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Illustrator

Indian Illustrator Karan Singh’s recent involvement in creating digital artwork for the 2021 Oscar awards has been making rounds on social media.

The buzz started when he published the promotional graphic he made for the purpose on his Instagram handle @madebykaran and revealed, “I’m so excited to have worked with @theacademy to create artwork for this year’s Oscars. It was a dream come true to illustrate an icon and such a pleasure to work with the crew on this. Thank you, thank you. It’s been a memorable week and I’m feeling truly blessed…”

The graphic features an enticing dream-like multi-layered silhouette of the distinguished Oscar statue that keeps expanding from within itself through an array of bright colours, thus producing a hypnotic or hallucinatory effect. It could well remind one of the surreal artwork from the hippie era of the 60s and 70s.

Karan’s appointment as an illustrator for a global stage as grand as the Oscars pushes the envelope for others part of the Indian design scene, thereby setting a new benchmark to take from and build on. On the same lines, it is being viewed by many as a stepping stone and inspiration for India’s design community at large, especially for those who are young in their craft, to keep enhancing their skill and effort with the actual possibility of making it to the higher grounds of the world.

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 52

 

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The brand identity of the Afforestation project called Forestscaping created by Pratyush Gupta. Urban forestry is critical to the resilience of cities as they absorb carbon and pollution, aid flood resistance, and enhance human interaction with nature. Afforestt helps convert the tiniest of spaces into self-sustainable native forests which grow ten times faster, are 30 times denser and 100 times more biodiverse compared to conventional plantations. Starting from a mini forest in their backyard, they have grown over 130 forests across five countries around the globe.

Brand identity of Forestscaping. Forest

Brief from Forestscaping

 

Afforestt creates natural, wild and maintenance-free native forests. Forestscaping, a new offering by Afforestt, combines forests with art and architecture to transform barren properties into experiential spaces, where trees, animals and human beings can interact.

Brand identity of Forestscaping

Though a unique concept for India, Forestscaping needed to compete with multiple players in the landscape architecture industry, highlighting the advantage of growing forests instead of conventional gardens. It needed a brand identity that captured the strengths and essence of Forestscaping and exuded confidence and expertise.

Brand identity of Forestscaping. Forest

The Challenge

 

Forestscaping was targeted towards an affluent audience and required a positioning strategy that was distinct from Afforestt. The challenge was to cultivate a new personality for Forestscaping while holding Afforestt core values and beliefs.

It was challenging to capture the energy and joy of being one with the forest, at the same time, maintaining a level of sophistication and elegance to appeal to the audience.

Forestscaping just starting and didn’t have any photographs to showcase, hence we needed to create an identity which compensated for the lack of visuals and blend seamlessly with images once they were available.

Brand identity of Forestscaping. Forest

And the Solution

 

At the heart of the Forestscaping visual identity is a confident and elegant logotype. The G in the logotype has a leaf sprouting from its end, a subtle reference to forests and their beginning. The primary colours of the identity are green-representing forests, and gold – symbolising the wealth that forest create.

Brand identity of Forestscaping. Forest

A dynamic illustration language amalgamates forests, animals and people to create various forestscapes that bring to life diverse touchpoints. The illustration style has been inspired by Varli and Sohrai art forms, providing the visuals with an earthy aesthetic rooted in Indian culture.

“I see Pratyush work as an outcome of extreme creativity that produces some of the simplest yet brilliant art. His clear understanding of people perception makes him a business problem solver. He is a deep listener and can see the world through the eyes of his clients. Working with him created a synergy that improved our work and elevated our perception towards it”

 


Shubhendu Sharma
Founder and Director at Afforestt

Every year many exceptional design briefs are being answered with brilliant solutions by many talented designers. Some manage to reach the limelight through awards and other recognitions, but not all. And that is where the ‘DCS-01’ comes into the picture with detailed case studies highlighting the challenges, research, and the unique solutions to each obstacle faced in reaching these final design solutions. An inspiration and a collection of quality design projects created in India recently.

