Taxi Fabric – Turning the city’s public transport into moving art galleries
Posted on 12 October, 2015 by Team Wishberry
Mumbai keeps having art fests, where every year the iconic yellow-black cab is given a funky makeover. But, providing a platform for local designers to showcase their art on the interiors of a cab, that’s not been done before. Sanket: Living in Mumbai, taxis are not only my most frequent mode of transport but also something I spend major hours of my day in. Being a designer, it was my basic instinct to just brighten up everything around me. Soon, I began to unintentionally document this in my blogs. The idea for Taxi Fabric began as a plan to add more depth to the things around me. From an idea, to a dream, it has now transformed to a broad project and it continues to grow. You chose to crowdfund Taxi Fabric, and received an incredible response. Was it expected? Share your crowdfunding experience with us. Sanket: If I have to put it in one word, I'll say that crowdfunding was difficult. Mostly because it was the first time I tried something like this. However, to make matters easier, I studied a lot about it, spoke to numerous creative people who have successfully crowdfunded, and even used all possible tools to promote my campaign. But when you start the crowdfunding campaign, it pretty much takes over your life. Following the guidelines provided by the crowdfunding platform did help a lot. A good PR strategy goes a long way, which was our saviour as it helped us reach our goal. I realized that people will only support a project if they feel connected with the idea. The whole culture of giving towards art is not flourished in India yet. I’ve grown and learnt so much from this experience and I would do it all over again. Kunel Gaur’s design – ‘A century of Revolt’- is simply brilliant, and beautifully reminiscent of the Sistine Chapel. Almost all designs tell a story. Who decides what is to be communicated – the designer or the team? Sanket: Initially, the guide that we provided to the designers used to be extremely broad. As the taxis are from Mumbai, the designer could take up anything that captures the essence of the city. Later, we realised our crowdfunding campaign was about to end around the Independence Day and we wanted to do something special. Hence we had Kunel’s piece launch right after collaborating with a Pakistani graphic designer for the Pakistani Independence day. And the outcome was so beautiful that we were compelled to share a story with every design. Also, even the driver whose taxi was being revamped could relate to the art as he had an uncle who was a freedom fighter.
A photo posted by Taxi Fabric (@taxifabric) on
What has been the most challenging aspect of this project so far? Sanket: When I first wanted to work on this, I realised it’s not going to be easy finding the right people, the best fabric, printers, partners, etc. It almost took me a year to get a clearer picture of where this idea was heading. Also, since the project was very ‘made-to-order’, not many people who printed high quality work were ready to do these small jobs. Translating the graphic designers' works from the desktop screen to something tangible was one of the bigger challenges that we faced. However, because the project took this long, we never faced problems finding taxis who wanted to undergo the makeover as we’ve been in talks with the union since forever.Simon, go back. Detail of artwork from the back seat of my taxi for @taxifabric. More on www.taxifabric.com/kunelgaur #taxifabric #artist #freedomfighter #India #art #instaart #illustration #vector #vectorart #designspiration #design #graphicart #thedesigntip #drawing #Freedom #fresco #kunelgaur #Mumbai #fresco #painting #digitalart #revolution A photo posted by Kunel Gaur (@kunelgaur) on
Taxi Fabric is a fabulous outlet for designers to showcase their skills. This, clearly, is an idea that deserves to go places! Do you have any plans for expansion? Sanket: Thanks! We certainly will expand. We do have a short term plan for making this bigger- the first step towards this will be incorporating more stories in our designs. We also are in the midst of talks with regards to taking Taxi Fabric to another city. In terms of ambition, the rickshaw is definitely our first step in preparing for our expansion.
" Interacting with these kids was a life-changing experience and I talk about it to every passenger who asks me about these signs in my taxi." Rampal Kailashnath, Taxi Driver Watch the film(link in bio) Supported by @TEDxGateway Photograph by @ameyarkadam #Mumbai #India #sign #language #designer #illustration #kids #deaf #mute #typography #interiors #seatcovers #taxi
A photo posted by Taxi Fabric (@taxifabric) on
Here's launching our first #taxifabric Auto Rickshaw in Mumbai by @sanureee “The rickshaw is inspired by the lovers of Mumbai from Reclamation to Bandstand to Worli Sea Face to Marine Drive, and every other lovers point in the city. It is so common to see couples sneaking hugs and stealing kisses in rickshaws and taxis. There had to be one taxi fabric dedicated to all the city lovers. ‘XOXO MUMBAI’ just had to be done”, says Sanuree, speaking of her design. View the taxi and read more on www.taxifabric.org/sanureegomes Funded by #Kickstarter Photograph by @aashim #Mumbai #India #Rickshaw #auto #fabric #designer #illustration #backseat #romance #lovers #kiss #hug #xoxo A photo posted by Taxi Fabric (@taxifabric) on