Deep Palette of Traditions

SCHOOL

Academy of Art University

DURATION

1 Year

MY ROLE

Graphic Designer

Unlike any other project within the program, the MFA thesis is a special project that is a culmination of over a year's worth of research and design work. The thesis is a chance for a designer to take on multiple roles within a single project. It starts out by choosing a problem to solve through design, followed by conducting extensive research and finally delivering robust solutions that are both conceptually and visually proficient. The thesis demonstrates a range of skills, including design thinking, audience analysis with user testing, and tracking of a real-world problem via execution of active design.

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BACKGROUND

India is known for its rich, colorful and cultural vibrancy, which is portrayed through different mediums of arts, particularly folk paintings. Every region in India has its own style of traditional paintings leading to a visual treat as they use natural and vibrant colors, with a rich historical perspective and various mediums to depict on.

PROBLEM

I hail from the western part of India and have grown up looking at various Indian art

forms. My source of inspirations for illustrations and design has always been derived from these art forms. There has long been a global market for Indian paintings and other antiquities, but interest in the country’s art has lagged in the US. After moving to San Francisco, I noticed the lack of awareness of Indian folk paintings and would strongly like to promote them.

RESEARCH

I set out to discuss the problem with others by creating and hosting a meeting with people from the target audience. This helped me develop the topics even further, by gaining new insights about the topics through direct interaction with the audience members.

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"The problem is people don't know how to look at Indian art. Most people are aware of western style but when it comes to traditional they find it flat and doesn’t know how to access them. They are not aware of the stories and don't understand where to put their attention on. Understanding is what's needed to change people’s perception of Indian art."

Art Museum Curator

QAMAR

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"There is a cliched version of Indian art in the states. People think they have a general idea of what Indian art is but it is very literal."

Interior Design Student

JENNA

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"Indian art is all about its intricacy and details. People in US are fascinated with Indian textiles and crafts. They don't know the exact detail and how it is originated. It is mostly perceived 

with patterns and colors. I noticed at the store in a museum that all the books they have are mostly on idols or textile patterns. I didn't find any books related to paintings."

Fashion Designer

NIMISHA

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"I come across a lot of people at the museum. Everyone has different taste in art. They need to be guided properly in order to appreciate Indian art."

Docent at Asian Art Museum

SANDY

INSIGHTS

After the survey's and discussing the problem with the audience, the goal for insights was to filter out the less relevant things and keep the observations that felt most inspiring to design. Once a clear set of insight groups came together, I aimed for no fewer than three insights and turned it to the strategy that becomes part of the deliverables.

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INSIGHT 1

Indian folk paintings are on the brink of extinction today.

STRATEGY 1

Expose people to the rich cultural tradition of Indian folk painting.

CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

  • Website and app design for ordering paintings from Indian folk artists.

  • Order an existing painting.

  • Ability to make a custom order.

  • Part of the purchase price is a tax deductible charitable contribution.

BOOKS

  • Background about the paintings.

  • Process and techniques of each style.

  • Artist behind the paintings.

INSIGHT 2

Indian folk painting is perceived differently in the US than it is in India.

STRATEGY 2

Promote the process and techniques of Indian folk paintings in the US.

WEBSITE

  • Introducing people in the US to Indian folk painting.

  • Covering at-least 6 styles of Indian folk painting.

  • Brief background about each style of painting.

  • Process and techniques of each style.

  • Images of folk paintings.

  • Social media component on Facebook and Instagram.

VIDEOS

  • 3 videos showcasing Indian folk painting.

  • Brief background about the painting.

  • Process and techniques of the painting.

INSIGHT 3

Indian folk painting is a financial source for many artists in India.

STRATEGY 3

Give Indian folk artists access to the US market.

EXHIBIT

  • Introducing people in the US to Indian folk painting.

  • Showcase of 3 different style of Indian folk painting.

  • A catalog book of paintings shown in the exhibit.

  • Invitation design, promotion, tickets, wall tags.

PRODUCTS

  • Products like tote bags, mugs etc.

  • Promotional items like post card, bookmarks etc.

ART = KALA (Hindi)

 

The Kala Foundation aims to revive and expose the beautiful form of Indian Folk Paintings as well as connect the local artist to the US market.

 

 

WEBSITE DESIGN

The Kala Foundation website bridges the gap between the artist, art enthusiasts and granting them exposure in the US. Key Features includes the following:

  • Introducing people in the US to Indian folk painting.

  • Covering 6 styles of Indian folk painting.

  • Brief background about each style of painting.

  • Process and techniques of each style.

  • Images of folk paintings.

  • Social media component on Facebook and Instagram

BOOK DESIGN

Editorial design is an introduction to this unique and vibrant art form-a spectacular chronicle of its evolution, contextual development, continuity, brief obscurity and the recent marvelous resurgence. Key Features includes the following:

  • Showcasing different style of Indian folk painting.

  • Background about each style.

  • Process and techniques of each style.

  • Get to know the artist behind each paintings.

EXHIBIT PROPOSAL

The Kala Foundation is pleased to present this proposal for an exhibition of three distinct forms of Indian Folk Paintings:

  • Madhubani from Bihar

  • Gond from Madhya Pradesh

  • Warli from Maharashtra

India is known for its rich, colorful and cultural vibrancy, which is portrayed through different mediums of arts and particularly folk paintings. Every region in India has its own style of paintings leading to a visual treat as they use natural and vibrant colors, with rich historical perspective and various mediums to depict on. The appreciation of the cultural context is critical to understanding the significant of traditional Indian folk paintings.

EXHIBIT CATALOG

A catalog book for each paintings on display in the exhibit. It includes:

  • The exhibit proposal information.

  • Floor plan showing the location of each paintings.

  • Summary of alphabetical list of artist.

  • A buyer’s guide where exhibitors are listed under relevant product.

previous

The Kala Foundation is dedicated to

revive and expose these beautiful form of Indian folk paintings and connect the local folk artists to an international market.

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SERIES C DECK —

Co-led the redesign of the company's fundraising deck that announced it raised $28 million in Series financing from Cross Creek Advisors, with participation 

from existing investors including Union Square Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, and Menlo Ventures.