Visual Piece : Growing Up In Reverse

Curatorial Note:

An exploration, promulgation and an expression of the artist’s thoughts and subsequent actions through a period of time. Shrey depicts his thought process through 11 hand lettered posters, each with their own symbolism but yet coming together as one narrative.

During school, ragging by his peers was so pressurizing that he was unwillingly forced to be alone through school. He used this alone time to turn to learning and mastering the art of hand lettering. Drawing ornate letters helped him cope through the pain. It was his catharsis.

In college, he faced a similar situation, which resulted in his rejection to be a Board of Director in the college’s Rotaract Club. They questioned his passion towards the club, which infuriated him at first. But after some time had elapsed, the same incident served as a great motivator, helping him work towards his passion with much more vigour, that is, Design and Typography.

Teaching himself design and dabbling with freelance work, he soon started creating beautiful and functional designs for major brands. His talent proved the naysayers wrong, who questioned his passion. Design helped him through the hard times, which brought him to the Design school. He is currently encountering a great deal of hurdles, but design gets him through and hopefully always will. Hard work and dedication always pays off.

The project shows the pattern of the obstacles faced by Shrey and how hard work always emerges victorious. The posters are narrated in the first person, because these problems are not isolated to Shrey, they happen to plague everyone, and the reader can feel that he too can succeed with hard work and dedication.

I am not a victim, I am

a survivor


Personal Statement:

This was done for a project at ISDI Parsons Mumbai, but I feel this series is much more than just a ‘classroom’ project. The initial brief was to explore a body part of our(students) choice. We must click pictures of this body part in different environments and depict how time and environment play a role in changing our action towards it.

The concept emerged from a conversion I had with Imran(faculty) regarding the learning outcome and brief of the project respectively. He made a statement which changed this project completely. He essentially said that he wanted to know what was my state of mind through time and what was going on in my mind.

I asked enthusiastically in return, showing my state of mind like in time? Can I show my journey through time with let’s quotes?

When conceptualizing it I had seen a video about the racial discrimination against Muslims in America. This was my inspiration to the ‘Growing Up In Reverse Project’. The video had young people holding up placards with statements that meant something one way, and when narrated backwards it told another perspective to the story.

After the conversation, I looked inward and did some self-reflection of my journey to ISDI and what brought me to do design? Why was I there?

That’s what led me to the concept of hand lettering quotes that narrated my story through bullying in school, through rejection and depression in college and so on.

I’m not ashamed to say that I was bullied. I am not ashamed to say that I was rejected. Those same hardships drove me to greater things.

I am not a victim, I am

a survivor


Personal Note:

This project was inspired from a meeting with Deepak Ramola and his TED Talk about how he was an adult all his life, please do check it out. Other inspirations include the documentary ‘The Hunting Ground’ and a video by the Ahlul Bayt Islamic Mission, which talks about racism in America. Please do check out these videos and share them. Talking about it, helps ease the pain.

A big shout out to everyone who helped me get through the tough times and everyone who supported me through this process. Going through this journey finally helped me break out of the shell I was stuck under. I was so constrained with other people’s thoughts and ideas of me. I had never really moved on before this project and now I have.

Thank You, Imran Ali Khan for being the most amazing faculty and for helping me bring this project to life. The entire Section B, at ISDI Parsons for being part of my process and for creating an environment I can express myself in.

A special mention to my girlfriend, Keesha for being there when I needed her.

Please share this series with anyone who has gone through any sort of bullying and failure, you never know what might bring them to the path of success.

To anyone who has gone through bullying, ragging and failure, don’t worry, just be passionate about your work and keep at it. You will outshine the rest very soon, I believe in you.


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