 

So, if you are creative freelancer, agency, studio, corporate or a design student, who needs inspiration and want to know the process of making great designs, then this is a must-have book for your collection. Order it today to reserve a copy of this limited stock book.

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Creative Gaga - Issue 52

 

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When exploring a new space like NFT and cryptocurrency, Amrit Pal Singh highlights the importance of building a community and engaging with your audience to spark an interest that is sustainable in the long term.

By NFT artist

3D illustrator, art director, and Nutella enthusiast, Amrit Pal Singh is now a prominent Indian NFT artist whose art features prominent pop-culture and social figures from his “Toy Faces” series. Amrit leads “Mister Bumbles”, a design and publishing agency based in New Delhi that develops illustrations, animation pieces, games, mobile applications, and books. His clientele includes Google, Snapchat, and Netflix, among many other notable names over the last 10 years.

By NFT artist

Amrit made the switch to full-time 3D illustration in 2019, before which he was a product and brand designer for mobile apps and interactive experiences. Apart from commissioned projects, the aforementioned “Toy Faces” series is arguably one of his most ambitious and successful pieces of work.

 

It is a 3D library of over 2000 digital avatars in his signature childlike style that is a testament to diversity and representation. One can also request custom versions for themselves or their team.

The library has featured on Forbes, Wacom, Muzli, and Behance and was supported by the Adobe Fund for Design this year. Another notable series from his body of work is the “3D Rooms Project”, a personal project developed during quarantine that showcases isometric renditions of “iconic rooms” from popular movies and TV shows.

While he is a proponent of working solo due to the speed and flexibility he gains on projects, Amrit makes it a priority to engage with the design community. With the motivation to share what he has learned over his career, his blog “Lighthouse” is a collaboration with other designers to share design resources, trends and industry knowledge.

Including his experience with NFT.

For those not in the know (yes, all two of you), a non-fungible token (NFT) is a digital commodity (art, for example) that is unique and non-replaceable. Currently, the most popular crypto blockchain that supports NFT is Ethereum. The chain keeps a record of the transaction and the relevant information, giving it a “collector item” status.

 

At this stage, the experience is comparable to having the winning bid at an auction and proof of ownership. The caveat is that an NFT’s ownership parameters may include a limited number of versions should the seller wish to do so.

Another feature is that artists stand to gain a percentage every time the token is sold or changes hands. Before you make the case that procuring digital art is as easy as downloading an image, think about the gift shop at a famous museum like the Louvre. Owning the actual Mona Lisa versus buying a poster of the painting will naturally have different associated values, especially for resale.

Designers like Amrit view NFTs as another way to spread awareness and reach new customer bases for existing work. On selling Toy Faces through cryptocurrency, Amrit says, “Toy Faces started as a design asset, then I started doing custom Toy Faces to expand its reach. NFTs is the third step of its evolution, intersecting with art and collectables. I love how convenient it is to sell digital goods, and that is what attracted me to NFTs.”

 

He goes on the say that the space is very community-driven and that the media has covered the more sensational side of it, but it is the start of something new and revolutionary.

“Toy Faces started as a design asset; then, I started doing custom Toy Faces to expand its reach. NFTs are the third step of its evolution”

However, the relevant infrastructure in India has a long way to go relative to other countries. The constant misinformation and the lack of adoption by the Indian financial system have made enthusiasts take pause. However, Amrit is confident that, in time, cryptocurrency will be a widely accepted investment opportunity by both the government and the people.

His advice to others is simply “don’t rush”. He prioritises community engagement and building an audience before even considering to sell as this will inform how you even start. With the subjective variety, the key is to have a strong value system or storytelling skills to garner the favour of your work. “Quality and marketing go hand in hand”, and for all the other information you may need, the internet will provide.

Amrit specifies that “spamming people doesn’t work and is a bad long term strategy” and that real engagement comes with genuine interaction, asking for feedback, and sharing your insights or experience (no matter your skill level).

