Drawing an Insta Success
Kamat’s journey started with a decision to pursue a career in design. "I was 15 when I began building a portfolio for higher studies."
Social media is an interesting enabler. Ask Anjali Kamat, an illustrator and visual artist from Vadodara, Gujarat, whose art went from Disney characters on the walls of her childhood home to animated music videos for some of the biggest names in the Indian independent music industry, all thanks to her account @anjisdoodles on Instagram.
Kamat’s journey started with a decision to pursue a career in design. “I was 15 when I began building a portfolio for higher studies. At that time, Instagram had just begun to take off as a popular social media platform. I started following my favourite artists. I noticed all of them had an art page and thought it would be a nice way to start sharing my work and interacting with people. Moreover, it would keep me accountable to create and share art,” says the 23-year-old.
The initial years of content on her page were a casual affair. She was experimenting in different styles—watercolour paintings, pen and pencil sketches or a mix of both—often accompanied by a popular quote or phrase. As the account bloomed, slowly gaining followers, Kamat put forth her signature style—unique 2D, crayon-like digital art panels. It caught the attention of Mumbai-based guitarist Taba Chake. She elaborates, “My aim wasn’t to gain followers. It happened organically. A 10-second clip was seen by Taba Chake, who asked me to animate his music video. I had never done it before but decided to give it a shot.”
It put Kamat on the radar of popular musicians such as the indie band When Chai Met Toast and singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad, who collaborated with her to animate their music videos. “I haven’t even met most of them in person as most of my work happens through emails,” she says. Kamat credits her success to the visibility provided by social media. “Art spaces tend to be elitist and selective. But not everyone has the accessibility or contacts to create that visibility. I don’t know how I would have managed to have clients without social media.”
But Kamat has a word of advice. “Social media doesn’t guarantee success. Give it a shot, it can work in your favour if you play your cards right and have luck on your side,” she says, adding that while some work is shareable, others (while good) may not work if marketed incorrectly. She is cautious in how she uses her account. “It can be very competitive. I think a lot before I post something. At the same time, you can feel empowered as well. It’s something you need to balance.”