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Known for his humour laced caricatures and cartoons, artist Uday Mohite voices his concerns as the pandemic ensues, the uncertainty reigns and the lockdown continues.

Uday Mohite - Lockdown
Hey Bro! Good Morning! People are in the cage and animals are enjoying their freedom

CG. How have you handled the lockdown? How you managed to stay inspired despite being forced to stay at home?

Uday. Since I am a freelance illustrator, my workspace is at home. I stopped working full-time around five to six months ago and decided to freelance full-time. Due to this, the lockdown did not hurt my work. An artist can work for hours irrespective of location.

Uday Mohite - Lockdown
Bharat Ratan. Ratan Tata group pledge Rs. 1,500cr in support of fight against COVID-19

CG. What are the struggles you’ve faced in maintaining your livelihood as an artist due to this lockdown?

Uday. The lockdown did not affect me initially since I had a few ongoing assignments. But as the pandemic intensified and only the essentials were delivered, I started witnessing a slowdown in my work. I seldom remember a day in the last 10-15 years that I did not have work at hand, but during the lockdown, the amount of work has gone down.

World Cartoonist Day. How can we celebrate Cartoonist day in restrictions?

CG. As an artist, how do you manage your workspace at home? Has this reflected in your productivity?

Uday. Working from home does have its drawbacks, and it can sometimes affect productivity. The internet might be slow, and getting in touch with the clients might be di cult; these are the everyday adversities I face. During such instances, one cannot help but think that things might go a lot smoother if we could just meet our clients. I work meticulously to avoid such problems.

Based on a true story. Work from home is not the same every time
Digital illustration and cartoon depicting those in need during this pandemic

CG. It is evident now that people seek solace through various forms of art when combating stressful times. Can we expect any long-lasting impact in this eld?

Uday. The current technological advancement has resulted in the evolution of art, as well. Earlier, the artists had to exhibit their works in galleries, but now with the advent of smartphones, we can showcase our works instantly to a broader audience. Hence, I believe that illustrators can have a long-term career in this eld.

Uday Mohite - Lockdown
Irrfan Khan. Legends Never Die. (irr’FAN’ Forever)

CG. Has the art community organised any fundraising activities for combating this pandemic?

Uday. The art community always contributes in times of crisis. In general, an art community appeals to fellow artists to o er discounts of 50% to 70% on their works and donate the 100% of the sale amounts to the affected population. A lot of communities have extended their hand during this pandemic, as well.

Uday Mohite - Lockdown
Health officials attacked by a mob in Indore. This is the fight against pandemic, not any religion!!

CG. How did your journey as an artist and as a caricaturist begin?

Uday. I visited Khalil Khan, a renowned artist’s exhibition in my village, Barshi, Solapur, when I was studying in class eight. I loved the artworks immensely. That’s when I began drawing caricatures every day; this was the beginning of my art journey. I later learnt the proper techniques, such as sketching life portraits, anatomy and then specialised in caricatures. I took up several freelance jobs as a caricaturist while I was studying in Mumbai; this allowed me to study faces and earn a little.

Uday Mohite - Lockdown
Dr B. R. Ambedkar. Watercolour portrait of the “Architect of Indian Constitution and founder of modern India”

CG. What is your message to aspiring artists and cartoonists?

Uday. Beginners must focus on basic sketching, at least ten to fifteen sketches daily. Mastering figure drawing and anatomy is a must, and the ability to handle various colours is essential. To become a good cartoonist, you must become a good artist first. It is rare to come across cartoonists who are great at drawing and possess a great sense of humour. Late Shri. R K Laxman, Late Shri. Balasaheb Thackeray, Late Shri. Mario Miranda are a few of these rare gems.

Uddhav Thackeray. Watercolour portrait of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra

Published in Issue 50

We all started this year anticipating many things, but nobody thought of life coming to a complete halt. The Coronavirus pandemic has forced every human to re-evaluate their attitude towards nature and life. We also have been forced to lock down in our houses. Though we are no more in the lockdown, still many unfortunate ones continue to lose their lives and livelihoods. This isolation has given many of us the time we needed to finish our long pending tasks. Some have turned to art and craft for peace and solace. While most got relaxed and enjoyed their time with family, others used the focussed time to prepare themselves for the life post lockdown. On the other hand, creative freelancers found it helpful for them to focus and produce more as their work setup usually is within their homes. So, to understand how all the creatives have handled the lockdown, we reached many who have been creating and sharing inspirational artworks during this time. So order your copy if you are looking for inspirational COVID lockdown artworks and some advice on how to handle the current slowdown more creatively!

 

Order Your Copy!
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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How does one express forms that cannot be seen by the naked eye; heard by the ear, or even felt by touch through visuals? That process is what visionary digital artist Aashit Singh, takes us through psychedelic experience, as he explains the various aspects that go into such an act.

Artwork for Space Beat & Abra Jey
Artwork for Zeakon & Friends, compiled by Shakyyy Kevin Shakespeare

Creating The Dream

‘Visual Enlightenment’ and ‘Illuminated Refinement’, generally, are the two most inspiring inner states to convey otherworldly imagery. The intense and deliberate use of progressive imagery and symbolism replicating itself on either side (i.e. reality or dream) helps produce that uncharacteristic effect – mainly due to the merging of the stories and the elements that help narrate it. Likewise, highlights, ethereal and vivid colour tones enhance the illusory environment of the artwork. A lot of elemental play also exists between the revealed and the exposed. The fine balance of the detailing in these elements is most important for the subject and its environment, giving a more subtle amalgamated look and feel to the overall imagery.

