Talking creativity, culture and Generative AI with Srishti Gupta Roy

Colourful illustration of women in bold fashion with sunglasses and earrings by Srishti Gupta Roy

Visual artist, fashion designer and illustrator Srishti Gupta Roy weaves her creativity through a kaleidoscope of humour, bright colours and bold patterns. Growing up in a Bengali family, where art and music are embedded into daily life, Srishti’s work combines her culture with her existential musings.

From fashion design and retail to following her passion into the realm of freelancing, Srishti’s experiences have shaped her into a multi-talented force of creativity.

We recently sat down with Srishti to talk more about her creative journey and the exciting opportunities that emerging technologies like Generative AI are bringing to creativity.

Creative headshot of Srishti made with Adobe Express

Headshot created using Adobe Express

Tell us a bit about your journey as an illustrator so far!

It’s definitely been a rollercoaster, but the best kind! I grew up in a Bengali family in Kolkata, where art, music and dance are almost a rite of passage. I was a quintessential art child with her two hundred self-motivated craft projects and collage journals, but I never considered pursuing this seriously as a career.

When I was in twelfth grade, I discovered design and fashion. I then got into one of India’s best fashion colleges in Delhi and convinced my parents to let me pursue it (which obviously is the most abridged and least dramatic version of that story!).

After college, I worked in retail and e-commerce fashion spaces as an apparel designer for over six years, illustrating on the side. I started getting some recognition and brand projects through Instagram, which really gave me the validation to leave my corporate job. When I look at my journey, I see that I had a passion for creating since I was a child, and I am one of the lucky people in the world that gets to pursue that professionally.

Srishti standing beside a mural of her work, illustrating a woman surrounded by flowers and insects

Your style is so distinct. What have been the main influences that shaped your work?

My style is heavily inspired by the maximalism and chaos that exists in every corner of India. It is an overwhelming wave of colour, textures and patterns, which creates a unique visual language. This –mixed with my childhood love of Archies comics and the pop art movement – helps me create a modern glocal pop art aesthetic.

Being trained as a fashion illustrator, a lot of that style of rendering characters definitely reflects in my art. The final influence would be my love of humour and not taking things so seriously. I enjoy adding a sense of fun and playfulness to my art.

'Raging to aging' illustration of three women by Srishti

What was a pivotal moment that helped pave your way as an illustrator?

The conviction to start my Instagram page and post my work really helped me get noticed by the right people. This gave me the opportunity to work with some of the most dynamic companies and brands in the world. At the start, my art was not at the level I wanted it to be, but I am glad I started putting it out into the world.

'Sexism and the city' illustration by Srishti Gupta Roy,

When you think about the future of creativity, what are you most excited about?

We are slowly moving away from pure skill to bigger ideas, visions and tastes. Any art form is that sweet spot between skills mastered over years and a brilliant idea. I think the future of creativity is taking that balance and skewing it more towards the side of vision and ideas. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Illustration by Srishti Gupta Roy of a women sitting surrounded by other women, a tiger and bold abstract patters and bright colours.

How has experimenting with Generative AI tools changed or enhanced your creative process?

I am in awe of the level of seamlessness that these Generative AI tools have already reached. I really cannot imagine how much more intuitive and smarter they will get. I am going to be experimenting and playing around with it more to sharpen my skills.

Right now, I think it's a great tool to enhance the creative process, but it will never replace human intervention. Recently, I used it when I needed to get a set of 5-6 pictures for a moodboard. I knew the kind of pictures required to explain the concept, but I wasn't satisfied with the images off the internet. Using Generative AI helped me find images much closer to my vision and explain the concept clearly to the client.

What is one piece of advice you would offer to other artists looking to begin a creative career?

Become an artist if you truly enjoy creating art and the entire process of creativity, because the monetary compensation and opportunities may not always align. You need conviction to keep creating, and that can only happen if you enjoy the process more than the outcome.

Find more creative inspiration or learn more about Generative AI at Adobe MAX 2023.

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