“I create and I put my work out there to live its own life or die its own death” — Interview with Vidushi Yadav, Animator

“I create and I put my work out there to live its own life or die its own death”

Pic Courtesy : Vidushi Yadav

Where do you draw inspiration from for your impressive artwork?

My artworks are my own very personal expressions…of anything that moves me.

I am intrigued by the unique and intimate stories of ordinary people, their struggles, their motivations to keep going. You find the most extraordinary stories of courage, love, fear and all kinds of emotions that leave you speechless in the day to day life. Once you start connecting with these stories, once you learn how to walk in their shoes you will know how fragile life actually is. You know that every person who walks by you has a complicated life and each of them is struggling, in their own personal ways.
There’s a story behind every face and you will not know until you become sensitive and receptive of it. But once you do, you suddenly start loving the world you are living in, you know that this world is full of brave stories and sometimes living itself is a heroic act.

These stories inspire me. They leave me awestruck! And this is when I paint. When other mediums of expressions fail, when words are not enough to say what needs to be said.

Most of my artworks are driven by a very strong emotion which I have felt at one point in my life. It could be anything… my own personal experience, something I read, someone I met, something that challenged my ideas of right and wrong.

So yeah, I draw my inspirations from extraordinary stories of ordinary people.

Pic Courtesy : Vidushi Yadav

Give us some insight on your experience at one of the best designing schools, NIFT and also your current school, IIT where you are pursuing Masters in animation.

I convocated from IIT Bombay in 2014. I did masters of design in animation from Industrial design Centre at IIT Bombay.

It was a beautiful journey. I don’t know if this is how it is with everyone but 2 years at IDC and studying animation changed me. It taught me how to see and appreciate art. It made me more sensitive towards details and more than anything else it made me a better person.
Every single day at IIT, I have learnt something new or I have met someone inspiring. I have grown tremendously, both as a human being and as an artist. Its like a bunch of highly talented people, just being there teaches you a lot.
I have become more passionate and confident of my work after IDC. I used to paint before as well but now I paint with a direction, now the say and the strokes are unapologetic. I know that I don’t owe anything to anyone. I just create, because this is what I know best. If my work is honest, people will connect.
I create and I put my work out there to live its own life or die its own death.
IDC gave me this confidence.
I strongly feel that a good formal art/design education gives you your ground and you take off from there. IDC did that for me perfectly.

Pic Courtesy : Vidushi Yadav

Which has been your most memorable piece of art that you have created? Can you give us a brief description about it and the tools that you used for the same?

A lot of them. I am not too harsh on myself like a lot of other artists I know. I like most of things I spend my time and my soul in creating. If I absolutely had to pick one project, I would pick my degree project film I did in IDC called ‘NAAZ’. It’s a story of a girl called Naaz, who is everything that a girl of her age wants to be. She is independent, she is beautiful and is like any other girl. But she had a troubled childhood and the ghosts of her past still follow her in most of her decisions.
The broad idea of the film was to depict the emotional baggage that every person carries in their head, secretly and sometime they also hold on to it. Even if that baggage harms them, people grow comfortable of it and they protect it.

The film was selected in the International women film festival, Herat, Afghanistan 2014 and grabbed an award in Chitrakatha International Student Film Festival 2015.
The film is recently out for free viewing on vimeo. Here’s the Link:
https://vimeo.com/86486586

The entire film is hand drawn and painted using water color frame by frame.
The imagery is inspired by the forms of Egon Schiele. I made close to 5000 drawings and I water coloured them. The post production is done in After Effects and Premiere.

Pic Courtesy : Vidushi Yadav

What are the challenges that you face while working on such projects?

Animation projects are long term projects and they don’t work if they are not planned and managed properly. Time and resource management and planning is the biggest challenge that I face.
I also notice that most of the artists I know tend to work individually and in their own pace, while there’s nothing wrong with it, collaborating with other artists becomes challenging for them when they should.
I also tend to be very individualistic and I am trying to change that about myself. Sometimes bringing other artists onboard becomes crucial for the life of your project.
Similarly, giving your project the right closure is also very important. Most of the times we start a lot of things but we cannot finish them because we seek perfection. Its important to know when to stop.

Pic Courtesy : Vidushi Yadav

What is your usual workflow pattern?

I start with researching about the subject that I am working on.
I read anything and everything about it, see similar works, spend time with my subject and understand my content the best I can. Usually if I do the research part well I start visualizing most parts of the project and rest just comes.

Once you are done with researching, you pen down the story, convert it in a script, freeze on a visual style, make a story board. By then you know roughly how long is the film going to be. With the rough timeline in mind, you make an animatic and decide on what kind of sound goes with it. This will tell you everything about your film. This is where the pre production part ends. I spend 70% of my time in the pre production.

Then you start animating, which is the production part. Once animation is done you edit and re-edit your film and make a few cuts. That’s post production. Ideally the first cut of sound design should be done before you start animating. Its crucial in deciding the length of the shots.

Pic Courtesy : Vidushi Yadav

What are the tools you use regularly as a part of your work?

Tools depend on how I want my project to look like.
I am a fan of old school primitive ways, hand drawn, hand painted and hand crafted stuff.
Somehow there’s a soul in your artwork when you do it on paper or canvas. It involves your physical senses. You can touch and smell your artwork, It’s alive and breathing that way, the way texture of the artwork interacts with the content etc. Its takes your artwork to another level.
I also paint digitally but that’s not very frequent, it really depends on the content and the style of the artwork.
I use Adobe After Effects CC and Adobe Premiere CC for editing. I have become very comfortable in using Photoshop CC for animation though its not the best software for it. TV Paint is an awesome tool for 2D animation.

Pic Courtesy : Vidushi Yadav

Any project that you are currently working on?

Yes, I am working on two very interesting projects.

One is a Novel by Prashant Yadav and by Finger Print Publishing called ‘The Jeera Packer’. I am illustrating for it.

It’s a story of a one of a kind sharpshooter who got settled for practical reasons. Now 20 years later he runs a grocery store and lives a very predictable life with his wife and son in a middle class set up. He is depressed of his unlived life and unused talent as a sharpshooter. I love the characters in the story. They are so relatable, layered and grey.

I connect with the main protagonist at a lot of levels. As an artist my biggest fear is to die with unused talent too and probably that is why The Jeera Packer is so distressed and angry. The book hits the market in July. This is where you can get regular updates of the project:
https://www.facebook.com/thejeerapacker

Pic Courtesy : Vidushi Yadav

Another project is my new venture called ‘Wildchild’, a brand of handcrafted art supplies.
We are starting off with hand bound note books and sketch books at a very ambitious price point. Wildchild has a vision that good art supplies need not be expensive. Our products are hand crafted with utmost precision and care and even a school kid with pocket money can afford them. We are still working on it, Its pretty challenging but possible. Its like joining a lot of dispersed dots together, we just need to find the most optimal way to do that.

This is where you can get regular updates of the products:
https://www.facebook.com/wildchildartstore

Pic Courtesy : Vidushi Yadav
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