MUSINGS: INTERVIEW WITH SWINE FLEW A.K.A ARUSHI KATHURIA

Arushi Kathuria takes form as Swine Flew in her dreams. She is the master of fluorescents and brave contrasts. She personifies the interstellar with limitless colors and a vivid imagination.You can’t help but drown in its blaze.

She truly is what she depicts – untamed charisma. Currently coping with the trauma of the season finale of Game of Thrones S05, she shares with us innumerable stories and inspirations. While not trying to decode the universe, she is often found sitting with a jar of nutella!


INTERVIEW

Hello, Arushi, a delight to have this conversation with you, tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.

I studied in an ordinary day school and I was a big nerd. But sketching was always a hobby which luckily turned into a full time thing. Currently I work as a 2D animator at MTV and Pepsi MTV Indies. In the day I animate and at night I go home and sketch while eating nutella.

Currently I am in depression because of the Game of Thrones season finale.. [Ah, tell us about it, been quite dysfunctional ever since]

From dreaming of reaching the interstellar to recreating one in your artworks, when did you realize art was your calling? Walk us through the birth of Swine Flew. 

As a kid I would collect things I found lying on the streets and at home and make weird things out of it. Later in life I wanted to become an astronaut and was obsessed with everything up above. Most of the nights you will find me on my terrace, gazing at the sky. I realized sometime in class 9 or 10 that I didn’t want to study anymore and I just wanted to draw and make stuff.

Aura by Swine Flew | Cupick
Aura by Swine Flew | Cupick

We absolutely love the way you portray your visual interpretations. Celestial objects, personification of people, and a bold use of fluorescents. What inspires your style? 

Most of the things I illustrate is me, my thoughts, my mood, my state of mind or my dreams. I absolutely love using bold colours. Anything and everything colourful (specially neon) attracts me. I am extremely influenced by my dreams. They are ultra surreal and colourful. Also all the celestial objects in my work is my fantasy of flying in outer space some day.


“I REALIZED SOMETIME IN CLASS 9 OR 10 THAT I DIDN’T WANT TO STUDY ANYMORE AND I JUST WANTED TO DRAW AND MAKE STUFF.”


Are there any artists within India or beyond whose artwork has contributed to your artistic vision? 

My childhood idol was Quentin Blake… and he will always be my inspiration. Also I love Leif podhajsky’s work.. his colour sense is amazing!

Faces by Swine Flew | Cupick
Faces by Swine Flew | Cupick

Talk us through your creative process. How long does it take you from ideation to the finished product?

If I have something in mind, I usually finish it in a day or two, starting from the rough layout to the finishing touches. But sometimes I just like to sit with a blank page or canvas and just go with the flow. These kind of pieces can take me a week or so as I keep adding to it whenever something pops into my head.

Would you mind if we caught a glimpse at your work station? 

The creative space
The creative space

“I AM EXTREMELY INFLUENCED BY MY DREAMS.”


We realize you have completed your Animation Film Designing from NID.Was attending an art school influential in moulding your perspective?

It definitely was. Before college I think I was any other kid, but NID helped me figure out who I am. At least I think it did. I started looking at things differently while I was there. Besides learning what we had to learn there, I got to interact with so many different and amazing people and see stuff from their point of view. I think it really helped me develop my style and just be myself.

We are excited to know about the projects you are working at the moment, could you give us a brief insight into it?

As of now I am mostly doing MTV work. Other than that, I keep illustrating. I am currently work on a personal project. It’s a typography poster which should get done soon I hope, as I am going through my lazy phase. It’s impossible to work when the weather is so amazing. 😉

Colour Factory by Swine Flew | Cupick
Colour Factory by Swine Flew | Cupick
Babaji by Swine Flew | Cupick
Babaji by Swine Flew | Cupick

How do you manage to divide time between personal projects and commercial work?

Work is work…it has to be done. But my personal work is something that I do at night before sleeping or on weekends. It is something that relaxes me.

Procrastination- how would you define your relationship with it? And how do you deal with it?

It’s a serious and long lasting relationship I think. I don’t bother dealing with it. I work best and fastest under stress, which is the day before the deadline.

Does music play a significant role while you’re at work? What are the top three songs in your playlist right now?

YES! YES! Music keeps me going. A lot of times it inspires me and other times it’s like a support system. I NEED music to keep working. These are my top 3 work songs as of now… keeps me calm…

Dream Koala- Gold

Glass Animals- Exxus

Years & Years- Take shelter


“I WORK BEST AND FASTEST UNDER STRESS, WHICH IS THE DAY BEFORE THE DEADLINE.”


With internet bringing the world together, do you think art is becoming more mainstream in India?

Everyone is on the internet 24/7.. including me. I need internet all the time. But it really is influencing artists quite a bit. A lot of times I see very similar and commercial work around me but there are some artists who are able to convert that mainstream work into their style and produce something beautiful.

If there was only one place in the world you could travel to, where would you go?

Norway… I want to go there and just lie down under the northern lights.

According to you, what is your greatest work so far?

I don’t think I have done anything ‘great’ yet but I can tell you about the project I have had most fun working on. A friend of mine and I started doing a series of dream illustrations where we illustrate our weirdest dreams. I have the best time working on those.

What does success mean to you?

Work satisfaction.

Do you have any Famous Last Words for our readers?

NOOOTELLAAAAA!

Nutella by Swine Flew | Cupick
Nutella by Swine Flew | Cupick

How has the journey been with Cupick thus far?

So much fun. I get to see so much work from artists I never knew about. It’s great how you guys promote all these artists and keep having contests and everything. It’s great being a part of the Cupick community. 😀

Cray Cray by Swine Flew | Cupick
Cray Cray by Swine Flew | Cupick
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