• The Edict

The Creators| The Art We’ve Uploaded

The Creators is a series of profiles of Ashokans who are actively involved in different creative fields including, but in no way limited to, music, photography, creative writing, and visual or performing arts.

Anonymity. Relevance. Comfort. Connection. Of all the different things that social media offers, a space for hours to go by seems to be at the top of the list. On countless occasions, I’ve scrolled through my feed and gotten lost in the plethora of artistic content that Instagram dishes out. To the viewer, an experience of resonance; to the artist, of vulnerability. And so, I thought it’d be interesting to ask some of the Instagram artists of Ashoka their take on what it means to be behind the viewed side of the screen.


How were you first introduced to the idea of using Instagram as an outlet for your creativity? Were there any particular reasons for choosing this site?


“To be fair, I started this account back in 2015. And I only decided to open an Instagram account, thanks to peer pressure because Facebook was no longer “the trend”. It’s been like five years now. This isn’t an art only account. You may catch a story or two of me being confused about how to help a butterfly trapped in my balcony or something. This is a personal account where I document glimpses from my life- it just happens to be that art is a significant chunk of that life.”


@naina_praveen


Naina Praveen, UG 21

It’s interesting to see the name you’ve chosen for your account. Is there a story behind that?


“The name for my make-up account was supposed to be a joke. My nickname is Jim, and I talk weirdly with my friends, so I often end up using that kind of language. That’s how it started. I started the page as a private thing, but ever since I’ve been able to connect with other make-up artists across India, I’ve realised that they have much more professional names out there.”


Manjima Gupta, UG 22

“I have an affinity for linguistics and experimenting with other languages. I had this wooden sign lying at home, which belonged to my cousin sister, and it had the word ‘bonito’ carved on it. I googled the word and thought it had a nice ring to it. Fast forward to making the crochet account and thinking ‘Bonito Tejer’ or Attractive Weaves would be a cute name for the page. Small side note, fluent Spanish speakers might notice that the grammar of the phrase is a little off and the word Tejer translates to weaving, the verb and not weaves, a noun. This was kindly pointed out to me by a friend way after I had christened the page. I decided to stick with the name because I had already designed my logo and hoped there would be as many people unacquainted with Spanish as I was. Note to future bloggers – don’t rely on google translate!”


@bonito.tejer


Kaisera Kanwar, UG 22


Instagram has often been described as a visual playground, a space for visibility, connections, and expression. Is there a message that you are trying to put out through your work?


“Each account has a message to give, be it from their profiles, posts, or from the stories they share. Everything is topic-based at this point. My concept of utilising it is to give a stage to discuss LGBTQ+ issues and music.”


@roshan.cruz


Roshan Cruz, UG 21


“Through my work, the only message that I’ve been trying to get out is that art and mental health are quite related. It’s crucial to put down your feelings in whatever way you deem to be correct. The goal of my work is to give words to someone who doesn’t have words for their own emotions. When a poet or someone else pens down the words you can’t, and something connects, it makes you feel seen and heard.”


@aarushiwrites


Aarushi Kataria, UG 22


“There’s definitely a message that I’m trying to put out. It’s about representing different types of humans in their raw and natural form. Unfortunately, our society is structured in a way that every human goes through their problems. My main goal is to represent these problems as much as I can and as varied as I can. As I am not at a stage where I can interview these people, I use self-portraits as a powerful way of expressing this message through myself. I tend to receive a lot of backlash for the work I put out, but I know that a lot of people resonate with it as well.”


@through_the_shadows


Prerana Jain, UG 22

Instagram is known for making emerging artists quite accessible to the audience. Has there ever been an interaction with a viewer that has developed your understanding of the platform?


“Not as such with a viewer than viewers. The Instagram statistics and business version allow one to keep track of the interaction with the posts and all the activities surrounding it. It also gives heads up about how active our followers might be. All of this helps ALOT in developing a better understanding of the platform. Other than that, a majority of my understanding has come from all the already successful accounts I follow. Observing them crack the Instagram algorithm is very very helpful in attempting to do the same.”


@uncensored_bhaavya


Bhaavya Gupta, UG 22

Being part of this huge online community of creators, are there any artists that act as your inspiration behind the content you put out?


“With respect to inspirations, there are so many people who started with ridiculously small platforms and with a lot of limitations and still made it out pretty big. More than celebrities, I’ve become inspired by people in my school or university who started on Youtube or other platforms and have gotten record deals and labels. I’ve always looked up to that sort of control over the medium and one’s posting that I’ve wanted.”


@manjimagupta


Manjima Gupta, UG 22

If you could describe your experience so far in one word, what would it be?


“I think it would be – turbulent. Especially since this entire pandemic, I’ve had a very turbulent relationship with social media. Getting on social media and looking through my feed and what material others are putting out, some days it makes me feel good, most days, I feel like I’m not doing enough. When I do get responses on my posts, it’s very gratifying and makes me happy for those small moments.”


@aadyajaswalofficial


Aadya Jaswal, UG 22


“Nurturing. It may sound a little odd, but it’s 100% true.”


@dipsandtea


Diptangshu Bhowmik, UG 22


“My favourite word is by far – Evolving. My mindset is changing, my way of being is changing, and I think people can see that in my content.”


@harrshdewan


Harrsh Dewan, UG 22

What is the most enjoyable thing you find about being on such a platform?


“Being on a platform motivates me more to carve out time to work on paintings. You also meet other artists and most are up for collaborations. While you may be inspiring a beginner from your work, you are also exploring, learning, and getting inspired by others on the same platform.”


@artsy.hue


Aakriti, UG 22

If there’s one insight you wish you knew when you were starting out, what would it be?


“I guess the main thing that I wish I had completely processed in the beginning would be that you never know who might see or come across your content or who may contact you. Going in with a competitive and anxious mindset is not going to help because people who would like your content will most probably end up seeing it, someday, so one shouldn’t worry!”


@dipsandtea


Diptangshu Bhowmik, UG 22


“I’m beginning to realize that there are a lot of people putting out music and so, I’m in the process of teaching myself not to compare with others because it’s very easy to get overwhelmed with all the talent that’s there on Instagram.”


@aadyajaswalofficial


Aadya Jaswal, UG 22


“Don’t pander to the audience. Do you, man. The quality of work is going to show when you’re happy with what you’re putting out.”


@harrshdewan


Harrsh Dewan, UG 22

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