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Pallavi Sen

Pallavi Sen is an artist of Indian origin, currently staying at Brooklyn. She works at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Ratti Textile Center, which stores a majority of the museum’s textiles.


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We always wish we had someone to show us the right way of doing things when we were starting our professional journey. And that’s why we have based this issue on graduates. The cover feature is an ensemble of advice from top names of the industry. We have also showcased few talented fresh graduates from across the country, keeping with the theme. You’ll find Tom J Manning and Pallavi Sen share their international exposure as well as insights behind their unique approach. Also featuring Shreya Shetty, a prominent concept artist, who shares the secret behind the believable characters she creates. She believes, with practice and patience, anyone can be a good artist.

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Fantasy and realism are conflicting thoughts. Yet, for fantasy characters to be believable, it is important to bring in a sense of ‘otherworldliness’ while still keeping them anatomically and functionally viable, professes concept artist Shreya Shetty. She lays down few very important tenets to create fantasy-realism, as she likes to call it.

Characters Shreya Shetty
Aghori
Characters Shreya Shetty
Mr. Nibbles

Origin decides the destination.

The characters are shaped by the environment he/she resides in. For example, if you were drawing a character from a tribe that lived in the desert, you wouldn’t cover him/her in heavy fur – it just wouldn’t be practical. Or, if you had to design a character that lived up in the Arctic, you wouldn’t design elements that echoed tropical climates like palm trees and such. It is very important to design the characters in relation to the environment it lives in to maintain believability. Try not to have too many elements in the background or keep it super detailed because then, the character would be difficult to read. Keeping the background simple helps in reducing clutter in the image and maintains the focus on the character.

Characters Shreya Shetty
Broken
Characters Shreya Shetty
Vendor

All the characters are born out of a real instance.

Usually, the overall design and silhouette of the creature will first catch your eye. Take inspiration from associated elements, for example, surface qualities like colouring, pattern and texture details, physiological traits, mechanics and behavioural traits to come up with your imagination. With humans, faces with nonconventional features make for more interesting characters. Replicating, in terms of fan art or redesigning, involves a bit constraint. But you can always add your own unique perspective, while maintaining the original identity of the character. On the other hand, original artwork gives you free reign to design as you wish.

Characters Shreya Shetty
Gar
Characters Shreya Shetty
Merman Sketches

Exaggeration makes the character memorable.

If you exaggerate just the right amount, it could be the difference between a dull, forgettable character and one that stands out and grabs the viewer’s attention. You can play with physical proportions and expressions to add a theatrical flair to your design. Props and costume add to the storytelling and history of the character. Look through resource materials for costumes and hairdos and find inspirations that are more suited for your character. It’s important for the added elements to match the universe of your character to bring in that sense of authenticity.

Characters Shreya Shetty
7 of Pentacles
Characters Shreya Shetty
Merman

Expression defines the persona.

Expression and posture are all parts of the visual storytelling process and act as cues. They tell us more about the character if he/she is aggressive or submissive, intelligent or dumb and so on. In respect to the overall plot, expressions define the role played by the character in it. The right expression and poise can create a memorable moment that will stick with the audience even when the story gets over.

Characters Shreya Shetty
Kinara
Characters Shreya Shetty
Helith
Characters Shreya Shetty
Flower Fairy

Practice, patience and perseverance.

Many people have this notion that few artists are naturally gifted with the ability to draw and paint while others are not. That’s not true. With hard work and persistence anyone can be a good artist. The important thing is to just practice, practice and practice more. Look at the artists you admire, see what attracts you to their work. Do master-copies, observational sketches and supplement your studies with working from imagination. Finally, give yourself time to grow and develop to be the one you always want to be.

Characters Shreya Shetty
Enoi Queen
Characters Shreya Shetty
Barnabus
Characters Shreya Shetty
Alice and the Caterpillar

Published in Issue 16

We always wish we had someone to show us the right way of doing things when we were starting our professional journey. And that’s why we have based this issue on graduates. The cover feature is an ensemble of advice from top names of the industry. We have also showcased few talented fresh graduates from across the country, keeping with the theme. You’ll find Tom J Manning and Pallavi Sen share their international exposure as well as insights behind their unique approach. Also featuring Shreya Shetty, a prominent concept artist, who shares the secret behind the believable characters she creates. She believes, with practice and patience, anyone can be a good artist.

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

Abhishek Singh

A graduate from NID Ahmedabad, Abhishek Singh is an artist, graphic novelist and an animation film designer. He has worked for animation projects with Cartoon Network, a series of Virgin Comics and UTV in collaboration with Shekhar Kapoor and Deepak Chopra.


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Coming from a country of stories and storytellers, Indian animation professionals are sitting on a gold reserve. Yet, we are miles behind the Western world. We spoke to few leading names to find out the reason and understand the Indian animator’s sensibilities and practices The house unanimously opined that we need to develop more original ideas and also create exclusive stories for animation, rather than going the other way round.

