A Guwahati Artist Reinventing Nike's Air Jordan With Indian Cities' Themes

L : A photo of Abhishek Choudhury R : One of his customised sneakers
L : A photo of Abhishek Choudhury R : One of his customised sneakersL : LinkedIn R : Abhishek Choudhury

Ever wondered how much your footwear reveals about you? When choosing one’s footwear some go for comfort, some for style, but for some artists, it has become a canvas for exercising one’s creativity. Today we shall explore the works one of one such artist, illustrator, and designer, Abhishek Choudhury, based out of designer, India. He is also the co-founder of @gauhatiartproject. Choudhury designs gauhatiartprojec that resemble Air Jordan, a famous Nike footwear series, combined with the themes of the various cities of India.

Homegrown interviewed Choudhury, where he shares the details of his works, his artistic process, and his inspirations:

Will you share with us some details about your project?

I love sneakers and the process that goes into designing and customizing sneakers. I feel there hasn't been much innovation in the space when it comes to designing sneakers in the Indian context—be it our streets, our culture, our landscape, or our color palettes. Starting from the Jaipuri Juttis to the Kolhapuris, there has been a rich history and cultural diversity in footwear design across the Indian subcontinent. For this project, I explored the various textures, color palettes, materials, and craft traditions across several Indian cities and reimagined the iconic Air Jordans if they were made with an Indian context in mind.

Please describe your creative process and the purpose with which you create.

My purpose behind creating art is to tell a story; stories that are lesser known, forgotten, or ignore are what inspire me. I then decide the medium through which they will be best communicated. Being non-restricted to a particular style or art form allows me the flexibility to alternate between styles and mediums to best suit the story I want to tell.

Who are some of your biggest inspirations over the years of your artistic career?

I find it really hard to answer this because I have been inspired by different people from different walks of life and at different points in my life. I really admire Japanese-American Illustrator Yuko Shimizu for her work but also for her journey of pursuing her passion for the arts in her 30s after years of working in corporate. It just drives the point that there's never a right time to do things that you love, just the time that feels right to you.

What influences you to create?

Pop culture, hip-hop, comics, and Indian street aesthetics (posters, packaging, prints, book covers, etc.) are some of the things that have influenced my art.

Who are some artists who are currently on your radar?

I love to follow the works of contemporary artists from around the globe. Some of them are illustration_de_kely, Kushlet, ManvsType, Nabihaiderali, nandigraam, ravidraws, tylerstreetart, and rajib_nobita.

What is a project you wish you were a part of?

The first thing that is on my wishlist is designing actual sneakers for Nike(Choudhury laughs while saying this). Some other works I’d like to do include creating a Google doodle for Bhupen Hazarika's Birthday, a poster for any Anurag Kashyap film, and the list can go on.

You can find out more about Choudhury's works here: