Say hello to Priyanka Tampi, an illustrator and Animator from Pune who finds beauty in the ordinary!

Mishkaat Imrani
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Priyanka Tampi

From making digital artworks to creating thought-provoking sketches, working on animated music videos, and illustrating her childhood memories, Priyanka Tampi's warm and earthy colour palette makes her feed a beautiful space to dive into and explore art-scape from her perspective.

Priyanka Tampi is a freelance illustrator and Animator who always found her comfort in drawing. Growing up, her family moved to different cities, and she had to change schools and friends. This constant change got her closer to drawing, and she became best friends with her pen and pencil. Later, she experimented with economics for a while, but that only further cemented her desire to make her career into the field of art.

So, Priyanka ended up enrolling at MIT Institute of Design to study Animation Design. After her college, she took up several freelance projects, and since then, she has been working on an eclectic range of projects from music videos to illustrated books. Priyanka Tampi's work is not just a blend of beautiful things, but it's also thought-provoking and features comics, happy people, dogs, and some really cool things!

Priyanka Tampi

"It’s been quite a fulfilling journey so far. I have worked on a myriad of projects, from creating learning materials for Children at Orangeslates to working on music videos with musicians like Malfnktion, Itra, and Ubaid Ali Rana", said Priyanka. She has also worked on Aparna Jain’s children’s book “Like A Girl” as well as Sreejita Biswas’ graphic comics. Her work for Menstrupedia was about creating illustrations on Menstruation, and she recently collaborated with Plated Project on their campaign for Downs Syndrom.

But, apart from her collaborations, Priyanka's personal projects are also applaud-worthy. Her animated reels featuring herself and a very cool nani are also pretty relatable and fun to watch. Her digital artworks featuring her own grandmother, adorable dogs 'Bingo and Khushi' bring a huge smile to our faces. " Motu and Patlu as I like to call them, I love them to bits! We adopted Bingo when he was a pup. Khushi on the other hand adopted us! She was a local pup and she took a shine to Bingo. Also, ‘Nani’s Cooking’ was something I made for my mum. I attempted to recreate a memory of hers of her grandma", she said.

Priyanka started working right after completing her graduation. She decided to be a freelancer and has been dealing with its ups and downs. She feels it’s not the most stable option starting out! "There are some months where I don’t earn much and there are some months that manage to compensate for the former. Negotiating costs with clients can be quite draining. Some clients are not willing to adequately compensate you. There’s also the issue of delayed payments. You have to constantly try and advertise your work and build your network as a freelancer in order to get that steady stream of projects", she further said.

Priyanka Tampi

Though Priyanka has been getting many projects lately and has over 24K followers on her Instagram, she is still discovering many things, including her illustration style. Most of her previous work involved abstractly trying to depict emotions or concepts. But, now it’s moved more towards telling a story and trying to evoke a certain kind of feeling of nostalgia. " The idea is more important for me. Sometimes it comes out through an illustration or an animation, and sometimes it’s expressed in the form of a poem", she said.

Speaking of nostalgia, there's a series of illustrations that takes us back to our childhood. You can gobble up a paan from the paan wali aunty, get a new haircut from the local barber, or reach your destination with the auto wala, Priyanka has made nostalgic illustrations of these familiar faces who've been a part of our childhood, and we love them! Her anecdotal captions are worth-reading too, and it's just all so beautiful.

"I get the inspiration from the times I used to hang from the window as a kid gawking at everyone who passed me by. I have learned over time to see the beauty in the ordinary and I am trying to translate that into my current work. It’s all a cumulation of my experiences growing up. So, I thought I’d pay tribute to the people who keep our daily lives running smoothly, in my own way", she mentioned.

Priyanka's palette involves pastels or earthy colours. But, when she feels particularly adventurous, she uses reds and yellow hues. The music videos she's worked on also carry a world in them, and they will surely bless your eyes with the details. Her 'making' videos will make you think that animation is a piece of cake for her. But, Priyanka shares a love-hate relation with animation and finds some parts of the process incredibly tedious.

"The most challenging part is actually making it, particularly the clean-up stage. Mine is the old traditional way of animating. Today you can just create the assets and directly animate the parts. But I love the traditional way of animating, even if it’s tedious! But it all comes together in the end and makes it all worth. Having to see your drawings come alive still amazes me. I feel like a sorcerer!", she added.

If you scroll through Priyanka's feed a little more, you will find some amazing pencil sketches that are thought-provoking and would leave you with questions. Some are about the depressing news we get to hear every day, while some are about politics, war, idolization, and more. Her digital artworks are pretty, but these raw and rough sketches are mind-boggling. "I love working with both, but digital is much faster. I tend towards that when I don’t have enough free time to make something of my own. Also, the pencil has been my childhood friend and I love it. If I have a few days free I would sit and sketch to my heart’s content", she further said.

Quick 5!

1. Your favourite stationery shop in your city: Mango Stationery in Seawoods Navi Mumbai. 

2. Indian animators and illustrators you look up to: Gitanjali Rao, Tarun Lak, Debjyoti Saha, Somnath Pal, and the folks over at Ghost Animation are my favourite Indian Animators. The Illustrators I look up to are Lavanya Naidu, Chhaya and Sandhya Prabhat, Upmanyu Bhattacharya, Anand Radhakrishnan. These are just at the top of my mind, there are so many more it would be a very long list. 

3. If not illustrating, what else we would find you doing: Writing poetry, watching movies, playing with Bingo and Khushi, reading books, and graphic novels. 

4. If you have to make an illustration of a local place, a spot in a city, or favourite eatery, which place would that be: Well, I think it would be the Burger joint in Koregaon Park, Pune. There’s one in Camp also. So, it’s a quaint little place, it’s like walking into a different time and the burgers are made with love. 

5. One tip for amateur illustrators and animators: One tip is to hone your creativity, skill is easy to learn and comes with practice but ideas are more sought after in my experience. So absorb and observe everything around you.

Also Read: E-Meet Sangeeta Prayaga, aka Miss Compass Hands, from Bengaluru, whose artistic journey began after her accident!

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