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Annada Menon
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It is important to be motivated and be inspired as an illustration. Annada N. Menon shares some of the tried and tested way to keep creating and growing.

Illustration is one of the most expressive and experimental modes of design and/or art. As an illustrator myself I find it a medium to not just communicate a story of my own life but of others as well. There are times though that I am not able to do so or worry about how I will stretch my career as an illustrator over the next 30-40 years. If you have symptoms of sweaty palms, procrastination, clients who want you to work for exposure syndrome, competition and a shelf full of empty sketchbooks.

First, let me share a few things I did to motivate myself and hope these simple steps hopefully can help.

The most important thing, take it slow. There tends to be a point due to the influence of social media where most artists want to get famous too quickly. And also want to mint money within a month of making the decision to become an illustrator. Well it definitely doesn’t work that way. Mostly reduce their shelf life and the will to learn or experiment with techniques to execute work.

Motivated - Illustration by Annada Menon

So take sometime, every artist makes their mark if the process consists of patience and positivity. If you feel you can’t find your own way, join a studio, learn the tricks from a professional and discover yourself. You can also collaborate with fellow freelance illustrators.

Next, get inspired but don’t copy. I have observed that people tend to feel the need to follow market trends. Never churn your creative juices on something you don’t sympathise or empathise with.

For client work, stand your ground always on providing only original work. If it’s inspired from somebody’s work credit them if you post it on social media. Don’t obtain professional or personal gains through another person’s idea. The art world is chaotic already and you don’t need to throw in a copied work into the mix. The joy of creating something of your own makes your heart swell with joy and helps you move forward always.

Freelance - Annada Menon

This is one of my favorite points also something I am trying myself to achieve is to be versatile. I feel in the market today the biggest element that creates chaos or confusion is an artist wanting to find his/her own style. Finding your own style has its one pro that is you can turn your work into a unique language and you get recognised for it.

The con is it restricts you. One may become too comfortable with it. So indulge yourself in art books, movies etc to inspire yourself and constantly experiment with mediums to create an inventory of content and styles.

Know your worth. This is a climb of time and patience. Being offered too less for a project or nothing at all brings an artist down the most. As a freelancer, this is the most challenging and stressful part to figure out. Don’t shy away from getting help. Ask fellow artists on how to go about charging a client.

The guidance is a great push towards you ultimately landing a project of your choice and exclusive of bargains. Just keep this in mind, materials to execute your work digitally or traditionally have to be bought or maintained. Let’s keep general bills mind as well. Though it is a push towards making money but it’s a basic mode of motivation for any human.

Also, don’t forget to follow artists. I use to be slightly demotivated or envious of successful illustrators. I found a healthy way around this on how to get motivated by their art. My explanation here is purely based on the brilliance of their work and not on how many followers they garner in a month.

Freelance - Annada Menon

First, I look out for their process. How many hours they spend on their work. The materials they use and most importantly how they use it. Always watch videos of artists who inspire you. You tend to get a glimpse of their workspace. They create an environment that complements their nature of work. That is something even I have put to use and developed a small safe haven of my own to work within.

Finally, I would like to say, just be passionate and bold of what you do for yourself or for others to see. The field of illustration can get intimidating but its not impossible to make a mark. Hopefully these words were encouraging to help someone take a step closer to being original, experiment and practice in those empty dusty sketchbooks stacked away for months 🙂

Motivated - Illustration by Annada Menon

Published in Issue 48

A Freelancer’s Life in India! Every day, with a dream of ‘Being Your Boss,’ many creative professionals jump into the pool of freelancing. But many are not well prepared for the life of the freelancer, which brings many challenges along with benefits. So to explore further, we interviewed many freelance illustrators and designers to get answers to the question you should ask before taking the final call of becoming your boss!

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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It’s really good to see more inspiring illustrations and designs by Indian Illustrators/Designers during the second phase of COVID-19. Let them coming and keep sharing your creations to be part of this list.


