Indian Hippy – The Bollywood ‘Poster Boy’

If you want to add that glamour quotient and immortalise your wedding card that will be remembered for years to come, there’s just one place to visit – Indian Hippy. Started by 31-year-old Mumbai-based Hinesh Jethwani, Indian Hippy is a one stop shop that specialises in custom made Bollywood movie posters, wedding cards, hand painted bags, curios, furniture and other accessories.

What makes Indian Hippy products so unique is that they bring to life the golden era of Bollywood and merge it with your life – so you get a Moghul Royal clutch bag with hand-painted scenes from Mughal-e-Azam, a Don leather diary, a Sholay belt – which definitely adds a style statement.

For people who want to be different can get the personalized wedding and anniversary cards created based on popular Bollywood film posters even like Jab We Met, Om Shanti Om and Namaste London or any of their favourite movie!

How did it begin?

“Indian Hippy was born more than two years ago when I learned about the plight of the last few surviving Bollywood movie poster artists in India. I was appalled to learn that talented artists of yesteryears had been rendered obsolete in the present computer age. Digital printing was ubiquitous, and the hand painted poster and billboard art industry was on the verge of becoming completely extinct forever,” mentions Hinesh.

It has been close to two decades since the formal closure of the hand-painted movie poster industry in India, and there is just a handful of practising artists still remaining in the trade.

Hinesh strongly feels that “Revival/resuscitation of the art will only be possible when the younger generation of artists come forward to learn and train under the last few remaining experienced Bollywood movie poster artists of yesteryears. Skill and experience cannot be captured in books and photographs, so this is the final curtain call for younger artists to come forward and benefit from the decades of experience and mastery of the fast-fading generation of senior Bollywood movie poster artists.”

Unlike most other entrepreneurs, Hinesh mentions that he did not seek inspiration from those who had made their millions in stock or inventions – but rather ordinary, everyday folks who had the courage to pursue their goals and in doing so, surpassed everybody’s expectations of them.

The investments made

Indian Hippy is one of the best examples that we can find today that is based on self-funded investments through personal savings, and realisation through sheer grit and determination.

Hinesh mentions, “I follow a simple methodology when it comes to starting all my ventures – start small but think BIG. I have never been afraid to make a humble beginning and that’s exactly how Indian Hippy came into being.”

The brand name

Hinesh was very clear from the beginning that the word “Indian” had to be a part of the brand name as he was essentially trying to revive the old school Indian cinema art.

“The “Hippy” happened purely by chance, he mentions, “when we experimented with hand painting several products the end results were extremely colourful and essentially “hip”. So the extension “Hippy” was added to the brand name to summarise the colourful, visual treat offered by our products and services. Also, I felt it would appeal to the younger audience that we were hoping to target while also doing justice to the quirky quotient we have to offer.”

Challenges faced

Hinesh admits that there were plenty of challenges he faced and that it would be almost impossible to list all of them.

For starters, he received a lot of discouragement from a few associates as well as some of his mentors who thought of his concept was a “ridiculous whim.” For many, his sudden interest in an extinct art form seemed absurd.

Finding authentic/genuine Bollywood film poster artists was a task in itself. The industry had shifted to digital in the early nineties. With film poster artists being displaced by this wave for nearly two decades, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.

“Often I would end up in a wild goose chase, wasting precious time in the bargain. Most artists had sought early retirement and had returned to their villages. A few had shifted careers entirely. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I considered doing away with this concept entirely on more occasion than one. Thankfully good sense prevailed and I pressed on, and here we are today!”, smiles Hinesh.

He further adds, “Very few film poster artists remain in India who haven’t given up the paintbrush entirely so as to speak, and I am glad to have found them and to be working with them. Working with them is a continuous challenge. These artists are used to making massive sized posters and billboards. Cutting this down to size and minimising the surface area to be painted on is a very challenging task for the artists – but their determination and hard work has seen us through.”

What makes Indian Hippy so unique

Innovation and authenticity are definitely one of the prime characteristics of Indian Hippy products.

“We are the only brand in the world that makes unique, functional products hand painted with authentic old school Bollywood poster art,” claims Hinesh.

And what adds that magic touch to each of these Indian Hippy products is that Hinesh designs each product himself – starting from the drawing board, i.e. from scratch to sourcing raw materials, etc. His team of artists (dozen strong in number) who add colour to the products by bringing his designs to life with their paintbrushes and skill.

Book your Indian Hippy product

Each custom project is a challenge that involves a lot of research to find the right artwork to suit the customer’s unique requirements.

Typically, the work involved in creating a custom painted poster would be done in eight stages:

  • Shortlisting a poster layout
  • Email your photos to Indian Hippy
  • Creating a rough digital mock up for each poster
  • Painting the poster
  • Photography / Review stage
  • Iteration stage
  • Finalization stage
  • Packing stage

Hinesh further adds, “All our posters are 100% hand painted on artist quality canvas using artist quality oil paints that come with a lifetime guarantee on colours. The average time for completing a custom painted poster is 7 days. Rates start at Rs. 5,000 for small, basic A3 sized custom painted posters.

The most popular size that we hand in painted posters in (selected by over 90% of our customers) is standard movie poster size, i.e. 40 x 30 inches or roughly 3.5 feet x 2.5 feet. This size is ideal for producing quality results as far as likeness and detailing is concerned. Further, the size provides excellent space to hand paint custom lettering such as star cast, movie titles, special messages, etc.”

So the next time you’re planning to surprise your spouse or your parents on an anniversary or a birthday, just drop Hinesh a line at hippy.in@gmail.com or visit http://www.hippy.in/ to place your order and watch the magic unfold.

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