Using art and illustrations to communicate self-expression to the world

Using art and illustrations to communicate self-expression to the world

Kangkan Sharma wears many hats, animator, illustrator, graphic designer and mobile game designer. He takes us along on his unique creative journey.

Long before the age of the internet, Kangkan Sharma had comics and ghost stories and a fondness for the characters within, leading him to spend his time doodling away his imagination. Some of his favourite subjects to sketch as a kid were cute monsters and weird characters. Maybe our mind never expects a monster to be cute in real life so … oh … it does? He says that uniqueness is subjective and debatable.

When the era of video games and computers arrived, it blew his tiny brain, and his curiosity, combined with a pint of imagination and a strong desire to get back into the things he loved the most, led him to where he is today, a successful artist and illustrator.

A formal design education from a prestigious institute influenced his design worldview. It served as a platform for him to meet like-minded peers, share knowledge, and experiment with the immense guidance of teachers. Knowing that there is a world out there other than engineers and doctors gave him confidence and laid the groundwork for his future professional life. It disciplined and guided his fledgling skills of illustration, which would otherwise have become a hobby, to a more productive form.

Kangkan believes that creative expression is always about expressing oneself freely. However, being able to communicate that expression to the rest of the world is art. While practice, experience, and skills are all beneficial to the creative process, positive thinking and a happy, clear mind will always aid in staying creative. The opposite is also true: stay creative, stay happy. References and inspirations are always useful but starting from scratch can lead you to some truly fantastical places.

As an artist his first step in coming up with the concept of his illustrations is to build the mood. He spends his time playing games, browsing the internet and indulging in anything but art. Don’t be fooled though, the little gears in his mind are simultaneously building a concept. Only when he has roughly visualized it all in his mind does he pick up the pen to put the first lines on paper and begin his illustration. What follows next is a barge of rough and abandoned concept sketches until he is quite sure something might appear as good as it had previously appeared in his mind.

Kangkan has a one-of-a-kind relationship with colours. Most people stick to a colour palette, but Kangkan approaches colours in the opposite way. He avoids using certain colours, such as black, which he will never use. Similarly, he avoids selecting the three true textbook primary colours – red, green, and blue – right away. His illustrations are unique and unusual. Unusual is the way to go if you want to stand out!

Having worked on a lot of content for children, these rules are bent a little. First and foremost, they must be colourful, quirky, and amusing characters. Art for children provides maximum freedom and aids in stimulating the imaginative and playful mind. Go crazy with no parameters.

Kangkan is a humble artist who is excited about a personal solo game project he is working on and says that if that is what he is remembered for, he will consider himself blessed. He is a creator, and all he wants to be known as is a learner and an experimenter.

Creative Gaga