Pranita Kocharekar is an independent artist and illustrator who has worked on various graphic design projects. Among others, her work includes the Acknowledge Anxiety project, in which she illustrates some of the feelings and thoughts related to anxiety to reassure people they are not alone. In this interview, she tells us about herself and her work.
1. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your work in illustrations – when did you start, what led you there, do you do this as a freelance artist etc?
I’m Pranita Kocharekar, 24, from Mumbai, India. I studied graphic design, advertising and majored in Typography at Rachana Sansad College of Applied Art & Craft. I’m a self taught Illustrator and have been working as an independent artist since over 3 years. I usually work on illustration, graphic design and type design projects. I’ve worked with multiple advertising agencies like Ogilvy & Mather, GREY, FCB Ulka, Lintas, and so on with brands like Vodafone, Oreo, Cadbury 5star, Quickr Cars, Adidas, Chegg, etc. Other than commercial projects, I thrive on self-initiated projects and collaborations.
2. If you are comfortable sharing, can you talk about your experiences with mental health and what are some of the impacts you have felt and coping skills you have put in place.
After speaking to a few friends about anxiety, I realised that there are many people who suffer from minor and major anixety. I also realised that there are simple coping mechanisms to minor anxiety such as keeping a track of incidents when one feels anxious (acknowledging anxiety), mediation and breathing techniques, etc. I knew that stating these facts alone will not be enough to spread awareness of the illness. So I began gathering details of incidents that my friends and I acknowledged and illustrated them.
3. What is that you hope to achieve with your illustrations? What sort of feedback or response have you received?
I really wanted people to know that they’re not alone. Mental illnesses and disorders can be very delicate to handle, the first step to cure is acknowledging the illness. I wanted to keep it very light-hearted to make sure that an already anxious person does not feel more anxious after viewing the series.
I made sure to mention in each post that these are feelings and emotions of an anxious person and not symptoms of anxiety. To understand the illness better, one must visit a doctor. I posted these on my Instagram account and the feedback was great! A lot of people could relate to it, a lot of them sent me messages to speak more about the illness. I connected with a few other people who wanted to spread more awareness about mental illnesses. I’m really glad people are acknowledging this positively.
All images courtesy Pranita Kocharekar. Follow her on Instagram.