If you’ve been looking for personalised ANYTHING, The Studio Project (TSP) needs to be on your speed dial. From revamping your LVs and Fendis with a dash of pop art to customising trunks for celebrity clients (seriously!), TSP has made a mark with its impeccable service, attention to detail, and a final product that looks like wearable art.
Founder Kanika Ranka collaborates with individuals by hand-painting exquisite artwork on their personal items like bags, shoes, clothing, and brings their imagination to life on the clients’ luxe products, making it unique to them. The Studio Project’s client list includes the likes of Sonam Kapoor and Nita Ambani. ELLE caught up with the artist to chat with her about her creative process, where her inspiration lies and her favourite project till date.
ELLE: Tell us a little about The Studio Project. How did you come up with the idea?
Kanika Ranka: I founded The Studio Project in 2016 on finishing a BFA in Art & Design from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and returning to India. All through college, I was always fascinated with the concept of amalgamation of fine art and fashion, and wanted to make pieces of “wearable art”. The trend of personalisation was big at the time, and I absolutely loved it. I wanted to take the concept of monogramming a step forward, enabling clients to personalise their products with more than the standard stripes and initials, and let their accessories really do the taking. So that’s what we set up at TSP, a bespoke one-on-one service to make your luxury product, a piece of wearable art—a statement piece.
ELLE: Where do you turn to for your creative inspiration?
KR: Other than finding visual inspiration through the Internet and social media, I love visiting art galleries to seek out fresh ideas, along with experiencing the aspect of space, touch and feel. I continually work towards upgrading and enabling myself with the latest technology and mediums, I think it’s key to being able to reinvent my ideas and perspective.
ELLE: Tell us how the customisation process works at The Studio Project.
KR: My process begins with developing digital mock ups of the concepts discussed with the clients, before they hand over their luxury goods to me. Once they are absolutely satisfied with the size, positioning and colours of the layouts, then I hand-paint each product. Since the products I work with are extremely expensive and precious to the clients, it’s absolutely crucial that the materials I use are of the best quality. The paints I use are imported, and are manufactured especially for the use on leather and treated canvas goods. Each artwork has 10-15 layers of thinly applied paint, setting a strong foundation for the durability and vibrancy of the work. Multiple layers of varnish are applied once the painting dries, making it crack proof and waterproof, with added resistance to surface friction and damage.
ELLE: What sets apart each of your designs?
KR: Each of my designs is customised to perfection for each client. Two people can want a Wonder Woman creative on their bags, but it will never be identical. I think the crux of customisation is having something that’s true to you and your personality and which you are comfortable to carry off on all occasions.
ELLE: Your favourite artwork till date?
KR: My favourite TSP piece has to be the Hermes Kelly I did sometime ago. It’s one of the largest artworks I have painted on a bag. I love doing pop art pieces, that bag is literally the true meaning of wearable art. The speech bubble on the bag says “Dove é la mia pizza?” which means, “Where is my pizza?” in Italian and it definitely speaks to me the most!