INDIAN STANDARD TIME. A Personal work from 2016.
SUGULITE a.k.a LAVULITE. Created for a psychedelic music festival called Digital Journey

Mixing Fantasy With Realism

At a certain level, psychedelic art is an extension of psychedelic visions i.e. physical phenomena entirely relies on reality in the immediate environment we identify with, thereby making the illusory experience more relatable & complete. So, realism is about as important as the intention to communicate the dreaminess successfully, particularly in terms of the visual capability of the artscape.

PSYṚTAMBARA PRAJÑ. Created for a psychedelic music festival organised by Mass Effect Entertainment, Goa
Dalai Lama

Symmetry is Not Exclusive, But A Universal Quality

Balance is, usually, a desirable characteristic of any artwork. Many people automatically gravitate to symmetry. In form, we are fundamentally symmetrical, after all – two eyes; two ears; two hands, etc. So, in an artwork, that sense of symmetry is very capable of bringing about deep gaze and focus due to the sub-conscious awareness of the two sides.

Artwork for a collaboration with Bill Elis
BHAIRAVADAMBARA

Sometimes, depending on the environment, using certain symbols in symmetric style eases visual understanding, because symbols are more easily interpreted. Patterns play a very crucial role as well – the multiplicity of a variety of shapes and colours, when combined together, have a very different meaning and emotion in the overall view of the artwork, especially as minimal overlays are layered within the master elements of the story.

INTRO.INSPECTION. A daunting piece, commissioned for a psychedelic gig by Technical Hitch India Tour, New Delhi.

The Impact of Current Evolutionary Trends

Technology is becoming the channel for expression and inspiration. Converting statistical data into art or music seems to be the direction in which the trend is moving towards at the moment. Yet, of course, eventually, it’s human intuition that must drive how that data is applied and executed. The trend towards progressive and multi-faceted art forms is on its level up, stemming to a variety of new art forms and interpretations that look promising.

THE VENUSARY. An uplifting piece wrapped in yellow-golden, commissioned for a three-day psychedelic festival, SpiritGust Festival, Goa, 2016.

Adding to these, at a certain level, collaborations in art or any creative field(s) have always been significantly successful. It brings about a great togetherness of mind-spaces, and an exclusive preview of intentions and executions across various platforms.

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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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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Meditation, Motivation and Manifestation are the 3Ms that Lovely Kukreja, relies on while illustrating. Taking us on step-by-step approach through his painting Goddess Durga, he explains the basic guidelines that play a pivotal role in the final outcome.

Meditation

Nowhere related to the spiritual practice, meditation, here is the thought process, creative thinking before starting any project.

Step 1

Great ideas start as random scribbles (thumbnails, rough drawings and armatures). This will help in deciding the posture angle and composition. While doing these initial sketches, it’s important to mull over the subject aka meditate to set the mood; the vital areas to focus on to bring in freshness.

Step 2

Once satisfied with the sketch of Goddess Durga, start blocking tones in the grey-scale mode with the basic air-brush. You don’t really have to go fancy by trying several textured brushes. Just do the basic block-in while keeping the area to be focused well-lit.

Step 3

Convert your painting to RGB mode and start adding colours on a layer overlaid on it. Choose colour palette as per the theme. For the Goddess Durga painting here, I chose the unsaturated soft shades. Close your eyes and try to see the picture you have in your thoughts.

Tip

Stay away from textured brushes as it may blur the edges of your drawing.

Motivation

Never search for style, but study. This is where research comes into the picture; the motivation gained from creative intuition, studies and reference materials. At this stage, it is important to collect facts about the subject of creation.

Step 4

Once the basic look and the feel of the painting is established, bringing the volume on each object can begin with the direction of light decided in the very beginning. At this stage, it is important to collect facts about the subject of creation.

Step 5

Detailing the elements e.g. water, foliage, trees and grass. Motivation is the key, to paint better with each stroke passing.

Step 6

Now it’s time to break the barriers and go beyond the sketch. After deciding the intricate details (cloth texture, ornaments, fur and hair), paint over the sketch on a new layer with free-hand for each subject.

Tip

If you are in process of learning to paint, try not to use any image.

Manifestation

It finally boils down to manifesting all the effort, knowledge and studies into strokes of brush applied. This is when you bring ideas to life. Those final touches, elaborating it with all those tiny details is vital to make it your personal piece of work.

Step 7

The working area is closed and fine details are added to each object after thorough research.

Step 8

Tonal values, sharpness and colour balance is adjusted.

Tip

Stay away from textured brushes as it may blur the edges of your drawing.

Step 9

Adding foreground elements gives a sense of depth to the scene. Elements like foliage, leaves and any life-full character create liveliness.

Tip

I suggest you to always keep the subject close to its originality. You are allowed to bring freshness while you keeping it intact within logical boundaries.

Issue 40-Motion Graphics Special

Published in Issue 40

We all have favourite TV shows and we passionately discuss the stories and characters of it. But sometimes, we tend to ignore the channel and its branding. Now with many different channels to choose from, we are experiencing many new branding overhauls to grab the audience’s attention. In this issue, we focused on Motion Graphics design and people behind some awesome channel rebrandings. If you are interested in moving design or animated content then this issue is a must-read for you! So go ahead and order your copy or subscribe if you want to keep receiving your regular dose of inspirations!

