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Meet the poster boy

Akshar Pathak is a 24-year-old graphic designer who made it big, Bollywood style. A brand associate for Zomato by profession, he spends his spare time making minimalist Bollywood posters. A project which has over 72,565 likes on Facebook and 1,059,415 hits on its website. He even worked on a poster for Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Salaam Bombay! But that’s not all, if you’re lucky, he might make a poster out of your tweet, for his second project, the “Tweetard.” His quirky sense of humour and out-of-the- box thinking definitely reflects in his work.

Define yourself as an artist. People call you a graphic designer who made it big. But, what is your art to you?

I just like focusing more on the humour in what I do more than the design. It's like saying that my wit complements the entirety of the picture. My days are mostly spent at the Zomato office working as a Brand Associate. It’s mostly marketing design. When I reach home in the evening is when I get on this. No matter what creative field you’re in, you’ve most likely experienced a lot of dumb things clients say to you. But the best part about doing a project on your own is that the client doesn't have you on a leash. There are also times when I think I've slept my way to the top. And when I say slept I mean literally sleep, because I don't think I've even worked that hard.

Tweetard is a very quirky project, where did the idea form its roots? Why Twitter? What made you choose Twitter as the base of your next project?

Tweetard happened because most intelligence on Twitter lasts for about a day at the most. And I’ve read the funniest and wittiest of all things over there, from political puns to really lame jokes. So the whole project was about hand-picking those tweets and converting them into graphic form and having a whole gallery full of them. As I've always said, at the end of the day, Twitter is a sheltered workshop for evil geniuses.

Pick your favourite Tweetard poster.

That's really hard. That's like asking me to pick a favourite from all my children, when they're all ugly. But I guess if I'd have to choose one, it'd be, “They place you in a cubicle and ask you to think outside the box” inspired by Shantanu’s tweet (@tantanoo).

Minimal Bollywood posters are eye-catching and have definitely been gaining popularity. What urged you to work on them?

I came across minimalist poster designs by Ibraheem Youssef for Quentin Tarantino’s movies. No one in India had really explored this style of design for movie posters, so I thought I’d give it a shot and that’s how it all began. Minimal Bollywood Posters started as a fluke. I just created four-five posters and put them up on the Internet but I had no idea that it would go underground viral and make my life what it is now.

Personal favourite Minimal Bollywood poster.

And from my other set of offspring, “The Bollywood Mother Mood Spectrum.”

A particular movie you wish to create a poster for, which you haven’t done yet.

I think I've created a poster for almost every movie that I have watched. So there's nothing yet.

One original movie poster that inspired your creativity.

Out of the recent films, I loved all the posters for Godzilla and Gravity.

Your passion lies with which project, Tweetard or Minimal Bollywood? Partial towards one of them?

Partial towards MBP. But my passion is mostly like a pendulum between these two. These two and beer.

Biggest obstacle you’ve faced during your journey.

Most challenging project was working on the designs for Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist. More because that is the biggest project I have handled so far.

I worked with her on a few conceptual posters for The Reluctant Fundamentalist. And some artworks for the re-release of Salaam Bombay! They got in touch with me because she saw my Sholay poster in a magazine and really liked it.

The most memorable encouraging incident that proved to be a turning point.

Every time people appreciate the work, it feels really nice. Sometimes I even take screenshots of the compliments I get, get them framed and put them up on the walls in my room. Just kidding. Not.

You have quite the fan following on Twitter and even otherwise, how does it feel to have people fawn over your wittiness?

I feel great! But I know that there are thousands of way more talented graphic designers than me out there. Websites like Dribbble and Behance have made it abundantly clear that there are tons of people you've never heard of, and are as good or even better designers than the “weblebrities.”


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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 5:26:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/meet-the-poster-boy/article6053475.ece

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