Tell Us, Who Are Your Creative Role Models?

(Clockwise from top left) Stylist Rahul Vijay, designers Siddartha Tytler and Arjun Saluja, illustrator Ayush Kalra, designers Anavila and Rimzim Dadu, actor Mallika Dua, and model Sapna Datta

The Word.: Who are your creative role models?

Siddartha Tytler: “I remember when I was a teenager, I saw (late designer) Gianni Versace and Rohit Bal’s work…. They inspired me to be a designer!”

Arjun Saluja: “More than role models, artists like singer-songwriter Prince, writer James Baldwin, designer Rei Kawakubo, and filmmaker Akira Kurosawa have inspired my journey for various reasons.”

Ayush Kalra: “Many people have had an impact on me. Artists Raja Ravi Varma, M.F. Husain, Amrita Sher-Gil, and Frida Kahlo are among those I look up to. They have all made enormous contributions to the world of art and have motivated countless others to follow their dreams.”

Sapna Dutta: “Artist M.F. Husian, actor and environmental advocate Dia Mirza, and mindfulness author Raageshwari Loomba Swaroop are some of the people I admire.”

Mallika Dua: “My sister [Bakul Dua] is an extremely creative person. When she was younger, she used to act and sing. Now, she is a professional therapist and I see her including creativity in small and big ways, every day. I think people who don’t have to be creative for a living are actually the most creative because they do it without any agenda. I have always been a huge fan of Sacha Baron Cohen and the characters that he created. And I can’t not mention A.R. Rahman—music really brings people together and his music has the power to move.”

Rimzim Dadu: “Chinese contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei is someone whom I really admire.”

Anavila Misra: “I believe in the power of minimalism and the person who has inspired me deeply is the Indian mystic poet and saint, Kabir. Through his poetry and creativity, he put forth answers to the deepest questions around life, in the simplest of words. His craft of distilling observations into simple words and giving meaning to them is unparalleled. Apart from him, Mary Oliver, an American poet and Rei Kawakubo, a Japanese designer, are some of my other role models.”

Rahul Vijay: “I think the creatives (photographers, models, and stylists) from the ’80s and ’90s were truly amazing…they just knew how to get it right.”

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Welcome to The Word. Magazine.

For the inaugural issue, The Word. celebrates India’s creative spirit through what might be the world’s most ambitious cover series. Featuring 139 coverstars…powerhouses from the fields of art, film, fashion, food, music, content creation, and more, India Creative Inc. honours the talents leading the country’s creative order.

This cover series features idea-shapers and game-changers, photographed against an endless table that represents not just the boundless power of creativity, but also the infinite potential of collaboration and inclusivity.

This is India Creative Inc., and everyone is invited to sit at the table.