 

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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Future London Academy collaborated with global artists and designers to ‘Design the Future’, speculate what it will be like in 100 years #future100years

The academy aimed to imagine designers and artists ‘the future’ where animals and plants have the ability to translate their feelings to a human, you can hug your Siri, cars can fly through the air and space travel is as easy as catching a taxi.

Over 13 countries from India to Australia, the Netherlands to China, Nigeria to Singapore creatives took the part in this collaboration. Scroll down to see artworks from the 17 artists…

Ibrahim writes: “In 100 years we would create super pills that would have the nano-est technology to figure out underlying medical conditions and cure by adapting to each medical case and providing additional details by QR codes, which would further be deconstructed to produce a diagnosis for every individual to keep records and for pills to behave in certain ways depending on past results.”

 

Ibrahim is an Art Director and Illustrator from Kerala, India. He started his career as a graphic designer and has been working in the advertising industry for the last four years. He is currently a Creative Associate with SPRNG Bangalore.

Giordano Poloni is an award-winning freelance illustrator based in Milan. He earned a cinema bachelor’s degree and in his past he has worked for advertising production companies as an editor and motion graphic designer. 

Chiara writes: “How will the interaction between humans and Ai look like in the future? These days, when social distancing is still the norm, I found myself thinking about the relationship we have with our technology and how it will evolve in the future to match the increased need for a more human-like interaction. What if you could hug your Siri? :)”

Chiara is an Italian illustrator working, biking and growing tulips in Amsterdam. Her work reflects both her Italian nature and her Dutch influences. Being inspired by Depero and Escher, she loves bright colours and clean, geometric shapes and is fascinated by scientists and inventors. 

Kezia writes: “In the next 100 years, I think the housing system will be more space-efficient and energy-conscious. Houses will be equipped with anti-gravity components that create more space for homeowners, solar panels installed on the exterior, energy-efficient windows and vertical farming facilities on the rooftop.”

 

Kezia is an art director and illustrator based in Singapore, with works that visualise the mundanities in life through bold colours, irregular character and exaggerated gestures. She currently is a full-time freelancer on top of running ANTINORMAL, an independent illustration lab and creative shop.

Joy Li writes: “ I have always been excited by humanity’s future in space, looking beyond ourselves and into the vast depths of our universe. My illustration imagines a future where women are at the forefront of space exploration, research, engineering and design in the 22nd century.”

 

Joy Li is a graphic designer based in Sydney. Her work examines the intersection where design meets gender, race and cultural studies. She ­­­often uses type and to express the things she feels but cannot explain.

Future London Academy - Design The Future

Juan ER is an illustrator based in Nanjing, China. His work encompasses fluorescent colours with a surreal interpretation of everyday life. 

Fernando writes “For the concept, I imagine 100 years from now, I see the perfect harmony between technology, nature and science, without any kind of aggression between them. The balance in the evolution of everyone will give us openings for new searches and knowledge.”

 

Fernando Molina is an Italian illustrator. art director and graphic designer based in São Paulo, Brazil. Her work tackles societal changes through whimsy, exaggerated compositions exploding with colour. 

Oksana writes “In the future animals and plants will have the ability to translate their feelings and thoughts to a human.”

 

Oksana Grivina is a Russian freelance illustrator based in Aveiro, Portugal. She creates joyful character-based work for print and digital mediums, including her own Shutterstock collections.

David writes “In the year 2120 we will have harnessed the power of gravity. Not all cars flying through the air will be newly designed vehicles. Just like there are vintage cars on the street today, people will add upgraded gravity control onto classic cars in the future enabling them to fly through the air.”

 

David is a freelance creative director and founder of studio Locked And Loading. He has worked with culturally-relevant brands such as Gucci and Vice. 

Future London Academy - Design The Future

John writes: “I saw Back To The Future 2 in 1989 and was so blown away by the iconic Hoverboard chase scene. I remember leaving the theatre completely inspired for the day I would be floating standing sideways on my own Hoverboard.  Here’s to hoping we will get there in the next 100 years!  “Hey McFly, you bojo! Those boards don’t work on water!”- Griff Tannon”

 

John Antoski draws inspiration from where he lives and works in Encinitas, California. Trained as a fine artist and designer, John’s work takes shape in a variety of forms and media. As co-founder of Wedge & Lever, his design sense for minimalism and attention to detail has lent itself to a variety of client work.

Niyi writes “My piece shows what a monument would look like in 100 years, ecology and water intact, promising a future where we haven’t destroyed the planet and at the same time advanced in technology. The monument features a monolith in the middle with a replica of a future planet being housed inside it with the help of future technology that serves as a magnet that holds the replica within the monolith.”

 

Niyi Okeowo is a multidisciplinary art director and photographer based in Lagos, Nigeria. His focus lies in art direction, branding, and photography, with over 8 years of experience, he has worked with numerous established brands and startups to create experiences, identities, and visuals. 

Ritika writes “The future surely has a lot in store for mankind. I feel that within the next century, man would not just be able to land on Mars but also start a civilisation on it. With already existing super-advanced technology, there is no doubt that in the coming decades, human beings will be successful to develop supreme technology that will enable human beings to live on Mars.”

