This Mumbai-based entrepreneur started an incubator for artists, providing them with infrastructure and support

Founded by Amrita Deora, The Designera provides an incubator-like platform for sculptures, painters, photographers, and illustrators.
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While NASSCOM, Kerala Startup Mission, T-Hub, and DLabs serve as incubators for startups, Amrita Deora founded The Designera to provide an incubator-like platform for India’s emerging artists. 

Through its selective curation process which has an acceptance rate of less than 5 percent, The Designera selects artists and their artworks including verticals sculptures, paintings, photography, and illustrations, among others. 

The Designera holds an expansive 16,000-plus square feet art studio in Navi Mumbai, where artists can create and work on their artworks, with everything they need at the fingertips.

“A stable income, a state-of-the-art studio, the finest infrastructure, and complete creative support provided by own incubator ensures that the artists are equipped with all the tools they need to thrive,” Amrita tells YS Weekender.

The artworks are available for purchase on The Designer’s ecommerce platform.  

Artwork by Maegha Saksena

For the love of art

Amrita has a background in design from Central Saint Martins, London, and an upcoming degree in commerce from Mumbai University. She took the entrepreneurial route at the age of 18, when she ventured into the shared working spaces, Camelot CoWorks. Soon after, her love for art compelled her to start The Deisgnera in January 2020. 

Amrita’s passion for art has led her to travel across the globe – from Venice’s Biennale, Art Basel to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 

However, Amrita struck upon the idea for The Designera when she went to see the Durga Puja in Kolkata and was mesmerised by the craftsmanship within India. “It was a moment when I realised how severely undervalued Indian art was. Seeing all these places on an international canvas, and then seeing the mismatch of Indian talent and platform, I committed myself to be the flag-bearer of Indian art,” Amrita says. 

Shortlisting the best 

Potential artists can apply for The Designera through its online application form, university affiliations, or through third-party platforms such as Behance. 

The work of these aspiring artists is then reviewed by The Designera panel on parameters such as: 

  • Whether the pieces carry a strong inspiration and story 
  • Techniques used, and if the pieces carry a strong mastery 
  • Volume of pieces created by the artist
  • And finally, if the artist fits The Designera’s contemporary, modern and art aesthetic
“Once an artist has been shortlisted, a virtual or in-person interview is arranged with the panel where we also prefer to see the artwork,” Amrita explains. 

Once an artist is shortlisted, they can use The Designera’s infrastructure and resources. The artist incubator commissions them to create and list their art pieces on its platform. 

Artwork by Abhishek Kalyanpurkar

Meet the artists

Some of the artists who have incubated at The Designera are:

  • Maegha Saksena: She is famous for her romanticised style, and a large part of her work is influenced by her visit to Milan. The influence of her immersive experience in Milan is portrayed through her love for architecture, jazz, fashion, culture, and love itself. 
  • Yash Majlekar: Mumbai-based self-taught painter Yash’s pieces are extremely subjective. He draws inspiration from the concept of time and human duality. His contemporary paintings use bold colours, unapologetic text, and evocative forms. 
  • Abhishek Kalyanpurkar: With over a decade of experience in illustrations, Abhishek is a self-taught artist from Mumbai, and has a serious love affair with design. His work is inspired by his love for Indian mythological stories and characters. 
  • Fenil Shah: ISDI alumni Fenil started his journey with resin art at the age of 19. His artwork is inspired by elements in nature, and consists of riotous colours and precious crystals. 
  • Dinesh Parmar: A recipient of Lalit Kala Academy State Award, Dinesh’s work transcends the dimension of perspective as he creates the optical illusion of chaos within order. 
Edited by Kanishk Singh

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