#HGArtProject 001 : Anant Ahuja - Homegrown

#HGArtProject 001 : Anant Ahuja

At Homegrown we have always made an effort to give artists, musicians and people from various creative backgrounds a platform to be discovered by new audiences. This is why we kicked off the #HGArtProject where we give 30 of the most cutting edge artists a platform to showcase their work to our readers & fans.
We have done this by turning our facebook page into a revolving art space, which showcases different artist's work every two weeks for the next one year.
To launch the project, we got Delhi based Anant Ahuja to create something for us. We have been looking at his work for years now and wanted to do something with him, and his art work turned out to be even better than we could have imagined.Give us a brief idea on your background? Like where did you study design and where have you worked? I was essentially from a commerce plus math background. Just after graduating from school, took up a course in marketing and management at Delhi University, which turned out to be my introspection phase. It's during that time that I decided to either pursue performing or visual arts, because I had realised that business, marketing and math weren't my forte.
After a detailed research I came across Whanganui School of Design, New Zealand. Seemed like a pretty interesting option, after all the Lord of the Rings movies I had watched. Worked on a small portfolio, put some stuff together, cleared the interviews and there I was, studying graphic design from one of the most esteemed design schools in the world.
You were or are the in house entrepreneur at Airwoot. What is Airwoot exactly? I still am an entrepreneur in house at Airwoot. Airwoot is a smart CRM(customer response management) product developed and designed by some very cool people who do a lot of math and coding which goes way over my head. I handle the design+creative direction for Airwoot and in return apart from the retainer, I get to be an entrepreneur in house with my small little team and do other work too.Who are some of your most inspirational artists in India and abroad? I know that you have various inspirations , but if you can share a few would be great :) Some of the people that I really look upto in India are Kriti Monga(turmeric design), Kunel Gaur(Animal), Satya Rajpurohit(ITF). These guys are doing a fantastic job in their fields and their work is like revolution in itself. Now the western infulence, which is quite heavy in my work, I'd say Jessica Hische(Illustrator & Typographer), Jessica Walsh(babe & partner at Sagmeister&Walsh), Morag Mysercough(London), Kelli Anderson(Not the Pornstar) and Kris Sowersby(KLIM). All the people are quite young and have achieved quite a lot at that age.
If you could work with the Indian government for an art project that you get to suggest and lead, what would that be? To be very frank I'd love to do big objectified type murals about women empowerment and sanitation in rural areas.
And if it's a design project that we talk of, I'd love to rebrand the Delhi metro.
What are your future plans ? Any projects you would like to kick off or possibly work for a big art house? I love curating art exhibitions. I actually am planning to experiment a bit with that. I have had thee successful stints with exhibition design and curation so far, let's see how that goes. I'm also planning to get back to printmaking for a clothing brand.
Could you share 3 of your best designs and elaborate on each one of them?
It's very hard to choose 3, but I'll do with the recent, cover that I've done for a book called 'Adventures of a Techno Transcendentalist' by Chris Schneider, The Choubey Print(I think that's quite a clever one), And the 'Chaat-Mastram Poster'
So the book, 'Adventures of a Techno Transcendentalist' is quite a detailed account of a technology lover who's lost in his own world, trying to decipher where technology is headed. So the Artwork for the cover had to be something that described the tonality of the book in best manner. One gets so intrigued by that sense of space in which the technology is being talked about, nothing could do justice to it except a man lost in space with his gadgets.Choubey Print Around 4 years back in my second year at Design School, I had just watched 'Exit Through the Gift Shop' in our new media class. I was very intrigued by Shepard fairey's design aesthetics and sensibilities. And in a week's time we had our print making class. So I decided to take the 'OBEY' design and give it my own spin. I ended up adding a moustache and a mole to Andre the Giant's face and instead of 'OBEY', now the red panel said 'CHOUBEY'. I carved the face on a piece of wood and then took relief print on 10 sheets and screen printed the 'CHOUBEY' bit on 8 of them. It was quite a task, but well worth the effort. People loved it.Chaat-Mastram Poster This poter didnt quite cut it to the campaign, but I personally loved it. First of all it was my first experience dealing with Kitsch. So it was highly experimental and just getting that right oomph factor through illustrations and double meaning with copy was something that I really enjoyed working on.Quick question round:
- One track your currently listening to? I've been actually hooked onto a good old favourite number of mine, it's called 'Already Beat' by Racquel Rodriguez(http://rqlrod.com/). She's an awesome singer. You should check her out.
- An artwork you wished you did? The illustrations at all Smoke House Delis
- An art project you wish you were a part of? This is not Sreet Art
- Your favourite munchies? Something that I really stock up on is Nutella. Anyday/Anytime.
- Paint or wacom bamboo? Paint, hands down.
Here are some more of Anant's work: 
Find Anant Ahuja Here: Website Facebook Instagram 
If you are interested in being featured as one of the artists for the art project, please mail us at [email protected]
Words: Varun Patra

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