As I get on a phone call with Aditya, he is jovial, unpretentious and puts it like it is. He tells me about his work which often draws from shiny mass manufactured objects. Take his project ‘Balloon Portraits’ for instance, which sees human faces as shiny balloons. The work culminates in a series of vibrant neon posters all starring a face. Within these posters lies a dichotomy which Aditya seeks to express and his fascination for shiny objects. ‘I have always been attracted to shiny surfaces that are mass produced so around that time when I made it I had that thought that these things look so bold, they look so confident, they are so kind of...flamboyant in the way they are arranged but they are also so fragile. Even a prick could destroy the whole thing. I felt that in some ways it was relatable to people. It was about how we are all insecure about things but we have to put up a strong front, that’s how the portraiture angle came about.’
Aditya graduated from Rhode Island School of Design and decided in his teen years that he wanted to pursue art. ‘I was never good at things like maths and science so I was like I really didn't have the option’ he jokes. Though on a more realistic note, he had been drawing since he was a kid. RISD not only provided an environment to hone his skills, but also vastly broadened his horizons. Students coming in from all different parts of the world and bringing with them different experiences added to his understanding of the world and of art. Today, he isn't at all restrictive of the mediums he uses as he juggles creating digital art along with his love for experimenting with acrylics and oil. As I ask him how much of his own reality is present in his work, he reveals that he seldom takes inspiration from within himself. ‘I think it’s a lot of talking to people and meeting people.’ His surroundings provide the fodder for his inspiration. As he goes about his daily life, the things he subconsciously notices find their way into his artworks later. While his work embodies a refined pop art aesthetic, his creative process is more unstructured. ‘My creative process is really all over the place.. I sit down, I start with something then I get frustrated. I let it go for a while then I come back.. I sit down and I make something then I am like.. Chalega aaj ke liye (this is enough for today)’. Not being able to hold his laughter he further tells me ‘I spend a lot of time just thinking about what to do and then don't do any thing at all so it often works like that. Lot of times I spend time thinking…I wanna do this I wanna do that but when I sit down to do it its like this thing that I thought of for four hours doesn't work’. When he would work in advertising 90% of his time would be spent on thinking about what to do and 10% of the time executing the idea. He further reveals ‘I am trying not to repeat my advertising mistakes in my personal work.’
He recently quit his job as a Art Director to take on illustration and animation full time. He also wishes to have an opinion on Indian politics through his work, a realm which he hasn't yet explored and one, which he feels he needs to.
Our conversation ends with a crucial question which any designer with a significant amount of experience should be able to answer, of what makes good art and good design. Aditya nails the response ‘Good design has to be communicative. If it’s a poster for an event you have to get that it’s happening on this date and it’s an event no matter how great the art is. What makes good art is like when you look at it and then you look at it again and you're like...Oh I didn't think of it this way!’.
You can follow him here
Text Supriya Jain