We had the good fortune of connecting with Jay Thakur and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jay, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking is made to sound like a scary, unconventional, and unstable approach to living, that needs to be done in sparse doses, when it is the only way for life to do what it does. It is more about trusting the process, and that can seem scary if all you have ever done is work from, and towards, expectations. Life evolves by taking ‘risks.’ Mutations work by seeing what does not work, and slowly discover what does. It is an ongoing process. By defining what should work you will never be satisfied. Only through negation can you see what is. Basically risk taking is actually the natural state of being which has been mislabeled as a deviation from what is normal. Every moment should then be a ‘risk taking’, and then your actions automatically do what is needed, nothing more and nothing less. That is what I try to practise. Seeing the falseness of expectations, and a comfortable cycle, and being open to deviations all the time. Understanding this has helped me tremendously in what I do and what state of mind to be in. Be it as a visual development artist, as a son, a friend, or any identity that is defined in a specific time and space. By not having expectations I trust the process, by trusting the process, I create a consequence that could never have been created by a predefined conclusion or outcome. So then it is possible to get excited by the unknown instead of fearing it. It is then possible to choose what state of mind is needed for an action, and not letting the action determine the state of mind. As soon as fear is ended, or at least its falseness is seen, you get clarity. Doing this has allowed me to be more involved in whatever I do. As I look back at how I got to where I am, the most interesting experiences were born from seeing the falseness of fear. From changing my career from a product designer to film, from leaving a country to settle in another, constantly stepping out of a comfort zone, allows you to get used to it, and then it just becomes a part of you, and not something separate from you. Expectations and intentions both drive the process. Intentions drive through the present. Expectations drive through the past. So clearly there is lesser information available to drive a process through the past. That information will surely result in less informed actions. Intentions allow you to trust the process, while expectations ignore the process. Not worrying about the fruits of your action, removes all fears. It has a calming effect that you could never predict, and soon you start working from joy instead of for joy.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I work as a Visual Development Artist on films. My role is to develop the look of the picture, by designing the environments, props, vehicles, characters etc. I started as a Product Designer in Denmark, did some freelance work in India, and finally moved to LA where I joined Sony Pictures Animation, and had the honor of being part of the team responsible for Spider-man : Into the Spider verse sequel. I had a lot of realisations and insights along the way. Through the process of living and working in multiple countries and companies, I was able to see the falseness of expectations and the notion of becoming. We project causation into the environment and then develop an identity based on this perceived causation. By taking causation too seriously we remain stuck in stories of the past and future and become less involved in the now. I realised how a flow state can be maintained always, by working through intentions rather than expectations, and that has allowed me to become more conscious about my actions. Automatically that leads to a higher involvement and subsequently, enjoyment. I began to see the extraordinary in the ordinary, and the boundaries of good and bad categories began to dissolve. I began to see what is, rather than what should be.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well as of pre-covid, the concert venues are some of my favorite spots, The Lodge Room, The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Cemetery, The Fonda Theater, The Ace Hotel, to name a few. Arts District has some great places to hang out, and spend an evening, with outstanding Ramen spots across the street in Little Tokyo. The Huntington Library is also great to spend a day at. Pasadena has some hidden gems in Old town, and Angeles National Forest not too far to the north of it. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Every step of my journey has been possible because of the encouragement and help of a mentor or friend, but none have played as big a role as my parents. Even if they were playing an unconscious part, their actions have helped me to be where I am.