in conversation with harshita borah

How do you feel the arts ecosystem can/should evolve in the city? - One Take

What question do you keep coming back to in your arts practice?

“My response is – absolutely nothing. I used to question myself a lot before, and I made it a point to dial them down to zero. Usually, producing good work eventually has one goal – acknowledgement / appreciation. Either verbally, financially, or Instagram reshares (apparently that counts). This came with a lot of questions revolving around (a) how do I produce work that people will like MORE? (b) how much should I charge for this? For me, the financial questions somewhat held me back, always. On whether I should do it, not do it, ask for more, settle for less, its low budget – I shouldn’t put too much effort into this, they are paying me so much – I should go out of my way to prove myself, so on and so forth.”

How do you feel the arts ecosystem can/should evolve in the city? - One Take
How do you feel the arts ecosystem can/should evolve in the city? - One Take
How do you feel the arts ecosystem can/should evolve in the city? - One Take

What discipline, other than your own, do you draw most from?

“Recently (and strangely), finance. Haha. I mean, sign of the times right? Creative folks usually have a bad name when it comes to money. We often prioritize opportunities to produce more acclaimed work, as opposed to getting paid fairly, especially when we are starting out. If I had the opportunity to design a pro bono cover for The New Yorker, would I do it? Absolutely yes. Should I though? Of course not. But it’s The New Yorker! I truly hope others relate to this, otherwise, I just sound like a fool here. But that’s pretty much me in a nutshell, when I was younger. Investing, financial planning, budgeting, these were monsters under the bed, and I liked to keep them there. I thought Staedtler stationery and Posca markers were an investment.”

How do you feel the arts ecosystem can/should evolve in the city? - One Take

How does your arts practice allow you to respond creatively to conflict/crisis around you?

“Art, design, and the written word, adds so much value to communication. Every piece of work I see online is a reflection of a piece of news from somewhere. I think the entire creative community, collectively uses its skills to amplify current events and news like no one else. And the magic of the internet takes it to every corner of this world. And I think that’s how one should approach a crisis – using our practice to amplify awareness and solutions. Hoping to impact our own circle. Who in turn can impact their own circles. Until it takes over, and is heard.”

How do you feel the arts ecosystem can/should evolve in the city? - One Take
How do you feel the arts ecosystem can/should evolve in the city? - One Take
How do you feel the arts ecosystem can/should evolve in the city? - One Take

What do you enjoy most about the process of creating new work and what recurring challenges do you encounter?

“When it comes to my personal practice, it’s always, always – story-telling. When it comes to my body of work as a professional, I am super inspired by good clients who know their goals, and see me as a collaborator in achieving them, rather than a hired problem solver. And that just makes the entire process a very enjoyable experience. I always pick up more than I can chew. And then I push aside personal projects that I have had lined up for years now. It’s been a non-stop cycle, and I don’t know how to stop.”

How do you feel the arts ecosystem can/should evolve in the city? - One Take