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Key creatives: Asavari Kumar, MFA in experimental animation from the California Institute of the Arts, BFA in animation from the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India; Shaivalini Kumar, BFA in graphic design from Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, India. 

Duration: Asavari, 7 years; Shaivalini, 3 years.

Location: Los Angeles, CA; Delhi, India. 

Artistic influences: “The culture, dialect and surroundings of my childhood in New Delhi, India, strongly influenced my aesthetic style,” Shaivalini says. “I always inclined toward arts and crafts as a child, and as I grew older, I gravitated to illustration, lettering, and contemporary and urban art. Since graphic design is an all-encompassing discipline, I earned my BFA to understand visual communication more clearly. My design features an amalgamation of cultural imagery and new-age design techniques.”

“A lot of my influences—especially books, art and media—are global” Asavari says. “I gravitate toward contemporary low-brow art styles and graphic design, and I follow artists who not only have a distinct style and vision, but also practice sustainable art with entrepreneurial flair. To connect with these artists, I started Art Lovelies, an art blog that shares how artists and designers navigate their career paths.” 

As designers, it’s important to engage with the creative field on our own terms.

Favorite projects: “After starting Supernova Design with my sister,” says Shaivalini, “our main challenge was branding ourselves. Creating the right identity for our company that best represents us as people and as designers was a fantastic journey—and overwhelming at the same time. We came up with an engaging style true to our core.” 

“Our collective’s personal branding project lies very close to my heart,” Asavari says. “Designing a collective identity that represents our strengths and work philosophies was a wonderful, complicated and exhilarating experience. Of course, our identity will evolve just as we—as individuals and as a brand—evolve, but it was very exciting to have a tangible benchmark of where we’re at now.” 

Approach: “I diversify my life and experiences as much as possible to bring more variation into my art and design practice,” says Asavari. “I often try strange things—some stick and others don’t—but regardless of how long I engage with something, the experiences helps me feel closer to untangling the mysteries of the universe. Currently, I’m taking an astrology class, practicing t’ai chi and hiking a lot. While working on projects, I derive inspiration from cross referencing work across a variety of mediums—motion graphics, advertising, game design and feature animation— which I mediate with my particular aesthetic preferences to keep me from getting stuck in a single style or form’s language.”

“My art is vibrant and inviting, uncovering the magic in ordinary things,” Shaivalini says. “Sometimes, projects stem from nostalgic experiences, and other times I subconsciously embed my work with the aesthetics that surrounded me growing up. Therefore, my work becomes a unique blend of my personality, habitat and experiences with a twist of quirkiness.” 

Philosophy: “Try many things that are within your comfort zone and outside it,” says Shaivalini. “Practice makes perfect, and throughout my journey, I practiced my skills as much as I could. Failure is part of the process. It’s important to fail since without failure, you end up working in a void. Whatever I do, I take away something from it.”

“Keep learning and absorbing experiences,” Asavari says. “My sister and I decided to form Supernova because we wanted to be part of something bigger than our individual selves. I want to contribute to the world meaningfully by designing work that aligns with my core values—as designers, it’s important to engage with the creative field on our own terms.”

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