 

Kolkata-based illustrator and creative storyteller Rikita Barua uses her graphic style to thoughtfully represent different communities across the globe. Not to mention her collaboration with Etsy to make people aware of India’s creative culture.

Future London Academy - Design The Future

Nayab writes: “I always see the future as full of new and innovative tech. Being said i believe in future law and enforcement will be replaced by AI- algorithms and robots. Plus i think in future hovering things will be a legit accessible tech for masses. Again since AI technology is getting advance everyday, i think smart robotic pets will be a thing ;)”

 

Based in Pakistan, Nayab’s friendly and thoughtful approach to her work spans across animation, illustration and UI design.

Prateek writes: “In the year 2120, space travel would probably be as easy as catching a taxi. Hop onto a local rocket-bus, from one of the interplanetary stations, and take a trip to one of the many fantastic destinations on the multiple planets in and outside our solar system!”

 

Prateek is a graphic artist and designer based out of Bangalore, India. His work, primarily using a blend of 3D and 2D media, brings together forms and content taken from his multiple interests in the fields of typography, architecture, interior design, and the occult. He enjoys working with vibrant and neon tones, to evoke different moods and hints of nostalgia.

Blup writes: “Our artwork is based around branded human microchips that are implanted in the body, which by this time, may well be a norm.  As you’ve most likely read, these chips could play a huge part in our daily lives, implanted as babies and uses as ID, trackers, currency, health checks, keys…Ours is a BLUP chip as we imagine they’ll be the designer option!” 

 

Since 2009, the London-based creative agency has made brands culturally relevant through design, strategy and motion. They’ve helped Nike, Adidas, BBC and many more clients get noticed, and talked about by their next generation of customers. 

A future full of rainbows and drones from Spanish illustrator, Yime. He goes further by displaying how our everyday lives could be harmonised by evolving our relationship with nature. 

 

Yime is based in Madrid, he explores society and human behaviour and illustrates what he finds meaningful, interesting or absurd. He loves daily routines and rituals and finds joy in being alone outside, watching people.

Baugasm/ Vasjen Katro

Vasjen writes: “In this image, I want to show that there is something holding all of us together. Is one main purpose for the future where the abstract bean star in the image represents the icon to unite us all.”


Vasjen Katro is a Visual Designer from Albania. Famous for his Baugasm work, Vasjen is multidisciplinary creative experimenting in graphic design, 3d, photography, cinematography and music.

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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Vibrant illustrator Tania Yakunova talks about her life as an artist in quarantine and shares her hopes and fears as we all wrestle through this pandemic.

Tania Yakunova - Pandemic
Deadline. Corporate Illustration for Wirex, used in inner communication.

How are you faring in this quarantine? Is it difficult to find inspiration when we are forced to stay at home?

Tania. I’m used to working from home since I have been doing that even before this lockdown. I reinforce the energy and time spent on going out to develop home-based hobbies. Initially, the pandemic did not affect me as much. But now I can feel the stress building up, and it is taking a toll on my mental health; therefore, affecting my productivity. Since I find comfort and inspiration in travel, it is especially difficult.

Be Green project. Illustration for Christmas promoting sustainability, environmental awareness and peace.

How has this quarantine altered your perspective of life and art? Does it reflect in your current artworks?

Tania. There is a lot of uncertainty right now. But on the bright side, I feel well connected. It is evident how art helps people deal with stress, and this offers me motivation and reassurance. While a few of my projects got cancelled, I have been invited to work on several new ones dedicated to life during this pandemic. These projects are important to me, and I hope that my illustrations can ease people during these turbulent times

The Home is where the heart is. Part of the project about the organ donation awareness in times of COVID-19.

The pandemic has provided humanity with a challenge like never before. What are the setbacks you’ve faced because of the quarantine?

Tania. The biggest problem I faced is constant stress. High anxiety affects my ability to work, but art helps me stay mentally active. There are times when exhaustion hits me hard, and it gets difficult to stay productive. But I consider myself blessed to have a few great projects that survived the quarantine. I am worried about the future, as the pandemic is getting worse.

Anxiety. Personal illustration.

Artists often require their own space to create. It can be challenging to differentiate workspace from your home. Has your productivity been affected due to this?

Tania. Before the pandemic, I had planned to rent a studio. But now, the quarantine has motivated me to arrange my workspace at home better. My partner and I have divided our apartment into the work and the relaxation zone. An entire room is allocated as my studio, and I ensure that my work does not leave this space; this helps me relax better.

Tania Yakunova - Pandemic
Orchard. Illustration for Orchard home school planer depicting relaxation and nature.

Art provides comfort during these distressing times, and through this pandemic, we have witnessed just that. Do you believe that this cause irreversible change in the art field?

Tania. Personally, it rings true for me. We can observe the importance of art and the support it provides to humanity as more people lean towards it during this pandemic. People believe that this pandemic is causing irreversible changes to society; if so, then art will also change since art is merely a reflection of society.

Tania Yakunova - Pandemic
Novarize. Illustration for Novarize.

How has the art community planned to organise any fundraising for it?

Tania. Our art community in Ukraine is small but active. We organise online conferences, online talks and outdoor exhibits dedicated to the pandemic heroes. We are doing our best although a lot of artists are struggling due to sudden project cancellations and budget cuts. We don’t receive any noticeable financial support from the government as well.

