She is only 24 and at this age she has received it all that any youngster would dream about. Be it success, fame, love, appreciation: she has achieved all these. Thus, on this special occasion of International Women’s Day, we celebrate the inspiring journey of Ekta Bhattacharjee, a professional designer who has given a new dimension to artwork.
Q1. You are an artist, designer, art director and now an entrepreneur. Please tell us about your journey.
Ekta: The journey has been an extremely beautiful one, with mostly ups and a very few downs. It has been a dream run for me… getting to work in almost 110-115 projects, with so many legendary artists from the country as well as abroad, that too within the age of 24 is obviously a matter of pride for me and more than that it gives me a sense of happiness and satisfaction. As an art director, I am assisting a lot of people, studying loads of books about this department. I guess I need to learn a lot more .
And as far as the entrepreneurship is concerned, I have just started. I have always wanted to have my own designing house, where I would get the opportunity to work with other talented designers from the city. I generally don’t work for free, so I try to make sure that people who are working for my agency get their respective remuneration/salary on time. Because ART IS NOT FOR FREE.
Q2. You have designed a poster for “Kaalmrigaya” and “Phera” starring Soumitra Chattopadhyay. Share your experience with us.
Ekta: Oh yes, I got the opportunity to work with him in Kaalmrigaya and Phera. But that happened only because of his daughter Poulami Chattopadhyay (actor and director herself), who gave me the opportunity to work with him. It is absolutely an enriching experience to work with this legend. He is an institute himself, there is so much to learn from him everyday. He is the most energetic and enthusiastic person I have come across and beside that he is extremely kind and caring towards the people he is working with.
Q3. Walk us through your recent artwork for a plays like “Abishkar” by Dulal Lahiri and “Ghasiram Kotwal” by Sujan Mukherjee.
Ekta: Working on these two big projects at the same time was very challenging for me. I was aware that both the projects would need a lot of commitment, time, energy and much more and I am pretty happy with the end results of both. People have appreciated both the art works and at the end of the day that’s what mostly matters to me. I feel extremely happy to have worked in plays like Ghasiram Kotwal and Abishkar
Q4. How was your feeling working with Mr. Mahesh Bhatt for the Hindi play titled, Hamari Adhuri Kahani?
Ekta: Working in a Mahesh Bhatt project is definitely one of the highest points of my career. And he himself is a very generous man. He takes keen interest in all the department of his play and films. One of his team members noticed my “Felicity” poster and referred my name to him and I was on board the very next day. When the play was premiered in Kolkata, I was very emotional to see my art work placed all over the city.
Q5. Tell us something about your other notable works.
Ekta: Well, there are many like:
- Attiyoshojon by Dolly Basu
- E- project by Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee
- Felicity by Tathagata Ghosh
- Ghasiram Kotwal by Sujan Mukherjee
- Book covers like Rahul er scrap book, Ramayanika, Shalo Songslesh for Saptarsh Prokashon
- Dont Send me to School by Humar Amed
Q6. Among all your works, which one is your favourite?
Ekta: Very very difficult to choose. All are extremely close to my heart. I had spent days and nights creating them. Each and every artwork is extremely special to me, so I can’t chose any particular from the lot.
Q7. Nowadays Photoshop and other digital softwares/means are used for creating some great posters and logos, be it for a film, play, book or a company. What made you take up this art of hand-made posters?
Ekta: I was pretty much convinced with the fact that if I will revive this old medium again. People will at least take a keen interest to look at it once, but the way people around me have accepted this medium all over again is just overwhelming. I don’t have anything against the digital medium. Rather I myself use the digital medium for the post processing purpose. And I always love Satyajit Ray’s artwork, which has been the biggest influence in my life.
Q8. What do you love most about your work?
Ekta: I love everything about my work, I mean the entire process and the reactions that follow. Script reading sessions, discussions, sleepless nights for executing the ideas, attending rehearsals, curtain calls, all the love, appreciations, criticisms. I enjoy each and everything thoroughly.
Q9. Are you comfortable being told what to design?
Ekta: I generally read the synopsis first and I am always keen to listen to the director’s or producer’s idea or what they are exactly looking for. I try to match that with my ideas and finally execute it. But I won’t deny the fact that I don’t like to be ordered thoroughly or just do what the director commands me. If the director is a designer or painter himself, then it’s fine but otherwise designers should be given full liberty to execute their thoughts. I believe in words like teamwork or discussions, rather than command or order.
Q10. Share a priceless moment in your life which is related to designing?
Ekta: Mr. Anupam Kher called me up to see all my art works and he was immensely happy after going through each and every work of mine. He praised a lot about me on Twitter and told that he would also love to work with me soon. That’s of course a priceless moment for me.
Q11. Moving on to your personal life, in this age of crumbling relationships, how do you people manage to held on to each other or stay strong since last 8 years and maintain a balance between both your personal and professional life?
Ekta: Patience, perseverance, forgiveness, dependency are few things which made this relationship so strong. Even we have our share of indifferences and I believe no true relationships are perfectly crafted. I know Arnesh since class I and we started dating since class XI. I think what works mostly for our relationship is that we are more like best friends than lovebirds. He was the one who motivated me to follow my dreams. I consider him to be my biggest support and critic, of course.
Q12. Tell us about your future plans and your upcoming artworks or projects.
Ekta: Expanding my designing house is surely on the priority list. And currently I am working for 3 upcoming plays, 3 short films and in the pipeline there are 4 bengali feature films, 3 events, and designs for North American Bengali Conference.
Q13. Considering the struggles artists face nowadays, what suggestions/ideas/experiences would you like to share with others?
Ekta: The demand of Graphic designing is increasing everyday. It’s a known fact that advertising agencies in Kolkata do not pay you much but it’s okay, one has to struggle to exist with his/her passion. See, young guns have to believe in themselves and take the final call .Freelancing is obviously a good option to earn your bread and butter, but at the end of the day quality, creativity, uniqueness matters. If you have these qualities you are bound to do well in life. Graphic designing is such an innovative field, you just need to have a rock solid guts to turn your passion into profession.
Q14. Any advice you would like to give to the young artists who aim to take up designing professionally?
Ekta: I always believe there is no substitute for hardwork. So, you just need to Believe in yourself and start experimenting. Keep your designs simple and unique. Patience and innovation are two most important factors one has to keep in mind if you are in this profession. 🙂