Loud and Clear
CG: Your designs infuse modern and traditional elements. Kindly tell us what you wish to convey through them. What are the inspirations behind them?
AK: Our design studio is all about collaborations among deaf and hearing artists and how they infuse their ideas over products. Major inspiration comes from traditional art forms like Gond art, Jamini Roy style and many more. And through this infusion, we showcase the amalgamation of traditional art and modern elements. How two different eras come together and how two different people come together.
CG: Your designs could have manifested on many surfaces, like a pillow case, t-shirt or a table mat. Why do you chose to design bags and clutches over other forms? What are some of the characteristics that help you make necessary design choices?
AK: Well, we don’t really mind expanding our designs on different products but we feel demands for bags, wallets and art prints are in and also offer the ability to experiment with. But, in a couple of months, we are launching notebooks, bags for boys and limited edition products as well.
CG: Fun and vividness seem to be omnipresent in your funky design style. Is that your design signature? What do you do differently in order to stand out from others doing something similar?
AK: Yes, we are a team of very lively and vibrant people. We see art everywhere and capture few of inspiration on products. The major difference between us and others is that we are empowering deaf artists by giving them exactly the same value which other designers have in a studio. They have all the freedom to create, explore and experiment.
CG: Designing a purse is one thing. Kindly tell us how you manage everything after that; everything from promotion to finally being bought? Apart from good design, what other features do these bags need to carry?
AK: We experiment with all our ideas, first comes the design and then we hunt for perfect material. Once the product is ready, the next stage is all about beautifying it with packaging and an alluring photo shoot. We make sure the products reach the customer with love and joy. A purse is not useful unless it fits all your basic criteria, and thus it might not be possible to fit all the features in one product. There thus has to be a good balance between style and utility.
CG: In future, what would AtulyaKala want to have achieved? What more do you wish to design and do? What would be some valuable advice to young designers who would like to do something out of the ordinary?
AK: Atulyakala wants to reach a hundred deaf artists association in another six months. We are focusing on covering new stores to sell products and taking sign language workshops across India. Atulyakala is also entering the design studio area, where we have taken few projects for interior and space designing and we are also on the verge of doing a sign language graffiti on the streets of Delhi