By Indranil Halder
On a sunny Sydney weekend, I meet Akashdeep Sen at The Depot (Cafe, Bakery and Walk In only Restaurant) in Bondi. As we spoke, his pride for being acknowledged by Baz Luhrmann’s latest biographical musical Elvis movie for visual effects shone brighter than the Bondi sun.
Who is Akashdeep Sen?
Went to Julien Day School in India. Masters in Design in Animation from University of Technology, Sydney. Enjoys Digital Sculpting, Modelling, Shading, and Digital Matte Painting. Has a strong knowledge of visual effect developments. As a concept designer and a 3D artist, he has a deep affection for unique realistic designs and compositions which he applies from time to time for both films and video games. Passionate 3D Artist who loves multi-facetted CGI ( Computer-generated imagery ) and VFX (Visual effects) art. He also has a strong background in illustration, sculpture, storyboard and cinematography.
Other than that, he enjoys his life in Bondi Bubble(Bondi’s ability to draw people in and never leaves).
Recently, Akashdeep ( also known as Akash) finished visual effects for Elvis movie. As an artist he does not drink coffee, tea or smoke but immersed himself in creating fabulous animations for films, serials and marketing campaigns in Australia. And living in the Bondi bubble, the surroundings have a strong influence on him and his work. During our conversation at The Depot, we were enjoying our lunch and hot chocolate, as his colleague James Quick popped in. According to James, “ Akash is very creative.” And I don’t have any doubt about it.
Akashdeep has been creative since his childhood. Being mild dyslexic, art has played a very big part in his life. He grew up in India, watching cartoons like Batul The Great , Tom & Jerry and Chacha Chaudhary.
His father Ratan Sen, who worked as an artist for Anandabazar Patrika(an Indian Bengali-language daily newspaper) had an immense influence on him. He watched his dad investing time in painting and sculpturing at home. In 1960s, his dad invented thermokol art. He, himself was so creativity that his dad let design local Udayrajpur Netaji Sangha Durga Pujo pandal in Madhyamgram, North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India. He was ready to explore his creativity through arts.
Today, living in Bondi bubble his characteristics are shaped by ‘3C’ and they are : creativity, confidence and challenging himself. From being a shy teenager in school and collage, he settled in Bondi during his international student days. He loves outdoor specially swimming, snorkelling and surfing. His favourite hobby is to snorkel in the beach suburbs of Clovely and La Perouse. Other than snorkelling gears, he also owns surf boards. He loves engaging with every single possibility that comes on his way just like the blue ocean waves of Bondi while surfing. His travel to Japan gave him inspiration to sketch fascinating drawings and create new animations. I cannot help but thinking , that the bengali connection to Japan, just got better.
While living in Bondi for twelve year, Akashdeep has embraced the Bondi Bubble lifestyle wholeheartedly. He walks bare feet to Bondi beach in only 30sec, five minutes to pubs or bar and 35 mins walking to office in Fox Studio’s Entertainment Quarters, Moore Park. When he studied hospitality and worked as head chef of Hurricane’s Grill & Bar Bondi Beach( known for premium quality steaks and succulent ribs) for many years, fell in love with Bondi life. Bondi lifestyle is like a child’s cradle, where Akashdeep feel comfortable but it doesn’t stop him exploring his many creative ideas.
He went ahead and finished his masters degree comfortably. The Bondi vibe helps to reach peace with himself. He feel relaxed mentally and physically. Akashdeep says, “Now I am full of confidence. I regularly meeting new people, living an extroverted life and exploring new ideas everyday. You know first generation immigrants’ depression and feeling isolated, is part of life but the noise of the ocean comes me down. I have become a part of Bondi.”
He works for Animal Logic (a 31 years Australian company who did Matrix animation, in 1999 ) at the Sydney, Fox studio. Enjoying a dish name Pea Please with peas, Meredith goat cheese and hint of chilli, I asked Akashdeep whether he had done any animation work for the Vivid Sydney. He couldn’t stop laughing and said, “ I think I forgot to mention you that multiple years, I did Sydney VIVID animation show as well …”. Suddenly, I am looking at a Bengali who has a purpose in life to create animation.
His creativity is propelled by his own freedom in Bondi bubble. I am confident he is not living in a rat race like many of us , while waiting to fulfil our longstanding passion of creativity. No deliberation. Just fulfilling his dream. I was amazed to see his pencil sketches on his mobile for Michael Hill’s diamond engagement ring campaign. And they were magnificent. I was so engaged in the conversation that my hot chocolate went cold and the surfy blond waitress looked at me weirdly as she pick up the cup full of cold hot chocolate to clean our table as busy Bondi crowd filled the restaurant.
The influences of Bondi bubble is so obvious on Akashdeep that I can only see his creativity getting bigger and better. At least, I know as a Bengali he is living the dream that many would love too. It wouldn’t be too long before, we see his creative animation in every movie, billboard and marketing campaigns across Australia and the globe.