Tania Yakunova - Pandemic
Late work. Style-frame concept.

How did your artistic journey begin?

Tania. I loved drawing since I was a child, but seven years of academic drawings tired me, and I gained a degree in social science, instead. At the age of 25, I began my studies on design and illustration. Following which, I quit my job and started my career as an illustrator.

Tania Yakunova - Pandemic

Your style of art is contemporary. Where do you draw your inspirations from?

Tania. I’m an ardent fan of Avant-grade art of the 20th Century, I enjoy the bold compositions and forms. Whenever I travel to a new city, I always make sure to visit the modern art museums. I think you can notice this in my works.

Be Green project. Illustration dedicated to sustainable living.

How do you manage to create complex and detailed artworks with the use of simple and most basic shapes? What is the role played by geometry in your artworks?

Tania. The contrast in geometry can add rhythm to the artworks. I create particular forms and compositions that are emotional yet straightforward; this is my process.

Be Green Project. An illustration depicting sustainability and unity.

The colour palette for most of your artworks is simple and limited. Does that have any particular significance?

Tania. I love vibrant colours and precise combination of Avant-grade art of the 20th Century. Colours were something I struggled with when I was in art school. When I studied design as an adult, I understood it better and started falling in love with it. I spend a lot of time working on colours and sometimes I even create 20 different colour versions of my artworks.

Tania Yakunova - Pandemic
The Lives of Christopher Chant. Book cover for the novel t by Diana Wynn Jones.

How do you develop illustrations for a particular concept? Could you kindly share your work process?

Tania. The project starts with a brief on my task and role as an illustrator. I then begin exploring different possibilities through rough sketches. After that, I develop a detailed design and work on the composition; this is the first draft. Following which, I digitise my artworks and work on colours. When I’m satisfied with the colours, I work on the details.

The Passenger

What are some of the crucial factors to remember whilst illustrating?

Tania. The most important element in the process of illustration is to understand why we are working on a particular piece. The next factor is the concept. An illustration is a communication; we must understand what we are trying to tell our audience. Then comes composition, which is the base to execute your ideas. If the base is weak, the art will fall apart.

Creativity

Published in Issue 50

We all started this year anticipating many things, but nobody thought of life coming to a complete halt. The Coronavirus pandemic has forced every human to re-evaluate their attitude towards nature and life. We also have been forced to lock down in our houses. Though we are no more in the lockdown, still many unfortunate ones continue to lose their lives and livelihoods. This isolation has given many of us the time we needed to finish our long pending tasks. Some have turned to art and craft for peace and solace. While most got relaxed and enjoyed their time with family, others used the focussed time to prepare themselves for the life post lockdown. On the other hand, creative freelancers found it helpful for them to focus and produce more as their work setup usually is within their homes. So, to understand how all the creatives have handled the lockdown, we reached many who have been creating and sharing inspirational artworks during this time. So order your copy if you are looking for inspirational COVID lockdown artworks and some advice on how to handle the current slowdown more creatively!

 

Order Your Copy!
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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Packaging has been for long an ignored discipline of design. But the trend has changed nowadays, and it is becoming an exciting space for designers to showcase their artistic and innovative skills. Graphic design studio, Impprintz, derives inspiration from the products to add to the experience of the buyer and user. Here, Simran Sahi and Rahul Sureka talk to Creative Gaga about how they successful packaging!

Packaging for Gift Boxes Blue Tokai

CG: Your designs seem to follow a geometric formula and are pretty systematically arranged. Is that your design style, or does packaging follow a standard formula that clients ask you to apply?

Impprintz. The idea is to keep things simple yet delightful. With packaging, it’s not an anomaly to face a series of variants within the same product range. Therefore, the challenge lies in creating something different while maintaining a strong cohesive visual family. Another vital element for packaging designers to be mindful of is information architecture which helps buyers navigate systematically through the communication.

Packaging for The Little Pondicherrian
successful packaging
Incense Gift Packs.
successful packaging
Incense Gift Packs.

CG: According to you, what makes a successful packaging design? You use a varied sense of bright and attractive motifs. Is that what you feel makes a product stand out on a shelf with other competitive brands?

Impprintz. The inspiration for packaging is more or less derived from the product and its unique attributes. Packaging design can be successful on various levels and often requires a combination of attributes like its ability to attract, engage and inform. Simultaneously, it must also deliver a tactile experience with the apt choice of material and optimum fabrication, a well-thought-out functionality, and the difference and joy in it. Of course, the well-designed and attractive packaging on the shelf is going to grab your attention.

successful packaging
Pondicherry Collection Incense.
successful packaging
Pondicherry Collection Incense.
Seasonings by Milagro

CG: How is packaging different in today’s times? Apart from just a pack that people throw away, how do you get your designs to serve a greater purpose? Or is the purpose only to lure people and then packaging design loses its purpose as soon as the product is purchased?

Impprintz. The primary purpose of any successful packaging is to protect the product. By using vibrant and positive colour schemes, artistic illustrations and imagery and durable materials, packaging can prove to be an informative, enriching and an educative experience even in the process of selling/buying the product.

Mason&Co Limited Edition
successful packaging
Indigenous organic boxer shorts.
Zuka Chocolate Bars

CG: How is packaging for an incense stick different from say, a bottle? Do you believe it’s the same thought process and concepts that need to be exercised or does packaging design vary from project to project?

