Stop. Breathe. Drink.

TAXI FABRIC WORKSHOP
ASIAN PAINTS COLOUR NEXT 2017 PAVILION, MUMBAI

Ankita Shinde was one of the mentors at the Taxi Fabric Workshop, who guided 8 designers and anchored one of the four taxi fabric designs centred around the theme of ‘Water - The Elixir of Life'. One of the forecasted trends at #ColourNext17 by Asian Paints. This trend is inspired by water as an element that will see a spur in creative activism among artists & designers.

When the theme was given to them they started brainstorming and jotting down all the possible ideas that crossed their minds.Finally, they came up with the title of 'STOP. BREATHE. DRINK', reminiscent of Ankita’s own taxi which she had previously been titled ‘STOP. BREATHE. FEEL.’ With the current taxi 'STOP. BREATHE. DRINK’ the thought was to urge people to quench their thirst, quench their souls, and fill their infinite space. She wanted to remind people to pause for a moment, breathe, drink water, and stay hydrated through the design of her team’s taxi which took an abstract, experiential approach.

Ankita shares her thrill of mentoring 8 incredibly talented designers. “9 of us made a great team, I think. Along with the time crunch, I had to be extra sensitive about making sure all of the 8 designers got to participate in the ideation, sketching as well as the execution process, as it was more about a 'team workshop' than 'who's the best designer'. We worked in slots of 15 and 30 minutes - assigning tasks to everyone and having quick 5 minute discussions after each slot. The team was very enthusiastic, they played as a team and let the best ideas stay, keeping their own individual views aside,” says Ankita.

As they kept nearing the deadline, it was literally a visual storm! People were running to scan design, digitise, ink, etc. But they all seemed to have loved every bit of the experience. “I had a particularly enthusiastic and funny team! On the second day, all of them spent around an hour with the taxi and fabrics taking pictures and posting boomerangs - the love and excitement everyone had could not be missed by anyone passing by,” adds Ankita.

Mentoring for Ankita means to inspire and guide and let the team actualise its full potential. It is to allow them to create the best output they can with all the constraints placed in front of them. It means to show what is possible and enable the team to perform to their fullest capacity.

For her team the biggest challenge was time crunch But that's what made it a lot more fun. “We all are designers and design at our own pace otherwise. But coming together and creating something together with the challenge of time was an experience in itself,” shares Ankita.

Ankita loves India and its diversity. And how in spite of the diversity, no culture is lost. Every culture shines out individually and as a community as well. “The languages, the clothing, food, cultural practices, beliefs, stories, art forms, terrain, you speak of it and we have it all. What an amazing treasure trove,” she sighs.

Today Ankita runs her own design studio called 'AnotherDayAnotherColour Studio'. She also runs a product brand 'Not Just Colouring', and practices fine art as well. She used to draw right since she was three years old. And always wanted to be an artist / teacher on growing up. She is glad to be doing exactly that today.

After completing her BFA in applied art, she moved to Goa to work at a design studio for a year. Post that she  worked as a freelance graphic designer/illustrator for four years. In 2016, she started her own design studio and has a team of three currently, where she works on projects around Branding, Illustration, Web Design and the like.

“Generally people don't value design/art much in India. Art hasn't been ingrained in our education/culture in ways it should,” says Ankita. She believes that Taxi Fabric is an amazing project that has gotten so many designers together. Although it may have started off with a vision of merely beautify the kaali peelis, it is now a community, a cult, a platform to find and source art inspiration.

Her advice to fellow designers is that: “Keep creating a lot of work. Don't get pressured into finding a 'specialization' or 'unique style'. Just keep creating what your heart beats for. That's the only way to understand yourself and your work better. And only when you can understand and contribute to your own self, will you be able to contribute to others and the world around.”

This Taxi Fabric is supported by Asian Paints Colour Next 2017

ColourNext is an annual trend forecast done by Asian Paints. Tapping onto to the socio-economic trends & other environmental, lifestyle driven changes that affect our society, the forecast is translated for the design industry and presented in the form of Colours, materials, textures, finishes & patterns.