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Daily Inspiration: Meet Priya Kakati

Today we’d like to introduce you to Priya Kakati.

Hi Priya, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I’m a Visual Development/Background Artist from India currently living in the Valley!

Pursuing art was never on my radar, even though I enjoyed creating art, I thought I’d take the route of economics and pursue it until I decided to change my decision at the tail end of graduating from High School and decided to pursue Art.

In the year of 2015, I did just that! With the help of my family, I moved to the US to pursue an Arts degree. After graduation, I worked at a few studios, and I’m currently an Art Director at my current Studio.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I came into the field not knowing what the industry was about and didn’t really know what to expect; but I was ready to learn and take in any knowledge I could. All I knew was, I had to be ready to work hard for my dream career.

Starting this journey was a struggle from the get-go. From learning a new skill to applying for a job, it was intimidating, and when that came with failure in an attempt, it was disheartening; but I learned through the years that it’s just a part of the journey and it isn’t an end of it all. The main thing we can gain from it is experience and what we take from it. I know that when we look up to artists that we love, we’ve only seen them in their success, and tend to compare ourselves to them and question why we haven’t achieved the same. I know I did, and it was really easy to think that maybe I wasn’t good enough, and honestly that wasn’t the best way to go about it. I had to remind myself that everyone has their own journey, who’s to say that they haven’t been through struggles just the same. Also, opportunities come to us in different ways, and everyone’s path is different.

After graduation when I applied for jobs the rejection letters that came after, looked like a CVS receipt!! and the internships that I was almost in the waiting list for was discontinued for that year cause of COVID! and I didn’t know what to do! That year was chaotic and didn’t really help with my morale. Fortunately, I got lucky, cause someone found my work through a hashtag on Twitter and that’s how I landed my first job at a studio! I worked for them on contract for almost a year and then moved on to my next job that I got through a friend at a startup app company. After landing my first full-time job at my current company, my next struggle as an alien to this country was to get a visa! A work visa that said I could work in the US when sponsored through a company, and only a few lucky lots would get it. I had my fingers and toes cross for this! And hallelujah!! I got it! But with this visa along came with its own problems and added to my struggles! I couldn’t accept jobs if I wasn’t sponsored by company to work with them. So many opportunities I had to turn down cause of legal reasons. It’s a real struggle, a struggle that I’m dealing with right now when I apply for jobs. But I know that these struggles only stay for a while, and that’s why I want the readers to know that don’t think about it to too much and go for that opportunity that you’ve been eyeing for, always keep an open mind when it comes to learning new things and make connections and don’t be afraid to reach out when in need for help! Cause an opportunity will come along, and like I said, hurdles are only temporary.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I love bringing stories to life! Exploring the initial concepts of the story, figuring out the setting of the story and the journey of where it could possibly go! Along with exploring I love working with colour and light and backgrounds. I personally think you can say so much about a moment through colour and light and a setting, and convey a story through your piece to the audience; and I had the amazing opportunity to do just that! To showcase my work at Lightbox Expo and be a part of all the other amazing artists! It was my first convention ever! One of the best experiences I’ve had!

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
I love baking! Trying out new recipes and feeding the masses! Every time I’m on social media that’s all I ever have on my feed. It’s just recipes, whether it’s TikTok, Instagram or Pinterest. Recipes saved for days!! For me, it’s just a chance to get creative through a different mediums, and also who doesn’t like their home smelling like a fresh cookie that just came out of the oven?

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