Our journey as a brand not only brings us immense joy and creative fulfilment but also gives us the pleasure of connecting with fellow creatives, hear their stories and get inspired from them. So we are beyond thrilled to welcome one of these talented humans to engage in a candid chat with us today. Presenting, the one and only - Pranita Kocharekar! or as we like to lovingly call her "Artyheart" (If you know, you know!)
Read on to know about her journey as a creative, tips for anyone trying to pursue art as a career, the lessons she has learned along the way, and much more.
1) Starting with the obvious first, tell us about your journey and the story behind your brand "Pranita Kocharekar"
I grew up in a home full of artists where the walls of my house were allowed to be my canvas. I knew it from a very young age that the best way to communicate is through visuals. Right from school art competitions all the way till my BFA graduation, I felt comfortable expressing myself through imagery. At the age of 6, I had an itch to be an entrepreneur. Along with a friend, I drew hand made cards for all occasions and set up a pop-up shop in the compound of her building. Carrying forward this childhood dream, I began creating products with immense love and care with the intent to reach an audience beyond my neighbourhood. What started off as a single product website, soon became a business.
2) Since you’ve had a creative childhood, always been into art - what’d you like to say to someone who’s afraid to take the plunge? Someone who’s stuck at "what if I fail"?
The one thing everyone is afraid of is trying to make ends meet with art in a developing country where art is still a luxury. However, art is all around us - there is always a need for design and art in everyday. There will be competition and risks in every field of work. A question I have asked myself is would I prefer being comfortable living a life of safety but unhappiness with my job or would I like to sit with the discomfort of failure, allow it to shape me & enjoy every day of my job? (Though I do admit that the ability to say this comes from a space of privilege of living in a financially well settled home.)
3) Something you’ve learned along your journey that you’d like to share with the newcomers/ aspiring artists!
Consistency is key! Without consistency, there will not be growth :)
4) What inspires your creativity?
Everyday life. I often ponder on a lot of 'whys' - the solutions to these 'whys' comes to me in visuals, which eventually become a piece of art.
5) How have you grown your business from an idea to where is it now? And what do you aspire to be in the future?
The one amazing aspect of the business I run is that I have no plans. And I intend to keep it this way for at least a few years. I have realised that it takes keen observation to understand a market. These observations lead to solutions that need not necessarily support a plan I may have had. My customers give me the biggest feedback which leads to growth. Although, I aspire to be able to create products that lighten up someone's day - that's all I really aspire to do!
6) A lot of your work focuses on self-love and mental health. What inspired you to express openly about these vulnerable topics?
Experiencing it myself! My first project on mental health was the #AcknowledgeAnxiety series. My desperation to create the series (which are now palm sized postcards) was that there isn't enough support that is readily available for folks experiencing anxiety. I wanted to be the voice for those who feel alone through this process, to let them know that it is scary but they aren't alone because many others feel what you feel. Personally, this validation is something that keeps me going. When I began expressing myself openly about these topics, I realised that there were many, many others who experience what I do which truly helped me heal. I aspire to help others heal the way I did.
Let's have a little more fun before we let you go. Answer these in one word/sentence.
1) A product of yours that is very close to your heart:
Anxious but fabulous badge-cum-magnet :)
2) If you were to write a song what would the title be:
"Colours of the sunset" (something that grounds me everyday)
3) Go to “artist/brand/mentor” on Instagram: @shop.bando
4) What is that one thing you tell yourself to get out of a jam: All problems have solutions
5) Your art in three words: Vulnerable, caring, affectionate
6) Currently Binge Watching: Louis CK
7) What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?: Rest so you can work better
8) Finish the phrase - If I weren’t an illustrator, I’d be a: Psychologist
9) A motto you live by: Show up for yourself every single day
10) A book that you cannot recommend enough: Come as you are by Emily Nagoski
And that brings us to the end of this super fun interview. Thank you Pranita for (always) being your honest-vulnerable-creative self and giving our readers a peek into your life, beliefs and journey. Keep creating! Keep inspiring!