Today we’d like to introduce you to Sandeepan Chanda.
Sandeepan, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I work as a Story Artist in the animation industry and am currently based in Los Angeles. I grew up in Mumbai, India and like any other kid I was always into cartoons, always drawing my favorite characters on drawing pads but for the longest time, it never occurred to me that I could make a career in animation.
Both my mom and dad were production designers in the Indian film industry and so growing up, I was surrounded by films and movie sets. I loved that world and somehow knew I wanted to be involved in filmmaking. Earlier my focus was to become a live-action filmmaker, I even got to work on some live-action projects as an assistant director, but my love for animation grew as I realized I could tell any story I wanted to, go crazy with ideas without any physical limitations. Signed up for an animation course in Mumbai, came out with a student film and got a job pretty soon but after two years I quickly realized that animation in India was very limiting and there was little scope for me to grow artistically.
And so I decided to quit my job and apply to a school I’d always heard about, the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). I luckily got accepted and so I left all my family and friends and moved out to LA. Graduated in 2017 and started as an animator at Titmouse Inc. where I got to work on really cool shows like Niko and the Sword of Light, The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants and Little Big Awesome. After that, I’ve been working as a story artist for a year now on a really cool animated feature film at Alcon Entertainment. It’s amazing that I’m getting to work on projects I could never have imagined if I were still back home.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
As story artists, we take the script or an outline of a story and interpret it into a visual narrative. We think about the camera angles, the staging of characters, how shots interconnect with each other while serving the emotion and character dynamics of a given scene. Different story artists specialize in different kinds of scenes, some may be good with emotional scenes, some with action or comedy. I’m discovering that I’m better at emotional scenes.
I personally like to tell stories about the human condition. That subject has always intrigued me and all the films I’ve made so far tend to be deeply rooted in that. A project I’m chipping away slowly at after work hours is again about those deep human emotions, a child who lost one of his parents and is now trying to cope with it. I feel a story could be as fantastical as possible but unless it’s rooted in human emotions, the audience won’t connect to your story.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
I think nowadays it has been really easy for artists to share their stories. Social media has really given us a platform to share our ideas and artwork. You have sites like Patreon and Youtube where one can actually make a living out doing what they love.
The only challenge I can think of is taking our individual stories to a bigger medium like a feature film or a TV show. A big studio may not be open to ideas outside their own walls. These studios are run by executives who may only think of bankability and hence may sideline stories that are more inclusive. But I think it’s changing slowly. The rise of streaming platforms have opened the doors for a variety of stories told by POC and LGBTQIA communities.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
People can see all of my films on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/sandeepanchanda. Also, random art can be seen here: https://www.instagram.com/sandeepan_c/.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sandeepan_c/
- Other: https://vimeo.com/sandeepanchanda