Anushka Tendolkar is a Banglore-based designer whose work carries an unmistakable vibrancy and whose eye for colour and detail is one that few others can match. She seamlessly moves between passion projects and more commercial mainstream design work for brands that include KFC, Nestle and more imbibes a lifelike ‘pop out of your screen’ flair that is quickly becoming a signature of her work. We spoke to the up-and-coming designer and got some insight into how she conceptualizes and executes her vision; going over some of the things that have shaped her aesthetic sense and visual identity.
Could you tell us a little about the Creator Rants candles?
The Creator Rants series of candles started as a random thought when I was burning few candles at home to prepare myself for a very busy weekend of work. I’m a designer dabbling in different fields of design with a full-time UI/UX job and also freelance for branding and illustrations. I usually end up taking a lot on my plate because I love what I do but as a result, also end up working all days of the week, even after work hours. It’s the paradox of being creative, your mind never really takes a break, even if you want to. Inspiration strikes at the most random moments like burning a candle haha. So yeah, this is an ongoing series which started with Graphic Designer, Filmmaker, Copywriter, etc. and I’m going to continue it based on some of the rants I’ve been receiving in my DMs. Trying to make something positive and artsy out of angst.
What are some of your biggest inspirations over the years of your artistic career and why?
Ever since I was in college, my biggest source of inspiration were people and designers who are non-Indians, people from different countries and just constantly looking at a plethora of western designs. I’m sure I had the same inspiration as the next designer studying with me. But over time, my inspiration has really switched to more Indian designers with a really good transition in the overall visual tonality and maturity that some people have been contributing to the Indian design scene. There are so many startups who now really value design, and not just startups but also a lot of small homegrown brands. People around me appreciate good aesthetics now and it’s just absolutely lovely to look around me and get inspired by how the importance of beauty is evolving. As a person, I’m really someone who explores a lot. I live by Massimmo Vignelli’s famous words, “If you can design one thing, you can design anything.”
Describe your creative process and the purpose with which you create.
I am not a fan of the term ‘creative process’ because it puts so much pressure on an individual to always come up with the most creative, original ideas. I usually just let my mind flow and let inspiration come to me in the form of everyday life, movies I watch, music I listen to, phrases I hear people say, you name it. A lot of my work revolves around everyday life which makes it super relatable at some level. But my biggest purpose for creating when I’m doing it for myself is just to add more beauty in the world as there can never be enough of it. I really believe in the importance of creating beautiful, aesthetic things and the power it has to move people and affect them in strong ways which can also make them behave differently.
Are there any Indian contemporaries of yours whose work you admire?
There’s a whole list of creators I look up to and am in constant awe of their work! There’s @bhat_vitthal, @Khyatitrehan, @aarmanroy, @art_damle, @manvstype, @jishnuchatterjee, @thetwistedtooth; the list is really endless.
If you could propose and lead a project with the Indian Government, what would it be?
There’s so much I would love to work on if I was collaborating with the Indian Government but the top of the list would definitely be tolerance. The amount of problems caused due to lack of tolerance and communal harmony in recent times is baffling and if there’s anything my work could help with, I’d love people to come together and accept their differences that would help all of us commit to ‘live and let live’ and also to really enjoy life.
Which is your favourite piece of work of your own & why?
My favourite pieces* actually have both been experiences that I built for a certain context. One was my graduation project from college where I created an experience room to showcase food addiction in a light it’s never been seen in; as a drug addiction. It had a lot of cool illustrations and a food table set up with AR involved. And another project that I really gave my all to was my exhibit at the Design x Design 20under35 2021 in Delhi. I was selected to be one of the designers part of a list that’s seen some of my biggest inspirations in Indian design in the past and I actually created an experience around my work that I displayed. Since the year before the exhibit was the year of Covid, I created a ‘lockdown’ room showing my workspace and artworks that I created during the lockdown which very positively impacted my career as a designer. It was interactive, with people expressing how to feel different emotions during the lockdown while also relating to my 3D work that was displayed because each of those artworks were a reflection of my own emotions during the lockdown.
What’s one track you’re currently listening to?
The same that everyone else is listening to because Instagram reels are hard to get out of your head! But apart from that, I listen to my friend Tanmaya Bhatnagar’s music a LOT. I love songs I can sing along to.
What’s a project you wish you were a part of and why?
It’s so difficult to answer that! But the one project that I wanted to be a part of the minute I saw it was Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse. I don’t know how to explain why that is something I wish I was a part of but every creator reading this would probably understand. It’s a visual masterpiece. I wish I could contribute to it even by making a circle.
What’s one place in your city you can always go to when you need to find inspiration?
Believe it or not, my gym. It’s my most personal time where I actually think about a lot of different things while I work out and I get some of my best ideas through those conversations I have in my own head while I lift some iron.
What’s one quality you wish you had?
Patience. I majorly lack patience I and I hope I develop that in my work and personality both
You can follow Anushka’s work here.
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