 

It would not hurt to consider making secondary or tertiary content around your primary skill or sharing thoughts you resonate with from others. Also, you would have garnered a knowledge base that you can tap into as an additional benefit.

 

Also, keep an eye on the trend but be true to your style.

Lay of the land

 

We will do a subsequent post on the emerging platforms in the NFT art world. If you’re itching to get exploring right away, here are some of the most popular NFT art marketplaces to get you going:

 

SuperRare — Highly-curated 1-of-1 edition NFTs. The “gold standard” in the current NFT space.

 

NiftyGateway — Fast-growing NFT market leading the pack in sales volume. Highly sought after daily NFT drops, with popular visual artists and now celebrities getting involved. One of the few NFT platforms that accept USD / credit card as payment.

 

Zora — Feed-style NFT platform in which the market of each piece is baked into the NFT itself and not run by the platform. Zora, therefore, doesn’t take a transaction fee on each sale like the other platforms. Creating NFTs is open for everyone. The Zora protocol is also open for anyone to build on.

 

Foundation — Beautifully designed and curated NFT marketplace with reserved bidding that, once met, unlocks 24-hour auctions. Creating NFTs is currently invite-only.

 

Rarible — The most open and permissionless NFT marketplace. Anyone can create an NFT right away without needing an invite, and a roadmap is in place to make the platform community-run.

 

Makersplace — An invite-only creator NFT platform that accepts both Ethereum and fiat currency. Recently partnered with Christie’s auction house to sell the first fully digital piece at Christie’s, by artist Beeple.

 

KnownOrigin — Quality NFT art platform with multiple weekly drops. Offers accepted in ETH.

To explore more of Amrit’s work, follow him on Instagram @amritpaldesign.

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Creative Gaga - Issue 52

 

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A Dose of Illustration Inspiration, We go through many interesting design projects each day and find them inspiring enough to be shared further. Projects which have the potential to inspire and spark multiple ideas. So, here are few selected one for this week’s design inspiration, enjoy!

Illustration by Sandeep Karunakaran
A visit from Knecht Ruprecht
Illustration by Sandeep Karunakaran
Angels of light
Illustration by Sandeep Karunakaran
In the hands of clowning fate

Illustrations by Sandeep Karunakaran

Snowdust
Gold Fishes
Illustration Inspiration 19
Leaf Girl
Illustration by Rossdraws
Wish
Illustration Inspiration 19
Illustration Inspiration 19
Illustration Inspiration 19
Illustration Inspiration 19
Ariel Mage Queen of Loren
Witches Sabbath
Illustration Inspiration 19
Butterfly
Illustration Inspiration 19
Aghori
Illustration Inspiration 19
Aries Lisa Blackpink
Illustration Inspiration 19
KAli from the trap

Illustrations by Anubhav Goswami

Illustration by Viktoria Gavrilenko
Clip Studio Paint - Portrait
Illustration by Viktoria Gavrilenko
Clip Studio portrait
Illustration by Viktoria Gavrilenko
Clip Studio Paint - Portrait

Illustrations by Viktoria Gavrilenko

Illustration Inspiration 19
Tribal!
Illustration Inspiration 19
Social Media
Illustration Inspiration 19
Dragon Tale

If you have any of your design project or someone else’s, which is equally inspiring for fellow creatives, then share it with us on Contribute@CreativeGaga.com

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Lopez Design Pvt Ltd. recently bagged the gold award at the Future of Design Awards for its ‘Ayushman Bharat‘ visual branding campaign aimed at the government’s vision of ‘people-centric and humanistic branding at the grassroots level.’

Hosted by BW Business World, the award ceremony’s theme for its 2021 edition was centred on the role design plays in the effort towards creating a sustainable future.

The approach taken by Lopez in the campaign was to apply unorthodox means that challenged existing ideas rather than follow existing trends with a sheep mentality. This paid off in uniformly providing a refreshed and renewed makeover to the various health and wellness centres spread across rural India, the objective.

