Pranita Kocharekar – “Your mind is your biggest masterpiece”

New York Illustration

  I had the pleasure of interviewing Pranita Kocharekar – a graphic designer, type designer, self-taught illustrator and letterer based in Mumbai, India. She grew up around artists and enjoyed drawing on the walls of her home. From a young age, Pranita knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur. She …

 

I had the pleasure of interviewing Pranita Kocharekar – a graphic designer, type designer, self-taught illustrator and letterer based in Mumbai, India. She grew up around artists and enjoyed drawing on the walls of her home. From a young age, Pranita knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur. She turned this childhood dream to reality after graduating from Rachana Sansad Institute in Mumbai. She has worked with various brands like Vodafone, Oreo, Adidas and Netflix. She has also gone on to start her own online store. Pranita’s work has become immensely popular especially on Instagram. Her work is humorous, fun and relatable. Her mission is to spread happiness and awareness through her work.

Alfalfa Studio: When did you start illustrating?

Pranita: I started illustrating straight out of college in 2014 for a campaign for the telecommunications company Vodafone in collaboration with Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai

Alfalfa Studio: How did you develop your style?

 Pranita: I didn’t actively try developing my style. All I tried doing was to convey a message via visuals. I studied Graphic design & Type design, so I was always inclined to use graphics or type as my mode of communication. However, eventually, I began thinking in illustrations. I believe my style developed organically over the years.

Alfalfa Studio: In your opinion do illustrators need to have one unique style or can experiment have multiple styles?

Pranita: I believe there shouldn’t be a need for a unique style. Every artist’s personality becomes a part of their work eventually. Some develop a distinct style of communicating while others don’t.

Alfalfa Studio: Your surviving anxiety series my personal favorite from among your work. Can you tell us more about the series?

Pranita: Surviving anxiety is a series of illustrations based purely on experience. The anxiety series first began a few years ago as a series of illustrations under the project name ‘Acknowledge Anxiety’ – this project spoke of how to identify if you’re anxious. At that point in my life, I was discovering my anxiety traits. After a couple of years of therapy & fighting anxiety, I wanted to share all the habits I created with those who are too afraid to get help. The series is an attempt to destigmatize anxiety & mental health problems.

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This stereotype has never made sense to me. Cooking isn't biologically programmed in our bodies. It is a skill that requires practice to develop. If you’re bad or good at something – it is because of your skills and not your gender. Shaming men for attempting to cook or calling them "too feminine" is unacceptable!? -? This is an artwork from #ShutUpAndStopStereotyping Calendar 2019. The calendar has 24 such gender stereotypes with logical reasoning under each as to why we desperately need equality in our lives. The idea of the calendar was to create conversations about gender stereotyping which hopefully may lead to change. You can find the link to the calendar in my bio!? .? .? .? .? #1431 #pranitasdrawingaday #type #goodtypetuesday #illustrationartist #lettering #handlettering #handmadetype #typography #thegridlife #dailytype #typescript #typespire #illustree #illustrationdaily #genderequality #inequality #genderinequality #mencantcook #genderstereotyping #feminism #equality #calendar #calendar2019

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Alfalfa Studio: Can you quickly walk us through your illustration process?

Pranita: I usually get ideas when I’m not trying too hard to think of them. Personally, the process of ideation is very passive. For example, I knew I wanted to create a series on anxiety to help those in need, however, I didn’t actively think of how to go about. I let the thought plant in my mind. Eventually, I jot down ideas as and when they come by. Once I have all my thoughts in place, I try to make them concise from a social media perspective (or whichever platform they will be used for). Following which, I make quick sketches of the series, decide an appropriate art style for the look & feel, and then work on them either on paper or digitally or a mix of the two.

Alfalfa Studio: You talk about gender stereotyping through your work. Did you face challenges while putting the point across?

Pranita: I must have contemplated that project till the very last day. Since the series was sold in the form of a calendar – the nervousness was higher. With respect to social media, any bold statement made on the internet comes with a herd of offenders & haters. That happened in case of this series as well, however, I was very prepared to give them the silent treatment – which worked wonderfully; however, I lost some followers – no regrets!

Alfalfa Studio: Have you received any backlash/negative comments about your work? If so how do you deal with that?

Pranita: I have been blessed to have very few haters. For the times it has happened, I try being as empathetic towards the person as possible. I almost always never engage in these comments. The fact that their anger is a result of their discomfort is solely a problem of theirs – not mine. I do appreciate healthy criticism which is often done in private (via DMs) & I have learnt a lot from the community as well!

Alfalfa Studio: What impact do you aim to create with your work?

Pranita: I only hope to let people know they aren’t alone. The internet world is a glamourous, exaggerated space & often many people try too hard to match these standards. I strive to normalise this by sharing my opinions, realizations via my art.

Alfalfa Studio: What is your message to young aspiring illustrators?

Pranita: Your mind is your biggest masterpiece – take care of your mental health first.