#HGArtProject 024: Adrita Das - Homegrown

#HGArtProject 024: Adrita Das

23-year-old Adrita Das, based out of Pune, is a big fan of multi-media projects but she admits her personal favourite method of illustration is with just a black marker pen on paper, which she later colours digitally.I. Give us a brief idea on your background? Like where did you study design and where have you worked?
Technically, art and design have been a part of my life since before I could remember, so I feel bad saying I spent money picking up the technicalities at ‘art school’. But I recently graduated from Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, which has a very open system, so I could explore many different mediums and topics of interest.
I was also really lucky to get a scholarship from Malmo University during my years of study, because those 5 months really broadened my idea of design in different cultures, humour etc. At the moment I work part-time at the design studio of an IT firm in Pune, and also work on personal projects/freelance the rest of the week. Working in a corporate setting gives me a lot of practice for fast-paced work and takes care of the wallet. The rest of the week takes care of my existential crisis.
II. Which are some of your biggest inspirations over the years of your artistic career?
Early 1990's: Crayons and colouring books, Shaktiman.
Late 1990's: Living and travelling within Assam.
2000-2004: Shifting to big-city-Bombay.
2004-2010: The internet entered my life in the first half, and darkness entered in the second half. Just kidding; growing up and the usual drama.
2010-2015: Being surrounded by talented people dedicated to art and design.
III. Could you tell us more about the thought process behind the artwork you made us?
I wanted to interpret the logo in a way that really defines my work along with what Homegrown stands for: casual and liberal; like two friends having a conversation about real issues without the risk of sounding too poetic. I would call the artwork ’Homies’.
It's not explicitly mentioned as to who these two friends are, laughing and looking at the silly little universe before them. I must say, I had a ball making it, and really went all out. Very few media houses in the country today would have the creative liberty to publish something potentially offensive to some people.
IV. Who are some of your most inspirational artists in India and abroad? 
Mario Miranda, whose work is funny and detailed. And his crowded art style, which I think was/still is the perfect metaphor to depict any scene about India. Jon Burgerman, whose work I admire for just being random and fun. He once drew a series called ‘Poop Drawings’ and all of the poops were adorable! Wasted Rita, because her work comes really naturally to her and is witty, like its creator. I don’t think she is the kind who would scribble/draw something and say  ‘Hmm, how much money can I make out of this?’ which I really admire in people.
V. If you could work with the Indian government for an art project that you get to suggest and lead, what would that be?
I couldn’t think of an answer to this so I consulted my friend for a suggestion, which I think now would be fun project to work on: repackaging government-authorized bhang.
VI. What are your future plans? Any projects you would like to kick off or possibly work for a big art house?
I’m very interested in working with parody and/or humour to talk about deeper, more complex issues. Say for example, I find a lot of content every single day in one of my themes of interest - such as religion - so I prefer to mix it up with pop culture references, daily news, parallel universes etc.
I recently started a blog for fun called Gods Taking Selfies. The idea is to get people to slowly stop taking offence and start laughing instead. I don’t know how much longer my fascination with religion will continue, but if there is a bigger future project that I would like to kickstart, it would be coming up with a smart, parody religion of my own.
VII. Could you share 3 of your best designs and elaborate on each one of them?
1. ‘This Side Up’ was an upside-down room my friend and I created for a live installation. With second-hand objects found at Sunday Markets, we played around with perspective to give the viewer the feeling of anti-gravity.2. Seeking funny: Colouring Book for Adults is an ongoing series of A3-sized crowded line illustrations that hide many small jokes about serious topics that adults can discover while colouring in. These two prints revolve around religion and politics.3. The Bro Code: Version Ramayan, was an editorial spread written and designed by me for an in-house 'zine based on the theme of mythology, based on the true love and friendship between Ram, Laxman and Hanuman.VIII. Quick question round:
- One track your currently listening to? BongoBong- Manu Chao
- An artwork you wished you did? The entire 'Where’s Waldo?' series.
- An art project you wish you were a part of? Creation of Jon Burgerman’s 'Burgerworld' exhibition.
- Your favourite munchies? Chicken nuggets is like my family. Cold coffee to wash it down.
- Paint or wacom bamboo? Hard to do without one or the other these days.

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