The design outfit actualised this idea by choosing a way that is not only universally fundamental but also sincere at the very core of land as diverse as India — ‘Unity in diversity.’ Likewise, the process of materialising the design organically involved the craftsmanship of rural craftsmen in the campaign’s effort to bring about an expression of regional culture. This created the scope and opportunity to give locals of the land a sense of delight in witnessing their roots get manifest and recognised on a larger platform.

With over 1.5 lakh health centres across India, the Ayushman Bharat program is widespread across the nation. The branding campaign thus based on diversity and rooted in simplicity displays the effective role design can play in successfully helping create a sustainable system on such a large scale.

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Amrit Pal Singh
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Amrit Pal Singh is an Indian 3D illustrator and designer is responsible for creating 3D design assets for any given project. He has sold digital art via NFT from his famous library, Toy Faces.


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Neha Kamath is a Mumbai-based Visual/Lettering artist who creates beautiful lettering pieces and sometimes even animates them.

 

Neha is a frequent contributor to the “36 days of type” showcase. One of her submissions sourced from a variety of textures and materials, like flowers, Lego, chocolate etc., connected to a word to create vibrant and visually captivating pieces. The concepts, while relatable, keep you engaged due to their interesting execution.

 

Another set used only paper cut-outs and origami-like folds to depict the letters and numbers artistically. Combined with some well-planned lighting to define the shapes creates a calming and beautiful series from Neha’s vision.

 

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Pizza Hut built an offline-only website as part of the Earth Hour initiative.

As the UAE geared up to join millions of people across the world in raising awareness of the issues facing the planet, Pizza Hut offered customers an alternative way to get involved – other than just having to turn off their lights.

Pizza Hut

With its Offline Hour campaign, Pizza Hut encouraged people in two countries to disconnect from the internet during Earth Hour in order to win a free pizza. The campaign ran through a website, created by agency partner M&C SAATCHI UAE, that only works offline with no data, no WiFi and a bit of internet sorcery. Special code built into the back end allows the site to detect when users have no active internet connection and reveal a 60-minute countdown timer. If users go back online, the timer stops and they’ll be prompted to go back offline in order to claim a free pizza.

Pizza Hut

“Earth Hour typically involves switching off lights between 8:30 – 9:30 pm, but this is dinner time for many. Since it’s kind of hard to eat pizza in the dark, this year we wanted to encourage people to support a great cause in a different, but just as impactful, way,” said Beverley D’Cruz, Chief Brand Officer, Pizza Hut META.

Why disconnect? In the US alone, data centres consume 8 billion kWh more annually than household lighting. It’s a number that is growing proportionally with our reliance on internet-connected devices. With this in mind, Pizza Hut urged its customers to disconnect from the internet by turning off WiFi and data to reduce network and data centre load, potentially saving more energy than turning a light switch off.

“We know how much the world loves pizza and we love the world right back. We can’t wait for everyone to demonstrate that love by disconnecting for one hour and look forward to rewarding those efforts with a chance to win free pizza,” continued D’Cruz.

Pizza Hut Offline Hour went live in the UAE and Oman markets last March 27, 2021, during Earth Hour and saw hundreds of participants go offline for a whole hour to get their free pizza. The website is still live at www.offlinehour.me if you want to experience a little bit of this internet magic for yourself.

Pizza Hut

Credits

Client: Pizza Hut META

Client Team: Beverley D’Cruz, Gaurav Sinha, Hanna El-Amrawi, Srikanth Tirupathi, Khaled Al Masri, Nico Rozario

Agency: M&C SAATCHI UAE

CCO: Ryan Reed

CEO: Scott Feasey

Managing Director: Natalie Cooke

Creative Director: Ben Lees

Associate Creative Director: Jason Velasquez Burayag

Art Directors: Ben Lees, James Swift, Hani Douaji

Copywriter: Jason Velasquez Burayag

Account Management Team: Caroline Wylie, Nadine Inja

Social Media Team: Mitch Williams, Merrihan El-Shazly, Ahmed Taha, Anoop Ashok

Developer: Mohammad Dohadwala

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Even with the conquest of digital technology in every realm of life, something is best enjoyed the traditional way. A portrait, for instance. Pencil artist Aakash Ramesh sticks to the old style and sketches out the realistic portrait of a popular personality. He shares the steps of the process.

