Musings: Interview with Arushi Sethi, the creator of ‘Feed Your Head’

INTRODUCTION

My first conversation with Arushi had me blurt out most of myself in a fifteen minute conversation, and I am not worse for wear. The inquiry, the muted interest, the piercing sincerity is not granted to all or everything. It make you feel special. She wanted me to write about what motivates her, her desire for excellence and disdain for mediocrity. I can not do that though, because that would make her seem generic. She lives her life that way. It is not all talk, it is raw substance.

Arushi Sethi has been publishing her works through her brand, ‘Feed Your Head’, and having associated herself with Cupick, this is what she has to tell us about her artsy head and how she feeds it!

 


 

INTERVIEW

Tell us a little more about yourself?

I am 21 years old. I am from Gujarat and have lived in many parts of India. I am pursuing my education in visual communication design.  I also have one-third of a B.A in psychology. I collect boxes made out of leather and I am trained to live out of a 37cm x 27cm x 55cm box. Other forms of art (life activities) that inspire me to illustrate are Batik, Carpentry and Cooking (terrible and still learning). And I jog.

Talk to us about your creative process – How long does it take from ideation to your finished product?

Illustration for me began at the back of my books, rotting toilets in schools where I would go to play football, and in and around stacks of newspapers in my house. An inspiring environment ideally never existed for me; I tried to create it along the way by meeting people who I could draw and learn along side. That was probably what inspired me to feed my head. What intrigues me the most is that every artist irrespective of their medium cuts open a chunk of their mind. This chunk engages us all in this unspoken dialogue. My faith in design gets reassured as I see more people trying to engage in this very dialogue and interpret it their own way. The idea is to keep the feed coming.

Do you have any recurring themes that you live by in your artwork?

Oh well, my thoughts run in a loop or linger around. I am not sure. But as far as inspiration and themes are concerned, my style attempts to bind a visual language.  Working consistently is the key. The pieces I have worked on in the past do flint a fire in the work that is yet to come out of me.

 


”FEED YOUR HEAD IS AN EXCHANGE OF IDEAS, THOUGHTS AND EXPRESSIONS. IT EXPOSES ME TO PEOPLE WHO ACTIVELY THINK, QUESTION, AND EXERCISE THEIR CRITIQUE. THE NAME COMES FROM JEFFERSON AIRPLANE. THEY PLAY THE NOTES OF MY LIFE AND I RECOMMEND THEIR MUSIC”


 

Coming to ‘Feed Your Head’… What is it and how did the name stick?

Creative process is a challenge to every illustrator and artist and is the feed that helps their style grow. It keeps us evolve as people because we begin to observe. These observations we gather are internalized as melancholic reflections.  Reflections, we learn from; and it is this reflection that feeds my expression. ‘Feed Your Head‘ is an exchange of ideas, thoughts and expressions. It exposes me to people who actively think, question, and exercise their critique. The name comes from Jefferson airplane. They play the notes of my life and I recommend their music.

Until Then by Arushi Sethi | Cupick
Until Then by Arushi Sethi | Cupick

What gave you the push to come out and start publishing your work on the social networks?

I have been working in the field of art and design for about 4 years now. I realized over time that if I sit on my work I would never know how it could get better.  I would never learn from my practices. It’s been 4 months and ‘Feed Your Head’ has an identity of its own. I feel blessed to receive productive feedback and new avenues to push my brand. All this could happen because social media helped me reach out to the right people. I would never publish work on Facebook or twitter. I just tried it as an experiment and it worked wonders. ‘Feed your Head’ has a long way to go. The journey has just begun.

What are your primary tools of use in creating artwork?

Lots of paper, lots of color, some imagination and a firm hand.  I have been experimenting with digital illustration and graphics for some time. My life rests partly on my computer. Traditionally I sketch and paint. I like to mix my media and compose my visuals.  Chaos is the primary tool of creating new artwork for me.

 


“I REALIZED OVER TIME THAT IF I SIT ON MY WORK I WOULD NEVER KNOW HOW IT COULD GET BETTER.  I WOULD NEVER LEARN FROM MY PRACTICES”


 

So what has the journey been like? And what plans do you have going forward.

The journey if you ask me is full of questions and possibilities.  There is a lot of work to do, and many hours of discipline to be attained.  I have to graduate for the sake of education. I intend to find more partners and interesting people to work with and around.  The most encouraging email I have ever received reads “Hi, Feed Your Head. I must say I never thought you could draw, at least from what I had seen many years ago. Today I can say that you have a gift of visualization and the power of thought. You are a mad genius. Keep drawing and do it with all your might. I will say what you said, “keep the feed coming! Good luck.”  Every day of this journey and its constant turmoil brings a new surprise. Sometimes it feels like what the hell just happened. The plan is to ideate on life, and that never ends.

2001 A Space Odyssey by Arushi Sethi | Cupick
2001 A Space Odyssey by Arushi Sethi | Cupick

Your work includes extensive experimentation with type design – tell us a little more about it and you love for typography.

Typography is the backbone of visual culture. I think in terms of imagery. As a visual communicator, it’s my part to communicate a message most effectively. Typography and the science of visual design help me do my job better. Typography and good design make life better. Ornamentation of type is not typography entirely. Typography is putting in place certain visual systems to achieve a desired aesthetic. It is what makes words speak larger volumes.

You were recently followed by David Lloyd – must have been one of the best days?

Well again. What the hell just happened? I got the opportunity to spend some time with him at Comic Con at Bangalore this year. I handed him a copy of the graphic novel I have been working on. He was thrilled and gave me some bright direction of ideas to expand and polish my work. You social media – I love you.

Small fry got a little fatter.

Aye Jah by Arushi Sethi | Cupick
Aye Jah by Arushi Sethi | Cupick
You Wonderful Thing by Arushi Sethi | Cupick
You Wonderful Thing by Arushi Sethi | Cupick

Tell us a little more about your association with Cupick – how has the experience been like?

Cupick is a community of people who think. People think in their own proportions and logic and Cupick helps curate the work of such people.  Cupick displays simplicity in visual design and rationality in their mission. The experience has been pleasant.  It has helped me reach out to Federico Cortese from Harvard. It only gets bigger and better.

How does one contact you apart from facebook?

I am just an email away – s.arushi.arun@gmail.com is where you can reach me the soonest. You can also reach me on twitter @feedyourheadFYH .

Any work of yours, you could call your favourite?

None. The best is yet to come.

Who are the top three artists alive that you draw inspiration from?

M.C. Escher, Sean Tan and Pratap Mulick. There are many more.

Middle Of Nowhere by Arushi Sethi | Cupick
Middle Of Nowhere by Arushi Sethi | Cupick

If you could wish for one, and only one superpower; what superpower would you choose?

Time. If could have time, I would not desire anything else.

If you could give one piece of advice to the community, what would it be?

Take care of your mind – your productivity will rise. Be mad for what makes you mad and be there fully to watch it happen.

Visit Arushi on Cupick to check out more of her work.


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