If you have created something which is worth featuring here, then please DM to us or email us at contribute@creativegaga.com. And while posting, the use of @creative_gaga@creativegaga #Creativegaga be a good idea to reach a creative audience.


CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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Today, the world is experiencing one of the most trying periods in recent years where our physical and emotional endurance is being put to the test. The spread of COVID-19 has put millions of lives at stake. Locked down within our homes, we are looking at an unsteady present and a highly uncertain future.

Working from home has become the norm and we are spending hours inundated with every kind of information about the pandemic. Be it in the form of Whatsapp forwards, news articles or Instagram stories, the dissemination of information is at an all time high and we are at leisure to take it all in!

Amidst all the information coming my way, what seemed to pop out was that, even during a global crisis of this magnitude, there was a spurt of new ideas and innovation from every corner of the world. The observation got me searching for more examples of the different kinds of innovative technologies, unique designs and creative communication that was doing the rounds during this pandemic, and what emerged was fascinating.

One such product I came across was the ‘germ trap’ snood designed by Virustatic, a UK based biotechnology firm that apparently ‘deactivates’ viruses after filtering them onto its surface. Meant to cover your neck and approximately half of your face, the Virustatic Shield’s fabric is where the magic lies. It is said to imitate the surface structure of the human oesophagus, with a special coating that is believed to trap up to 96% of airborne viruses, thus enabling users to filter out harmful infections around them!

Another ingenious product, I found, was a hands-free door opener designed by Belgium-based company Materialise. To be attached to a door handle, this makes use of one’s arm or elbow to open doors thus reducing the risk of touching an otherwise potential ‘hot-spot’ for infections. What’s more, it is 3D printed, and Materialise has made the design downloadable for free from their website, making it extremely easy to use for individuals and organisations to print it as and when required.

During the course of this COVID-19 pandemic, the identification of those infected and their movement history has been of utmost importance. The Smart Helmet designed by China-based tech firm KC Wearable was something I found quite fascinating. This helmet is equipped to detect people with a fever up to five metres away, subsequently sounding an alarm to that effect! Featuring an infrared temperature detector, an augmented-reality visor, a camera that can read QR codes, plus wifi, Bluetooth and 5G enabled so as to beam data to the nearest hospital this product truly seems like a thing of the future.

A highly useful yet seemingly controversial innovation, to me, were a series of tracking apps developed by South Korean coders, one of which happens to be the Corona 100m. These applications build on the testing data collected by the government to alert users when they come within 100 metres of a location visited by an infected person. Such advanced tracking devices can definitely be crucial in curbing the incessant rise in the number of infected people. What needs to be considered, however, are the subsequent consequences when surveillance of this level is allowed and the boundaries of privacy become blurry. But I won’t delve into that for now. That is a subject for another blog!

In addition to these product and technology-based innovations, what I realised was that dissemination of important information in ways that are effective and memorable was the need of the hour. And I must say that I have come across some of the most creative instances in communication design during this COVID-19 period! From those that educate us about the crisis, inform us about crucial do’s and dont’s to the ones that turn this grim situation around, into something hilarious. For instance, when I saw this hand-washing tutorial by Iranian mime artist Danial Kheirikhah, where he can be seen furiously washing his hands to the tunes of classical music, it was just the thing I needed to see. Simple, funny and so effective!

Another widespread visual used to communicate the importance of social distancing has been that of burning matchsticks. When I first saw it, the impact was instant and the message was crystal clear. Adapted by various artists, animators and designers, it used such a strong visual metaphor that it became impossible to forget and extremely easy to understand. What’s more, it required no caption, no explanation thus crossing boundaries of language, cultures and education, to be understood by one and all.

I also had the chance to see some of the most creative campaigns from organisations across the world. At a time when business is slow, customers are wary, nobody is moving or buying or stepping out of their homes, advertising is playing a key role in helping brands stay relevant while being sensitive to present circumstances. Mercedes Benz talks about staying at home while Burger King’s quarantine whopper encourages customers to make their own burgers at home! It is amazing to see how these brands have turned around their product or service into a powerful message asking people to stay indoors and stay safe. All over the world, in every field, people are finding new ways to inform, engage and inspire millions.

