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Consistency is imperative while creating a series. This can be achieved through the use of line style, tone, colour palette, a specific art form, etc. Here is an illustrations series created for The Lily News by Ana Duje, an Argentinean graphic designer and illustrator who currently works between Hong Kong and Barcelona. What makes this unique is the minimalistic art style, the starkness of the white lines and bright pop of colours against the pitch black background.

 

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Illustrations
Illustrations
Illustrations

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Mimicking nature is no small task, especially when it involves a moody and constantly swinging factor such as the weather. Yet, watercolour artist from Pondicherry, Nadeesh Prabou, attempts to bring to life nature’s aspects in the most realistic representations possible, through his watercolour paintings of different weather situations

weather
Rainy Day. A typical scenario of a small town going about on a rainy day, achieved by using the ‘Spreading’ method
Summer Street. Warm colours used to highlight the hot summer effect, in effort to portray a sunny day in a small town

Inspiration Shapes Gives Flow to One’s Work.

Inspiration is important, and being inspired is what gives direction to not only your chosen style of art but also the way you actually conceive it during execution; unfold it on the canvas, and finally manifest it as a whole.

 

Likewise, the weather has always inspired Nadees Prabou, ever since his childhood. He’s always admired the varying force and power of nature, and the impact it has on the surroundings, including the lives of beings (be it trees, animals or people) that are subject to it. An example of this being evident would be factors such as the strong force of the wind, and the dampness everywhere around, portrayed in his paintings that depict the monsoon time.

Bullock Cart. A bullock cart amidst a city-like scenario – a phenomenon that is exclusive and common to India

Summer Street. Various street scenarios on a summer day in the town or city, as people go about with their daily lives

The Artist’s Fluctuating Mood, Just Like The Weather, Affects The Larger Picture.

To depict weather means to mimic its aliveness, and that is something not easy to do. Yet, it is something that can be seen in his paintings through the blending of contrasting shades, monotones used to depict a typical form of different weather conditions, and techniques he seemingly applies, such as those of spreading or smudging, loose and irregular forms, the characteristic or typical watercolour effects and the likes.

weather
weather
Kasi

weather

This effective use of colours to achieve the depth in portraying the right atmosphere ican’t be explained in words, as he feels that it’s something to be observed practically only and feel it. This is probably because the moods he starts out depicting at the beginning of the painting process, might end up differently towards the end, and could be completely different in the final output, constantly fluctuating, as does his mood like the very weather.

Gandhi statue. A popular runs along a notable beach of Pondicherry, bearing a large statue of the nation’s icon, Gandhi

Rushing cattle. The fury of bulls as they make their way across the ground, splashing and thudding through their path

Following Trends or not is a Personal Choice One has to Make.

Each artist has an individual and respective view or opinion about going by creative trends that might be in vogue at the time, and so also about either accepting or defying them to various personally defined extents. In Nadees’s case, he feels that it is effective to be a “Contemporary Artist” rather than being a realistic artist, which might generally translate to producing whatever catches an audience’s attention at that point in time. As a result, he admits to including creative practices that may be in trend at the time, into his paintings.

Rushing cattle. The fury of bulls as they make their way across the ground, splashing and thudding through their path
weather
weather
business

Published in Issue 36

Every year brings a lot of hope and promises. With a New Year resolutions list (which might be lost by now) and hope of everything will change for good we all welcomed 2017. This issue explored, how these changes will affect our businesses and how we can be prepared for the growth predicted by the experts. The Wise Advice section includes pieces of advice on the web, mobile apps, user interface and user experience from well-known industry experts. This issue gives you hint about tends to keep an eye on and how to be ready for it! So not just for the business owners but also for upcoming creative entrepreneurs this one is a must read!

 

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Though we are a country full of festivals all around the year, but this special festivity time of year when not only you change your calendar but also the gifts, family dinners, celebrations and new year resolutions all make it a special time in everyone’s life. Nithin Rao Kumblekar decided to capture this memorable time for the cover of Creative Gaga. Here, he explains his thought process and step by step tutorial.

