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This Apeejay, Pitampura alumnus wants to combine painting with innovative advertising and marketing

Dhruv, 19, is passionate about devising out-of-the-box ways to market everyday products

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Winning the United Nations Annual Painting Competition in 2019, Dhruv Gupta’s artistic sensibility is inspired by keen observation of his social surroundings. One of his paintings that finds place in the United Nations Calendar for 2019 is about making citizens aware of the harmful impact of single-use plastic. Among the more recent works of Gupta, an alumnus of Apeejay School, Pitampura, is a digital artwork created as part of the ‘Art Project’ by HDFC Bank. In the work, Gupta displays India’s stark reality in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the illustration (above), one can spot citizens using masks as parachutes and making a boat of syringes to enter the new horizon of the year 2022. Donning many hats, the young artist and dancer aspires to become a creative advertiser in the near future.

Edited excerpts from an interview:

Please tell us about yourself.

I am pursuing B.Com (Hons.) from the College of Vocational Studies at the University of Delhi. At present, I am in my second year. I have interest in Commerce-related subjects and marketing and would like to do a post-graduation in branding and designing, going forward.

Did you also practice dance and painting at school?

My school, Apeejay School Pitampura, has had a tremendous impact in my life, the benefits of which I am reaping till now. The school encouraged me to keep pursuing my interest and passion. I am grateful to my teachers, Ms. Vandana Arora, Ms. Sapna Soni, the art and dance teachers and Principal Ma’am because they told me to not give up on my creative side under the pressure of academics.

In Apeejay Pitampura, we had a Sanchetna programme which allowed students to go beyond the classroom to teach one another. Under this programme, I also taught other students Fine Arts at the school and the experience encouraged me to learn it professionally.

Have you received formal training for Dance and Fine Arts?

Yes, I learnt Contemporary Dance form and B-boying for about 8-10 years. I have sound understanding and skill for Hip Hop and Street Dance too. I did a three-year diploma in Fine Arts from the Pracheen Kala Kendra, University of Chandigarh, during my school days and currently, I have taken up some online courses for Graphic Designing. I recently shifted focus to Digital Art where I make visual illustrations and logos.

What has been your inspiration for combining art with marketing?

By looking at advertisements made by American and European countries, especially for tech giants such as Microsoft and Apple, I have noticed that they not only sell a product but also an experience.

Whereas in Indian markets, a regular method of advertising includes looping in a celebrity and handing the product over to them to sell it. I find that this strategy lacks innovation and is very short-lived. It lacks an impact a product is meant to create, and therefore, we need a more creative approach.  

In India, we have witnessed some fabulous ads that we all have seen such as a brand selling ‘Kaccha Aam toffees’ also featuring a photocopy machine which produces more such toffees. I found it to be very creative but sadly, we are losing such fresh ideas. India as well as other South Asian countries need to work towards it, and I feel this is where I can follow my passion and package it with my skills for a lucrative profession.

How can advertising be done better according to you?

I believe that it starts from the base level. One must think out-of-the-box in order to ace such a field. We are currently just following the trend and not making it. In advertising, there is no streamlined route, and with optimum thinking, effort and time one can deliver greater results. It is the same when I do my paintings, I think about the same concept in many ways and how it can be presented better.

Mrini Devnani is Senior Correspondent (Newsroom). She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has a passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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