Water – An Artist


Khyati Trehan 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.

She says she didn't arrive at the design, the kids did. A subject as broad as elixir of life inspired a bunch of ideas. Her aim throughout the process was to make sure everybody feels comfortable to share their ideas, however silly it sounds in their heads. It takes a certain level of comfort to think aloud in a group of people you're meeting for the first time. Some of the most impactful images sound stupid in words. So achieving that was Khyati’s primary focus.

First, she clubbed all the similar ideas into groups and administered several rounds of filtering, till the group voted for 3 final ideas. Based on the previous mentors' advice of watching time, Khyati’s group chose the concept that all of them were convinced with but one that would also take the least time to execute.

Each designer created one or two artworks on the concept of how water has shaped the planet by flowing, freezing, weathering landscape, eroding rocks, refracting light, reflecting images etc. Khyati personally preferred this concept over the other ones also because of its neutral stance. Instead of taking a side, this idea urged the viewer to step back and appreciate how much of the planet's beauty we owe to this element.

The title ‘Water An Artist’ or ‘Paani Ek Chitrakaar’ aimed to look at water as an artist that has sculpted and painted the planet with its flow and force.

This was the first mentoring experience for Khyati, so it was both intimidating and thrilling for her to work with such a bright and enthusiastic group of designers. Mentoring for Khyati is purely guiding and extracting the best out of someone. Her initial intention was to just steer them in the right direction but she couldn't help herself from getting more involved than just giving feedback.

By the end of the day, Khyati along with Aniruddh (another brilliant minimalist designer, who was also a mentor in the previous TF workshop) were recolouring artworks and correcting curves on our machines. It was refreshing to see so many great ideas getting generated in such a short span of time. At the same time, she also feels designers today need to be reminded about how important it is to be able to also 'execute' with refinement and efficiency. A tight timeframe and 8 different styles and opinions were Khyati’s biggest challenges.

Khyati had studied Graphic Design at NID. She graduated in December 2014. Since then she has been exploring all possible nooks and crannies of visual communication- from studying type at ITF, interning with the Think Tank Team led by Pranav Mistry in the silicon valley, working at Codesign to freelancing with Struckby in Delhi.

“My greatest personal challenge is wanting to learn everything and not finding enough time for it. I'm on this impossible pursuit of trying to become the jack of all trades as well as a master of all,” she smiles.

About Taxi Fabric she feels that apart from offering a really unique canvas, the project is a leak in the bubble that the design community is, into the world outside of it.

“It’s very easy to feel like you’re falling behind and comparing yourself to others designers. I’m guilty of doing the same so often, but slowly I’m beginning to realise that everyone has their own pace and time and it’s important to continue ‘doing’. Also, please stop replicating images you see on Pinterest. I see so many people masking their lack of conceptual thinking and execution with decoration, instead of crafting & designing.  First hold the shift key when you’re drawing your bezier handles. And then start doing fancy 3D shit. Lastly, find role models in your immediate surroundings and work under great designers and their guidance” she advises the rest of the design fraternity.

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.