Anyaa Dev, Senior Art Director, Wieden+Kennedy
I was born an odd shade of beetroot in New Delhi. Soon I developed fingernails and learned to draw all over my parents’ chalky white walls. They kept my drawings and called them ‘actually kind of cool’. That was my first piece of art direction and they were my first clients.
17 years later, my skin tone normalised and I moved to London to learn stuff at Central Saint Martins, with all the world’s weirdest people, I finally fit in.
Moving back to Delhi after London was hard. My fear of getting married, getting pregnant and dying seemed too close for comfort. I was rescued by Susan Hoffman who kindly gave me a job working on Nike at WK Delhi. I was 21 and really was thrown into the deep end. So I learned what a deck was and googled “moodboards” and managed to make a film called DaDaDing, under some pretty invaluable mentorship. We won a few awards.
After working on Nike, Royal Enfield and Make In India, I got the itch to dump my boyfriend and move to a new country. So I moved to Amsterdam to work with my WK family in the Netherlands. I have been here for 6 years and found myself here. I work with the most incredible aliens on brands like Hennessy, Nike, Corona, Zalando, Airbnb, Facebook, Allianz, Samsung and many more. I also proudly call myself the “Pitch Bitch” because I love a high risk, high stress situation. I’m working on this with my therapist.
Being a woman of colour navigating my way through white, male waters, I have been extremely aware of who I am and what it means to have privilege in this world. I am more passionate about the activism involved in uplifting marginalised communities than absolutely anything else.
When the world gets heavy, I make art. I paint beautiful people of colour, thriving. I find rebellion in joy. I also make digital art for magazines, events, techno concerts and myself. I sometimes paint silly murals for serious workspaces. So I guess a lot has happened, but I’m still out here drawing on walls.