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Priyesh Trivedi: Artist we love

JUL 11, 2016 | By Aditi Gaitonde
He always liked vintage and propaganda art for its powerful vibe. Looking back, Priyesh theorises that maybe that subconsciously projected in what he created three years ago. His inspiration for the internet phenomenon Adarsh Balak, which literally means “ideal boy”, came from learning charts that are “insanely stereotypical, sexist with moral propaganda and subliminal political messages”.
What started off as an inside joke for friends spiralled into a rage on the World Wide Web. He shared his first piece on Facebook back in October 2013 and by May 2014 had quit his day job to focus entirely on the series. The praise was instantaneous – a few hours after he uploaded his first prelude poster, followers tracked him down for prints.
With his painting out there on the web, does he ever worry about copycats and plagiarism? “I don’t get worked up when people take my work. It is not my style or name to begin with. The only new input I bring is the context. They can make one thing and get two minutes of fame but can’t spawn in into a series and sustain it like I did. I had to give up everything, my day job and freelance projects to work on Adarsh Balak,” says 25 year old Priyesh.
After studying commerce for two years, Priyesh considered joining a management or finance course when we stumbled upon an animation film making degree in college. Having been drawing and painting since he was five, this immediately piqued his interest. After graduating, Priyesh worked in pre-production in an animation company but left later to engage the gaming industry. “My job in the animation company was to come with characters – from their costumes to features. It had a direct influence on my work with Adarsh Balak,” he states.
Superficially, darker subjects and “cannabis humour” might seem like the primary topic but Priyesh’s intentions lie deeper. “The only way to change mindsets is to alter how words are associated with certain meanings. They want you to believe that you can be adarsh only when you obey society and not question status quo. I wanted to take the word, change it from someone who is a non-thinking sheep, to someone stands up for himself and does what he or she wants to do,” he asserts.
Also read: Why we love visual artist Sameer Kulavoor