An Interview with Naveli Choyal
1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to do what you do.
I am Naveli Choyal, an art director, photographer and stylist based between Ajmer and Delhi. I have been interested in photography since my teenage days. I remember, my brother and I used to experiment on our own and tried to make images from our family owned camera. Ever since my college days I have been collecting stories and documenting everyday life through objects, videos and still images. The year 2020 was truly momentous and a year of courage for me. I finally took the leap of faith and decided to take photography professionally alongside styling and art direction.
2. Who/what are some ongoing inspirations when you sit down to plan your image making? And/or can you tell us anything about your process for art direction, photography, or styling?
The dynamic and diverse Indian lifestyle and culture is a constant source of inspiration for me. I am drawn towards places and people which have rich and colourful characters. Thankfully, I have been able to travel to landscapes I could connect with. The narratives and visuals collected from my travel experiences forms the core of my visual language.
3. Your city in 5 words...
There isn’t one city I relate myself with completely. In that nature I think I am a cosmopolitan. My learnings and inspirations have stemmed from the different places I have either traveled to or lived in.
4. Where are your favorite places or things to do in Delhi?
The National Gallery of Modern Art ,Craft Museum, National Museum, Lodhi Garden, Kamani Auditorium, Indian Habitat Centre and Triveni Kala Sangam have been a huge part of my initial days in Delhi. These are my constant favourites and I try to visit these places as often as I can and try to become a part of the continuous celebrations, events and shows they host.
5. Outside of work, what is keeping you grounded and interested lately?
Preparing and serving myself a good meal is something I really enjoy. I spend my time in the kitchen experimenting with new/old combinations of flavour; it is an everyday learning and surprise to observe the aroma & textures of Indian spices elevate a boring dish. In between preparing my meals, my day goes in nurturing my two dogs, Jamun and Imli. They keep me busy in my free time. Apart from that, I have quite a few personal projects about my family and their connection with photography, painting, jewellery designing and other craft & art forms.
6. Who have you been reading, listening to, or watching lately?
I am currently reading Indira, written by Devapriya Roy and illustrated by Priya Kuriyan. Although I am not an avid reader, you will find me reading a lot of graphic novels. I am a big hoarder of illustrated books!
Lately, I have been listening to the Lijadu Sisters and I am hooked on their music. The story and music of this Nigeria based sister duo made me wonder about other such unexplored musicians who have strong local vocabulary.
7. What are you looking forward to most right now?
I am really looking forward to completing the projects which I have in my hand right now. The pandemic has made going outdoors extremely difficult and because most of the work which I do is inspired from street lifestyle/outdoors. So, hopefully all of this will end soon and I could resume with my work.
See more of Naveli here.