Art in itself is a term that has been stretched to great lengths today. Some would even say that odd litter is often passed off as a sort of statement of the pleb's struggle to be heard in the over-saturated city that is Mumbai. But having a brush does not make one a prodigal artist, buying balsamic vinegar does not make one a chef and owning a printer does not make one a printer. In that light, a group of young Mumbaikars are now looking at specialising in an art of a different kind, one that leaves them dissimulated behind the scenes but that paradoxically makes them stand out nonetheless. A handful of those are now looking to ensure that their work cannot be replicated by a standard mouth-breather on the streets of the city in fields such as photography or writing for instance. Forms of art that are said to lose their elitist charm given the access to information, technological devices, some residents of the city are slowly dispelling the myths.
Design & illustration
Age : 30 yrs.
The design space is brimming with fresh talent as it is an industry that thrives on funky, new, better ideas. In this domain, there's no paucity of smart thinkers, but that's not just what our lookout is for right? Sleuth around and you'll know how much there is to explore; visual and graphic designers have a range of mediums to express their views.
This JJ School of Art graduate started his own design firm, Locopopo in 2000, post working for some reputed design firms like GrandmotherIndia and Alok Nanda Company. Ask him about his work and prompt is the reply, "I work on illustration projects for many art directories." While dealing with graphic designs and illustration spaces, Lokesh, whose design firm caters to a clientele including The Taj Group, Rolling Stone, Conde Nast and Good Home, defines his creative space as "simple, minimal, linear and sometimes bold." A winner of the 2013 Kyoorius awards, "one for packaging and another for illustration," Lokesh is also listed in Forbes magazine this year as young influential in the Visual Design space.
Age : 16 yrs.
When Anais Nin said, "We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect," she was just right. If we ask you to find us another way for one to express better, we'd say you'd keep searching. The whole conception of writing is changing, and that has got a lot to do with the changing structure of social media. Even in Mumbai, be it the blogosphere or other spaces, there are numerous platforms for budding creatives to voice their thoughts. And that's exactly what the youth are doing, being vocal about their opinion, no matter what the medium.
For the love of writing
Tanessa Puri published her first book at the Jaipur Literature Fest. At such a young age, poetry isn't what one would expect her first book to be on. An avid reader of Tagore and Sarojini Naidu, Tanessa, through her book Reflections, tries to unveil her journey of arranging chaos into order. Learning to acquire varied views, she has been in various cities across the country and feels that culture has taught her to view life in a different light.
Age : 27 yrs.
Did you ever think that there would come a time when stories would be written in 140 characters? Yes, that's how the publishing space is changing, with thoughts and ideas making way for condensed and concise writing. Everyone's scouting for easy ways to enjoy reading and being informed. Not that we're hinting that books are passé, in fact e-readers and tablets are giving the world more to read. Now, there are diverse options to cater to every reader and writer of this class.
Short stories just got shorter
The best way to satiate "the need to make oneself relevant on the social web as a writer," is to own a space that helps you share stories. But what so unique about that? It is...when you're narrating a tale in nothing more than 140-characters. That is what Anuj Gosalia, brains behind Terribly Tiny Tales (TTT) that was launched last March, excels in. Not being comfortable with how the web was suddenly dominated with pictures instead of content, Gosalia created TTT for those who have a short attention span. Now catering to 1,20000 readers, tales weaved by his team and him "have a reach of over 5 lakh people".
Age : 27 yrs.
If owning a DSLR and having a page on facebook makes you a photographer, frankly every Mumbaikar is one already. Adding to that the Instagram culture, with its endless hashtags, has encouraged youngsters to document moments of their life with every passing second. But photography requires a sense of vision, it is a skill and only some have a knack for the art. We zoomed in to get a better view of this space and tried to locate Mumbaikars who've clubbed their hobby with their vocation.
Through life's lens
Features Editor of Better Photography who also works for freelance projects...meet Raj: an avid lover of photography who declines to slate his work into categories. "I don't really like slotting myself by genres. I feel it is extremely important that one's vision helps showcase their personality and thoughts," says he. Taking us through a verbal expedition of his projects, Raj has worked on 'Not Quite A Family Album' (which was exhibited in the inaugural exhibition of the Delhi Photo Festival) and another documented photo series with Kashish Parpiani, titled 'Tales Of Merwan'.
Age no bar
"Age does not matter in writing. Be it a journalist or an author, it is their experience that really counts. Ever so often, young people find new ways to express themselves. Right now, there's a lot of excitement about using Twitter as a literary form. But the haiku form was just as brief and formally more sophisticated."
Naresh Fernandes, Writer