Avoid Burnout and Prioritize Self-Care — As artists, we often tend to immerse ourselves in our work, pushing boundaries and working day and night to bring our visions to life. However, neglecting self-care can lead to burnout and creative stagnation. Similarly, many times during the early days of my career, I found myself overwhelmed, working non-stop, and overlooking my well-being. Eventually, I realized that self-care is not a luxury but a necessity. Engaging in activities outside of art, taking breaks, and prioritizing my physical and mental health helped rejuvenated my creativity and ensured a sustainable artistic journey.
As a part of our series about “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became An Artist” I had the pleasure of interviewing Vikash Arjan.
Vikash Arjan is the Chief Creative Officer at Anideos, a leading video animation company. His unwavering dedication to quality, originality, and artistic integrity has firmly established Anideos as a creative powerhouse in the industry. Under Vikash’s creative leadership, Anideos produce revolutionary and visually stunning animated content that resonates with audiences worldwide.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I have always had an artistic spark within me. Even as a child, I was deeply fascinated by cartoons and illustrations. It was during those days that my love for art took root. I always participated actively in extracurricular activities and spent my spare time perfecting my art. As I grew up, the passion only deepened.
Now, as the CCO of Anideos, I am honored to lead a team that shares my unwavering love for storytelling through animation. It is a testament to the power of dreams and the boundless potential within each of us.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
While art has always been a passion of mine, I initially succumbed to peer pressure and pursued a different career path. I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (BBA). However, deep down, I knew this path wasn’t aligned with my true calling — the rigid corporate environment would have stifled my creativity.
That’s when I decided to follow my heart further and explore my passion for animation. Throughout my university days, I bunked my course classes and sneaked into animation and art lessons whenever I could. I took freelance animation projects in my spare time, embracing each opportunity to practice and refine my skills. I devoured online tutorials, attended workshops, and connected with fellow artists and animators. Through self-guided learning and mentorship from experienced professionals, I honed my craft and gradually built up my portfolio.
With each project I completed, my passion for animation grew stronger. I realized I had found my true calling and was determined to turn my passion into a full-fledged career. Armed with a growing portfolio and a deep-seated belief in my abilities, I took a leap of faith and decided to transition into the animation industry. The transition came with its challenges, but I remained steadfast in my pursuit. With each step, my career in animation solidified, and I eventually found myself in a position where I could lead and inspire others as a Chief Creative Officer.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Well, there are quite many exciting stories to tell. The one I remember now was when I was working for another company before joining Anideos. One day, an exciting opportunity came our way — a big project for UNICEF Tanzania. This project required a talented and dedicated team, and out of the limited people with the expertise to handle it, the CMO personally recommended me. It was an incredibly proud moment for me as an artist and a significant milestone in my career.
Thrilled and honored by the trust placed in me, I eagerly took on the challenge and crafted 10–12 animation videos. I poured my heart and soul into making them visually compelling and emotionally resonant. The UNICEF Tanzania project remains a cherished memory, representing a pinnacle moment in my career as an animation artist!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
At Anideos, we’ve been working on several amazing 3D architectural projects lately. Besides that, our recent work for the Cody 3D music animation video is also note-worthy.
Apart from that, we’ve also had the honor of producing top-notch educational content for world-famous universities, including Stanford University and Boston University, and various other prestigious organizations.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
If I had to name the most interesting person, it would be my wife. I believe I have been fortunate enough to have a person who supports me through the ups and downs of life and has unconditional trust in my abilities as an artist. Plus, my wife’s role has also been inspirational in pushing me to go beyond my comfort zone and explore more about what I can achieve as an artist.
Where do you draw inspiration from? Can you share a story about that?
For me, there’s not one source of inspiration; instead, I seek inspiration from life’s unusual and ordinary things. I also believe in the power of storytelling and emotional resonance. So, I ensure none of my work lacks that. The key here is staying true to yourself, remaining dedicated to your craft, and never stopping exploring and evolving as an artist.
Lately, I’ve also been greatly moved by tech advancements such as AI and virtual and augmented reality and how we can utilize them to create stellar animations. By staying open to the world around me, I am constantly on the lookout to find inspiration for the next great animated adventure.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Beyond my role at Anideos, I avidly advocate for nurturing emerging talent and promoting diversity within the animation community. I actively mentor aspiring animators and support initiatives that empower underrepresented voices to thrive in the industry.
