Immerse Yourself in the Animated Universe of Visual Artist Naureen Bindra
There is always potential for more colour and eccentricity – a point proven by 23-year-old Naureen Bindra whose visual artwork is a feast for the eyes. In the era of minimalism and the ‘less is more’ philosophy, Bindra’s spunky work in the field of graphic and motion design is a breath of fresh air.
In a mere 10 seconds, her innovative fashion-themed animations have the capability to transport one to an alternative land where backgrounds get a disco-themed update, Balenciaga shoes move to a rhythm of its own or models start duplicating in neon avatars to fill your entire screen. Her larger-than-life designs ultimately got the eye of Italian luxury house FENDI, leading to a coveted collaboration that most of us can only dream of achieving.
Read along as we discuss how the avant-garde street-style star made the shift from styling to visual artistry, the multiple ways in which her Visual Merchandising background aided this change and the thrilling experience of working with one of the biggest luxury brands in the world.
Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Naureen Bindra, a 2D/3D visual artist from Punjab, specialising in graphic and collage artwork. I’ve graduated from London College of Fashion with a degree in Visual Merchandising and Branding.
Q. What were your biggest takeaways from graduating with a degree in Fashion Buying and Merchandising?
I was lost when I first started university and had a hard time figuring things out on my own. Knowing that I had just myself to depend on, I started carving out extra time to practice different Adobe software’s such as Photoshop, InDesign and Premier Pro. I didn’t realise it then, but now I know that my passion for graphic design developed from those instances.
My course, Visual Merchandising and Branding, doesn’t directly relate to my current career as a visual artist, but it was a huge boost in allowing me to evolve creatively. I learnt fundamentals of 3D modelling through a program called SKETCHUP, created digital mock-ups and explored aspects of store design/retail display.
Q. Talk us through your technique of creating graphic art and motion design. How do you approach each project?
My process usually starts with experimenting and creating static graphics or art on Photoshop. Depending on the brief, if it requires to be in a GIF or video format, it’s further transferred into other software’s such as Premier Pro or Cinema 4D. The experimentation stage takes the longest, however once the design is finalised then the rest flows smoothly. I still find it hard to constantly innovate in this competitive field, but it helps to always focus on what sets my style apart and how I can hone that through every project I pursue.
Q. Creating digital art may seem daunting to some, owing to the seemingly complicated process of learning different online programs/techniques. How did you start out?
It was extremely overwhelming at the beginning. I have always had a particular aesthetic, my styling and graphics are an extension of myself. Being self-taught meant figuring things out on my own. Even though I had attended few Photoshop lessons during my time at London College of Fashion, I wasn’t able to learn much because of the quick pace at which things were taught.
Practicing on my own and taking the effort to master each technique thoroughly was important. Constantly creating and producing new work helped me discover endless nuances about graphic design software’s which allowed me to take my work to the next level. When all else fails, a YouTube or SkillShare tutorial will most likely solve any queries one may have.
Q. What attracted you to pursue a career in fashion in the first place?
My mom is an artist and that’s why growing up I was always surrounded by colours and art. During my teens I would spend my time creating a lot of fashion illustrations. Whenever I faced a creative block I tend to paint or create abstract art. Freely expressing my thoughts through colours helps me progress creatively and that’s where my love for fashion first began.
Q. How was your experience of working with Italian luxury house FENDI? What was the collaboration about and how did it come your way?
FENDI reached out to me via email and the brief was to create three graphics using their classic Karligraphy bags. The process was long and required a lot of revisions, but I was given ample creative freedom. I challenged myself to refine my existing skill-set and learn newer techniques, something that made the end result all the more satisfying.
I initially created a mix of graphics (both videos and GIFS) which were sent over to the FENDI team. They seemed to prefer the latter and so I worked on infusing it with a lot of repetitive transitions and bold contrasting colours like yellow and red. The visual impact shines through in the final animation that’s filled with psychedelic distortions and jazzy colour schemes, with the elegant FENDI Karligraphy bag as a canvas.
Q. Can you walk us through your journey with the London-based concept store – Machine-A?
I always wanted to become a stylist, and naturally began to assist and intern in the domain to gain experience. I’ve worked with London-based stylists such as Lily Bling and Yuki Haze for King Kong Magazine and Sukeban Magazine respectively. This led me to Machine-A – a luxury concept store that hosts a mix of contemporary international and British labels. I started as an assistant stylist and helped style shoots, complete sample pick-ups and returns from various PR agencies.
Soon after, my interest in Photoshop began to grow and I found graphic design more fulfilling as opposed to styling. I’m extremely grateful that Machine-A welcomed this change and gave me a platform to showcase my ideas in the form of graphics, even though I was just a beginner. By the end of my time at Machine-A I had created everything from window display vinyls to an exclusive lighter design. My journey with them was instrumental in my personal and professional development.
Q. What influences your edgy personal style and how has it evolved over the years?
If I were to describe my sense of style in 3 words, it would be – impactful, bold and unique. Earlier I used to stick to a lot of streetwear clothing but now I wear an odd mix of everything from blazers to sneakers. Comfort is key and so the oversized aesthetic is what I love the most, my go-to attire is a pair of baggy pants paired with a shirt. I enjoy expressing myself through my clothes. Most of my street-style inspiration comes from Instagram, namely makeup-mogul Rowi Singh (@rowisingh), Sita Bellan (@sitabellan) and Tokyo’s coolest 10-year-old @coco_pinkprincess.
Q. Freelancing has its own share of ups and downs, how do you deal with both and the heightened unpredictability that comes with it?
I wouldn’t say that there is a certain way to navigate through freelancing, but the only way to get noticed is to put yourself out there. Additionally, creating a website or portfolio always helps. Collate your work in one place – Behance, Instagram or a personal website and update it regularly.