However, what I realised is this. We aren’t witnessing this phenomenon for the first time.

History has shown us, that through the years, in the face of adversity, turmoil and tragic circumstances, creativity has never said die. Wars, socio-political unrests and economic crises have all invariably led to some of the most path-breaking ideas and innovations in the fields of product design, architecture, technology as well as communication. Take the iconic Charles and Ray Eames’ plywood splint for example. It became one of the most talked-about designs that emerged from the WW2. Not only that, but it has also further inspired many more designs in the years that followed, all based on the principle of problem-solving and ‘less is more’.

Years later, the Cold War also brought with it one of the most impactful visuals; the Fraternal Kiss by Russian artist Vrubel, that was actually based on a photograph but assumed a completely new meaning when it was painted on the eastern side of the Berlin Wall. The ‘I AM A MAN’ posters held by Memphis sanitation workers during the 1968 strike, was a simple design yet marked a significant moment in the American Civil Rights Movement and remained etched in the memory of the world. Closer to home, India’s own freedom struggle led to the propagation of khadi, spun using the charkha during the Swadeshi Movement by Mahatma Gandhi. Although it wasn’t unknown to the people, its creative juxtaposition against the backdrop of the British raj, made it a symbol of independence and of self-sufficiency and was adopted exponentially, throughout the country.

What I have noticed is that throughout history, difficult times have always led us to new beginnings. New materials are discovered, innovative products become a part of everyday life, art movements are initiated to do away with earlier styles, music evolves, architecture changes the way we see the world and technological advancements redefine the way we live. Every crisis brings with it a modification in circumstances and available resources. This further leads to a significant rise in new needs and unique problems. And with this, comes the drive to invent, to find a better way to deal with the circumstances at hand.

In the book, Wired to Create: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind psychologist Marie Forgeard, (McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School) explains, “Because adverse events force us to reexamine our beliefs and priorities, they can help us break out of habitual ways of thinking and thereby boost creativity. We’re forced to reconsider things we took for granted, and we’re forced to think about new things. Adverse events can be so powerful that they force us to think about questions we never would have thought of otherwise.” Adversity pushes us to find a way out and we turn to innovation and to design, which at its very core, is ultimately a problem-solving process. To mould what we have in the present, into an idea that has the power to change our future.

The article first published on GCD Studio

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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Don’t just put a font for the sake of it, put it for creating an impactful impression on the reader. Browse through this list of 18 best calligraphy fonts to achieve your target.

Fonts are known to be the most important element of graphic design. Balancing the rest of the design with the type of font to be used is quite a challenging task for a designer.

 

It is but necessary to have the right font, not too much, not too less, to have a long-lasting impact of the message to be conveyed to the readers.

From what was done manually ages ago using ink and brush to create graceful calligraphy has now gone all digital, but still with the same look and feel of the hand-crafted old-time beauty.

 

Life and work have become much easier with the presence of the button, ‘download’ ! Take a look at these calligraphy fonts and choose the one which makes your work look its best by downloading it at no cost!

1. Candlescript

A smooth and flowy typeface designed with an intricate level of detail, Candlescript is suitable to be used as a logotype, custom typeface, title, header or advertisements.


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18 Free Calligraphy Fonts

2. Mike Ferrari 

Mike Ferrari is a typeface based on the Spencerian Script. Composed using elegant and beautiful strokes, it is just the perfect font to gracefully colour up any project with a human touch.


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3. Feathergraphy

A high-quality script font with multilingual support and a large number of special characters, Feathergraphy is a hand-crafted typeface that can be used for logotypes, titles and slogans as well as a tattoo style font in clean and decorated versions.

 

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18 Free Calligraphy Fonts


4. Meat Buckets

A nervous script font, Meat Buckets comes with a taste of old-school style. Going for a full commercial version allows an extra 86 alternates, contextual ligatures and underlining to be used for a charming and elegant calligraphy.