For any painting, to begin with, sketching is not only the most basic but the most important thing. The whole painting depends on it and can be considered as the backbone of any painting.

 

Here, I have focused on the subject from the top angle with slight fisheye effect. I did some scribbles first and then fine tune the outlines to make the subject clearer for the next stage. For sketching, I use Adobe Photoshop with Wacom Cintiq monitor and several different brushes which give the real feel of sketching with the pencil.

Festivity

I normally use “Hard Round Pressure Size” brush by enabling brush pressure as well as thickness buttons in the top brush control panel. This will serve the purpose of getting the pencil sketch effect. This feature is also useful while colouring.

Festivity

I have kept the main source of light from top hence the play of light and shadows are pretty simple in this illustration. Also, the characters expressions play very well depending on how we choose to place the light source.

Festivity
Festivity

Here, I wanted to get the festivity feel in the entire colour tone. So I chose to get the orange and yellow tone which gives a warm feeling in the environment. The final colour tone can also be achieved even at the last stage by adding just a flat colour layer on top of all layers and then by trying different mode options in the layer pallet. But here, I chose to set the colour tone layer by layer. I did not use any colour filters, as I mostly knew which tone the final illustration should have.

The character colouring steps are shown here:

 

To avoid any spill of colours at this stage, start by creating the characters and the props in different layers. And If you want to colour a specific part without disturbing the nearby object then you need to create each and everything in different layers and then group it under the character or the object name.

 

For example, in this illustration, I’ve created layers for the skin and clothes within the characters. And for the background, there are many layers for all the objects and that is where you may get confused.

When you have multiple layers then the convenient way to work on the desired layer is to hold the control/command key and then click on the part of the illustration that you want to select. The correct layer will be selected and then for colouring, again hold the control/command key and click on the selected layer under the layer panel, this will highlight/select the layer with selection marquee and you can begin the colouring. There won’t be any spill of the colour outside this selection.

After all the characters and objects are coloured it is time for the background light fixes. In these images, you can see the difference as I’ve added slight glow as well as little shadows to make the characters stand out. And finally after completing everything sometimes you might want to change the size of some objects or change few colours. Since we had everything in layers it is easier to do these minor adjustments even at the final stage. I had increased the size of the boy by about 15%. And we have reached the final illustration.

Festivity

I almost forgot to mention one important thing that to always save the file and keep duplicating it. As sometimes, the file might get corrupted due to some system error or something else. But If you have duplicate files then you don’t have to begin the illustration from scratch. So saving is a good habit but duplicating the files is even better. Good Luck!

Published in Issue 35

Festival & Calendar Design! The season of the festival has started and everyone is preparing to have a unique one this time with less cash and more fun. We interview many creatives who create promotional or calendar design each year. As most of the thing around us had shifted to digital, even calendar design and the promotion has shifted. But Yorick Pintos, a strategic consultant at studio Kohl suggests that best option would be to a mix of both, the traditional and digital media. Digital Illustrator Nithin Rao Kumblekar also shared his love for the printed calendars and emphasis on the effectiveness of it. With many unique inspirations, advice and project showcase this issue is a must-have if you are interested in print design & want to understand the future of the same.

 

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Tapping into adversities our society faces on a day-to-day basis, Siju RS art directs a campaign that attempts to call out to the conscience of the onlooker and prompts for an action. The Winter Collection campaign draws public attention and interest to a raging issue.

Winter is the most difficult time for the underprivileged in India. And after the long and hot summers, the homeless and especially the children, are the most affected by the harsh weather conditions.

