Pranita is a 26-year-old independent artist based out of Mumbai. She is an illustrator and type designer. She’s done some amazing work, my personal favorite being the #ShutUpAndStopStereotyping calendar which I keep on my desk. Check out her work/products at https://pranita-kocharekar.com/.
We asked her a bunch of questions and here are her responses for you to see!
Q. What does #BalanceForBetter mean to you?
Balance is always tricky, for anything to balance - there needs to be a sense of equality. Be it balancing your work & social life, or balancing gender norms. #BalanceForBetter to me would be practicing the idea of equality in every aspect of life.
Q. Do you see a gender disparity within your work circle or friends' groups? If yes, how do you tackle it? If no, what is your view on it?
Fortunately, I haven't particularly come across gender disparity. Although, I am very aware of the amount of disparity in society, especially in work spaces & salary structures. Although, we're living in a time where feminists are rising, equality is being taught amongst children & hopefully, there should be a fairer work environment for the coming generations.
Q. Do you use public transport frequently? How do you think women participation in public spaces has improved in the last few years?
There is an entire local Mumbai train dedicated only towards women travellers around the peak evening hours. This definitely shows encouragement towards working women. A decade ago, it was unsafe for a woman to climb into the men's compartment. That isn't the case today, times are definitely changing!
Q. As an artist, do you feel that there are stereotypes and lines of artwork that you're expected to do? How do you feel about the same? How do you overcome it?
YES! I have worked with a few clients who ask for the illustration to be "lesser plump" "fairer skin" "remove the curls, make her hair straight" - I have always tried to reason with these clients. My response to such changes is always along the lines of - "If you're brand is more inclusive; it will reach out to a larger audience" - This almost always helps.
At first, such situations would often make me a bit angry. Although now I realise that a little bit of educating these people is all it takes to change their mind-set. A lot of people are conditioned to be a certain way & don't realise it when they're stereotyping.
I have an entire calendar dedicated to gender stereotyping!
Q. Anything else you would like to add about the last year and the progress for women? Have you seen more women on the forefront or has it remained the same?
There has been a rise in feminists (both male & female) globally. There have been movements (like #MeToo) that are helping give a voice to men & women. Locally, there are artists (illustrators, musicians, poets, etc.) who have been communicating via their art about feminism and equality. I believe when the youth starts talking about gender equality, their voices will be heard sooner or later. Education & knowledge is the key to progress. There has been a massive change in how women are perceived in the last few years, and I feel truly lucky to be alive in a time of change!