Did you grow up wanting and knowing that you’ll be able to do a million things with your talent? Yeeep. Neither did I. But Avinash Jai Singh did.
See, I came across Avinash’s art as a part of the Uncover project, and immediately fell in love with it. His work is surreal, deceptively bright, and most of all: it looks like pages out of a millennial’s life. The most impressive bit? He DOES IT ALL. From photography to film-making to illustrations. Like I said, he grew up wanting and knowing that he’d be able to do a million things with his talent.
“I’ve always been very visual. I won my first prize for my art when I was 6 years old, so this just seemed natural.”
“Certain ideas and stories can be said without depending upon anyone else, and that’s where illustrations come in handy. But when I have a story or a thought which needs an elaborate sense of imagination, photography helps. And when I need to tell an even more elaborate story: that’s when cinema helps. They all have a totally different vibe, which to me is the most amazing journey that can happen to any storyteller.”
What really resonated with me though, was how his work made me feel understood…less alone. These illustrations are proof.
“The lost souls.”
Avinash gave us access to gorgeous UNRELEASED pieces of art – and they do not disappoint. This one – well, it’s every relationship on the verge of ending and the struggle to hold on. It’ll haunt you.
Lost in everything but each other.
Another unreleased beauty – this one is, well…a modern relationship. Or maybe it’s modern love. Where we tag each other in memes, post on each other’s Facebook walls, rant on about #RelationshipGoals…without really looking at each other.
Let’s make our own world.
Or maybe this is what modern love is – shutting the world out, the noise out, and getting lost in the one you make…together.
To the one addiction we cannot kick away.
“I think with age, I’ve started using darker themes. Things I see in my life, in the lives of people around me. That’s also why I use so many bright colours: with themes as dark as mine, I think bright colours are NEEDED.”
Do you have that ONE person you can’t seem to let go of? No matter how badly you’ve been hurt, you keep going back to him/her? Hoping to fix things, to make things better? I know I do.
Love changes you – for better or for worse.
“When you grow older, you kind of want your youth back. You want the innocence, the naivete. You want the moments where you were hopeful instead of cynical. Sometimes you’ll want the way you perceived things back.”
As someone of youth, I agree – love disrupts you. Is youth wasted on the young, though?
Are humans truly selfless?
I never did believe in soulmates – in the idea that humans exist to complete each other. We exist to complete ourselves. So this – this is believable.
What colour is your pain?
“My work revolves mostly around the theme of social media and explores a fickle generation’s quest for self-actualization and their existential crisis under contemporary realities. Everyone today is trying on new faces from the vast wardrobe of the internet.”
I never thought pain could look like this: that it could look anything BUT ugly. I suppose it’s what you make of your pain.
To the people who give us sh*t, but make it worth it.
Why can’t people live up to the potential that comes with that spark of madness? Though to be fair, that single spark makes it all worth it.
Humans can be beautiful, terrifying disasters.
“I believe in one life time, its not possible for anyone to live all the emotions. So many lives, with so many stories- and a million emotions.”
We all have that one person who draws us in, in the most dangerous of ways. Who scares us with just how fascinating they are. They’ll warn us about themselves, but we’ll ignore that, and jump fearlessly into them, nonetheless.
This is the dream.
“My visuals also come from the second hand experiences of the multiple people I meet and stick with. It is sometimes about their love, their love for their past, or the hope they live with.”
Because perhaps that’s all we really want: not only someone who reaches for the sky, but is willing to paint it for us.
“I often get inspired by stories of insecurities or the love they feel when they revisit the past – whether it’s nostalgia or cynicism.”
There are things we have to do, monetary achievements we want to enjoy. But what if things don’t go as planned? Do we keep up the illusion of success and share an ice cream we can’t afford, or accept that maybe, just maybe, it’s for the best?
This is important.
Question everything. The people who tell you what to do, the people who run the country claiming that they have its best interests at heart. Don’t let their loudspeakers drown out your shouts.
It’s all about keeping your colours alive.
“The bright colours hide my cynicism and anger towards society in a softer way.”
And maybe that’s what it’s all really about – never letting the black and white of the world change your colours. Or maybe it’s about marrying the monochrome with all your hues.
Memories that stick around.
There’s always something associated with the people we unconsciously hold on to. Their favourite movie, a tee shirt that reminds us of them…their favourite song. Memories, even when modified, are forever. Even if people aren’t.
A generation that moves on.
“As the name suggest, Daakujaisingh (his Instagram handle), I try to steal your emotions or at least borrow your stories to create the visuals that can resonate with someone living on the other side of the planet.”
But even with the memories, we move on. We drift apart. We heal, even if it’s in the most ‘modern’ of ways.
I’ve never seen adulthood rebellion expressed like this. But again – stand up. Flip them off. Speak up.
To the moments we like to forget.
Above all, I suppose this is why I love his work. It captures intimate moments, even the ones we’d like to pretend never happened. Like the nights we get too drunk and try to forget our loneliness with a phone call. And he makes it look like, well…this.