Please tell us about yourself
A self-learned visual artist but trained in other disciplines too, Siddhi Surte is multi-talented and has a wonderfully poetic side to her that you can’t help but enjoy.
A minor introduction, if you aren’t freelancing or studying, where are you working and what’s your current job title?
I recently quit my job as a Visual Artist for ConsciousLeap to go ahead and pursue my Master’s degree. So I’m back to freelancing and studying now!
What made you so good at what you do? How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and cool career?
I’ve always been a visual person and during my 12th boards, I met a wonderful mentor who pushed me to pursue a degree in Fine Arts. Following that, I did my Bachelors in Printmaking from Santiniketan and Post Graduate Diploma in Design and Communication (Applied Arts) from Ecole intuit.lab. My professors were always encouraging of experiments within our projects. I took that skill ahead when I moved back to Bombay and started working as a graphic designer. Most of my art and what I do has been self-taught and learned on the job. Fortunately, I’ve always met with mentors and clients who have encouraged new styles and techniques, letting me take a twist on the decided concepts. Looking back now, it’s an amalgamation of all my experiences and on-the-job learnings that have contributed to my style and made me good at what I do today.
After dealing with clients/bosses/teachers, which moment with them was the strongest learning experience for you?
The one memory I can recall is when I was at my first job and coming from a fine arts background, I wasn’t extremely familiar with the software we used. This being an ad agency, we were on tight deadlines and despite all the stress, my then creative head was the most patient person with me. He took me through all the softwares on the job and encouraged me to keep practicing on Adobe even through breaks. Those six months helped me achieve complete proficiency in the Adobe Suites, but more than that, I learned how important it is to just understand and teach someone. That experience stays with me whenever I am approached for help and I remember to take that approach forward whenever I’m in his shoes.Source: T
In the whole world, whose work do you aspire yours to be like? What attracts you to appreciate what they do?
What do most people not realise about your work/area of expertise?
That it is a lot more than just drawing shapes on a computer screen. Your final projects go through so many more drafts and options that you don’t get to see. No art is an easy job, so respect the designers you employ.
Which project of yours are you particularly proud of? Could you tell us a little about it?
Definitely, Jasmine Builds on Shifting Sands – The Graphic Novel. Illustrating a full-length graphic novel was a challenge and it took a full year to complete. It’s completely hand-drawn, right to the tiniest detailing and digitized only for the textures and text. The team I worked with was extremely supportive, through multiple edits and drafts we never lost sight of the final book. They are part of the reason this book is such a success for me, through endless support, encouragement and humour they helped me really take it to the next level. It really is a product of our love and passion for the story. Also, the official release at Comic-Con was the perfect cherry on top, seeing it to fruition.
Can we have a piece of advice that helps you ?
If you ever find yourself at a roadblock, don’t push it. Take a break, get up, move away from your canvas, and get back to it the next day. Sometimes you need to go away from your work to finish it the way you want.
So, what are you working on now?
I’m working on illustrating this small children’s book about two langurs who go on an adventure. It’s quite a fun project, drawing little monkeys and capturing the essence of their spirit.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
Making more books! Illustrating and bringing stories to people, and weaving visuals through words for a long long time ahead.
What refreshes your creative juices?
Music! Just find your groove and listen to some good, inspiring music.From E
Have you ever tried your hand at a different creative field? If yes, how did that turn out?
I wrote for a while when I was in my final year of Bachelors and it was quite liberating. I wrote a few poems and articles and even scripted a short magazine in that year. I do want to go back to writing again and improving on that skill for I think every designer should have the ability to speak and word their own thoughts.From Poetry-Poster Series
If you had to start afresh in the industry today, would you choose a different path and if so, what would it be?
I honestly have never given that a thought. The reason I am where I am is because of all the little pit stops on the journey here and I really wouldn’t have it any other way!