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Tara Anand

Tara Anand

Meet illustrator from Mumbai, Tara Anand.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m an artist from Mumbai, India and I’m about to start my second year of illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. My work tends to be illustrative and I tend to have a more classical approach to things like painting and composition. I draw a lot of inspiration from history, mythology, and literature so my work is very influenced by the kind of narrative styles that tend to feature in these. I love to work in traditional media like oil paint, watercolours, and inks.

 

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

I’ve lived in Mumbai since I was born and It is my favourite place on earth. Its an organic city [which can be awful in a practical sense] but it means that it’s eclectic and versatile. It’s a city that contains a hundred different universes all within its limits and one could live there for one’s whole life and still have new worlds to discover. It’s a very old city [or a very old settlement] and has been gathering people from all over the place for centuries. It is a super diverse, fast-paced, sometimes overwhelming place to live.

 

I’ve lived in Mumbai since I was born and It is my favourite place on earth.

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?

The best thing about it is the sea and the worst thing about it is it’s not nearly as safe as it should be for women [despite being more accepting than other places in

 

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.

Exciting, Stimulating, innovative

 

How did you start your career in art?

I grew up with a mum who was an artist so I was drawing and painting from a really young age. My interest in stories and narrative lead me to illustration which is what I’m studying now!

 

I grew up with a mum who was an artist so I was drawing and painting from a really young age. My interest in stories and narrative lead me to illustration which is what I’m studying now!

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

Extremely. I wouldn’t have been able to start as young as I did without the encouragement of people around me who saw I had potential in art.

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?

I’d love to work on more books, I want to someday do a graphic novel and I’d love to pursue painting seriously at some point!

 

I’d love to work on more books, I want to someday do a graphic novel and I’d love to pursue painting seriously at some point!

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?

I like collaboration best when its with someone who I know rather than with someone whose work I just admire. That being said I have a long list of [mostly dead] writers who I’d love to illustrate for.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Diverse, intelligent, opinionated and driven!

 

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

Mira Malhotra, Kaveri Gopalkrishnan, and Aqui Thami are some illustrators whose work I loved when I was about 15 or 16. Most of my interactions with illustration and the creative scene were through zine culture so a lot of the artists I admired were ones whose zines I’d read or bought.

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?

Getting taken seriously as a female artist still difficult. especially when positions of authority tend to be filled by men. Either you become a “female artist” and your work is considered separate from real art or your work is scrutinized and you constantly have to prove yourself. not to mention the fact that many women in art face harassment at the hands of their superiors or co-workers. Furthermore, being a woman who can work is still a matter of privilege for many women in India, let alone being a woman who can pursue something non-traditional like art. The women artists in my city/country are all really intelligent, driven women who have managed to create spaces for women and girls in the industry so hopefully there will be more and more of us. The more women there are in the industry the more welcoming a space it becomes for women in general.

 

The more women there are in the industry the more welcoming a space it becomes for women in general.

Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?

Make the work you want to be making and not the work you think you should be making!

 

 

Photos courtesy of Tara Anand.

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