Reframing the Productivity Narrative with the Sneaky Artist Nishant Jain

We are reframing the productivity narrative with Instagram and Substack-famous sketch artist Nishant Jain — otherwise known as the Sneaky Artist. Nishant trained as an engineer, almost got his PhD, and then switched tracks to make art in public — sneakily. Now his full-time gig is sketching with a recognizable yellow fountain pen so that he can’t erase anything — he’s very committed to the line. And if you’re ever in Vancouver, you might just happen upon one of his drawings left behind in a café or a public library. With Nishant, we talked about how he believes that everyone can be an artist and the inspiration he got from living in Chicago, where he watched a lot of bad stand-up comedy. We also unpacked productivity culture, art for art’s sake, and whether we can even have human experiences anymore without making content about them. And we heard about his new baby — who he’s now sketching too.

Nishant Jain is a writer, artist and podcaster in Vancouver. As a Sneaky Artist, he draws the people around him in the spaces he inhabits, finding moments of accidental beauty in ordinary places on ordinary days. He shares his work and ideas with thousands of readers on Substack and Instagram.

At the Existentialist Café by Sarah Bakewell
For more from the Sneaky Artist, follow him on Instagram and Substack or check out his website