Student Spotlight with Bhavya Zaveri

Student Spotlight with Bhavya Zaveri

Meet Bhavya Zaveri on our very first Student Spotlight Interview. Currently pursuing B.Sc in Animation at Whistling Woods International, Mumbai. 

What inspired you to study animation?


It was not until that time in my life that I had to make a decision for my career, it was either engineering or joining my father’s business. In desperate need of a miracle, I found animation. But I think my love for animation began since the time my parents bought me toys, I used to visualize those toys having duels. You can say that I was imagining something like “Toy Story”, but the toys were a part of the fight club. Watching numerous animated tv shows like Ben 10, Pink Panther, Courage the cowardly dog, etc., made the golden days of my life, I can’t help but just get lost in those memories of the pure joy of watching those shows after school. I was and still am fascinated by mythical creatures, especially dragons. I used to browse Explorer on the old Windows XP computer for dragons and print them out, sketching over them with sketch pens. Whenever I was to draw something from my imagination, it was always dragons. My fascination with creatures carried over to VFX-heavy movies like the Jurassic Park series and even WB’s Godzilla series, I was heavily influenced by how the studios managed to bring these creatures to life. Rewatching the making of these movies countless times made me interested in animation as a field.

We live in a country dominated by engineers and doctors, was it a tough decision for you to get into animation? And are you satisfied so far with this decision?


Before choosing animation as a career, I aspired to become an engineer and was preparing for the JEE exams. However, during my 11th grade, I observed my friends studying for 11-15 hours a day, which made me realize that engineering was not my cup of tea. However, leaving engineering meant that I had to choose an alternative, and I stumbled upon animation. It was a tough decision as no one in my family or relatives had any idea about this field. But my parents believed in me and supported me to pursue this career.

I don’t think I would have been able to enjoy it anywhere else, animation is a medium through which I can express my thoughts and emotions. What more could I ask for? I’m more than satisfied with this decision.


Was it difficult to convince your parents for your decision to study animation?


They were the ones who understood me before anyone else and had more faith in me than I had in myself. From the beginning, they taught me to follow my passion and to strive for mastery in whatever I do. Although they were uncertain about the potential of the animation field at first, they saw the massive growth of the industry and eventually came to support my decisions. Their love and support have brought me to where I am today, and I am grateful for everything they have done for me.

Could you share your experience getting into Whistling Woods International and how it’s shaping up your future?


In my journey so far, I have had the privilege of meeting some of the greatest Gurus in my life. It all began with my parents who are the ones who taught me how to learn from my mistakes, Prem Sir from BRDS Vadodara helped me discover my hidden potential, and Vivek Sir from WWI helped me enhance my abilities. I’m truly grateful to them.

Once I made the decision to pursue animation, I enrolled at BRDS Vadodara where I delved deeper into the world of animation. It was there that I first learned about WWI, a film school that caught my interest and ultimately led me to pursue my bachelor’s degree there.

After applying for WWI, there were 2 rounds for the exam that I had to clear, first round was a written exam that included some general knowledge questions and some drawing-related questions, which went pretty well. The last round was an interview, where I met Jaydev Sir and Jasbinder Sir and showed them my portfolio, I mainly had traditional drawings at that time, so I put them all in a single folder and I created an artwork featuring a giant humanoid creature covered in plastic garbage, with a half-cut plastic bottle as its head. The creature was curiously looking down at a small, recently sprouted plant. They liked it the most and I think that’s what got me into WWI.

WWI has been a game changer for me, here I got to meet so many friends and faculties from whom I got to learn a lot. There were a bunch of things that were taught here, but the most important thing of all was the exposure to so many projects that I had the opportunity to work on, every project was different from the others, it was a great learning experience.

I think the exposure that I got here is very valuable to help me when I enter the industry, I’ll be more adaptive and creative to the problems that I encounter.


Why are you more inclined towards visual development out of all the stages of animation?


Visual Development is a crucial part of the pre-production process in animation, film, and game design. It’s the first step where artists create the look and feel of the project, like the characters, the places they’re in, and the things they use. This stage helps set the visual style for the rest of the production.

The cool thing about Visual Development is that it gives artists lots of freedom to come up with ideas. They can try out different sketches, colors, and textures until they find what works best. It’s also a back-and-forth process, where they show their ideas to the rest of the team and get feedback.

I saw this video on YouTube where these artists were reimagining Rodan (a monster) from Godzilla. The artists started off the process of exploring the creature design with silhouettes then making some lose sketches to give it some form, then sculpting those designs with clay, and lastly taking the final design into 3D software, made me realize the power of Visual development to bring an idea to life. That’s what got me interested in Visual Development in the first place!

How important is it to share your work on social media, especially on LinkedIn as a student?


Social media offers a fantastic platform for artists to showcase their work globally and connect with other artists and clients. It also provides an opportunity for artists to receive critiques from peers, a valuable tool for growth and improvement. Some of the best platforms to post your work are Instagram, Artstation, LinkedIn, and Behance.