 

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5. Olivia Script

An exclusive from The Font Bundles Store, Olivia Script is a sophisticated, graceful and modern calligraphy typeface complimenting the look of wedding invitations, greeting cards, posters, wall hangings and the likes.

 

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6. Allura

Simple, clean, legible and casual characters describe Allura as an almost handwritten calligraphic script. Designed keeping advertising, display and packaging design in mind, Allura comes with extra alternate glyphs and flourished graphics, giving the professional designer a maximum flexibility.

 

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7. Kaligraf Latin 

Translating personal handwriting taken from the pages of calligraphy into characters for Kaligraf Latin, this font includes a few ornaments useful for creating typographic pages.

 

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8. Qaskin

An elegant script typeface available in two versions, black and white, Qaskin comes across as a light-hearted font, illustrating fun and frolic.

 

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9. Pinyon Script

Confident and showy swashes suggesting the style of the American-West, Pinyon Script is a romantic round hand script style font. Defined by slants and high stroke contrasts, this aristocratic style is friendly for large size texts.

 

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10. Plain Germanica 

Inspired by the Gothic and Medieval styles of design, Plain Germanica is a font face reminiscent of the historical beauty of those eras, transporting the reader back in time.

 

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11. Playlist

A perfectly imperfect hand-drawn font in dry brush styles, Playlist consists of 3 styles namely script, caps and ornament, which can create a beautiful design when jumbled in an orderly fashion.

 

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12. Qwigley

Winding around in a swirly fashion, Qwigley is the font-face for decorative letterforms. Contemporary in style, it has a  feminine feel to it, delicately embellishing the calligraphic typography.

 

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13. Kadisoka 

A handwriting font ideal for logotypes and headlines, Kadisoka is a script that comes along with a variety of ligatures, stylistic alternates and sets to be tried out for amazing graphics outcomes.

 

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14. Dancing Script OT

A cursive font with intermittent connections beautifully mimicking hand-written text, Dancing Script OT works as a visual style statement. Each word beginning with a letter in caps which goes below the baseline, it is just the quintessential font for a modern-stylized casual look.

 

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15. Fabfelt Script Font

A handwritten typo with grain effect, Fabfelt Script font comes with a retro feel. This is a monoline font, is just a perfect match for branding and headings.

 

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16. Great Vibes

A script with clean and clear flowy connections, heavy strokes and dramatic caps, Great Vibes is a font for breaking the monotony of design with its encircling ascenders and descenders.

 

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17. Playball Font

Inspired by American sporting calligraphy, namely vintage baseball cards, Playball is a connecting script, demonstrating athleticism, boldness and masculinity, thus making it perfect for festive informal and sporting occasions.

 

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18. Pacifico

A modern brush script, Pacifico is inspired by the American surf culture of the 1950s’. A slight touch of the retro style, it makes for an apt solution for a bold and engaging calligraphy font.

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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Visualize a monochrome world and the phase of ‘black and white’ movies and songs. Many of you must have been transitioned back to the times of Raj Kapoor or Elvis Presley, right? Surely, it was a mesmerizing era but nobody can deny that our world would be dull and boring without the beautiful combinations, shades and hues of colours around.

Colours

Colour often relates to memories; like having mango ice-cream on a sunny morning or having hot tomato soup in the cold winter nights. From the romantic red of a rose to the intriguing red that agitates a bull, every being reacts differently to each colour. Ever wondered why? The energy produced by the light that colours emit, is capable of inspiring, energizing, healing, exciting or soothing a person.

Colour Psychology and Kids

A child in a mother’s womb is confined and protected in a space that is isolated from the real world full of colours and sounds. Imagine the peace that the baby is at! Hence after birth, babies experience discomfort when they are exposed to sudden bursts of colours. To replicate that feeling of the comfort of the womb, many designers use shades of peach in a newborn’s nursery to imitate the colour of light penetrating through the mother’s skin.

