“Once you begin animating, one becomes a clown, a monkey and a donkey everyday”
What made you decide Art was your calling? How did you further move into Animation?
As any kid, I was into drawing since before school scribbling colors randomly all over the papers. In my 12th class I met someone in the advertising field who told me I write well. They explained to me that there are two parts to it- visual and copy. I had no idea that art was used for commercial reasons. I immediately got my sketchbooks and shared those too with them. Right after 12th I opted for Fine arts, which opened up a lot of avenues. After graduation I had the feeling that I need more exposure and explore what I want to learn. I applied for both Graphics and Animation at NID and I got through Animation. The place was very beautiful in its teachings and environment and I soon realised Animation was my calling.
How was your journey at National Institute of Design? What has been your biggest learning?
NID has been a major part of my life. The place changes you and brings out the best in you. We had amazing faculties and more than anything amazing people and experiences to learn from. This is where I learnt that art is not learnt through courses but through the experiences you go through and who you choose to be. The biggest learning was my final project where we were supposed to work on an individual film. After a while you have no timetable or attendance to follow and self discipline becomes a virtue. I was lucky to have found some wonderful mentors there, who encouraged me to explore honestly. I think that was the most memorable phase for me.
What is the process that you follow while executing any project and the tools that you use?
Generally I like being more spontaneous than working with a plan. But plan is equally important especially when you work on a film. For me I spend a lot of time on content first. Rough scribbles of ideas. Execution can have more space for experimentation and working with accidents.
Tell us about your most memorable/challenging piece of work that you have created? Can you give us a brief description about it?
The most memorable project for me was working on my film. It was larger than life before I began. Every bit to be done and conceived by oneself was huge. For me it happened by chance. I wrote a poem on a personal incident over which I had lost my sleep. I realised the best way to think over it would be to translate it into a film, since it was my last semester and we had to decide our individual projects. But I had no idea or set pattern of notion as to what and how I want this to be. I just wanted to bring out everything in it that I felt while writing it. Luckily I got the guidance of some wonderful faculties like- Isabel Herguera, Immanuel Suresh and Sekhar Mukherjee. It turned out memorable because I learnt a lot more about myself personally.
Which aspect of animation do you enjoy the most?
Every stage of animation is different and requires different things out of you. Storyboarding is great but stressful too. You have these big ideas but the struggle is to put them together. Putting them on a timeline with some scratch sounds really motivates one to go further. Mood boards are best! You experiment with colors and feelings and mediums. Again the struggle is to be able to carry it out with consistency. Once you begin animating, one becomes a clown, a monkey and a donkey everyday.
Who or what keeps you motivated to generate new ideas?
Everyone likes to gossip, to share ideas to narrate incidences – sometimes funny sometimes sad and everyone wants to be heard. If you can do these with drawings or some form of art, there are a lot more people you can reach to. Something like social networking but more satisfying.
What message would you like to give to the aspiring animators?
It’s important to be open to everything and few selected together. Understanding everything around you as well as inside you. It is important to keep sharing stories.