Art has always been a driving force in Vinita Bakhale’s life. Growing up, she was surrounded by paintings created by her grandmother, who used to paint ethereal paintings in both vivid colors and muted tones. Even Vinita’s mother is an artist as well, with a gene so innate it was always a passion. Being surrounded with all sorts of shapes, textures, and colors sparked the Canadian’s interest and imagination. “Art is very fleeting, so there’s this constant push and pull to get it right. I am drawn to the level of emotion and engagement required to figure it out,” she said.
Now, Vinita uses her artistic talents as a Graphic Artist for Film and Television productions. She has worked on her favorite genre, Horror with her work on the television series, Damien, and contributed to award-winning projects like The Big Sick, which was nominated for an Oscar this year. She also helped create the iconic sets for the Netflix hit drama Riverdale.
Another graphic comic book she helped bring to life was the television series, Happy!. Based on the Grant Morrison graphic novel of the same title, Happy! tells the tale of Nick Sax, an alcoholic ex-cop turned hitman who lives his days with drugs and cynicism. After he is shot and left for dead, he is revived while in the care of paramedics and can now see a small, blue, goofy cartoon-looking winged horse named Happy. Happy is the imaginary friend of a little girl named Hailey, who has been kidnapped by a deranged man dressed as Santa Claus. Happy escapes to seek Nick's help in finding her and reveals that Hailey is Nick's estranged daughter. Nick reluctantly agrees, and he and his new "partner" now must work together to save her. Because of the nature of the live-action production, and its inspiration from the graphic novel, it was an extremely graphics-heavy show with many sets.
Vinita was responsible for coordinating with all of the visual departments that required the support of the Graphic Artist including Art, Costumes, Props, and Set Decoration. As the Lead Graphic Artist for several episodes, she was also responsible for managing the workflow, coordinating with clearances in-house and at the head office, print shops, and with the show creators, producers and production staff, all while making sure to have time to actually research and design the graphics called out in the script.
“There was a lot to do, so that was good. Whenever I finished one task, there was always something else to work on. It was a really graphics-heavy show. Whether it was to read a script-rewrite or go into a production meeting, there was no slowing down. It was non-stop and that’s always a unique experience,” Vinita described.
So, what’s next for this Graphic Artist? Her most recent project, Freaky Friday The Musical, is being released on the Disney Channel this summer in July 2018.
Just like the classic films, when a mother, Katherine, and daughter, Ellie, are at the most stressful of times, they can only imagine how the other's problems could be more difficult. Thanks to the magic from their late father's hourglass, their imagination becomes a reality when they switch bodies and see what it's like to be the other person.
“I am a huge Disney buff! I was four years old when my parents first took me to Walt Disney World in Kissimmee, Florida. I still have photographs of me as a tiny tyke standing with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. Since then, I’ve always wanted to work for Disney,” said Vinita.
Depending on the production, as a Graphic Artist, Vinita works closely with the her department head, the Production Designer to help bring to life their vision for the production aesthetic. Working on Freaky Friday The Musical was no exception. She performed design research and sought image references for protagonist, Ellie’s bedroom. According to the Production Designer’s niche vision, Vinita modeled the bedroom set and customized the set model with built-ins and cool custom windows.
Although there is a lot on a set that isn’t the sole focus of the camera, it is important for the production that the Graphic Artist researches, designs, models, and incorporates everything that is relevant into the visual graphic imagery. A lot of research and specific details were incorporated into the planning of protagonist, Ellie’s Bedroom. The visual imagery Vinita contributed helped sell the bedroom pitch to Disney.
“I recently had the opportunity to check out the Freaky Friday The Musical trailer, and it was pretty exciting to see the bedroom transformed from a few visual graphic images I created into a full-scale live-action bedroom” she described.
In the anticipation of its release, the production has already generated a lot of buzz on several renowned website like The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, Seventeen and Cosmopolitan. Vinita herself is already a fan.
“This story is a classic. I love the first two feature films, and this particular version has a really cool Musical twist to it. I have a feeling it’s going to do well.” she concluded.
Don’t miss Freaky Friday The Musical on the Disney Channel this July 2018.
1st image: Happy! (2018) "NYPD Police Station" Graphics by Vinita Bakhale Property of Universal Cable Productions
2nd image: Freaky Friday The Musical (2018) "Ellie's Bedroom" Property of Disney