As toddlers are not accustomed to reading or writing in their childhood days, they rely more upon the visual medium they are surrounded in. The colours of the walls and floors of a kid’s bedroom must secure the child’s sight, physical and mental health and provide an environment leading to a good sleep. Each kid reacts differently to colours, and keeping the psychological and design considerations as a priority, the kid’s bedroom can be transformed into a space full of positivity.

Colours

Parents know their kid’s personality and mood more than anyone else. Is your little one hyper-active and requires a calming environment around? Does he/she lose concentration quick and easy? Maybe they require a colour that does not cause exhaustion of the eyes. Children are emotional and are generally quite attached to a space they spend their maximum time in- be it playing, studying or even cuddling with mom! Thus, a good blend of colour plays an important role as it enhances the ambience and vibe of the space.

Warm v/s Cool

The broad range of colours can be classified into warm and cool. Shades of red, orange and yellow fall in the category of warm colours which are known to provide a cozy and comfortable feeling. Used in excess, these colours can cause the reverse reaction, making it difficult for the child to sleep or concentrate. Blue and purple are cool, which have a calming effect in the room. As the name suggests, cool colours soothe the environment and make the room feel more spacious and lighter.

Colours

Let’s talk about the general colours that parents opt for their kids’ bedrooms, play rooms or nurseries:

Red

Known to be a stimulating colour that can increase heart rate and ignite aggression. For kids showing high signs of hyper-activity, red is probably not the best option as it might aggravate this behavior more. It is better to use red as an accent colour that can be used in smaller portions, for contrast.

Orange

People generally equate the qualities of red and orange as they lie closely in the spectrum of colours but orange is known to increase confidence, and communication. With that being said, orange being a warm colour should not be used extensively in a kid’s room as it can cause irritation.

Yellow

We associate yellow with happiness and summers; everything positive! It is known to create a cheery atmosphere and boosts concentration. On the contrary, yellow used in abundance can cause anger.

Green

The most neural colour as it lies in the center of the spectrum, is known to have the best effect on child as it soothing and increases reading speed as well as concentration.

Colours

Blue

Known to have qualities exactly the opposite of red, blue can decrease levels of anxiety and improves heart rate. Preferably better for kids with mental discomfort and tantrums.

Colours

Impact of Colour on Behavioral Disorders

There has been a growth in the rate of children with autism, ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and learning dishabilles like dyslexia. The kids in this spectrum usually experience a distortion of colour leading to anxiety and hyper-activity. Learning disabilities can even lead to a kid being an introvert, which means that colours like yellow and orange will lead to higher energy levels and a kid with already higher energy can utilize calming colours like blue and green for a peaceful environment.

Combinations of duller colours like shades of white and grey are known to have a calming effect and out of all, pale pink has been voted as the most pristine and favored colour for kids with autism. While just plain white walls can lead to monotony and depression of kids with behavioral disorder, combining white appropriate warm and cool colors would be the best. Warm colours like red and yellow should be avoided in large areas as it can increase the hyperactivity and thus cool colours are more preferred.

Vastu and Colours

While vastu enables us to study the best suitable directions for the spaces in our homes, the correct combination of colour and direction for kids’ bedroom will lead to positive influences on the mind. As per vastu, bright colours like blue, orange and yellow are much better than dark colours like black and dark blue/grey. Green lies at the center of the colour spectrum and is said to have the best soothing effect, helps concentration and is relatable to the natural surroundings.

Vastu experts strongly believe that bright colours should be avoided in the walls, doors and windows facing south and west direction to avoid a negative impact on children. If the room gets direct sunlight from windows, bright colours like yellow and orange should be avoided to not let bright colours overpower the subtlety of the room.

A little thought into the colour scheme for kid’s bedroom can yield drastic results in the overall development of the child’s personality. While it is no rocket science, a good colour combination in the bedroom, play area or study room can benefit the kid in the early years of development.

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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Where everyone is in the lockdown and may feel depressed by the glooming news from the world outside, some of the Indian designers have taken the challenge of keeping themself motivated. Many have been creating on a regular basis and some of them are featured here. So, while you are keeping yourself and your family inside and safe, be inspired to create and share with others.