For all of us, the journey through this continuing lockdown has had a lot of twists and turns. Day in and day out, we are facing the same situations that we would face normally, deal with in a habitual, business-as-usual manner, and simply move on. Now however, everything circumstantial, trivial, crucial or otherwise – be it groceries, schedules, habits, lifestyles, studies, careers, and much more – must be seen through this new lens and adjusted to accordingly. But more of that another time.
A great number of us have also had the opportunity to rediscover ourselves, all because of this imposed confinement. This lack of activity has resulted in an abundance of creativity, seeing many of our students display their true mettle, as some of them have contributed to society with their innovations, their goodwill, or simply with their art, spreading some good cheer in this time of gloom.
Consider Leon Vaz, co-founder of designer label Karleo Fashion who is fighting the pandemic by teaming up with Bombay Municipal Corporation for ‘Masks for Humanity’. The effort is currently manufacturing around 5,000 non-surgical masks for BMC workers and others on the front lines during this crucial time. We are especially proud of our alumni Kultejan Singh and Mani Syal who took the initiative to serve meals to needy people in the streets of Jaipur. They teamed up with ‘Feeding Hands’ help those hit hard by the current circumstances. Then there are fashion designers Saksham Singh and Neharicka who launched “The Four Hearts” COVID-19 Relief Card as a symbol of community solidarity and consideration for those less fortunate, in a bid to support Indian artisans and crafts-women.
Students are taking heart in the current climate of uncertainty to bring alive the humor in these times. Take School of Design student and talented illustrator and Ayush Kalra for example. His brilliant illustration series for Boat Headphones helped bring out the whole ‘quarantine and chill’ mood. How to keep sane and carry on creating in the times of COVID-19?
Another artist wowing us with his work is Raghav Sood, who ‘sketched’ a handy guide to help occupy the otherwise wandering minds of our students and the world at large!
Talking about becoming self-reliant, alumnus Pallav Chaudhary and budding textile artist shared a DIY video on how to make your own masks at home, by making use of readily available material at home. Fashion Design student Ashutosh Mittal even provided some serious WFH inspiration with his beautifully decorated work station. You’ve got to see it to believe it!
Many of our students have been dishing out creativity for positivity’s sake. Take our student Sanyam Batra’s work for example, which got featured in Philocaly menswear. The brilliantly done illustrations have the power to make one hopeful of better days to come. Not to be missed is the artwork by alumnus Rahul Pahwa, that got featured in The Positivity Project by India Design ID. We have loved these small but significant efforts of our students that show us new perspectives.
They have been going the extra mile to keep themselves creatively occupied in a time when we’re running out of things to do. Heena Sukhani and Agrima Blana are giving free online sessions on textile development, art illustrations, dyeing, swatch sampling – a real treat for fabric lovers. These went beyond just designs to bring out the stories behind each of them, the dyes used, the design brought out, and more!
What has been evident among these examples is a sense of empathy within our students as they rose to the occasion and aspired to the higher ideals of survival. There is an insight here for all of us to grasp. Our students and faculty have been connecting daily for lectures over video conferencing, bringing many of us closer to each other, even if in isolation. It has led us to realize the importance of creativity in our lives, and the soul-enriching impact it has. But most of all, there is always a choice to do something meaningful and make a difference to your community or even the world at large.