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They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. For a designer, it doubles up as a way to pay homage to an icon and inspiration. Digital artist Pankaj Bhambri re-creates a portrait of the duo from a reference picture, adulation and following. He explains how.

Step 01

Picked the reference image to start the portrait. Observed three things that would play an important role in the illustration – mid tone, highlights, and shadows.

Step 02

Started with basic doodling. Worked in layers as that would help to separate elements in the composition and allow experimenting with lights.

Step 03

Found a cardboard texture on the net. Used it as a base for the illustration which would act as a middle tone. Multiplied that layer after importing it into the composition.



Step 04

Refined the doodle a little more and then started with wet media brushes with the respective colour palettes. The first palette was for Lata Mangeshkar while the second one was for Asha Bhonsle.

Step 05

Started with blocking shadows first with thick round brush of size 12 px.

Step 06

Added black with round wet brush for more details in shadows. Downloaded ink splatter brushes from the net. Used them in different angles as highlights in the composition.

Step 07

Used one of those brushes with scattering count 5. Refined till the desired effect was achieved. Used a round brush of 3 px for detailing with stylized black and white lines.



Step 08

With the colour palette for Asha Bhonsle, started blocking shadows and then highlights. Lots of practice and observation of objects in different lightings helped in this job.

Step 09

Blocked with the colours in the palette choosing dark for shadows and light for highlights.

Step 10

For highlighting, used a wet round brush with white colour as a contour over it.



Step 11

Used splatter brushes for final detailings.

Step 12

Made a random flow of colour to differentiate the main object from the background. This made the composition balanced. Used writing brushes downloaded from the net on the splatter layer that separated the background.

Step 13

Added writing brushes on a new layer and filled the splatter layer with different brush sizes. Erased the edges to blend the writing with the splatter brushes.



Step 14

Used floral texture downloaded from the net to give some interesting background.

Final Portrait

Published in Issue 11

This issue also explored the Jewellery Design & Wedding Photography with some cool techniques to learn from experts in Gyaan section.

 

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Fashion is not something that exists in dresses. It’s in the sky, street and each idea that decode the way we live and respond to what is happening around us. A storyteller of dreams, characters, aspiration, fairy tales and more, fashion photographer Vinod Wakkchare, reflects on how he weaves those tales through his lens.

Fashion
Diya Mirza
Fashion
Giah

Shoot a story, not a picture

Fashion photography gives you a chance to create your own plot, to choose your own characters and tell stories. It’s a medium through which you can portray your interpretation of the world. These ideas are stories that connect to the onlookers, engaging them in a conversation. As a fashion photographer, you have this unique ability to define how you see the world.

Mandira Bedi
Jean Paul Gaultier

Design the elements of your story

For a fashion photographer, it’s important to treat the shoot as a performance, where various elements play a vital role. In a fashion shoot, the camera is not the only element that decides the final outcome. And even though the subject is really important, the lights, colour, environment, and technology equally are. Create a comfort zone where the subject trusts you. It helps him or her bring out the best. Amidst all this, however, it’s also important to not let anything overshadow the protagonist.

Pride
Screem

Every click is a challenge

Whether it’s an inanimate object or a celebrity that you shoot, every subject comes with its own set of challenges. It might appear that it’s easy to shoot inanimate objects, but it’s not. As you can’t instruct them while shooting and that’s where it’s important for the photographer to be extremely patient. Shooting famous faces is a challenge too. Because they’ve shot with various photographers thousands of times, making your shoot an entirely different experience for them is what you have to keep in mind.

Nude
Fashion
Glitzy Gloss

Creativity can’t be incidental.

A deep frantic process with lots of hard work and patience is the key to fashion photography. Because the process includes various steps and professionals, planning becomes mandatory. Right from pre-production to post-production, meeting the client, brainstorming before the shoot, understanding the requirements of the shoot and deciding the look of the models to the actual shooting and then retouching the image, all with the support of art directors, makeup artists, hairstylists and designers, a lot goes behind that single click.

Silk Touch
Fashion
Male Wrist Watches

It’s a one man classroom. 

There are various photography courses available these days. However, you don’t need a degree or a diploma in order to practice fashion photography. What matters more is practical experience. You will find various books on photography out of which great learning can be derived. Also, follow famous photographers’ work. There is a lot you can absorb through their various style and techniques. Try to work with a photographer as the knowledge gained through such an experience sticks on with you forever.

Blue-Black
Blue-Black

Open your eyes and then your lens.

That square shot is your blank canvas and you can include in it whatever you want and feel like. But before you peep into that camera, peep into the world. Look around, observe and come up with new ideas. Keep experimenting with lights, camera and different aspects of photography. And remember, you can’t win if you don’t fail. Keep trying, keep exploring, keep discovering and keep shooting.

Fashion
Alter Ego

Published in Issue 11

This issue also explored the Jewellery Design & Wedding Photography with some cool techniques to learn from experts in Gyaan section.

 

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LATEST RELEASE
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49