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1. What's your story? Where are you from?Hi! I’m Priyanka! I’ve lived in Bombay all my life. My parents were also born and brought up in Bombay, but we’re originally from Kerala. I’m currently studying mass media at St. Xavier’s, Mumbai. My art just happened to me unexpectedly. I’ve been drawing ever since I was a kid, but I never really took it seriously. I joined college and chose humanities and I was introduced to a bunch of subjects that I’d never really studied comprehensively before like sociology and political science, etc. I’ve always been an expressive and angsty kid and I started drawing what I felt about things happening around me, things happening in the world and that just caught on. I’m also a poet, I’ve been writing before I started illustrating, so I very often mix my illustrations with poetry. My work is often termed as political, it’s just my exploration of the world.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.I’d call my aesthetic pastel pop art. My work has a lot of line work and a lot of faces and I play around with text quite often. I think colours play a much more defining part to artwork than we give it credit for. I talk about serious issues in a colourful way, in a way that doesn’t approach you with the intention of scaring you away.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?My favourite medium is digital art because it’s so versatile and there’s scope to play around with so many things. I’m also extremely fascinated with animation and make gifs sometimes. Sketching in journals would come second because I carry a journal almost wherever I go.
4. What is your artistic process like?My artistic process consists of an idea popping into my mind and then I sketch it down into a notebook or write down what all I need to include into the piece and then I just get down to drawing. I use a samsung galaxy note 3 to draw. It’s the only tool I use. The whole process is very sudden. I’m also very impatient (not a trait I’m proud of), so I don’t rest until I’ve finished.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?I’m inspired by literally everything. Be it conversations I have, conversations I overhear, the news I see, people I meet, trending hashtags, the things I study, books I read, poetry I listen to. I’ve been lucky enough to travel enough and I get to meet new people everyday. A lot of my work is about getting to know myself better and where I come from. A lot of it is inspired by pop culture, a lot from the theories I study in class that might seem technical and I try to simplify them. Inspiration is everywhere.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?My art is a exploratory process to me. It’s what I learn and what I hope to learn. You can see my growth as a person if you see my art. I don’t put out my art as the gospel truth on a topic, I put it out as an amalgamation of many views and you’re free to agree if you want to, and you can reject it, this is my truth. The world has endless stories to tell, I’m telling mine through my work. I also believe that art no longer can serve to be only eye candy, it must wake up people and make them question the things they’ve believed in for years.
7. Where did you study?I’m only 19! I’m currently studying mass media at St. Xavier’s, Media.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?I honestly do not know. I’m not a very planned and organised person and I believe in destiny. I’m super confused as to where I want to go with my life and work- do I want to study art at an art school? (SVA, New York is my dream school) or do I want to study a more academic subject like sociology, do I want to get a job in advertising or set up my design studio, I don’t know! I’m currently working on my fashion and merchandise line, so I’d expect for that to be well-set up in the next 5 years and for me to continue growing and learning as an artist and for my work to cover more issues of importance that are overlooked and for it to reach the right audiences.
9. What about in ten?In 10 years, again I really can’t predict. I believe I’ll be fine as long as I’m writing and drawing. I’d love for my merchandising to be doing social work, for it to be sourced ethically and for it to empower the people making as well as consuming it. I’d like to make more accessible resources about spreading awareness, and I’d hope that my work continues to change perspectives, no matter how negligible it’s reach.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?With my art, I hope to convey the need to analyse the accepted and re-enforced social systems and norms and to re-evaluate all the wrong in society, that we never really even consider as wrong. I hope my art questions the status quo and provides a voice to the unheard. I want to talk about the issues no else is talking about, that mainstream media needs to bring into focus. A lot of issues are 'relevant', but not many of them are spoken about. If my work makes you think, ponder and look back on something traditionally perceived as normal, but actually isn't, then I believe my art has achieved it's purpose. If it makes you feel like to need to learn more about the hidden nuances of everything that happens, about society, gender constructs, class conflicts, power struggles, then I believe my art is playing a part in bringing about awareness. My art is a very strong part of me and my self expression, and I make it a point that my art is not merely eye candy, it doesn't just exist for the sake of #aesthetic. My strongest hope from my art for is it to inform and educate and if it can-to empower. These are the things that I as a person, too stand for.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?My favourite food would be steak and mashed potatoes, followed by dal rice and macarons
12. Favourite book?My favourite book is The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy and The Annihilation of Caste.
13. Favourite genre of music?My favourite genre of music is alternative rock
14. What are your hobbies?My hobbies include writing, swimming, dancing, reading, finding quaint book and icecream shops (if that’s a hobby)
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?If I weren’t an artist, I’d be a 19 year old student who’d sleep a lot more on the average. Curated by @thedoodlemafia, Ballpitmag Curator for India