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Shreyansh Agarwal: Devanagari Reloaded

Shreyansh Agarwal: Devanagari Reloaded

Born with a sweet tooth, Shreyansh has studied design in Bangalore and London. He strives to create typographic work that is Indian yet contemporary. The work draws from a varied mix of inspirations like architectural forms, visual patterns, textiles techniques and Indian culture.

KS: Give us a brief backstory of you choosing Graphic Design as a career?

Shreyansh: As a child, I would find any sort of blank paper and start drawing. Drawing was something that I thoroughly enjoyed while most kids bunked classes for games, I bunked all games period to sit and draw. It was after 10th boards I was more clear that I definitely didn't want anything to do with science and commerce so I opted for humanities with fine arts as a subject. It was during these years that I was convinced to take up art & design as a career.

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KS: In the last few years of you having been a practicing designer, any key moments or highlights that stood out for you?

Shreyansh: The process of my graduation project will always stand out for me. I very particularly wanted to explore contemporary graphic representation for Devanagari script. Wherever I would look for good typography I would just find foreign references. There were no books to look up Indian Typography and a handful of designers creating such work. The scene is quite different now. Developing that project based in London was a challenge, none of my facilitators knew the language. It taught me a rigorous process to constantly analyse and evaluate the context of my project without being too subjective of my own work.

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Some early works from art school and design foundation, 2009 - 2011

I was working on a heritage design project around the concept of food. It was a response to a brief set by RSA, London. For the very first time, I experimented with food photography and had a blast.

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The other moment that stood out was when I quit my job after six months from joining (which was part choice and part circumstantial). I was home almost after 12 years of being away and didn't take up any design projects for about 6 months. It taught me a whole lot of new life skills. Being invited as a Select Artist on Kulture Shop was exhilarating. It is the satisfaction of seeing your designs on finished products that counts the most. It definitely gave me a platform to showcase my work. They helped convert artworks from sketchbooks to finished products and must appreciate their efforts to develop a market for Indian Graphic Art.

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Seen Here (L-R): Akshar - Laptop Skin | Bahubhashi - Greeting Cards | Akshar - Womens Tee | Akshar - Mens Tee | Rang Rangeeli - A5 Framed | Maya - Art Print | Bahubashi - Mug | Akshar - Coaster | Bahubashi - Phone Case

KS: Across the various types of design projects you take up, which medium is your favourite and why?

Shreyansh: I need to keep my hands involved to be able to enjoy work. My process almost always starts on paper, though it's finished digitally. Even a finished vector often is a result of sketches. There are some amazing tools available to help draw digitally, Wacom has an interesting line up of products.

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I want to learn coding and explore the field of generative graphics and moving image. Joshua Davis and the work at Universal Everything, London has been a huge inspiration.

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KS: It is always exciting to know what an artwork means to the artist, can you talk to us about any one of the works curated by Kulture Shop?

Shreyansh: It's absolutely amazing the number of languages spoken and written in this country. Yet very few find their relevance in modern communication. We use our native language in casual conversation and switch to English for any official purpose. The primary idea was to build an artwork using letters of the major Indian languages. The result was a looping pattern which reflects the diversity of languages spoken in India. Hence the artwork is titled "Bahubhashi" which translates to being fluent in several languages. I worked with Devanagari, Bengali, Gujarati, Urdu, Tamil, Odiya, and Kannada for this artwork.

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Seen Above: Bahubhashi A2 Framed Art Print

KS: What are you up to now? Any interesting things your fans should watch out for?

Shreyansh: Currently I am back home in Kanpur and taking up projects from here. Besides working on commercial design projects I am planning to explore more of illustration around the theme of food. All these years being away from home equipped me with cooking and also exposed me to a whole new variety of food. Cooking for me is a stress buster and drawing always has been, so why not combine the two. Let's see what churns out!

KS: Would you consider an illustrated cookbook as an upcoming project?

Shreyansh: Yes, why not. It should be a fun project to work on and to explore a style through a series of illustrations. In case the book is on Indian food even better.

View Shreyansh Agarwal's artist page here.

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