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NID Alumnus and Discovery Kids' head Uttam Pal Singh Chawla shares his animated journey at India Design Confluence

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Discovery Kids' head Uttam Pal Singh Chawla shares his animated journey

Dhadaam te Dhadoom! From a child who drew flipbooks under the table to heading one of India’s top infotainment television channel – Discovery Kids, Uttam Pal Singh Chawla is the famed creative person who gave us insanely quirky Santa Banta that is frequently telecast on Channel V. At the India Design Confluence, the NID alumnus shared his animated journey of animation to inspire the attendees.

The three-day design affair at United World Institute of Design, Karnavati University, invited various delegates from the creative industry to talk, perform, inspire and participate at the India Design Confluence. Opened on November 23, 2018, an initiative of Anar Patel’s Craftroots, the design fiesta hosted luminary creators of India and abroad, including scenographer and art curator Rajeev Sethi, lead designer of Bentley Motors Ltd Rajesh Kutty, singer-songwriter Lucky Ali and Belgian product designer and lensman Alain Monnens. Artist and founder of The Art Kommune Amitabh Shrivastav and head of Discovery Kids Uttam Pal Singh Chawla were also amongst the invited dignitaries.

We got an opportunity to interact with several mindful pillars of society who came to speak at the confluence, and one of them was Uttam Pal Singh Chawla. Hailing from a small town called Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, the seeds of animation were sown at a pretty early age in Singh, as he loved playing with his flipbook under the table with a torch, which he drew while studying in class 5. The design enthusiast, after completing his architecture studies, joined the National Institute of Design to learn more about filmmaking, animation and design and that’s where his aesthetical journey began formally.

Singh, during his graduation, worked with the Father of Indian Animation — Padma Shri Ram Mohan — to create little masala-packed animation films like Bheeru No 1. Later, he created animated videos for Channel V with characters Santa (Clause) and Banta. The creative being, during his conversation with Creative Yatra, revealed the insight he had shared with the participants. “Out in the creative industry it’s not your degree or background, but your work, style or how distinct your ideas are, which helps you get the next job,” he said.

Singh constructed, directed, scripted, animated and conducted 90% of the tasks single handedly in his early stage. But we were curious to know how he manages and works with a larger team at Discovery Kids channel, where about 600 creative professionals work on more than 20 projects simultaneously. The fun-loving animator dotingly said, ” In a scenario, where you have to create multiple shows, and you are leading a team with strict deadlines, you trust people. You work differently than what you did before. You let go, and allow others to grow as strong as you are.”

Uttam Pal Singh Chawla in conversation with Creative Yatra correspondent Himanshu Nainani

Singh has also lent his creative touch to reputed animation television channels like Pogo & Cartoon Network, and has designed well-liked promos, advertisements and videos with his unparalleled animation ability combined with a dash of humour. To peep into his video directory, log on to his channel UPSC (not the Service Commission) on YouTube or directly switch on your television sets and start watching the Discovery Kids Network.

Dhadaam te Dhadoom!


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