By the time when Bengaluru-based digital artist Shraddha Acharya made up her mind to become a professional illustrator she was already in the middle of her Engineering studies. She is presently an Engineering student at Malnad College of Engineering, Hassan. Managing time between studies and passion often becomes a challenge for the young digital artist. However, Shraddha’s love for digital arts gives her the strength to deal with them.
As an illustrator, Shraddha Acharya has achieved significant success within a short span of time. Earlier, to motivate herself she used to follow motivational talks of several real life influencers. Now, Shraddha inspires others with her own motivational speeches! She is only 21 and has already delivered three TEDx talks. And, we are quite sure that this talented illustrator would inspire millions with her speeches in the coming days.
Today, Shraddha Acharya joins us in this interview session with conflatingVisions to share her inspiring story.
Hi Shraddha, we welcome you to this interview session with conflatingVisions. To begin with, please tell us a few lines about yourself.
I am Shraddha Acharya and I am an illustrator, which means I draw for a living. I am also pursuing Engineering in Malnad College of Engineering, Hassan.
When did you develop the interest for arts?
I’ve been drawing since I was a child; I used to spend most of my time scribbling stuff on my books and walls, get imprecated by parents for that.
As I grew, the hobby grew stronger with me. I was always the creative kid at school; that’s when I realized I have this incredible passion for drawing and dreamt of living a life by drawing stuff.
You presently work as an illustrator. Shraddha, tell us where did you study illustration and digital arts?
No, I didn’t take a specific course to learn making illustrations and digital arts. I learnt them on my own. It was really hard in the beginning; experimenting the techniques wasn’t really a cakewalk. Nonetheless, I managed to pull it off after years of hard work.
When did you decide to make a career in this field? What motivated you to take this step?
It was really late when I decided to make this my career; I was already pursuing Engineering by then. The thought of being an illustrator drove me and kept me alive in this domain. I decided this is what I’m gonna do for a living and yes, I’ve come halfway through it already, while I’m still a student.
Drawing would enthrall me and I started to realize how much I love doing it. I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing something I love so much, and so did I decide to make this my career.
How has been the journey so far for you as a digital artist?
It has been like one magical carpet ride. I can actually see my dreams coming true right in front of my eyes. Art triggers happiness in people’s lives. I’m really glad that I’ve lit people’s lives by my art. And they keep coming back for more. I couldn’t have asked for a better life.
Which are some of your digital artworks that are close to your heart?
This one was made for Diwali 2016. This one has been my favourite because of the detailing involved and the vibrant colours.
This was done for a Pet grooming store called Hoptr. This illustration has a lot to convey to pet lovers and it did reach out to a lot of people.
This illustration is gonna remain to be my personal favourite. It was designed for an event associated to a company called PaintCollar.
How is a typical day in the life of Shraddha Acharya?
Every day, I get to make art.
Every day, I get to do something which I love the most.
Every day couldn’t have been any better.
While I’m off college, I spend most of my time making art, completing undone art projects or playing with my three dogs.
Who are your inspirations? And, how does their work influence your work style?
I follow a lot of artists and learn their techniques. As my artworks mainly comprise digital arts and modern techniques, it has a wide range of categories.
When it comes to comics, Abhijeet Kini, a comic artist, has been my inspiration.
Raghava KK, a surreal artist has inspired me from his inspirational talks and his paintings indeed speak a lot.
Also, Salvador Dali tops the list. His paintings are intangible and I could just look at them all day.
Narrate some of your success stories.
When I was young, I used to watch motivational talks and get inspired by artists and their lives.
Now, after accomplishing myself as an artist, I have had the privilege to have delivered three TEDx talks at the age of 21, and have talked for couple of other events as well.
And there are people who are inspired by that. They come and talk to me which is amazing! I was one among them few years back and Voila!
The hard work definitely paid off I must say.
My artworks were also sold at many places, and that moment when people send pictures of my paintings hung on their walls, is elusive! Nothing in the world could have made me feel any more successful.
I was invited in a design event at Google, and the accompanied artists who had arrived there were all professionals and were shocked at the fact that I’m still an Engineering student. That made me realize that I’ve definitely come a long way in this field. That’s one of the moments I can never forget when I look back at my life.
Which tools do you mostly use?
I have shifted to digital media ever since I made this my career. I work with my digital tools – the graphic tablet and stylus. Nonetheless, I always start with a pencil and a paper.
As a digital artist, what are the challenges that you mostly have to deal with?
The one difference between digital art and traditional art is that it’s tentative and changes can be made accordingly. Thus, the clients demand a lot of changes where the whole concept will be inevitably altered. That adds up to work and gets onto nerves sometimes.
There are humongous devices which facilitate digital arts and getting accustomed to the user interface takes time.
Your tips to the budding artists who want to make a career in illustration…
Keep drawing. Everyone would have drawn something or the other at any point in their life. Few stop drawing and few continue to do it. If one is really fervent about becoming an artist and living their dream of becoming an illustrator, one must definitely continue to draw and improve their prospects.
Anything else you want to share…
People who work for an earning are deep dead inside. People who are behind passion, who yearn for excellence with unrelenting dedication are kicking alive.
I’m glad I belong to the latter.
And, one last question of this session Shraddha, if you have had one wish…
I would want a design studio of my own with all those unaffordable art apparatus!