Archan Nair is a New Delhi-based visual artist specializing in mixed media, illustration, and digital art. His visual expressions are influenced by the mysteries of existence and the universal interconnectedness of our actions and emotions. We spoke to Archan to find out more about his journey as an artist.
Neocha: How did you get started as an artist?
Archan: I never had any formal training in art, nor was I inclined towards drawing or painting while growing up. I began working in the fashion industry around 2002 when I joined my family’s apparel manufacturing company, and around 2006 I started experimenting with visual art.
The fashion scene in India was really unorganized and stressful. I found it to be a very negative space, and thus creating visual art was an outlet for me, an escape to travel into a reality which was my own, in which I would be able to express myself. I was in awe of the fact that I could create something out of nothing. I got really addicted and I started having too much fun. I found so much joy in creating, but as I explored more, I started becoming much more serious about art.
There was a point of realization around 2007 when I knew that this was what I wanted to do all the time. So I called it quits for the day-to-day work at my company and started my beautiful journey as an independent artist. It was the most difficult and confusing decision I ever made, but it was definitely worth it! I finally decided to pursue my love, to do what I really enjoy from the deepest corners of my heart, and to start my own studio where I could create all the time. It has been an incredible trip since then.
Neocha: How does India influence your work?
Archan: I grew up in India, and I feel a huge influence coming from the intricate, layered culture. Indian culture is extremely diverse, colorful, and magical! So many stories, so much love. It’s very spiritual and happy. I love the twisted patterns and emotions which are embedded to its core, extremely deep and moving!
Comparing it with other places, its a completely different planet. I feel like people here are more warm and loving and open and accepting. Everything we experience here is so different from the rest of the world, even the smell of the air has a different feel to it. Being exposed to so many traditions and festivals and having a diverse group of people around certainly makes you learn a lot!
I feel like people here who are open to the digital medium, or no medium, and are exposed to experimental work, tend to enjoy it more. I’ve received tremendous support and love from not just my country but from around the globe. It just goes to show that any form of expression touches us deep within.
Neocha: Can you tell us a bit about your personal style?
Archan: I’m not sure if I have a style, as I keep playing with all forms of styles and direction. As the years go by it seems to have grown into its own vessel. But the colors are truly influenced by the beautiful culture in India – the festivals, traditions, fashions, and so on. I love the happy vibes of the people around me, and I feel like that somehow reflects in my work as well.
Neocha: How do you balance personal and client work?
Archan: I give a lot of focus to my own personal work, and try to collaborate with clients who prefer to create something which is in my style. I try and focus on one client project at a time, so I can give all my energy and love into it, while also creating personal art projects at the same time. As the years go by, both areas have somehow merged, as both involve experimentation and exploration. I love working with clients as it is more of a collaborative effort with feedback and communication. I love pushing myself and going out of my comfort zone to create something amazing! On the other hand, personal art is more about the moment, the flow and how I feel, so it comes out very naturally.
Neocha: What are your thoughts on creativity, and how do you channel it?
Archan: I feel that any form of artistic expression seems to be channeled from a higher frequency. Art has been a vehicle for me which has taken me into a magical journey, where I have not only rediscovered my true self, but also the process of understanding what the true nature of reality is and how we are all interconnected with the patterns which exist all around us – living or non-living, seen or unseen.
I am highly influenced by the unknown and how the fractal nature of everything works in such a spectacular and intelligent way. Nature, conversations, moods, and moments in life which could seem random from a micro-scale but make so much sense when seen up close. It’s simply mind-boggling!
I feel in awe everyday when I have this realization again and again of how incredibly transformative this journey has been. It is truly unexplainable through any language or words, it feels like a sequence of intelligent codes.