Creativity has no limits for this 33-year-old who hails from an army background. Though a professional marketing and communication executive, what defines Debabrata Dey is his artistry, graphic designing and photography.
However, staying true to his marketing skills, this young entrepreneur has set up ThumbSpark Creative (“I wanted a quirky name for my creative collection,” the artist quips) that does a myriad of projects, from funky wedding invites to maternity shoots.
Juggling his profession with his passion, Debabrata has his hands full, and his newborn son has only improved his juggling skills.
“I started with painting when I was very young, while designing and photography came much later. If you have experience in art, it helps a great deal in developing other forms of creative fields. It sharpens your creative thinking, sense of composition and choice of colours which is equally necessary for photography and designing,” explains the corporate communication professional.
Influenced and inspired by his mother, he started painting since he was in school. “My mother was not exactly into painting but she used to make wonderful sketches. Looking at her sketches made me do something different from the usual. I started experimenting with the colours and that’s how I got into painting. She supported me a lot in carrying forward my art,” shares Debabrata.
While most of his works are colourful portraits, Debabrata loves to draw figurative artwork that is clearly derived from real objects sources and are the representations of situations.
“I don’t follow a specific theme for my art. I like to experiment with colours and compositions. Most of my paintings are inspired by my day-to-day experiences. For instance, I drew this series of paintings called ‘Closer’ which shows happy couples in public places like, on scooter riding, travelling in the train and so on,” he says.
Besides painting, graphics also feature quite prominently in his repertoire. Despite no formal training, he has been hired for designing wedding invites, digital illustrations and collateral designs for his friends and clients.
“I have been engaged in computer-aided designing for the past 10 years. Wedding cards started four years ago when I designed my own wedding card. It was designed like a comic book and people loved it,” explains Debabrata of the foray adding, “For now, I am concentrating only on designing creative wedding invites. The wedding invite market is still very traditional. Therefore, I see a lot of potential for developing a niche clientele who prefer quirky and fun invites. Nowadays, couples look for separate set of invites for their friends and don’t want to distribute the mass-produced cards.”
While his mother inspired the artist in him and his own wedding opened the gates to the graphic industry, photography was always just a hobby. “I started photography as a hobby but ended up doing professional shoots over weekends. I follow photography as an art form where I love to capture dramatic and layered images. I enjoy doing fashion shoots, family portraits, and maternity shoots, besides environmental portraits. I also end up shooting for designing wedding invites; I click pre-wedding and wedding pictures, thereby, combining my two art forms that is graphic designing and photography,” adds the MBA graduate.
Currently, his work is being exhibited in a multi-city art show organised by Hyatt Hotels in association with the Smile Foundation to raise funds for Mission Education Programme. Titled Smile with Hyatt, it showcases artworks by 30 of India’s leading contemporary artists, including Debabrata, across Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. Five of his paintings have been in Mumbai as of now, while Chennai and Delhi will follow in 2014.
Talking about his future plans, the part-time artist says, “For the next six to seven years, I would like to continue as a marketing and communications professional. Five days a week of the corporate world balanced by the creative action reserved for the weekends. But I’d like to retire in early 40’s and take up art full-time.”