before you come in!” But their reaction when I finally unveiled it made everything totally worth it.”
Now she’s hoping to frame the crochet and give it a good home to someone who would love purchase it. Here’s looking at you, Rami Malek.
Shanita, who also experiments with signing, writing, producing, performing, photography and creating videos is now looking forward to creating a massive hand-drawn poster for Indigo Soul Project‘s weekly discussion series, titled life@play.
Keep up with Shanita Lyn Kumar’s creative projects and artsy experiments on her Instagram. If you know a friend or family member who is just as talented, send them our way! Here’s another post you might enjoy.
All images in this post are by Shanita Lyn Kumar.