One of the ways I have used my success to bring goodness to the world is by offering aspiring animators the right sort of guidance. I believe having someone in your life to guide and support you while you are just starting out is incredibly important. So, through mentorship, I garner insights from my personal experiences and hurdles to inspire and empower artists to reach their full potential.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
As I look back on the initial days of my career, I feel like there are a few things I could have done better. When embarking on a journey as an artist, several valuable pieces of advice can make an artist’s path smoother and more fulfilling. I never knew them. However, I believe it is my duty to enlighten fellow artists and help them steer the creative path with greater confidence and contentment.
- Avoid Burnout and Prioritize Self-Care — As artists, we often tend to immerse ourselves in our work, pushing boundaries and working day and night to bring our visions to life. However, neglecting self-care can lead to burnout and creative stagnation. Similarly, many times during the early days of my career, I found myself overwhelmed, working non-stop, and overlooking my well-being. Eventually, I realized that self-care is not a luxury but a necessity. Engaging in activities outside of art, taking breaks, and prioritizing my physical and mental health helped rejuvenated my creativity and ensured a sustainable artistic journey.
- Embrace Your Unique Style and Vision — I believe every artist’s style is unique. Although, it can be tempting to imitate successful styles or trends to gain recognition when starting as an artist. I wish someone had told me the importance of embracing my unique voice and vision. However, I advise the same to aspiring artists. One pivotal part of my journey was when I finally decided to embrace my distinct artistic style. This shift allowed me to create authentic and meaningful artwork that set me apart as an artist. Besides, embracing your uniqueness can be instrumental in finding your artistic identity and attracting opportunities aligned with your creative vision.
- Don’t Let Failure Set You Back — I hope someone did stress the value of accepting failure and viewing it as a stepping stone to growth and improvement. I suffered a setback early in my career when a project I poured my heart into didn’t get the response I had hoped for. I was disheartened and doubted my capabilities. But as time went on, I understood that failure is a necessary component of the creative process. It allows us to learn, adapt, and refine our skills. Embracing failure as a learning opportunity has made me more resilient and open to taking creative risks.
- Seek Constructive Criticism and Feedback — For a long time, I’ve hesitated to seek feedback on my work out of concern for judgment and rejection. I recall a time when I presented my artwork to a seasoned artist for review. Initially, I was anxious, but their insights and suggestions helped me see my work from a fresh perspective and identify areas for improvement. I failed to realize that constructive criticism is invaluable for growth. Getting input from dependable mentors, coworkers, and other artists can help hone your craft and expand your creative horizons.
- Never Stop Learning! — Lastly, the creative industry is ever-evolving, and as an artist, it’s crucial to embrace continuous learning and adaptability. Technologies, trends, and artistic styles change over time, and it’s essential to stay curious and open-minded. Just like many others, I was also reluctant to explore new techniques and mediums, fearing it would compromise my artistic identity. But as soon as I adopted a continuous learning mindset, I discovered new avenues for creative expression and expanded my artistic repertoire. Beginners can do this by building connections within the art and animation industry for better exposure, collaboration, and shared information.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
If I were to inspire a movement, without any second thoughts, it would be centered around the notion that everyone should have the creative freedom to pursue their passions and talents, regardless of societal pressure or expectations.
This movement would challenge the common belief that certain professional degrees or career paths hold more value than pursuing art and animation and that creativity should be celebrated and supported as a viable and valuable career choice. As a result, it might encourage society to recognize and appreciate the immense value that creative pursuits bring to individuals and communities.
We have been blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she just might see this.
Christopher Nolan — simply because I admire his work. His innovative storytelling techniques and unique approaches to editing and direction are remarkable, in addition to his ability to portray multiple timelines within a single narrative. Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Inception, and Memento are some of my favorite movies. So, having the opportunity to discuss his creative processes and gain insights into his approach to filmmaking would undoubtedly be fascinating for me.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
To follow my work, stay connected with me on LinkedIn:
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
Vikash Arjan of Anideos: 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became An Artist was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.