Hemu sat down with social media intern Erin Lee for coffee to discuss her extraordinary experience at Ohio State. Beginning her journey as a graduate student, Hemu shared how her many passions have led her to Buckeye Nation. We hope you find her story as extraordinary as we do.
Meet creative Hemu Vekataraman, who has traveled far to receive her Masters of Fine Arts in Design at The Ohio State University. This Buckeye was born and raised in the coastal city of Madras, India. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Architecture in India, Hemu received a full scholarship to teach, research and study here in Ohio State’s Department of Design.
When applying to graduate school, Hemu wished to find a program that integrated her passion for writing, architecture and the arts, and the design program and the many communities of which she has become a member have provided just that.
Even though she has only been here for one year, Hemu has found her place: “I have been seeking a community here at Ohio State and I am happy that I found one,” Hemu said of her poetry community.
Hemu prides herself in exploring the city of Columbus, as well. Dog-lover, chai-lover and sky-gazer are three words Hemu used to describe herself. Pulling four books and countless sketchbooks out of her backpack, Hemu began to talk about her love for reading.
“I have been reading since I was very young and would save pocket change to go to a second hand store and read random books,” she said. Hemu constantly carries around four books: one fiction, one poetry, one research and one philosophy. Where does she read you might ask? Mirror Lake and Browning Amphitheater are her top two spots on campus.
As a self-proclaimed poet, artist and architect, Hemu maintains two blogs. Her writing blog Streets of Smiles and her art blog constantly keep her busy. A tab titled, “Terribly Tiny Love Letters” allows Hemu to provide her readers with a tiny glimpse into her thoughts. On her art blog, you can find countless sketches of buildings on campus and of downtown Columbus. Hemu also collects and makes postcards.
“Writing is a very fluid medium where you can express yourself, and postcards remind me of who I am thinking of,” she said. In the near future, Hemu hopes to release a line of postcards for Buckeyes around the world to enjoy.
Fascinated by the look and history of buildings on campus, she has many watercolor sketches of Pomerene and University Hall. Even though her journey here at Ohio State has just begun, she is motivated to find a career in which she has creative and financial freedom. “I don’t want to be stuck doing something I don’t like,” she said. “I want the freedom to do what I love.”
The hardest lesson Hemu had to learn during her undergraduate career was finding who she was amongst her friends. Now, as a graduate student, Hemu is challenging herself to learn how to plan for her professional work in the world while staying in the present.
“It’s so easy for us to forget seeing everything on campus and the city in which we live because of our studies,” she said. Filled with words of wisdom, Hemu wishes to remind students to live in the moment – an extraordinary legacy, to be sure.
By Erin Lee