5 Questions for Aditya Vadgaonkar

5 Questions is an interview series with independent creators and artists. In this instalment, we have Aditya Vadgaonkar who will talk about his new product, the Viviva Colorsheets.

Qn: Give us an introduction about you and your motivation to creating this product

I am Aditya. I am a 21-year-old, 3rd-year med school student studying in Mumbai, India. I am an amateur painter. I have always loved painting ever since childhood. It serves as a huge stress buster for me. I remember when I was studying for med school entrance (something like the SATs), I would often sit out on the balcony trying to paint quick sketches during study breaks. But after joining med school and having left home, I almost stopped painting. I was always on the move and found it extremely inconvenient to carry around the colors, tubes, palettes and what not. And one day I was doing a microbiology lab where we had to deposit a substrate on a plate and eventually observe the color and it just struck me – why don’t I have colors in similar form. So I thought of developing something that would help artists carry their colors very easily. It was just an idea but It really stuck on. So I started looking for techniques to do this. After 2 years of work, this idea turned into a reality.

​​Qn: What are the colours actually made of?

The colors are made up of mineral dyes. They are highly concentrated dyes with an appropriate binder. Each of the colors has a different lightfastness property. The reds, yellows, and orange do not fade away. The magenta, violet and the blues, however, do fade. Here's a photograph of the colors after exposing them to 4 weeks of direct sunlight (bottom) vs a freshly made swatch (top)

The colorsheets are saturated with the dye. They have a very thick layer deposited upon them. Since they are super saturated, these colorsheets go a long way. A single set is comparable to a standard half pan set.

​​Qn:What's the biggest challenge of creating this product or running a crowdfunding campaign?

One of the most challenging pieces was to find the right dye-binder mixture so that it was possible to pick up the color with utmost ease. Another challenge I anticipate going forward it to source the raw materials with a consistent grade/quality and price as I scale up.

The crowdfunding experience was eye-opening yet very rewarding. One thing that I learned is that crowdfunding is not easy. The biggest challenge is to keep the campaign going and generating traffic on the page in the 2nd and 3rd week.

​​Qn:What are some of the feedback you received and how have you corrected them with the current version?

The very first version of the Viviva Colorsheets was a simple rectangular booklet with each of the colors as a page of the booklet. When I sent this out to various artists across the world, I received feedback that after using the colors, they would stick to each other. In order to fix this, I pasted the colosheets on a thick paper and put special coated, water-repellent sheets between the colors. In this way, they didn't stick to each other.

As I mentioned before, the colors are super saturated and hence the colorsheets don't have the same color as that of the color they give out on paper. So I added a swatch at the bottom. This helps in easy identification of the colors. This swatch doubles as an index which gives easy access to the colors.

The first version of the color set had only 12 colors. They lacked cool colors. So I added 4 new colors: I think that the most important addition has been magenta. It also helps cool down the reds and opens a whole new possibility of painting the commonly seen flowers. The colors that are in the new set of 16 are specifically chosen for urban and outdoor painting.

​​Qn:Why did you choose Indiegogo instead of Kickstarter to launch your product?

Kickstarter only allows residents of 21 countries that they have listed to start a project. Unfortunately, India is not on the list. So I had to choose Indiegogo. Although, I am very happy with the support that Indiegogo provides.

We thank Aditya Vadgaonkar (right) for sharing with us the process of creating his new product. The crowdfunding campaign ends on 27 May 2017. Check it out at http://bit.ly/8-vivivacolorsheets

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