Impprintz. In terms of process, all packaging design projects begin with a similar set of questions and critical analysis, but then they begin to take shape within their own parameters. Each project has its unique requirements, vision, communication, market segment, timelines and fabrication possibilities. What never changes is the spirit to deliver the best; more than what the client asks for.

successful packaging
Special Incense Packs.
MasonCo Diwali Packs

CG: And finally, what advice would you give people who want to take up packaging design and make a difference?

Impprintz. Packaging design is a field in itself. It is a container of creative storytelling where two-dimensional design meets the third dimension. It is important to promote people, products, and concepts that you believe in. Keep trying new methods and ideas; there is always more to learn.

successful packaging
Mason & Co chocolate bars.
successful packaging
Mason & Co chocolate bars.
Packaging for Herbs by Milagro
successful packaging
Massage Oil Boxes.

Published in Issue 26

Packaging is the first vital step towards enchanting the audience. Who doesn’t like a cute box or a trendy bottle? With this issue, Creative Gaga lets the cat out of the box to reveal the world of packaging design. Featuring various local and international designers like Petar Pavlov from Macedonia and Brandziac from Russia, Elephant Design and Impprintz from Pune, the issue promises to be a keepsake for many.

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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It’s a digital age, one doesn’t need a subject to pose before them for hours, simply a photograph is enough. Graphic design student, Sri Harsha Andukuri takes us through a step by step guide on making a digital portrait of any famous celebrity, in this case, Hollywood’s own Scarlett Johansson.

Step 1

Fixing the Canvas and Preparing the Outline

The process of portrait begins by fixing of the canvas. This is achieved through Photoshop, where a new file is opened with an A3 size. This is followed by creating an outline of the image using a red colour, on a new layer. The colour red is selected because it highlights profiles and edges in the middle of the painting. Then, marking of highlights and shadows in a new layer using red colour and a textured brush with opacity 7% and 14%.

Step 2 

Filling Base Colour for Skin

Once the above step is completed to satisfaction, a colour palette of shades, tints and neutrals are made for the skin. A new layer is then added and a neutral colour with full opacity is used as the base colour for the body. At this point, any colour exceeding outlines is erased.

Digital Portrait of Scarlett Johansson

Step 3 

Detailing the Face

This is then followed by creating a new layer yet again, where the base colour of the eyes is filled using a brush with full opacity. Here, colours exceeding any outline are erased. Subsequently, a new layer is created for highlights, shadows and details for the eyes. The next step requires painting in highlights and shadows of the nose and other facial areas using a colour palette with a textured brush bearing 7%, 14% and 21% opacities.

Step 4 

Detailing the Lips

Following the fixed colour palette, a base colour is filled with 100% opacity first for the lips. Highlights and shadows of the lips are drawn in a new layer with a small size textured brush with 7% opacity. Using a small brush at this point enhances precision and detail.

Step 5 

Painting Rest of the Skin 

Going further down, shadows and highlights of the neck area, collarbone and chest are painted using the colour palette for the skin.  Used a textured brush of opacity 7% and 14% in a new layer.

Step 6 

Painting the Dress 

In a similar way, the base colour, shadows and highlights of the dress and its drapes are painted. Here too, a separate colour palette is fixed for this.

Step 7 

Painting the Hands 

Keeping shadows and highlights in mind, the arms are also painted in a similar way as in step 5.

Step 8 

Detailing the Hair 

The most challenging part of the portrait is a painting of the hair. The most time-consuming step; a new layer is filled with the solid base colour of hair, taken from a selected colour palette. Carefully then, hair is divided and marked into different parts according to its flow. This is followed by the creation of another new layer in which a number of strokes are drawn along the flow of hair in each and every part which is marked. A new layer over this one is then added which is used to blend all these parts using a brush with less opacity, in order to link the hair flow.

Step 9 

Fixing the Background

Finally, a new layer is added below all of these layers and filled with a solid colour. A shade of the base colour is selected, as in the palette, and is painted in a new layer to create a vignette feeling to the background. Another layer is subsequently added in which a 30% opacity gradient of black colour in multiple modes is employed. Upon completion, save the file as a jpeg and open in Adobe Lightroom where the portrait can be post edited for the desired outcome.

Published in Issue 25

Creative Gaga kicks off the year with an issue that asks the important questions, is it the web that’s leading the brands or the other way around? With 2014 witnessing an increase in brands investing in digital marketing, 2015 will only be bigger. We can say India has accepted the revolution, where more and more people are opening browsers to e-commerce, literally window shopping, and setting up shops online as well. The issue brings together renowned designers with digital experience, who discuss and throw light on the pros and cons of this change and where we possibly are headed with this in the future.

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

Arshad Sayyed

Arshad Sayyed Chief Creative Officer of Wallcano

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Pandemics have always forced people to break with the past and imagine their life anew. Recently the whole world has come under the siege of the Coronavirus. Resulting in every human is trapped in his house. “Trust no one, Did you wash your hands? I am unwell, am I infected?” such thoughts must be flocking your mind constantly. However, there are two sides of the same coin. Let’s have a look…

On the personal front, ‘Quarantine Time’ has turned into ‘Quality time with my family’ which is very surreal. Bucket list, box cricket, home decoration, hobbies have become the discussion points on the dining table. Not only this, but I have also become the ultimate master chef in the kitchen. However, this surely gives you an eerie feeling when you step out of the house to buy groceries and find silent streets, no children playing, no more groups of college students on couples strolling. And not to forget the biggest blessing in disguise is the gift on mother nature which is on her healing course. The much-underrated hand sanitizer has become the talk of the town.

