Rahul Malaney and I met at the University of San Diego, where we bonded over our mutual love of transformational festival culture and art in the public domain. During college, we went to festivals together like Lightning in a Bottle, put on by the Do Lab. Here we saw for the first time a production company give art such an integral and important role in the flow and set up of the space and event. Lightning in a Bottle has one of the largest live painting components I have ever seen at a festival. Every year they host 40-50 artists who work on a piece throughout the course of the weekend. On the last day of the festival, they bring all the artists’ finished pieces together for an art walk and silent auction in the middle of the festival. It is stunning to see such a range of completed work; even better than a portion of the proceeds from the sales goes to the Do Art Foundation- the Do Lab sister organization which funds art projects in the public domain around the world. Rahul and I both felt so inspired by the Do Lab and the Do Art Foundation and wanted to help bring a bit of that culture back to India when we decided to move to Goa post-college.
With the seed firmly ingrained within us, the idea for the Vision Collective first came to Rahul and me on our first trip to Goa when we had decided to settle down here. We were staying at Rahul’s aunt Jasmine’s cute little old Goan Cottage in Siolim at the time. It was September and the rain was still fresh on the ground making the whole world a million shades of green. We were sitting on the porch when the idea came to Rahul and we began to unpack the idea and jot down notes on it in his journal. From there we took the idea to Rahul’s friend Saffron’s mom, Shereen an artist who had been living in Goa for a couple of decades. We thought she could give us some feedback, and give us a bit of insight into the current art scene in Goa. She said it was a lovely idea, but one that would take time. It was something that we would have to allow to grow organically or else risk losing our intention along the way. We must avoid making it too commercial or rushing the process if we wanted it to happen the way we envisioned it. We took her advice to heart and started working towards building the Vision Collective.