Winter collection
Newspaper - Winter Collection campaign for New Ark Mission of India by Ogilvy & Mather

Winter collection
Sack - Winter Collection campaign for New Ark Mission of India by Ogilvy & Mather

The campaign innovatively tackles this social issue. With street children posing as models and adorned in clothes made from discarded newspapers, sacking and cardboard, the campaign satires a fashion shoot. This juxtaposition succeeds in making people stand up and notice the plight of the less fortunate and donate clothes to help them. The sophisticated look and feel does not shout to sensationalize but creates enough room for curiosity and learning, while being packed with a punch. Thus, articulating what they call in advertising – success.

Winter collection
Cardboard - Winter Collection campaign for New Ark Mission of India by Ogilvy & Mather

Published in Issue 12

The first interactive issue of Creative Gaga with Augmented Reality features. This issue focuses on the transition of Advertising from real to virtual and blurring the boundaries of both at the same time. Also bundled with lots of interesting articles and interviews.

 

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Why not templates - Visakh Viswambharan

Since Visakh Viswambharan started working on the web and the mobile industry a common question, which he came across, is “Should I go ahead with a template design?” His immediate answer would be “NO, I would be jobless then” 🙂 Since it’s a common question, it’s better to answer in a comprehensively, why he think so. Below are few points, which you need to consider while making a decision on custom verses templates.

Uniqueness and Originality

Obviously the templates are popular, that’s what the providers claim on their websites too. It would be true, but in this case, your website will lose its uniqueness. How would your design stand out, If every second website your customer browses looks similar? How will you cut through the clutter, if you lack originality/uniqueness? A unique website is always judged by its layout. If the layout is common, it doesn’t attract the visitors.

Limited Customisation

The templates are rigid, you can’t do too much of customisation on a template. The options are limited, what best you can do is to change text or image. Not to mention, majority of the templates look more or less the same.

SEO challenges

I have seen many issues in terms of SEO, somehow Google doesn’t like the template sites. For instance, the most popular WordPress sites are hard to optimize for the Search Engines. How many times have you landed in a templated website while you were searching for some information on Google?

Performance

Be ready to take the beating in terms of loading speed. As it is a template, you are bound to have many lines of unwanted codes, which will affect the performance of the site. Many people ignore performance, no user likes waiting. It’s high time you realise, performance is equally important as look and feel.

Adaptability

Would you like to stick to your brand guidelines and build a website which depicts what your company stands for or make adjustments based on some plug and play template, which was built for thousands of lazy customers? Do you really want to compromise?

Scalability

As I mentioned earlier, this medium is ever evolving. You might want to add more features at a later stage or move to a powerful server. Data migration can get quite tough. Many template server providers don’t support this. So choose wisely, better safe than sorry.

Cheap

Here comes the biggest trap. Do you really think you can customise the theme without coding knowledge? Not really, you have to invest time or money to learn how to code a webpage or hire someone to help you. The moment you start adding your own graphics and content, the template is likely to break. Sometimes you will realise that you want to scale or add a new feature and you might have to put the entire template site into the trash and build from the scratch. Is it really cheap? It is really not when you think long term. And yes templates are cheap because they look cheap 🙂

Everybody wants freedom and fights for it. If you are ready to be caged then you can go ahead with a predefined template. You may feel suffocated at times. Today, all the products are evolving; you might like to add a new feature to the site. What if the templates are not providing the option? Would you go ahead and rebuild a new site?

If you have limited budget and are looking for a quick rollout, you might consider templates. But again, would you want a site that is not easily findable on Google?

Simply put; if you have a business that can make money, find a good developer. The cost will be negligible compared to the return. If you don’t have a serious product or your living does not depend on it then go ahead with a template.

Web & App Special - Creative Gaga

Published in Issue 31

This Web and App special issue brings forward some very talented digital and web designers along with experts from top few digital/ UI & UX studios of India. Also, Visakh Viswambharan, founder of AppinessInteractive answered a very common client question, ‘ Why not templates?’ in our Vantage View article.