The ‘Work From Home’ culture has become the new cool. WhatsApp, FaceTime & Zoom is dominating the once serious conference room. Online classes and payments with less personal contact are making us entirely tech dependant. Future upcoming offices might start using the ‘six feet concept’ where working desks will be kept six feet apart reminding people to distance themselves. Also, hand sanitizing stations and lesser full-time workforce will become a compulsion.

Whether this is a paradigm shift or just a passing phase is uncertain for now. I would like to collect whatever good we receive from this pandemic and put to use. Hence a lesson well learn. Remember we are all in this together! WE ARE CHANGE.

Published in Issue 50

We all started this year anticipating many things, but nobody thought of life coming to a complete halt. The Coronavirus pandemic has forced every human to re-evaluate their attitude towards nature and life. We also have been forced to lock down in our houses. Though we are no more in the lockdown, still many unfortunate ones continue to lose their lives and livelihoods. This isolation has given many of us the time we needed to finish our long pending tasks. Some have turned to art and craft for peace and solace. While most got relaxed and enjoyed their time with family, others used the focussed time to prepare themselves for the life post lockdown. On the other hand, creative freelancers found it helpful for them to focus and produce more as their work setup usually is within their homes. So, to understand how all the creatives have handled the lockdown, we reached many who have been creating and sharing inspirational artworks during this time. So order your copy if you are looking for inspirational COVID lockdown artworks and some advice on how to handle the current slowdown more creatively!

 

Order Your Copy!
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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Through original and vibrant illustrations, Ranganath Krishnamani captures the look and feel of Corona virus induced pandemic. Here is a conversation to unravel the art, colours, style and mindset of the artist battling the quarantine.

Corona Lockdown Illustration by Ranganath Krishnamani
Drying out our new accessories.

What are some of the unforeseen inspirations and problems you’ve stumbled upon during this lockdown?

Ranganath. I firmly believe that limitation is an excellent opportunity to kindle creativity. The confines of our home can urge us to be imaginative. My quarantine series is a self-initiated project where I attempt to capture urban life and its nuances during Corona virus pandemic. I captured our new normal by portraying human beings inside everyday objects, thus emphasising the current state. Creative inspirations can be found everywhere, outdoors or indoors, this project is an excellent example of that.

Corona Lockdown Illustration by Ranganath Krishnamani
Lights On. A salute to all the superheroes in the front line, fighting against all odds, serving people, saving lives.

Has this Corona virus pandemic changed your perception of the world? If yes, how has it affected your art?

Ranganath. The quarantine made me rethink about my choices and my lifestyle. I enjoy nature, and I understood the value of my freedom because of this lockdown. Corona virus pandemic has highlighted the unbeatable human spirit, this along with the new way of life are the themes I’m currently focusing on.

Together. A creative take on staying home with family and following some simple guidelines. Stay Home!

Art is not an essential service. Has this affected your work? How are you managing such an unprecedented situation?

Ranganath. Fortunately, neither my professional front nor my self- initiated art projects are affected due to Corona. Through art, we can communicate, educate and bring changes in the society. Art is the medium I use to convey my ideas. My objective is to engage the audience and bring positive changes.

Blending work. Video calls, mindfulness, fitness and experimenting with new flavours and recipes. The new norm!

What are your thoughts on work from home as an artist? What kind of impact does this have on your working process?

Ranganath. Studio or at home, it doesn’t make any difference to me. Creative work requires long hours of focus and deliberate practice, the place does not matter. The advantages of working from home is that because of current technology, we can meet our clients, share our work, get feedback and work on it without having to travel or wade through traffic.

Brewing work from home. Finding our own little comfort work corners at home to get work done!

Corona virus pandemic has made us realise that in trying times, people turn to art and literature. Do you think that this is going to create a lasting impression in the field of art?

Ranganath. Art and literature are great methods to unwind and deal with stressful times. People have returned to their hobbies, and they now understand the value of art and literature. I’m sure that this trend will continue. I hope this period help people realise their passion and dreams, giving them the confidence to take risks and try something new.

Corona Lockdown Illustration by Ranganath Krishnamani
Prioritising fitness. Making time for the much-needed physical activity during the week given the restricted access to outdoors.

How did your journey in art begin?

Ranganath. I’ve always nursed an affiliation towards art. I distinctly remember drawing on the walls of my house at the age of six. I began reinforcing my passion once I obtained formal education in art. My journey started with pencils, charcoal, acrylics and watercolours. And with the advent of digital art, I began exploring diverse fields within art and started experimenting with my style. I consciously attempt to create artwork with meaning and purpose that goes beyond aesthetics.

Corona Lockdown Illustration by Ranganath Krishnamani
Celebrating the extraordinary person called mother. Someone who motivates you to eat healthy, stay fit and take care of yourself.

From Kathakali dancer to Taj Mahal to still life, your artworks are varied and diverse. What is your creative process?

