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Tapan Mody of Yes Yes Why Not?: Artist we love

MAY 24, 2016 | By Aditi Sharma Maheshwari
A vigorous head nod and an enthusiastic affirmative reply to any question– a typical Indian response, you’d say. Tapan Mody, an ad professional and an artist decided to base his agency’s brand name on the same observation – that’s how Yes Yes Why Not? was born in Mumbai. “We coined the name on a simple reflection – when we started out, we used to say yes to just about anything,” says Tapan.” It was reflective of the fact that nothing was impossible for us and it also didn’t make us sound like a boring, corporate agency.  So we chose this name to give a fun, creative spin to the company.”
The creative’s journey has been rather unconventional, to say the least. A Commerce graduate with specialisation in Travel and Tourism, he worked as a copywriter for ten years with Percept, RK Swamy BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi and finally, Ogilvy & Mather where he met his art partner and the former co founder of his company. They decided to start their own venture in 2004. This is where Tapan learned art from his young and talented “kids” in the office. “For an artist, advertising can be quite frustrating – many a times one’s talent doesn’t get recognised or appreciated. I wanted to move beyond just regular work, so I opened my entire office for designers to take out their pent up creativity on canvases; be it walls, broken tables or rocks. Since the past eight years, we have majorly been a creative design studio,” shares Tapan.
Inside the space, three segments thrive: Thinkeria is an outdoor section for employees or independent artists. Anyone can come here, spend a day or two working on their own canvases or the ones available at the studio. If the creation is completed, it is moved to Bizaar, the shop (indoors and online). From agarbattis, recycled auto meters and brightly coloured rocks, to Munshi tables drenched in pop art, bags and shirts – just about anything can be found here.
Finally, the brand boasts of an Artist Consortium – a body of professionals who have graduated from the Yes Yes Why Not? school of thought. Tapan calls it a finishing school for artists – here he trains fresh out of college students on how to work in a serious environment, the right professional etiquette while giving emphasis to high quality work. “The younger ones are easier to mould; they are not jaded with cynicism. We look after them as artist managers,” says Tapan.
On customising products for people, the founder avers that the idea stemmed from the general misconception that “art is unaffordable”. To bridge the gap between people seeking good work and those willing to provide it, a process was established: A customer can bring his own product, choose the content that he wants painted on it and quote price he is willing to pay for it. The artist then decides how he wants to make the art within the budget and works out his margin. This way, both parties are happy.
We wonder if employees ever experience Monday morning blues here. A fun, adventurous vibe resonates in this studio, one that encourages you to pick up an easel and try your hand at art too, artist or otherwise. After all, the brand wasn’t built on rhetoric, just for the effect!
Also read: The Design Museum in London has announced the Designers in Residence for 2016