The UNESCO – Sabrina Ho initiative “You Are Next: Encouraging Creative Women”, a podcast series on women in arts and culture, aims to promote gender equality in the creative and cultural industries. Discover stories of these young women under 40 who have embarked on a career in the culture and creative sectors.
Meet Khyati Trehan, an Indian graphic designer and independent visual artist based in Germany. Khyati was named as one of Print Magazine’s 15 New Visual Artists under 30 in 2017. Listen in and find out about her journey, starting in New Delhi all the way through Munich, and dive into her creative process.
Published on 31.03.2021
During working hours, Khyati is a senior communication designer at design company IDEO in Munich, where she brings clarity, movement, and identity to the intangibles. Outside these working hours, she is an independent visual artist, experimenting with Augmented Reality (AR), 3D, animation and exploring the edges of graphic design.
Khyati’s constant source of inspirations is joy. “My inspiration for what I do is creating joy through my pieces, making vibrant art and creating a sense of delight…” She shared one of her works that she is most proud of , called “Organic cities”. To Khyati, the creative process is also a way for her to discover herself, as she explained: “It helps me learn a few things about myself.”
On the question if Khyati considers herself a designer or artist, she answers that she prefers to define herself as in between a designer and an artist. “Art is about self-expression. You do something for yourself, which is what I do. Design is a service. It’s about addressing problems, which is also what I do. I feel there are many exchanges going on between my design life and my art life.”
As a woman artist, Khyati finds herself belonging to a community. “I consciously make efforts of following female artists and elevating them whenever I can. Just surrounding myself with other female artists, seeing what they do and being inspired by them has had an impact on the works that I create.”
With regards to her work in the design industry, a male-dominated field, Khyati once felt like an outsider. Now, she is more comfortable with her female identity and encourages young female designers in the making: “I would like to tell them not to be discouraged by the lack of representation of women in leadership positions, because that is changing.”
As part of the Instagram culture from which Khyati has benefitted, she highlights the importance of visibility in today’s digital environment. “One thing that helps me a lot is the visibility. The duty of making yourself visible is on you. I feel that the practice of showing up, sharing my work, applying to galleries, applying to websites and blogs to feature my work, is really helpful.”
Finally, Khyati encourages women to be bold and to show themselves. “Even though contacting someone who is a complete stranger can be scary, it doesn’t hurt to get in touch with people who you think could help you, mentor you, or give you advice.”