Ranganath. My creative process is to try and do something every day. Travel inspires me; I sketch the scenes and thoughts in my sketchbook, and once I start making connections with other elements and situation, I turn it into a series. I approach all my artworks as series since it helps me refine my perspective and dive deeper into the subject. My process begins with a simple exploration of ideas; this helps me develop a central theme and concepts for the series. I try to form a connection between objects, situation and scenario, thus narrating a story from my perspective.

Corona Lockdown Illustration by Ranganath Krishnamani
Social Distance - A great opportunity to revisit a hobby. Try something new, Stay safe.

How does culture influence your artworks?

Ranganath. Culture plays an integral role in my artworks. I try to capture the uniqueness of our culture, which is under threat due to globalisation. The setting, objects and costumes subtly contribute to the narration. My works are a reflection of my interpretation of all that fascinates me. Irrespective of the medium, the common thread which strings my artworks together are culture and identity.

Corona Lockdown Illustration by Ranganath Krishnamani
Celebrating the extraordinary person called mother. Someone who motivates you to eat healthy, stay fit and take care of yourself.

Could you shine some light on the techniques used and the process behind your colour selection?

Ranganath. My colour palette largely depends on the subject portrayed. It is generally minimal, ranging between three to four colours. Initially, I used to work with monochrome since it allowed me to focus on the form and composition. Colours have the power to change the overall mood of artwork; I started using it responsibly once I understood this. I first choose the colours I intend to work with, from there it is just a creative problem solving, where we manipulate the colours to arrive at the best possible outcome.

Corona Lockdown Illustration by Ranganath Krishnamani
Giving time a break - enjoying me time by the window, getting a glimpse of the outside world between online meetings and video calls

It is particularly intriguing to note that upon going through your artworks, most of them, though detailed, do not possess detailed facial features. Is there any significance for this?

Ranganath. I refrain from adding facial features since it deters the audience from the overall story of the artwork. Furthermore, the viewers can comfortably perceive themselves in the scene when the artwork is devoid of faces. However, this is a recent style; in the past, I have created artworks with facial features as well.

Enjoying the fresh summer showers from the confines of the patio.

Published in Issue 50

We all started this year anticipating many things, but nobody thought of life coming to a complete halt. The Coronavirus pandemic has forced every human to re-evaluate their attitude towards nature and life. We also have been forced to lock down in our houses. Though we are no more in the lockdown, still many unfortunate ones continue to lose their lives and livelihoods. This isolation has given many of us the time we needed to finish our long pending tasks. Some have turned to art and craft for peace and solace. While most got relaxed and enjoyed their time with family, others used the focussed time to prepare themselves for the life post lockdown. On the other hand, creative freelancers found it helpful for them to focus and produce more as their work setup usually is within their homes. So, to understand how all the creatives have handled the lockdown, we reached many who have been creating and sharing inspirational artworks during this time. So order your copy if you are looking for inspirational COVID lockdown artworks and some advice on how to handle the current slowdown more creatively!

 

Order Your Copy!
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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Creating a real-life or a reel-life characters is like putting various puzzle pieces together. It’s easy to see someone and say ‘I recognise that person’, but drawing from scratch is a different thing all together. Illustrator and digital artist, Nikhil Shinde, talks more about this less explored form of communication and how it can be made into a powerful tool.

Irfan Khan
Characters - Nikhil Shinde
Sadhu
Characters - Nikhil Shinde
Big Eyes
Characters - Nikhil Shinde
Characters - Nikhil Shinde
Characters - Nikhil Shinde

Surprise the Audience by Giving Them Something Unexpected

The idea of making different types of characters and models with suitable environments is always expected from a digital artist. So why not create them with a twist? Get random by stepping out of the box. Get unexpected by deviating from the initial plan. When the final outcome is not what you thought initially, you’re pretty much on the right track.

characters
THE KARNA

Sisters
Characters - Nikhil Shinde
characters
KAPIL SHARMA
characters
LATE NIGHT CHAT

The Real Deal comes with Unreal Characters

Believe it or not, it’s pretty easy to make a real character. It’s simply about making a replica of an existing person and all it is focusing on getting the right details in place. But fantasy or self-imagined characters demand a lot of time to think about their anatomy, pose, composition etc. Even though there is a stark difference in the creation of both real and non-real characters, what never changes is the approach in making them. As a designer, it’s vital to contribute your style and personality to it as well. This is what personalises the artwork and makes it ‘yours’.

characters
KRISHN
Characters - Nikhil Shinde
Characters - Nikhil Shinde
characters
SHAKTIMAN
Ganesha
Witch
characters
SADHU BABA

Every Work of Yours Must be Your Very Favourite

Even though some designs and projects get recognised over others that a designer has created, the bottom line is that they’re all of equal value. The designer puts the same amount of energy, thought and skill in each artwork. It’s important to not lose that focus. Because, if that balance is disrupted, it might make way for a shaky future.

characters
GRANNY AND MONEY
Characters - Nikhil Shinde
characters
THE WITCH

Characters - Nikhil Shinde
Radha

Digital Paintings are not Meant for Walls

In India, digital painting is yet to be accepted as a mode of communication. And from what it looks like, it’s still a while away. The only reason is that India lacks encouragement in this field as well as basic knowledge. Once we’re able to overcome this, it’s only then that digital paintings will make for a much more natural form of communication.

House wife making Chai (Tea)
Characters - Nikhil Shinde
characters
Dr. MANMOHAN SINGH