One of the biggest constants in art (and there are few) is interpretation. One single theme can bring out infinite creative opinions and meanings, since different people see things differently. And in this kaleidoscope of varying meanings, art is created. Its power is irrefutable, and can be used as a tool to inform, educate and innovate.
As TEDxBangalore opens its second edition on October 4th, their theme All or Nothing is interpreted by 11 emerging artists, designers and illustrators. These interpretations are wildly creative and push the boundaries of artistic expression.
I. Abhishek Choudhury, Bangalore
“All or Nothing, for me, is a tribute to the spirit of the risk taker.”
As a former student of Bangalore’s Srishti College of Art, Design and Technology, Abhishek’s prowess as an artist and designer combines raw talent and refined training. To add to his forms of artistic expression, he moonlights as a theatre actor. He’s predominantly an illustrator and uses comic books as a storytelling device to explore the folklore of indigenous communities.
Interpreting All or Nothing, Abhishek states that he was inspired to do a piece dedicated to the creative and entrepreneurial youth of the nation—those who are bringing about change in the perception of how people view success and passion. As he depicts the complexity of today’s youth, his art is a tribute to those strong enough to follow their passion.
II. Janine Shroff, London
“Are you ready to dive in or will you just dip your toes?”
Janine Shroff, born in Mumbai in 1983, currently lives and works in London. Still, her connection with her hometown is reflected in her work, as she has collaborated with different Mumbai-based artists from Kulture Shop and held a solo show at Sitara Studios. Janine’s art is surreal—bright colours interact with darker undertones of irony and humour, exploring the themes of sexual identity, gender, relationships, birth and more.
Interpreting All or Nothing: Her art challenges all those on the fence about going all in and she uses straightforward rhetoric in this creative visual narrative.
III. Lavanya Naidu, Kolkata
“Kindness. Isn’t it odd how rare it is these days?”
This Kolkata-raised artist graduated from the National Institute of Design in Animation Film Design, and currently works for a start-up that creates tablet-based entertainment for children as a lead animator.
Interpreting All or Nothing, Lavanya’s concept is a somewhat utopian image of a world where love, support, protection and hope are alive. In her opinion, if we do nothing, all may be lost, and if we all come together then the possibilities are endless.
IV. Nikunj Patel, Mumbai
“The decision to choose all or nothing lies in our hands.”
This 22-year-old graphic designer, motion designer, illustrator and VJ is an Animation Film Design graduate from the National Institute of Design. With a thirst to explore the unknown, Nikunj believes in delving into anything new to broaden his skill set and keep his artistic approach fresh.
Interpreting All or Nothing, Nikunj talks about the two contrasting options: the red pill and the blue pill. The red pill represents the painful truth of reality, while the blue pill is symbolises the blissful ignorance of illusion.
V. Prateek Vatash, Bangalore
“My first impression of All or Nothing was the idea of extremes. The rich and the poor, the loud and the quiet—and so on”
This Bangalore-based graphic artist and designer explores visual narratives with several different approaches, from whimsical expressions to more abstract ones. As he combines the elements of typography, occult and semiotics, his colours and imagery are aesthetic treats. From public art installations to digital art, he uses various mediums in his art.
Interpreting All or Nothing, he explores different extremes, realising that they exist in fragments and pieces. Playing around with that idea, he worked with symbols and embedded messages into visuals in an attempt to connect the different pieces and fragments together.
VI. Rae Zachariah, Kerala
“To throw yourself into something whole-heartedly, to live in that single moment where you have told yourself that there is nothing that will hold you back from getting what you aspire for.”
Rae, a 21-year-old illustrator is a graduate from Bangalore’s Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. Hailing from Kerala, her graphics are wildly creative with a broad colour palette and imagination.
Interpreting All or Nothing, her illustration represents a frozen moment in time. The contrast she depicts shows a calm and collected exterior, while inside, her character is swirling in a vortex of emotions. While risks, fear of failure and judgement hold her back, ultimately, the desire to achieve is triumphant.
VII. Shaivalini Kumar
“In life there are so many challenges that come our way. Some we overcome, some we don’t—but we continue to grow, our ideas keep evolving.”
This Visual Communication Designer’s style is vibrant, inviting, and attempts to find magic in ordinary things. Working with typography and illustration, she thrives on being able to connect and communicate with people across the world through her imagery and creations.
Interpreting All or Nothing, she talks about the one moment or event which makes you feel like giving it your all. The one that makes you put in effort to thrive, and strive to be better, faster and limitless. She encourages risk-taking because if you falter and fail to challenge yourself, you might lose it all.
VIII. Sheena Deviah, Bangalore
“My interpretation of All or Nothing is derived from the relationship that humankind has with their immediate and extended environment.”
Although she did her degree in management, she always thought that her skills were better suited for the world of art. A self-taught illustrator and typographer, her style draws inspiration from absurd and comical observations.
Interpreting All or nothing, she talks about how humanity hasn’t figured out a way to not completely destroy the environment in its pursuit of progress. With the lack of balance and sustainability, she muses that we might be left with nothing very soon.
IX. Surasti Puri, Delhi
“Every decision that we make leads to something specific, and we leave behind a whole lot of unexplored parallel lives of ours that are dormant, ‘unlived’, abandoned or just discarded.”
This former student of Bangalore’s Srishti School of Art, Designs and Technology, worked on various freelance projects after graduating. From branding and murals, to spatial design, her portfolio is wide and varied, but illustrations have always been her secret love.
Interpreting All or Nothing, Surasti quotes Camus, saying, “Life is a sum of all your choices.” She believes that everything we do takes us somewhere, and whether we know it or not, we give it all that we have. Encouraging risk-taking, she muses that the more we put ourselves out there, the more paths less-travelled open up to us.
X. Svabhu Kohli, Delhi
“Today, the Olive Ridley turtles are facing severe pressure to survive from the increase in the commercialisation of coastlines and fisheries across the Indian Coast.”
This visual artist from New Delhi finds peace in diving through oceans, wandering through forests, and making art. Film, installations and illustration all feature in his mediums of artistic expression. Svabhu’s love for the great outdoors and nature can be seen reflected in his work, where his passion for Earth and its creatures is vivid and apparent.
Interpreting All or Nothing, Svabhu talks about Olive Ridley nesting sites on India’s western and eastern coasts. The magical tale of thousands of these turtles coming from the seas to the shore to lay their eggs safely in the night fascinated him. That is, until he experienced it himself. With lack of protection laws and awareness in India, these turtles are now endangered and struggle to survive in the swarm of commercialisation along the coast.
XI. Upamanyu Bhattacharya, Mumbai
“Every now and then, as soon as we grow up enough to make our own choices, we stand upon a floodgate that we can unlock.”
Having graduated from the National Institute of Design in Animation Film Design, this Mumbai-based designer currently freelances as a motion designer and pre-production artist. Associated with the Plexus Collective, he is working on a bunch of different personal short-film projects.
Interpreting All or Nothing, Upamanyu talks about life situations where we face treasures as well as hardships. Concepts such as betrayal, love, greed, sickness and death feature in fanciful forms in his creation.