Illustrator, visual artist, art director, digital artist, magnetic human being – Archan Nair holds many titles for his current life occupation. The New Delhi-based artist is known for his vibrant mixed media works that emulate a strong sense of spirituality and wanderlust.
With a commercial resume that boasts the likes of Nike, Canon, and Sony as well as artwork that has made cameos in GQ and Vanity Fair plus recognition from Kanye West, Nair has the ability to create a whirlwind of excitement anywhere his art goes. His warm personality coupled with his intense passion for all mediums of creation resonate within the work he creates. We had the opportunity to pick Archan’s brain, check it out!
LF: Hi Archan! First off, would you mind giving Live Fast a quick introduction to how your passion for art developed?
AN: Thank you for having me as a part an amazing interview it is such an honor!
I guess it was some form of mystical moment which really made me discover this insane realm of creative expression. I never had a formal training, nor was I inclined towards drawing or painting while growing up. In fact, I was an entrepreneur as a part of my family business. I began working in the fashion industry around 2002, and around 2006 I accidentally started experimenting with playing around with visual art. I was in awe of the fact that I could create something out of nothing…I got really addicted and I started having too much fun. This began growing on me everyday as I kept exploring and creating. There was a point of realization around 2007 when I knew this was it, this is what I wanted to do all the time. So I called it quits for the day-to-day work at my company and started my beautiful journey as an independent artist . It was the most difficult and confusing decision but it was worth it!
LF: Your artwork seems to speak to a higher level of consciousness – it is as if each piece is exploring a phase of life that may or may not be rooted in a metaphysical understanding. What would you consider the root of your artistic inspiration?
AN: Oh yes. In fact, I feel any form of artistic expression seems to be channeled from a higher frequency. Art has been a vehicle for me which has taken me into a magical journey, where I have not just rediscovered my true self but the process of understanding what the true nature of reality and our interconnectedness with the patterns which exist all around us – living or non-living, seen or unseen.
I am highly influenced by the unknown and how the fractal nature of everything truly works in such a spectacular intelligent way. Nature, conversations, moods, and moments in life which could seem random from a micro-scale but make so much sense when seen up close -It is mind boggling really!
I feel in awe everyday when I have this realization again and again of how incredibly transformative this journey has been. It is truly unexplainable through any language or words, it feels like a sequence of intelligent codes.
LF: You also create music – how did this come about?
AN: Music has been such an integral part of my creative journey, I have to be listening to sounds while creating or almost all the time. At times, the inspiration to discover new sounds by creating them comes while working on a new piece. This led me to discover and experiment with sounds, and that somehow reflects back into my visual art as well. I love the fact that my zero knowledge of music makes me feel free to go wild and experiment. It is truly exciting!
LF: What have you noticed since creating both music and mixed media illustrations? Is there a medium that you prefer?
AN: I wish I could create more music, since most of the time I am drawing or working on a new piece. Music is a zone I love moving into in bits and pieces for my own personal stimulation. The fact that we can create anything out of nothing makes me feel alive. I definitely love creating art and illustrations more, that is where my spirit resonates the most. I find it fascinating that our senses are so interconnected and outerconnected to the senses of everything beyond our senses and that translates so beautifully in however we create.
AN: I am heavily inspired all the time. I feel the over-sensitivity to inspiration is a core reason for my hyper-activeness, haha. But yes, I love having an organic flow when I begin creating a new piece. Every new work is triggered through an intense feeling. Sometimes I have this faded vision which inspires me a lot to move into that direction, and then I let the creative force take care of the rest, as everything flows in such a beautiful way that the artwork comes into life. I love experimenting with different mediums to express myself. I think I get bored with a single medium very easily so I dabble with digital, pens, markers, watercolors, and acrylics by mostly playing and mixing them. It brings me so much joy! I feel the beautiful energies of the environment, the people, nature, everything around me. Bliss!
LF: What person/place/event would you consider most monumental to your creative personality?
AN: I feel everyone who has been a part of my life, from my family, to my friends and everyone who I have come across virtually or physically. Every place I have ever been to, every conversation, every note, thought – negative or positive, has been such an important part to shape me into who I am. It truly shows how we as a colony, a community really feed off each other to evolve, to create, to sustain.
LF: What is the most inspiring place you have traveled to?
AN: Oh wow, so many amazing places…and so many I’ve yet to go! I loved Thailand, there are some amazing islands there. Love the culture and the people there. Within India, I love Kerala, it is absolutely stunning. Pondicherry too. I’m also looking forward to many more amazing places! 🙂
LF: Who are your top three favorite artists?
AN: There are so many, wow! So difficult to pick up a favorite… But lets try. I love the visual art of James Jean, he is incredible! Musically, I have been really loving Cuushe these days. Also, Iris Van Herpen for her mind-blowing haute couture fashion!
LF: What can we expect to see from you this year?
AN: Wow, lots of new pieces I have been working on (multiple series), so that means moving through different spaces subconsciously and spreading a lot of love!
LF: How fast do you live?
AN: Fast and smooth! Trying to be more still and balanced while creating so much and being super excited about each moment. Oh, and by the way, I eat pretty fast, talk really fast, walk fast too!