Step 1 – Papers and References

Selected a good plain sheet of sketching paper. Placed the smoother side of the sheet over a plane. Chose the best reference picture with good shades and lightings. Took a print out of the reference picture in an A4 sheet by scaling it to the size planned. Grid the reference picture with a 2H pencil to avoid darker impressions, at the dimension of a 1-inch scale as shown.

Step 2 – Outline

Used the grid lines to fix the position of each element of the portrait falling into the perfect size while sketching the outline. Made the outline of the portrait with an HB pencil, which was lighter and could be erased and corrected at any point in time. Once the outline was finished, took up detailing using the shades of 2B and 4B pencils. To have a good start with the detailing, as a practice, always begin with the eyes as they are the most important factor and an element of a portrait.

Step 3 – Eyes

Used ‘Paper stumps’ or ‘Paper Tortillions’ to smudge the darker parts of the eyes as the character in the portrait had used darker eye cosmetics. The reflections of the eyes are very important as they make the eyes look real. Sketched the eyelashes individually and smudged it using the stumps. Made the shades below the eyes subtle so that the pencil strokes would not be visible. Took up the eyebrows and made them sharp at the edges as per the reference. It’s advisable to use a dusting bristle brush to wipe off all the pencil powders around the portrait in order to produce a quality output without messing it.

Step 4 – Nose

Used the stumps instead of the darker pencil strokes to detail the nose. It was the only projected part of a portrait and the shades should have been very subtle so avoided darker lines.

Cheeks, Lips and Skin

For this particular portrait, there were several shades required to create the cheeks, like in the reference picture. The character in the reference had a smile. To get the skin texture, used the ‘tissue papers’ for smudging the pencils strokes made over the side portions of the face. Gently rubbed the sketching sheet with the tissue paper so that the strokes smudged and smoother shades appeared.

 

Be careful to have no patches or dark shades while smudging with tissue papers, especially of your own fingerprints. Lip lines had to be darker while the shades were to be lighter by smudging. After finishing the shades in the lip, gave details to the texture of the lips with gentle strokes, using the 2B pencil.

Step 5 – Hair

Hair was the trickiest part of this portrait. The reference picture showed how darker and the deeper the shades of the hair were. Every hair had to be shown in detail to make it look realistic. At the beginning, strokes had to be made with the flow of the hair from the root of it because only by this an illusion of creating the hair with perfect shades could be attained. Made sure not to shade at the parts where it had to shine or glow.

 

Used various pencils to show the depth of the flow. Used 4B and 6B pencils, had them sharpened and made gentle and firm strokes. Took care not to make an impression on the paper by not giving it a harder press. Details that were required to make the hair look real were also making all the single hair look separated. This would make the hair to wave through the air.

Step 6 – Detailing

The final objects of the portrait would be the neck and the dress. The texture of the dress used in the reference picture varied due to the lighting. So used different pencils to show the difference in the shades. Strokes should not be visible as they would make the portrait look messy. Smudged the strokes until the texture cloth was created. Kept it gentle as there were chances of damaging the sheet due to over smudging.

Step 7 – Finalising

Used the ‘kneaded eraser’ to show the highlighted regions of the portrait. There was a small reflection of the lighting near the right cheeks. Used the kneaded eraser gently to wipe out the shades and make it look like a glow. Took off all the grid lines from the sheet as a last step. Erased all the unwanted shades around the portrait. Arrived at the final image.

Published in Issue 17

We tried to capture the time of chaos and confusion we all are in. How it inspires and influences creative thoughts. Starting with the cover design by Ankur Singh Patar, who captures the duality in the way we treat women. Followed by a conversation with Italian illustrator Giulio Iurissevich who explores beauty behind this chaos. And many more inspirational articles to explore.

 

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