From sparkly bodysuits to dystopian headdresses, the Mumbai-born artist places fashion at the centre of her 3D environments. And, by doing so, she addresses topics such as identity, representation and female empowerment.
Akanksha Jain's journey into the arts wasn't the most linear of paths. Born in Mumbai, India, Akanksha started studying fashion communication in college before completing an MA in international business at UofG. After this, she landed work as a brand visualiser creating 3D environments for projects in the realms of branding, which concurrently set her up for a career in the digital sphere.
Now, she specialises in brand development, graphic design and visual content creation for clients in the gaming, fashion, retail and fast-moving computer goods (FMCH) industries, respectively. "Digital art is where I see a wholesome opportunity for me to realise the full potential of my creative direction skills," she tells us. "It ties together my passion for fashion, photography, film, sci-fi, architecture, art direction, and this knowledge informs my ideas while I'm creating art."
From animation, NFTs to web design and identities, Akanksha's portfolio is broad and varied as she spends her time flitting between commissioned and personal pieces. But what ties it all together is the artist's love of digital, plus a profound knack for mastering the 3D environment, which allows her to build realistic bodies, space-age backdrops, and glistening textures covered in psychedelic colours. "Paying attention to the intricate details in my artworks revolving around identity, space and feelings is an extremely gratifying process for me," she explains of the themes addressed through her pieces. Beforehand, Akanksha would employ storytelling techniques to build her fantastical landscapes. Yet, more recently, she's steered more towards "powerful digital fashion moments" that are often inspired by her style.
With this in mind, the garments featured in her artworks tend to take centre stage – from transparent, luminous blazers to metallic bodysuits, shades and iridescent headdresses. But equally, the narrative and intention of the piece are just as important as the clothing, especially when it comes to representation in art. "As a POC, I have felt a dearth of resources to create realistic POC 3D human models, and that's why I consciously choose to create and feature POC in my art. I'd like to explore more inclusive body types once I learn how to sculpt a broader spectrum of body shapes."
In one of her recent works, Akanksha has created a portrait named Future Rani. She loves this piece because she decided to style the model with traditional Indian jewellery, paired with hair accessories and garments pulled from the future. "Bringing together sci-fi themes alongside traditional Indian visual identities seems very exciting to me," she adds. Another piece entitled All Women All Queens gives off a similar case of dystopian prowess. Selected as part of the Sevens Foundation Empowered Women grant, the animated NFT artwork was made as a "sentiment of strong allyship that cuts across domains of power, sexuality and identity." The subjects pose amongst a rose-tined garden within this piece, where a tech, tiaras and luminous bodies adorn the frame.
In the coming months, Akanksha will continue to work on her low-poly game, which will be comparatively different to her usual 3D projects. Additionally, she's working on an IP for an upcoming music festival and plans to dive deeper into the world of 3D fashion, all the while hoping to create AR-enabled 3D garments and experiments. There's a lot more to come from this budding artist. "When someone sees the art, I wish for them to be able to relate to it in their own peculiar way," she concludes. "By way of relating to the identity of the human figure, or by associating with a moment in time encapsulated in the surreal landscapes. I hope they enjoy consuming it as much as I did making it."