“It is very important to be able to connect with an audience – irrespective of your skill”
Your artwork is very impressive and distinctive. Where did your love for drawing start?
Coming from a family full of artists, I found my tools all around me as a child. My parents would let me use every part of my house as a canvas which meant a lot of freedom.
You have won several prestigious awards from Communication Arts Guild and Rachana Sansad College. Who or what motivates you to generate new ideas and concepts?
During college, my goal was never to win awards but to build a strong portfolio. I always wanted to be an independent artist, and a strong portfolio was a must.
My biggest motivation during then (and even now, for personal projects) is that there was no client, which means we have a lot of freedom to experiment various styles, ideas and concepts.
You have worked on the Taxifabric project. How did you go about it and how was your experience?
When I saw the first couple taxis, I was really impressed with the idea of using taxis as a medium to communicate with the masses. When I was approached, I instantly agreed to create a design for them because their brief was very simple and liberating (what inspires you about the city?). Inspirations can come from anywhere! Mine came out of a conversation with the taxiwala. Getting to experiment on a new medium was a lot of fun!
It is very difficult to pick a single piece of artwork. I don’t really have a favourite piece. If I enjoy the process of making the artwork, it automatically becomes my favourite. If the process gives me growth/ progress in anyway, I’m instantly happy.
Most of my favourite projects are the ones I have initiated myself. Though, if I had to pick a few, I’d say I enjoyed doing instagram stories a lot, because I got to interact with an audience. After putting out a few stories, I got approached by a brand to do something similar for them, which was great!
As much as I believe that I’m not made for an agency life, I really enjoy working with agencies on freelance basis. Fortunately, so far, I’ve had a great experience with most agencies. It’s good to work with creative directors because I get to learn a thing or two about their process of working. The only challenge I’ve faced so far is how they have very tight deadlines. While working on my personal projects, I have a timeline sorted which gives me the creative freedom to experiment. But with agencies and their tight timelines, its very difficult to create something refreshing.
As much as the world is moving to digital, I still believe in using my hands as my tools. I indulge in using brushes, pencils, charcoal, crayons on paper first, and then add my final touches digitally. I use Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop as my primary softwares.
I’ve always wanted to work on humanitarian projects, and wish to work on many more.
Until Next Time was an attempt to make a small difference. The first set of 33 cards have 5 cards that say ‘Thank you for your service’ in English and Hindi. This was for the underappreciated people, like waiters, janitors, drivers, etc. I believe that if we are appreciated for the work we do, we’ll work better and harder. The other cards in the set have straight forward messages that translate one’s feelings (I miss you, I love you more than food, stand tall, etc.) – the idea behind these is that because of our busy lives, we often forget to express ourselves to our loved ones. An old school method of gifting each other cards can go a long way!
At first, I believed that those who are well skilled with everything make it big. However, I don’t think that stands true. Taking Jean Jullien, for example, most of his work is very heavy on ideas and concepts than execution. He has developed a style of his own which may not be very skillful, but is very honest to the idea. I think that is very important, to be able to connect with an audience – irrespective of your skill.
However, I also believe that if one can use their hands as their tools, its always a big boon!
What message do you have in mind for the aspiring artists?
1) Put your work out there! Its good to receive feedback from your audience, it always gives a direction to know where you must improve.
2) Play when you work. When you truly enjoy what you do, nothing will feel like work, and you’ll always give your best.
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