As part of our celebrations for the 2021 Huluku Competition we invited our top 3 placed digital illustrations to share a little about themselves and their amazing work. In this interview we talk to Tanaya Nadkarni who won the 2021 competition with her artwork ‘I am’.
Huluku has been blessed by having inspirational artists and designers enter the competition and we are delighted to introduce Tanaya as the winner of the 2021 competition.
Q1: Tell us a little about yourself, what are you up to at the moment?
Tanaya: I am a final year architecture student, studying in Mumbai. I freelance as an illustrator in my spare time. Currently, I am working on my Architectural Design Dissertation for my final year project.
Q2: Does the place you live or are from inspire you in your work or life and if so how?
Tanaya: Very much! My work tends to show heavy influences of my surroundings and the stories I collect from my everyday experiences. I am inspired by my close group of friends, teachers and other mentors and the thoughts they share with me. One of my favourite things to do is to just observe people in their own element and then translate them into semi-fictional characters and create exotic narratives out of it!
Q3: What was your earliest ambition?
Tanaya: Believe it or not, I aspired to become a fashion designer, simply because I love the smell of new clothes and I think it requires an amazing sense of intelligence and creative genius to make a canvas out of a human body. However, over time I realised I love thinking about spaces and spatial qualities, that impact our being, more so than anything and that’s how I ended up in Architecture school.
Q4: Have you fulfilled it?
Tanaya: I haven’t! I believe that my creative journey has always taken new routes in between and this is just the beginning! I am a designer at heart which encompasses everything from architecture to graphics to illustrations. I am not yet ‘fulfilled’ with either of these design fields and I am always looking to explore more!
Q5: Ambition, Luck or Talent? What matters most in the creative world?
Tanaya: A little bit of everything! From the experience of my creative journey, I have come to believe that talent is something which shouldn’t be a prerequisite. Hard Work and consistency is the key to everything, even if you lack a bit of talent. It will not hinder your success, if you put your mind to it. My ambition towards the work that I do has helped me deal with a lot of challenges, academically and otherwise too! My work is what keeps me sane, I think! As far as luck goes, sometimes, you have to make your own luck and sometimes, it just works out!
Q6: What would you like to achieve that you haven’t been able to yet?
Tanaya: I am still a student and there are many many things to learn and achieve! Although, I am keen on achieving a little more self confidence and trust for my personal growth. It’s always a good idea to have that in reserve!
Q7: Who is your creative inspiration or mentor?
Tanaya: I am lucky to have many positive influential people around me! My peers, close friends are my constant motivators and at every step of the way, I have found amazing professors; it would be unfair to list just a few of them! I realise this, at certain occasions in life and I am utterly grateful for it. I also am influenced by many beautiful filmmakers like Wes Anderson, Tarkovsky and the stories they make.
Q8: Do you have a favourite design or artistic movement? Why?
Tanaya: For me, the moment while I am still in the process of completing an artwork or a project that is turning out to be the way I wanted it to be, is when I feel the most satisfied. The artwork may not be complete just yet, but the feeling of going in the right direction, knowing that the output will be surprisingly wonderful and then followed by the urge to reach completion to see it all finished, gives me a huge serotonin boost!
Q9: What style or technique in art and design makes you feel the happiest/or feel good?
Tanaya: I am in love with digital art and the immense possibilities digital tools have to offer, however, a micron and a pen is the best medium for me to really experience the connection among the brain, hand and paper.
Q10: How did you hear about the Huluku Competition?
Tanaya: I am always on the search for competitions with exciting briefs. I came across Huluku, by simply googling! It was the first competition that popped up and when I read the brief, it seemed so thoughtful and challenging, that I couldn’t resist trying.
Q11: How did you get inspired to create your artwork for the competition?
Tanaya: I had chosen the theme of sexual orientation under the umbrella theme of Inclusivity and the inspiration came to me from a slinky! It is a spiralled spring toy and it creates these beautiful flexible patterns of blending colours when it is played with. I thought this is how sexual orientation could be looked at- not always permanent, its ever changing patterns, which are beautifully blending.
Q12: Were the themes of inclusion, diversity and authentic representation something you were familiar working with prior to the competition?
Tanaya: I was aware of these terms prior to entering the competition, however, research helped me gain a newer perspective and a better understanding of it. I understood that these terms need to be more spoken out loud and their meanings should be very clearly defined for everyone.
Q13: Are you planning on building the concepts you incorporated into your entry into more of your work? If so, how?
Tanaya: Definitely! I will be sensitive towards including the elements that show a bit more of inclusiveness and authentic representation. I wish that my artwork is impactful for anyone who wants to enjoy it.