LinkedIn, in particular, is an excellent platform for job searching and building a professional network. Artists can connect with industry professionals and companies hiring in their respective fields. Even if you are not actively seeking employment, posting on LinkedIn as a student can still be beneficial. It can act as an investment, with potential employers visiting your profile to view the projects you have worked on, which may result in future job postings.

Of course, this is just a brief overview of the benefits of LinkedIn, and there is much more to learn.


Could you share your inspiration behind your latest work “Lotus of Hope”? Also, what is your inspiration in general for your personal projects?


Lotus of Hope is a part of my semester 6 game-previz project, which is set in a world consumed by Shadows. The story follows Varuna on a dangerous mission to bring balance between light and dark, day and night, which was once held by Surya Dev (Sun God). Lotus of Hope is the temple of Surya Dev which acts as a call to adventure and the Ordeal for Varuna on his journey.

With Lotus of Hope, there were many inspirations in place like the concept of shadow planets in Vedic astrology, shadow planets are basically the solar and lunar eclipses, which in Hindu mythology are considered Rahu and Ketu two halves of the immortal Asura (demon) Svarbhanu, who was beheaded by the god Vishnu. I don’t believe in astrology, but it seemed like a cool concept for a Game.

For setting the mood for the temple, I took some inspiration from the works of other concept artists such as Prabhu B. His style and process inspired me a lot, which included most of the 3D modeling and texturing. I also took some inspiration for lighting and composition from other artists such as Vladimir Manyukhin and Varga Attuss.

For designing the temple, I took real-life references from the Sun temple of Konark, Chennakeshava Temple, Belur. The temple’s location was influenced by Badami, a town in Karnataka, which had an attractive rock formation.

The idea behind the lotus at the temple was that it could bloom even in adverse weather conditions, serving as a shield to protect the temple. This was seen as a symbol of hope and resilience. Additionally, Surya Dev is often portrayed holding a lotus.

Check out the Artwork here:

How do you go about the choice of colours in your concepts? And could you explain in detail about the choice of colours in your concept “Lotus of Hope”?


I choose the colors for my concepts based on the mood I want to convey or the symbolic meaning of the colors, depending on the situation. At times, the decision is based on gut feeling. But for colors to work there needs to be harmony, and color harmony theory best establishes relationships between colors. There are many concepts at play after choosing the right colors like the proportion of the colors, value, contrast, etc.


For Lotus of Hope, I wanted the colors to feel like the warmth of a hot scorching desert. Thus, I thought an analogous color scheme would best convey the mood of my artwork. So, the main colors used in my artwork are yellow, orange, and red. The use of bright and saturated red and yellow is limited to specific regions where I want the viewers to focus more.   

Your Concept “Lotus of Hope” is a blend of 3D and 2D. Do you think it’s important to learn 3D skills for concept art and how does that help?


This semester, I attempted to integrate 3D elements into my concept art process for the first time. I feel it turned out to be better than expected. 3D made the process much easier than the traditional painting everything from scratch process. It did have its own technical challenges, like UV unwrapping and texturing. But learning something new was really fun.   

I think it’s important to learn 3D for concept artists as it makes the process a lot easier and faster. Considering a professional scenario, even learning basics of 3D like modelling, texturing and lighting could be a life saver for tight deadlines.

For example, Blender is a widely used 3D software when it comes to concept art. The software is free and has everything one needs. Using 3D in environment design can be advantageous as it assists in arranging the scene’s composition and relieves the artist of the burden of considering the perspective. Texturing helps in characterizing your models while lighting can help you create a mood for your scene.

Is there a dream studio that you see yourself working for in the future and how are you preparing yourself for this goal?


I have a few studios in mind that I would love to work with like, Industrial Light and Magic, Riot Games, The SPA studios, Studio ADI, DreamWorks, and Naughty Dog because I recently completed their uncharted series, and I was mesmerized by the art. These studios have some amazing and unique works in the animation and game industry, and that’s why I aspire to join these studios.

After completing my bachelor’s at Whistling woods international I’m planning to gain some experience in the professional industry and build an awesome portfolio with which I can apply for a master’s abroad.


Your advice as a student to younger school kids who aspire to become animators or artists.


The one thing needed to be an animator is to never lose your inner child.  In animation, it’s important to have a curious mind, be observant, and be creative, but most importantly, never forget to have fun. So, practice the basics of drawing like making shapes and giving them forms, perspective, anatomy, shading, colors, storytelling, etc.

You can connect with the Bhavya at the following links:





About the author

  • Mohammad Khalikh

    Based in India. Khalikh is a Previs and Cinematic Designer with over 6 years of experience in the Indian Film Industry. His passion for films and animation led him to the city of dreams, Mumbai, and he found the world of filmmaking. He loves to share knowledge and he believes what J.M. Cornwell has rightly said "“Knowledge is wasted when it isn't shared.”

Post a Comment