 

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In such complicated times, it’s all about being simple. Simple is effective when it comes to design, believes Lundgren+Lindqvist, a Swedish design studio. It’s all about saying a lot more with a lot less. Engaging in a conversation, they tell us more on how they create effective and memorable design.

Design
Varvet - Visual Identity, Stationary and Sinages
Varvet - Visual Identity, Stationary and Sinages
Design
Varvet - Visual Identity, Stationary and Sinages

CG: Describe your journey as Lundgren+Lindqvist. What have been your accomplishments?

LL: When we started Lundgren+Lindqvist in 2007, our primary goal was to do what we love and stay afloat doing so. Now our ambition has grown along with our team, but we still want to do the best possible work. Over the years, we have had the opportunity to work with a great number of amazing clients, creating work that we can all be very proud of.



O/O-Brewing Baltic Porter-Packaging Design

CG: Your designs appear simple, effortless and smooth; however that is probably not the case behind the scenes. What all do you have to go through to arrive at the final design outcome?

LL: Simple is hard. Every project starts with a coconut. We use fine grain sandpaper to peel off layer by layer until we expose the core. That’s because we believe in honesty. Achieving that means removing the make-up to expose the bare, naked truth.

Design
Akademi valand photography next to the ocean exhibition catalogue covers

CG: What inspirations are included in your design? How does your background reflected in your designs?

LL: Like most in our line of business, we take an active interest in neighbouring creative fields; such as the arts and architecture. It is hard to judge as to what extent our Scandinavian background has influenced us. Of course, the legacy of great designers and thinkers such as Paul Kjaerholm, Olle Eksell and Alvar Aalto continue to inspire.

O/O - Brewing - Carismatico - Packaging and Visual Identity


O/O-Brewing Bangatan

CG: You work across various mediums. How working on paper differ from working for the digital space?

LL: Paper is definite, in that a printed piece is final. On the other hand, the digital space is an indefinite, organic medium. Both mediums offer unique possibilities. While conscious of this, we try to build each project around a concept and an idea rather than on the media of choice.

Maria Sole - Ferragamo, Visual identity and packaging
Design
Maria Sole - Ferragamo, Visual identity and packaging

CG: Designs have to look amazing and at the same time solve a problem and fulfil a greater purpose. How do you balance your and your client’s views?

LL: A good designer-client relationship is, like any relationship, based on trust. When there is a lack of trust from either side, the outcome will suffer.

Design
Critical Mass Studio Document Holder
Design
Critical Mass Studio Document Holder


Critical Mass Studio Pencils
Critical Mass Studio Poster
Critical Mass Studio The Totebags

CG: The world of design is constantly evolving. How do you keep up with the change?

LL: Although times are indeed changing, certain truths will remain. Our inherent curiosity and thirst for knowledge allows us to stay updated in a very natural, organic way. We visit exhibitions, read and travel a lot. Staying updated is nurturing our interests, which is the fuel we use for our daily (and sometimes nightly) design and development work.

A Sense of Place, Refugees welcome poster book
Design
Recto Verso Mirror


Design
Recto Verso Spread

CG: What other countries would you say are very prominent when it comes to design? What are your views on Indian design? Anything Indian that has caught your eye?

LL: In terms of graphic design, our neighbours Norway and Finland are definitely countries to watch out for as they are challenging those with a traditionally strong graphic design output such as Switzerland, England and the Netherlands. In terms of India, we are shamefully aware of the fact that we know very little about the country’s design scene. Perhaps Creative Gaga Magazine can put an end to our ignorance.

O/O - Brewing - Packaging and Visual Identity
O/O-Brewing-AW-2016-Packaging and Art Direction

Published in Issue 21

Branding With Packaging! They say not to judge a book by its cover. But they also say that exceptions are always there. There’s no doubt, branding and packaging are the faces of any business and product. They decide the way people will receive the brand; whether they will accept it or reject it. To understand and gain more perspective on this much-unsolved mystery, we invited many branding and packaging experts who throw light on the topic.

