BLACK, WHITE & THE COLOR WITHIN
Kapil Bhimekhar’s love story with visual storytelling goes way back in its natal India, where his dad, an artist, used to create temple decorations. While his father was into realistic painting, Kapil got an interest for simplicity and minimalism. His son follows the family tradition, but he is drawing with a more rough touch. “It’s a great mix of age groups, great blend and it’s interesting to see different generations doing things in their own way”. Kapil studied Applied Arts at the prestigious J.J. School of Art, with Illustration as major. Nowadays he is an accomplished CD, with precious metals in his portfolio, won very often for fashion and culture-related campaigns in international competitions – Lions, The Lynx, D&AD. His experience was celebrated with a jury position in Cannes 2018 and he cultivates an everlasting passion for illustration, recognized by the international creative community, including the reputed Stefan Sagmeister. His unique black & white art statements could be found across Dubai. He is one of the special guests of the Design District and also Sikka, a cultural event happening annually in Dubai Old City. His career started in a design agency in India. He moved then to Leo Burnett, first in Mumbai and then in Dubai. He continued with Lowe MENA. For the last 7 years he has been with VMLY&R, the agency where he is now a Creative Director. Alongside VMLY&R team, Kapil blended in perfectly and managed to win most of his portfolio awards.
What makes your soul sing? What makes you happy?
It could be a beautiful piece of music, great food, an artist’s work. Picasso always fascinated me. He has been of great influence in my art.
2. A childhood story that announced the creative person you are today
I don’t remember a clear story about creativity when I was a kid, but I was an extremely curious child. I would love to experiment with things and I wanted to know how things worked. For example, in our home town in Mumbai, there would be a lot of power cuts due to which we used candles at night, to light up the place. Being a curious kid, I would heat up needles on these candles and when they turned red hot, I would poke in different things, from plastic bottles to pens and even the candle itself. I used to love how the needle would just glide in, like a knife through butter, when it was heated. This curiosity is something I still have with me, it keeps me alive and kicking till date and it drives me forward to try out new things.
3. Best context ever for inspiration was:
“It’s not the result or the outcome that matters, it’s the process of creation. That’s what you must cherish and enjoy the most, more than the glory”. This was the lesson given to me by my ex-boss and I think it’s the biggest lesson of my life. It applies to so many other things in life too, other than work.
4. The project you loved most:
The “Stamps” campaign done for Audi Quattro.
5. The project others loved most:
Cartel “Be seen” campaign. Using abaya as a canvas upon which to express female individuality through choice of accessorization, was such a strong visual representation of the local vibe. Until Cartel, no one associated the local outfit custom with the fashion, so Cartel campaign brought a nice switch. It was respectful towards the Arab culture, but also towards fashion.
6. The best thing about Creativity in UAE is:
UAE has a great mix of different cultures. With so many different nationalities, it’s a great challenge to speak to an audience that’s so wide and diverse. That’s the reason why it becomes more important to crack an idea that resonates among all these diverse nationalities. This is what I like the most about working in UAE.
7. Advice for international head hunters, related to UAE Creatives:
UAE is known to attract the best talents from all around the world, not just in advertising, but in every other industry. But if we speak about marcom, Dubai Lynx is one of the most important award shows, a great platform showcasing the best talents in the region. If you want to headhunt, come at the Lynx.
8. Best place in Dubai:
Alserkal Avenue and Dubai Design District.
9. Best Place in the Emirates:
10. A statement of UAE Humor:
It’s funny that I can order a bottle of water and it gets delivered to my door step at 12 midnight, which I cannot imagine happening in any other part of the world.
11. Most disturbing al cliché about the Emirates:
Dubai pampers and spoils you.
12. UAE should be known for:
Doing things that are futuristic and modern, but with a purpose and not just for the sake of creating records.
13. Do you think the Burj and the Mall ski’s slopes are relevant for the Emirates today?
Tourism plays a significant role in shaping the economy of Dubai, these attractions work to get tourists into the city, but I feel it’s equally important to shape the society based on the knowledge and culture. There is a shift in this direction, with the first Louvre Museum, opened in Abu Dhabi and places like Sikka / Dubai Old City and Dubai Design District, offering a great platform to designers and artists from the region to express themselves and become the new culture catalysts. This is what the country needs, something that is knowledge and culture based.
To find more about Kapil and his work: www.kapilbhimekar.com