Illustrator and designer Chaaya Prabhat on navigating Instagram as an artist


Illustrator and designer Chaaya Prabhat on navigating Instagram as an artist

"I draw way more than I used to simply because there is a space to share it"

By Rajashree Balaram  January 23rd, 2020

We live in times of strange contradictions. Even as means and mediums of artistic expression are burgeoning in numbers, artists everywhere are being compelled to school themselves to more painfully constricting guidelines on rectitude. A new breed of artists though is dodging it all—and bravely so. They are the ones taking Instagram by storm as they showcase bold new concepts fearlessly, post after post, to a live worldwide audience 24/7. We got the fiery warrior Chaaya Prabhat to share with us her ammunition.

 

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Chaaya Prabhat: Prabhat is an independent illustrator and designer, with a master’s degree in Graphic design from SCAD Hong Kong, where she lived earlier. Now in Chennai, she works on projects for Google, Facebook, Snapchat and The Obama Foundation. She refuses to make a big deal out of that shining roster though: “I draw because I like drawing and sharing it with the world—it gives me something to do every day and it gives everyone else something nice to look at.”

Worldly pleasures: “The most exciting part about displaying my work on Instagram is seeing how many different parts of the world the art reaches (depending on how erratic the algorithm is), and to be able to see how interconnected we all are. I may create an illustration that is clearly India-centric, and find that people from various different parts of the world somehow relate to it.”

 

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Joys of Insta: “That you can now consolidate all your work in bite-size formats in one place, and have it reach potential clients easily through the use of hashtags. Instagram also helps me stay motivated; I draw way more than I used to simply because there is a space to share it.”

Uh-oh: “However, Instagram may sometimes cause unhealthy competition between artists, and imposter complexes. It can also be demotivating when one’s artwork doesn’t reach as many people as expected, even though this solely depends on the algorithm and is not a reflection of the artwork’s quality.”

 

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Stalking right now: “Jessica Hische and Lauren Hom, two inspiring graphic designers who primarily focus on lettering. Jessica Hische was one of the first female contemporary lettering and illustration artists I looked up to; her advice on freelancing, handling projects, etc., has been incredibly useful.”