Shaun D’sa on botanical art forms, tiny ecosytems and on having a restless heart towards art

Art is nothing short of healing as Shaun would put it. “It’s a spiritual feeling”. Shaun is a strong believer in being Jack of all in order to stumble into a rabbit hole and to find true happiness. “To simplify it short, most inventions are stumbled upon and I need to be doing many things that captivate me in order to give graphic design bigger wings,” he says, ” This was stumbled upon because of my love for plants and it has become an integral bit when I need to heal from all this digital design debauchery”.

“Obey the rules of the forest and to not get overambitious, I try to take only what I require from larger patches such that they grow back.”

Savage terrariums came into being as an idea to simulate the natural environment, the same locations I gathered flora from. Savage terrariums is at the crossroads of the natural world and manmade realm.

About 7 years ago, before he did stumble upon creating these beautiful ecosystems, He called himself ‘the Jardiner’ as a joke, He used to collect small plants off the cracks of walls, wells and sidewalks and push them into jars. The journey to create these botanical pieces would begin with a 9-12 hour long motorcycle ride to all his favourite spots in the hills where bisons loom free around watering holes. “ there is me and my backpack with containers and zip locks. I use my eyes, which are now trained to find what I fondly use to build. Sometimes the plants hang out on trees, sometimes on a waterfall”.

Shaun D’sa is a graphic designer by profession, the creative head and co-founder at Whoa Mama, a design studio that has built itself on crafting visual identities and communication for brands.

He is a restless heart that finds solace in diving into different mediums of art, be it collecting torn posters from his voyages to the southern continents to crafting dreamcatchers, leather gear and now a new curiosity project, engraving the engine case to one of his old motorcycles as part of his restoration project.  “In my ‘Batman hours I’m a visual artist who enjoys the pleasures of mixed media art and the art of using one’s hands to physically create”.

Shaun has a deep connection and love towards the rainforest and sustainable living has been on his mind.

We as a species now have an obligation towards ourselves and the earth as to how we choose to design our lifestyles. “Sustainable living is something that deeply interests me, My wife and I have plans for a future home. Although in the present it is extremely hard. When you live in an apartment and have two kids, You have to sustain yourself first. Jokes apart, we try to do our best with garbage segregation and conservation in general. I see myself living in an eco-luxury setting, using natural methods of cooling a space, composting, solar power and recycling water towards the garden and conserving rainwater. Of course, build a giant rainforest terrarium and spend a meditative time there.”

“I see myself living in an eco-luxury setting, using natural methods of cooling a space, composting, solar power and recycling water towards the garden and conserving rainwater. Of course, build a giant rainforest terrarium and spend a meditative time there.”

When asked, In a hypothetical situation, Would you build and live in a life size Earth-pod or an underground manmade dome or as he simply put it,”a bat cave”, He had this to say,

“If I wanted to build a bat cave. haha. It cannot be a regular terrarium, It will need to have humidity control and ventilation. A terrarium also has a mud floor, some of which have soil fauna like isopods, springtails, nematodes, earthworms, centipedes, ants and other insects that contribute to the ecosystem’s balance. Not to forget other insects like spiders, caterpillars, preying mantis, etc that live above the soil. I would live in one, but it would need to be constructed with earth gutters and have actual natural stone floors, a natural water source that exists both inside and outside the terrarium, a fairly huge tree in the central space and automated glass panels that allow the birds, bees and butterflies to come and go as they please. I might also need mosquito repellent right? :).”

“In the future in case of forced evolution, future tribes in their self sustaining glass environments would look into harvesting the power of the sun, growing their own crops, getting their protein from insects. This could become a reality”.

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