Manas Kunder. Artist. Illustrator. Unassuming. Mad. On a Madtrip. Manas is that guy who I would be happy to spend hours discussing art and life with. Somehow everything about him is calm and non threatening. His art and way of thinking is so different from mine and yet… his sketch book gives me insight into a very complicated mind. And it is one I would love to unravel over a few drinks just talking and painting. This guy I wish lived closer…
I met Manas at Beach House Project in march last month at an idyllic week long residency in Fort Kochi. You can read about that trip here. One week together can get a bunch of people quite close quite fast. And that is exactly what happened.He is next in my series of Effortless Friendships. Read on to find out more about him.
What did you study in college?
I completed my B.F.A (bachelor of fine arts) from Rachna Sansad College of Applied Arts and Crafts. It was a four year course which took me five years to complete as I had flunked in the second year board. It did come as a big surprise as I had flunked in art rather than all the other boring things I’d studied, but it did give me a push to excel more and I passed out topping the university in the last year.
What made you pick art/ design?
I have been inclined towards art right from the earlier days of my childhood right from making my own paper toys to silver foil creatures. My grandma”s wall was all distorted and had paint chipped off, so when she would try to put me to sleep in the afternoons I would stare at the wall and form all kinds of different creatures in my head. Post college I spent five years in advertising and design, I figured my strength lies in creating funky illustrations and not being restricted by any brand. So I created my own brand called ‘Madtrip’. I also freelance as a designer, make murals and also recently started teaching part time in Pearl academy.
What made you expand?
My range of merchandise in ‘Madtrip” are limited to what I personally prefer or what I would like to get or buy as a consumer myself. For instance the reason I started designing sleeping masks was cause I love sleeping and I mostly end up sleeping in the day. In the start I got lot of doubtful questions from people around me as to whether it would sell or not but I was quite confident with the concepts that I had in mind and it worked out great.
What is your company called and why?
Well my company was initially called “Manimal” but then I saw that there was an existing clothing brand called Manimal so I asked the people on my Fb group at that time to suggest names and finalized on Madtrip which was suggested by a close friend and it fit in perfectly.
Could you share a typical work day with us?
Well I don’t have a fixed routine, but during tight deadlines I would wake up at eleven and have a good breakfast with a cup of coffee. Then start doing some research on my topic with some rough sketches. Eat food at three and start my main work by seven thirty and go on till late at night.
My work schedule also ends up getting split between designing or printing orders from amazon for Madtrip and my freelance designing.
What is your design process/thinking/philosophy?
Well I still have so much to learn, but as of now I feel it’s a balance between creating certain designs that are more abstract and personal to art which is more relevant to the people. When it comes to designing or creating illustrations for a Madtrip product, I wouldn’t invest time in it unless the concept moves me and I can visualize it being something that’s not been seen before.
What sets your work apart from another designer?
That would be my style of art and a certain sense humor that I assume I have 😛
What are some of the hurdles you face as a young business?
Keeping a balance between management work and designing. Also a balance between my personal and professional life. I’m still in search for the right market place for my original designs.
What is the next step you see for your business? Expansion plans?
Well a website is on top of the priority list. More outlets to circulate my merchandise and get some one to manage my online marketplaces. Planning to test my designs in the US by the end of this year.
Favourite drink/ movie/book/go to place?
Drink – Lemon Barley in the summer and Old Monk in winter.
Movie -I love watching Japanese animi movies its super inspirational.
Go to place – It would be on the Docks of Versova where you can take your own bottle of alco and get fresh fish to eat by the sea.