[100 Emerging Women Leaders] From Lucknow to Los Angeles, how Shivangi Singh found his calling in artistic direction



For someone who was not into film or television much, stepping into uncharted territory like artistic direction and seeing success in Indian cinema and Hollywood has been a dream come true for Shivangi Singh, who worked in films like Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Marguerite with a straw.

However, Lucknow’s daughter says she liked one thing from the start: the fine art.

“I had moved to Delhi after my 12th grade and realized I had other options,” Shivangi said in a conversation with His history.

In Los Angeles, Hollywood

She joined Jamia Milia Islamia University to continue her studies in Fine Arts. Recalling her college days, Shivangi says it was here that she was exposed to different art forms, and at an international film festival, she was intrigued by the artistic direction.

“At that time, I had worked on art exhibitions as a researcher and project manager with some of the best contemporary artists and curators in the country, including Raqs Media Collective,” says Shivangi.

But initially, Shivangi had no idea about the world of cinema and how it worked.

“As an outsider you think this is a closed industry. And it is often associated with high profile people. But you realize there is so much more to movies and movie making.

Coming from a middle-class Indian family, Shivangi had to deviate from the suggestions of several acquaintances not to work in the film industry. Her family, however, have been a constant pillar of support.

She explains that the job of an art director is to design the visual appearance of a film, the sets, the look and color palette, the search for props, etc., while also coordinating with the director. , the production designer and the cinematographer.

“I invest myself and my work there. I wanted to take a break and just didn’t want to take a no for an answer, and reached out to people in the film industry in India and around the world. That’s when I had my first chance as a storyboard artist for ‘Margarita with a Straw’ in 2012, ”says Shivangi.

She then moved to Los Angeles in 2016 to pursue graduate studies at the Art Center College of Design in California, and began a career in Hollywood. She has worked in several commercials, short films, including films like ‘Children of War’.

Shivangi with Salman Khan

Breaking down stereotypes

Coming out of her cozy home life, Shivangi found herself in an industry with less than 20% women.

“As an Indian immigrant, I constantly felt the need to continue to prove myself and work harder than my male colleagues to earn my place. Breaking down stereotypes and giving women confidence that “you can do the job as well, if not better,” takes time and involves constantly proving yourself, ”explains the artistic director.

After a ten-year career in the film industry, Shivangi says she not only broke stereotypes but also made her mark in the industry by working with some of the best directors like Shonali Bose, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Kabir Khan. and Pradeep Sarkar. .

Shivangi won the Production Design Fellow Award from the Hollywood Art Department Union, Art Director’s Guild of America. She recently completed her job as a set designer for Secret Life of Pets Facade at the Universal Studios theme park in Hollywood.

“I just hope I can inspire more girls to come and make their dreams come true, and remember, if you can dream it, you can do it too,” Shivangi said.

She is currently working on Dharma Productions’ upcoming film, “Jug Jugg Jeeyo”, directed by Raj Mehta.


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