 

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Lundgren+Lindqvist
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Andreas Friberg Lundgren is the Co-Founder and Art Director of Lundgren+Lindqvist, is a design and development studio based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Using an intuitive approach, they work seamlessly between digital and physical mediums and across a range of disciplines, from identity design to web development. They have worked for leading global brands like Apple and Sony Music.


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Branding With Packaging! They say not to judge a book by its cover. But they also say that exceptions are always there. There’s no doubt, branding and packaging are the faces of any business and product. They decide the way people will receive the brand; whether they will accept it or reject it. To understand and gain more perspective on this much-unsolved mystery, we invited many branding and packaging experts who throw light on the topic.

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Nature is blessed with a wonderful variety of things and one that captures the eyes of many are the animals. Created in various forms and having unique patterns, Richard Field, illustrates them in his own style using worldwide cultural influences. He elaborates on his nature inspired designs.

inspired
The Dark Owl.
Aiyana
inspired
The Travelling Turtle.
The Night Owl

CG: What is the story behind what you do? How did you discover your talent and how did you work towards making it more than that? What were your inspirations? What were some challenges you had to overcome?

RF: Field-inspired, a play on the words ‘feel inspired’, is my name as an Illustrator. Having been inspired by so many things, it’s nice to do some inspiring of my own. My collection started when I was trying to make a bit of extra cash selling flash sheets to tattoo parlors around South London. Tattooists are always on the look out for new artwork to display in their shops. I used to work on black and white illustrations inspired by a variety of cultures around the world. My Native American, Mãori and folk art inspired illustrations caught the eye of a few people on Facebook and I decided to start adding colours and working on a new collection inspired by some of the nature’s most iconic animals.

inspired
The Bull.
Giraffe
The Aware Wolf
inspired
The Stag Prince.

CG: Animals play a central role in your designs. Can you throw some more light as to why? How did you find inspiration in animals and their patterns?

RF: Isn’t wildlife the most wonderful thing we have on this planet? I’ve definitely chosen the best subject to illustrate. The shapes and patterns that it forms never cease to amaze me. It’s a great achievement to be able to put your own stamp on animals we see so often. I enjoy trying to add a bit of personality to them – the ‘Wise’ Lion or the ‘Truthful’ tiger. Nature is full of so much hidden beauty, the idea is to try to encourage people to take a closer look at the artwork and look beyond to read the halftones and patterns.

inspired
African Buffalo.
The Crowned Crane
The Last Black Macaque
inspired
The Mountain Ram.

CG: Your designs have a striking contrast against black, creating an illuminated look and feel. How does that enhance the design?

RF: In my current collection, I work on black using a similar colour theme across all prints. By using strong, bold colours on black I hope to encourage the user to look closer at the detail. It’s not easy working on black, sometimes the colours can get a bit lost during the printing process – but I love the end result. Hopefully, people like how the artwork jumps off the canvas.

inspired
The African Elephant.
The Last Lion
Zebra
inspired
The Truthful Tiger.

Published in Issue 28

This Illustration Special is best to know why and how illustration as a popular medium is taking the design world by storm! From evolution of illustrations to its place in the world today, renowned designers and illustrators like Abhishek Singh, Mukesh Singh, Archan Nair, Alicia Souza, Raj Khatri with some international talent such as Fil Dunsky from Russia, Iain Macarthur and Richard Field from UK, who live and breathe illustration, would be the right people to gain some insight from. With many more talents to explore with great insights and excellent techniques, again a fully packed issue is waiting to amaze you!

 

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Conveying humour through ones individual style is an art form, not so common to be found. Diego Gómez has mastered this and gathered a modest but loyal audience in a really short span of time.

Humour in own style
Bagheera. Ink line art and watercolours

As a kid, Diego was the kind of a quiet person, making his own fun, paper toys, monsters, adventures. Drawing was just an extension of this, which he calls a Mind Printer!

