From Canvas to Screen: Deelip Khomane's Journey Through Art, Advertising, and the Digital Age!
Art has always been a journey for Deelip Khomane, an expedition from traditional canvases to the vivid screens of the digital era. His artistic evolution echoes the transition of the artistry landscape, bridging the old and the new. He is sharing insights gathered over an illustrious career spanning more than three decades.
How has the shift from traditional to digital tools impacted your industry experience and personal work?
Initially, my artistic journey centered on oil paints and watercolours during college. Later, in advertising, I diversified my mediums, finding joy in varied materials from clay to paper, and exploring endless possibilities in these mediums. Notably, brands like Vodafone explored diverse creative routes, enhancing my love for experimenting across mediums. Joining Ogilvy fueled my passion, exposing me to iconic brands. My transition to computers in 1990 furthered my enthusiasm for new techniques. Despite no formal training, I self-learned and embraced digital work, leveraging my proficiency to improve digital artistry, especially after acquiring a computer in 2000. Working from home enhanced the fun and efficiency of my craft, amplifying my digital prowess owing to my strong foundation in handiwork.
How did transitioning from traditional art to digital tools influence your artistic style and creative process?
My proficiency in traditional handiwork seamlessly translated into digital artistry, enabling me to recreate handcrafted landscapes in software like Photoshop, maintaining an authentic hand-drawn feel. Embracing tools like the iPad expanded the possibilities, fueling my interest and leading to investments in cutting-edge gadgets like Wacom Cintiq, iPads, and tablets, further enhancing my creative scope.
How did you navigate the shift to digital art amidst initial resistance from artists, and what challenges or ease did you encounter during this transition in your career?
My penchant for exploring varied artistic styles made the transition to digital media an intriguing prospect. Experimentation with diverse techniques on the computer became a new creative endeavour. For instances like IPL, adopting foreign styles proved pivotal. This adaptation led to full-page ads featured in leading publications like the Times of India.
Can you discuss the significant advantages and disadvantages encountered during the transition to digital tools? How has this shift impacted your work in terms of complexity and ease?
Embracing digital platforms granted me creative freedom. Its adaptability for client revisions made it increasingly preferable. It streamlined the production of printing materials and significantly reduced scanning and many other system-related tasks.
What’s your perspective on the current role of artists and illustrators in an era driven by technology like AI and automation? How can artists distinguish themselves in this evolving landscape?
AI’s impact is significant, particularly in countries with tight illustration budgets like India. While smaller budget clients may heavily rely on AI, highly creative original artists won’t be affected. The competition for AI lies in creative work. Artists must adapt to this changing landscape.
What’s your take on the future of advertising and design studios in this digital age? What trends or changes do you anticipate?
The digital shift and mobile tech have revolutionised reaching the masses. Artists must adapt to this change. Tasks that were complex before are now automated. To thrive, we must elevate our work’s quality, incorporating animation and 3D. The advantage of digital is instant global exposure through social media. Embracing this is crucial.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists and designers aiming to establish themselves in this ever-evolving industry?
Adapt to changing mediums. Creative endeavours like animation, 3D, AI, and Z-brush offer abundant opportunities. Unique and distinctive work is crucial in this phase, ensuring a successful trajectory.
How do you sustain your creative drive and retain your unique artistic identity in today’s fast-paced digital world?
I prioritise pleasure in my work over financial considerations. Focusing on delivering quality invariably attracts financial rewards. Ultimately, there’s no replacement for dedicated hard work.
Any standout projects or moments that made a profound impact on your career as a painter and illustrator?
I’ve been fortunate to engage with prominent brands in India over my four-decade-long journey, from Colgate to Mintos, and even political entities like Congress and BJP. Client preferences vary greatly, some favouring creativity, while others seek simplicity. Clients like ICICI insisted on every newspaper ‘MM’ being filled, leaving no space unused. I once embarked on a picnic at Hyderabad and, with just a paper and ball pen, created illustrations for an award project. This impromptu work later earned me two CANNES Lions and several international accolades over the following years. This spontaneous effort from a picnic trip turned out to be a significant career breakthrough.
An upcoming projects or artistic goals you’d like to share?
I’m inclined toward experimental work, a passion I’ll persist in nurturing. It’s about presenting fresh, innovative ideas to the world—a true source of joy for me. Regardless of opinions, I relish these creative pursuits; that’s my true reward