We had the good fortune of connecting with Lalita Prachanty and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lalita, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
When I was younger, I had an insanely loud creative hand that made its own existence very, very apparent within my life. Some of these cases were crudely-drawn dragons with too many horns or “Pokémon-inspired horses” with too many wings all over my math homework to always doodling on the corners of my exams (without realizing that maybe I should’ve been paying more attention during class, but that 8 year old didn’t care because they’re just an 8-year-old having the time of their life). I had fun drawing and seeing the faces of my peers looking at the cool things I was creating, and I felt really happy because they were happy. This realization didn’t dawn on me until I went to college and realized that I wasn’t pursuing something that I wanted to do. I ended up taking learning seriously around 5th grade and ever since then, I took it to the heights. Academics became my number 1 and with my school’s push of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as a career for students, I thought that it was the best path for me too. However, I didn’t realize at the time that I was just doing something because I was good at it or that because it was normal and expected, but I wasn’t happy to do it on my own–going to college by myself without the same support I had in grade school.
It took me a few times to personally acknowledge this, but after taking some design and art courses and seeing my peers thrive in these creative fields that year and the year after (where I was so used to hearing people dismiss about when I grew up), I wanted to be a part of that “creative community” and create for others. This meant taking part in perhaps a meaningful group to promote awareness and being able to openly say that what I do is meaningful, even if my friends and I had to repeat that statement quite a few times. It still feels weird knowing that I am a “creative” and that my friends see my work as one of these “creatives” (which is sometimes crazy to think about), but find myself being happy that what I do is something that is important to me and those around me. And at the same time, I‘m genuinely having fun doing what I love and that I can embrace that fact. Although I am just getting started within the creative industry, graduating from college not too long ago, I am excited to see the various opportunities that exist within this world by not only taking on real-world work, but also developing myself as a person as well–that’s important too!
Although I am still exploring the digital art world, I hope to work more on surrealist-painterly pieces that I would see and be inspired by on social media. I mostly do character illustrations on traditional and digital mediums, but I hope to expand my skills with backgrounds and techniques no matter what medium I try.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In my main job, I work as a designer for a company whose main client is Target. My main job is to design instructions for various packaging and display. For example: floating overheads of seasonal themes to everyday designs like headers indicating what’s on sale. I also make videos using Adobe Premiere Pro and use my graphic design skills to create 0other things that come about during the day.
On the side I work as a 2D illustrator for a startup company where I design and create illustrations of characters in various compositions such as wallpapers, storyboards, and standalone character art as well as using graphic design to create assets on their social media.
I wouldn’t be here today if i didn’t take the first step of breaking my introverted nature to apply for various opportunities that come my way. This included art shows, internships, jobs as well as taking commissions from friends for illustrations or cover album designs. In a few months. I’ll be taking part in my university’s art exhibition with one other individual for a special 2-person show.
However for how I got here I wouldn’t say it was easy at first, for I was always a person who was afraid to explore opportunities due to my sheltered upbringing. I was a nervous person always stressed that the absolute worst could happen for minor mishaps and things. It took a lot of trying, failing, and trying again to get to where I am now. But I couldn’t have done this alone because the support my friends provided were the motivations that allowed me to overcome my own nervousness and fears. One of the biggest things I had to learn was that it’s ok to fail, and that you shouldn’t grieve over every little thing like it’s the end of the world. It’s ok to ask for help and it’s good to try and put yourself out there and see new perspectives in different experiences you might’ve never considered before. People change and that you should be proud of who you are now as a person and that you, yes you, yourself accomplished all of these amazing and fantastic things even if you don’t realize it yourself.
Learn how to love not only the people who care about you, but please don’t forget to love yourself. For we are all just people who stumble and make mistakes, but we are people for we can still grow and change. And I think that if we’re still wanting to be better and learning from our past, then I think that is considered a win in my book.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would highly recommend fun weekend events that take place within the cities! In Minneapolis there are a bunch of really amazing opportunities to see large local art events being hosted for the community to check out such as Art-A-Whirl in Northeast Minneapolis to art museums such as the Minneapolis Institute of Art which hosts amazing pieces of various ages as well as showcasing limited run exhibitions every few months. Don’t be afraid to check out what college productions have to offer, from Theater to Performances and Art exhibitions. Do take your time to see what these passionate people have to offer!
Other great places are the Minnesota Renaissance Festival that takes place in the fall, where you can live out your wildest fantasies (or go as a group in your dungeons and dragons party) and wear fun costumes and live out the medieval dreams to your heart’s content! Another place that happens to be nearby is the Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store which speaks for itself. Another fun place in Minnesota is the Mall of America with various stores and things to do plus the IKEA that’s right across the road!
There’s a bunch more places that I haven’t been to myself, but I hope to change that now that I’m living life and ready to explore the world!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The friends that stuck with me while I grew up deserve a huge shoutout! I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t have the support group I have right now. This also includes the friends who have come and gone, as well as the friends that I’ve reconnected during my college years and have decided to stick with me for who I am and happy to be. More shoutouts belong to my family and mentors in college (and grade school) who helped me realize that I deserve to do something that I enjoy, as well as the various organizations that I have taken a part in and allowed me to grow my skills as a person within these creative fields. All of these individuals and groups have changed me for the better!
A huge shout out to one of my best friends, Calvin for always being excited and always wondering what my next piece will be. Thank you so much for always checking in on me as well and making sure to remind me that a break every so often is also important! Also thank you for letting me nerd out about characters I like to draw, be it original or fanart! You are an inspiration to me and everyday I am so thankful to have you in my life. Thank you for being you.