The perfect balance
Designindia|Designindia 114
The perfect balance
Aniruddh Mehta is as much graphic designer as visual artist, and he tries to do justice to both through his work at Studio Bigfat

What does it take to create work that bridges the disciplines of art and design?

AM: Though art and design may have similarities and the two disciplines often coexist, they are rooted in different schools of thought. I’ve always loved making things; and to me art is birthed from (and exercised as) an unconstrained freedom of expression, whereas design is catered towards a set objective that is often very focused and specific. One could perhaps argue that art is subjective and design is objective, or that romanticizing design could possibly result in art - I think there’s a possibility that that’s where the magic happens.

What role has a formal design education played in your career?

AM: I pursued a graduate degree in design at London College of Communications. In my first year I fell in love with the reading material that I was assigned to – from Jon Maeda to John Berger. I learnt about the concepts of lateral thinking, simplicity and problem solving – how to find efficient ways of approaching a task at hand. My esthetic then developed based on a set of design principles that I adapted to my work. Formal education definitely works as a great backbone. You may learn things on the job but certain design concepts that you pick up during college/university go a long way.

How did Studio Bigfat come about?

AM: After working in the industry for a few years I made a full-time shift to working independently as a freelancer, soon after which I started my own studio practice in Mumbai. Each project under the studio is significantly different from the other, from wall murals to brand identity to animation/moving image. I work with other peers who freelance in their respective specializations and commission them on project basis whenever there’s a requirement. I think it’s great, it keeps things fresh and reduces the chances of feeling burnt out.

Which projects have had the greatest impact on you?

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Designindia 114