Facade
90's Mindfuck

Not really knowing where his inspiration came from, but the European comics with exaggerated proportions, big hands, black, solid shadows, bold lines which made an impact on his mind. Always wanting to draw monsters, the cheap nineties music, video-games and Godzilla movies were a constant bombardment of ideas back then.

Jill, Watch Out

Not so much into realism, he is of the opinion that the techniques necessary to achieve a style are which only a few can master successfully and they should be praised for it.

For Ever. Ink line-art and watercolours
Martian Hearts

Defining the Personal Style!

With an inclination towards drawing in an exaggerated way, he looks for inspiration in the everyday world with a different perspective, like big eyes, feet, head, colours, or anything that is distinct.

Yōkais be hangin

Specialising in comic art, he uses a variety of tools to put his message across, like stories hidden in the background, messages on the wall, weird tattoos, background characters engaged in something and reference humour.

An Artwork Titled Dude
Chicken Blows

He likes to draw his characters looking at themselves, acting rude, which is a strange thing. He likes how weird people can be in terms of their appearance, their dressing sense and how they are painted by pop culture and this defines his style and concept of art.

An Artwork Titled Get Weird

Fascinated by the retro trends which are now hot again and back in fashion, he finds them funny and takes them to be layers of disguises, that end up being their own thing, something similar to Vaporwave.

An illustration of a Self Hating Base Boy

A Part of You in What You Do!

Conceptualising always involves things related to yourself, whether good, bad or ugly, the routine stuff like childhood experiences, depression and happy memories. Diego, in the future, is thinking of planting sillier concepts to farm happier thoughts.

Fight. An illustration showing the clash between real life responsibilities and entertainment
Cover art for a little song

When conveying the messages to your viewers, the use of reference humour simplifies the process for an artist. But of course, having an idea to start out with is necessary, which is then followed by the magic of illustration gripping the readers with humour.

Partners. An illustration made for a pet themed fair

Diego is the kind of a person who reads the whole thread of comments in a polemical thread, and while certainly having his opinions, he chooses not to express there.

Get Off My Head

Unique-ing Your Trademark!

The style of illustration, for some people, means drawing the same thing again and again in the same way in order to get people acquainted with ones work and also to establish ones’ trademark in the market. Diego hopes to do more than that.

Pan. An illustration made in support of a pet adoption season event

His style includes drawing weird people and weird monsters but it’s the technical aspect of doing his art which makes his work different from the rest and gets him clients.

Punks & Dinosaurs
An artwork titled Live Free

Doing the line art by hand followed by traditional or digital painting is his way of creating illustrations. With a personal liking towards the black and white layer, he wishes to have mastered the art of drawing lines and shadows when he was little.

Urban Bianca. An artwork for a Pokemon themed illustrator collective

Illuminating the Springing Talent.

Advising the young and emerging illustrators on stepping into the professional world, he suggests them to categorize their work into sections and then picking and putting the best of each together. This combined output should be treated as a piece of art in itself, giving it life by using different styles of fonts, characters, colours and ones’ personal design language to completely symbolize it with the individual.

Dating Cages. An illustration representing long distance relationships of today

Published in Issue 43

With the changing weather comes the season of Interns, with fresh new energy everywhere and your talented creatives wanting to test their skills and knowledge in the real world of live creative briefs and super creative professional environment.
This issue is a must-read for internees and fresh talents. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 

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Illustrator, Siddhi Ranade, takes us through his thought process and the key aspects that goes into the tale-telling through his illustrations/art. He, thereby, goes on to illuminate the various facets, such as geometry, colour and the nature of the subject; how they contribute to his work, and also why design needs to be time relevant in constantly modifying times.

Siddhi Ranade - tale-telling
STILL A DEBT TO PAY.
Siddhi Ranade - tale-telling
HIDING THE OTHER HALF. COLOURS.