Wonder Women

When Your Motivation is To Connect With People Through Sketches And Comics ~ A Freelance Illustrator & Animator Shares Her Story

Walt Disney, said,

“Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive. This facility makes it the most versatile and explicit means of communication yet devised for quick mass appreciation.”

In our #FridayFeature blog focusing on the #WonderWomen segment, we bring to you a woman who uses this means of communication that Mr. Disney talks about to the best of her abilities. Meet, Aparajita Ravichandran, who is a fulltime Animator/ Illustrator at an animation studio in Toronto and in her spare time, she takes up freelance work which involves creating stories, comics and daily sketches. She was on the path of becoming an engineer but found her calling in animation, what followed after that, as they say is history. What made her choose this field over engineering and how does she manage time between her full-time job and her freelance assignments? Let’s find out in her own words.

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Since childhood, drawing was the only thing that kept me in one place, otherwise I was very restless. I always considered it a hobby, and was sure engineering was the path for me. One time, we went to watch the Pixar film ‘Finding Nemo’ in the theater.

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It blew my mind away. I insisted we buy the DVD, and I would watch the ‘making of’ segments repeatedly. What is this fascinating thing called animation? Can art be more than a pass time? I was fortunate to meet with a design industry professional who guided me away from engineering and encouraged me to apply to art colleges. 

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This was the beginning of a new chapter. I dropped out of my IIT coaching classes. A rejection from the National Institute of Design left me dejected.

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I took a few short-term animation courses; however, they were not comprehensive enough. Then I got an amazing opportunity to study at Sheridan College in Canada, which has a very well renowned animation program.

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Throughout this journey my family was incredibly supportive. The next 5 years in college were a blast. I was very lucky to instantly find “my calling” and haven’t looked back since.

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I am blessed with a strong mother who never asked anything from me. She made me independent and it has helped me sail through life. My first major struggle was when I came back to Canada after graduation in 2012, in the hopes of finding a job.

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The animation industry was still reeling under the effects of the 2008 recession, and I was unemployed for almost three years. During this period, I experienced a lot of guilt, self-doubt, home-sickness and loneliness. If it weren’t for the support of my sister, I wouldn’t have been able to survive living in a foreign country without a job.  My long-distance family, second-hand bicycle and good friends kept me company, helping me tide through the tough times.

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Long commutes and lengthy work hours in NYC, London, and Toronto allowed me to be an observer and pen things in my sketchbook. The culture of each of the places enhanced my perception and was a major influence on my art. In that way, periods of my life where I lived alone as a stranger in new cities proved to be life changing.

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Another turning point was when I met my husband. We’re both artists, we have a good partnership, and we encourage each other to push beyond our limitations. With his support, I gained the confidence to take up a wide variety of art projects. We set up a stall at a Zine Bazaar, where, for the first time, we sold many of our own artworks. The positive response we received was extremely exciting and opened up several professional opportunities, propelling us to make more independent art. 

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Drawing brings me to the moment. My main motivation is to connect with people through my sketches and comics. My art revolves around daily observations in the city, for instance people on the streets, or in fancy cafes, or while commuting in trains, streetcars and auto rickshaws. The seemingly mundane made interesting with a few lines and colour.

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I can describe the journey in just one word, which is ‘fulfilling’.

My husband and I have plans to start an art and design studio, where we’ll undertake a wide range of projects in animation, illustration and sculpture.

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“I’m learning something new every day.”

It prevents me from getting stuck in one type of art, and inspires me to explore whatever form is required to best communicate the idea.

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My approach to art has undergone a transformation. When I was a student in college,

“I thought the only way to measure success was getting a job at a major animation studio. My experiences have opened me up to different possibilities, and I no longer have such cliched views on success. The journey is far more enjoyable than the destination.”

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To drop in a message to Aparajita, have a look at her gorgeous illustration and animation works, and to hire her for any such work, follow the links below:

Aparajita’s works and story have been featured on few online as well as offline platforms. You can go through some of these features via the following links:

Newspaper feature:

Instagram features/contributions:

Note: Aparajita regularly contributes/illustrates for The Pao of Love

Other personal and professional social media handles:

 

 

 

 

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