Everything Will Fall Into Place When You Keep Doing What You Love - Sanya Agrawal

If I value my work enough, I will get what I deserve for my skills, effort, creativity and of course the expensive software and equipment being used to produce artwork. 

1. Tell us more about your background and journey.

I was born in Delhi, and I’ve lived in Gurgaon my whole life. After the age of six, I never really had anyone my age in my neighborhood, so while everyone I knew went to play outside with their colony friends, I spent my time watching cartoons, drawing or painting. 

I also loved watching art-and-craft and D.I.Y. shows like Art Attack, M.A.D. and Backyard Science, which sparked my imagination and creativity. I began working with miscellaneous objects lying around in the house - I’d make a ship out of a shoebox and a SpongeBob SquarePants out of a piece of sponge. 

I adored many iconic cartoons from T.V. shows and films  I  watched back then, I was so in awe of these characters that I began drawing pictures of them as a tribute. 

My drawing skills began to strengthen as I started paying attention to minute details and soon my artwork started to look more realistic.

Drawing became my happy place. I find the whole process of shading and watching my imagination come to life on my canvas immensely therapeutic. 

When I came to college, my art began to evolve and I started working on digital media for drawing and animating. I love taking my audience through a journey through my art by incorporating music, colors, characters and at times a lot of nostalgic elements.

2. When did you decide you wanted to be an illustrator?

To be honest, for the longest time I didn’t even consider becoming an illustrator because it was just a past time and something I only did for myself. It was only after my 12th-grade boards when I decided to apply to an Art and Design college after my friends encouraged me to do so.  

When I came to college, I learnt that my skills can be used to tell stories and evoke different kinds of emotions in the viewer by conveying messages or introducing them to something aesthetically pleasing.

3. Is it a financially stable career?

That usually depends on how patient the artist is and how consistent they are with putting their work out there. Every artist has something different to offer and they will find great work opportunities that fit their skillset when it reaches the appropriate audience or industry.

I am only in my final year of college, but every day I get one step closer to becoming financially independent. I have had the chance to work with and for many wonderful people and I’ve also sold my own work. This is just the beginning of my journey as an artist and I have my whole life ahead of me.

The best part is that I am my own boss. If I value my work enough, I will get what I deserve for my skills, effort, creativity and of course the expensive software and equipment being used to produce artwork. 

It is important to remember that nothing runs without an Artist - from Animations, illustrations for storybooks, branding for a company or a product, to posters, Album Art for musicians, graphic designs for clothing and the list goes on - an artist is required in almost every field.

So yes, in my opinion, it is a financially stable career as long as the artist is aware of what their skills are worth.

4. Who is your favorite artist and why?

I don’t have one particular favorite artist, I follow the work of several artists, each having a completely different style, ranging from abstract art, animation, character designs to comic books, concept art to realism, I get inspired by all.

There are too many tremendously talented people to pick from, however, one name that comes to mind is Frank Thomas.

He was one of Walt Disney’s leading animators. He has worked on iconic animations that include Mickey Mouse, Pinocchio, The Jungle Book and Winnie the Pooh.

I admire his work and every now and then I like to look at old footage of his drawing process where he shows us behind the scenes whilst animating. It’s wonderful to see how he has created these iconic characters with so much personality in their expression and gestures. 

To this day those characters touch the hearts of many children and I find that incredibly awe-spiring. 

5. Where do you get inspired to create art?

I seek inspiration from the cartoons I grew up watching, real-life experiences and emotions that I like to depict on my canvas.

Other than that, I am surrounded by many talented people who inspire me every day.

6. What does your typical day look like?

Well, I stay up till late almost every night because I’m either working or talking to my friends, sometimes both simultaneously. So I wake pretty late and my day usually starts at 12pm. 

At home I usually play with my dog, go outside for walks and listen to music, work on client projects and try to find time for personal work as well.

I try to work out regularly to keep my energy levels up and also stay fit, however, it becomes difficult to stick to a schedule. Not having a 9-5 job means I never know when I’ll get a call from a client and I’ll be swamped with more work and new deadlines.  

7. What piece of advice would you like to give to future aspiring illustrators?

Keep working, don’t compare your work with other’s because all artists have different styles and each of us has something that makes our work unique. 
Everything will fall into place when you keep doing what you love and keep reminding yourself why you wanted to become an artist in the first place. 

8. What are your favorite book and why?

This is probably not the answer you’d expect but my favorite books are my own sketchbooks.
Whenever I doubt myself and feel like I’m not as good as I want to be, I look at my old work to remind myself of how far I’ve come.

It is important to remember that as an artist, you never stop learning, you never stop evolving and you’ll always want to get better, but at the same time it’s essential to acknowledge what you have already accomplished, and that there are people who admire your work and that’s amazing.

Interview by - Shamayla

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