Production Designer and Art Director
"Less than 20% of the employees in Hollywood are women. But this didn’t stop our homegirl, Shivangi Singh, from breaking gender barriers, shifting her career line from Fine Arts to Production Design, and chasing her dreams.
"Once I found that I had a keen interest in visual arts, I moved to Delhi to join Jamia Millia Islamia university and pursued my Bachelors in Fine Arts. I made this decision knowing very well that it could form the base for my real passion for visual arts. Discovering my passion for designing film sets whilst attending Fine Arts college in Delhi, I explored all kinds of visual art forms attending art exhibitions to film festivals. I got really intrigued by the power of cinema and visual storytelling after watching some masterpieces from world cinema like ‘Benhur’, ‘Thief of Baghdad’, ‘In the Mood for Love’ and more such beautifully art-directed films. After researching and studying various technicalities of filmmaking, I realised production design is closest to my passion for visual arts. Eventually it led to help me translate my Fine Arts background effectively.
After graduating from Fine arts college, I started working in art exhibitions as a Researcher and Project Manager, and worked with some of the country's finest contemporary artists and curators including big names like Raqs Media Collective. But soon I realised that my ultimate dream was to work in films and started approaching many industry people. Luckily, I got my first break as a storyboard artist on an internationally acclaimed film, ‘Margarita with a Straw’. Thankfully, after that I never had to look back. The road ahead was filled with hard work and I went to work on many critically acclaimed films and subsequently moved to Mumbai.
Within a few months of making the big move, I got hired as an Assistant Art Director on Kabir Khan’s ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’. The film was a successful one, and made a whopping $121,126,188 worldwide.
One of the biggest challenges was convincing my family that leaving my established career in Indian film industry and moving to Hollywood to start from scratch all over again was going to work out and that Production Design was a serious, legitimate career choice.
After graduation, based on my work portfolio, I received a prestigious production design fellow award by the Hollywood Art Department Union, Art director’s Guild of America. This was one of the highest points in my career. It often takes people years to get into the Hollywood Union and I had got it within a year of moving to Los Angeles, so it’s a remarkable achievement for sure."