We’ve all been there when it’s been difficult to finish a task, when we were faced with something that seems too challenging to accomplish. North Rockland resident and designer, Tunav Nanda, knows how to overcome that struggle all too well. After successfully surpassing his battle with leukemia, Nanda was able to express his road to positivity and dedicate his struggle through his own artwork – in hopes of uplifting others as well.
Nanda’s journey as a designer began when he received the chance to collaborate with PENSOLE footwear Academy and the Make-A-Wish-Foundation in 2016. After sharing his story, Nanda had the chance to shadow both the Founder of Pensole, Dwayne Edwards, and Marc Dolce, the Vice President of Adidas. Shortly afterwards, they both granted him a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pick whichever silhouette model of the shoe he wanted to design – he ended up choosing the Adidas brand Nomads.
The aspiring artist also had the chance to work with Color & Material Designer at Adidas Originals, Lotte Hahn Kofoed, who shortly released an article about the importance of their first collaboration. She explained in depth the meaning behind his shoe design, stating “Revolving around the events in Tunav’s life and the three stages of before, during and after cancer was transformed into “Untainted”, “The Blur” and “Rebirth”. The color orange came to be the hero-color-story because this color has a lot of meaning in Tunav’s life. The three stages also needed to be able to intertwine. At the same time, not melt into one another.”
The fight to remain positive didn’t end in 2016, however. A year later, Nanda started painting as a means of expressing his resilience throughout his life. It wasn’t until he began his first painting that he realized he was on a road to positivity. The day he started painting, he felt that he had already destroyed his first work and was unmotivated to complete it. “I was 95% sure that I was going to trash this painting, but the 5% of me kicked in and said, ‘you can’t throw away this dream… you need to sleep on it’,” explained Nanda. The next day, the artist woke up and kept working to complete his creation. As he made small adjustments to his initial work, Nanda began building more confidence in his art.
Nanda believes the greatest lesson he learned from the painting process is patience. After trusting the process and continuing to complete the portrait, he finished his work on the third day. The completion was symbolic of Tunav’s own personal road to positivity throughout his battle with leukemia. Although the situations were vastly different, each required the same resilience and exemplified the importance of never giving up.
Since achieving his dream of creating his own sneaker, the local artist has been heavily involved in designing with his own brand, “Tunav”. Currently, he plans to auction one of his pairs of the “BDA” as a Non-Fungible Token; all proceeds from that sale will be donated to help children with cancer. He has a website where you can stay updated with his art, as well as more information about his upbringing in the designer world. You can check it out at https://tunav.cargo.site. During a time of a pandemic, it’s important that you stay connected with your passion.
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