Self- taught Visual Artist, Illustrator and Digital Artist, Archan Nair, describes how tagging along with one’s heart and going by what one knows within, helps to create one’s best works and let the best within them flourish
CG. What role do you feel the expressive use of colour plays in what you intend to convey?
AN. I don’t think of colours too much. If they need to happen, they automatically get translated into the work. And, if the visual does not require any, that too flows out. Though, I love how at the end, colours fuse together to create layers of storytelling, mystery and fascination.
CG. What idea/intention forms the core of what you depict, and which elements do you feel are essential to manifest them?
AN. My work has been a reflection of my journey, and that journey is deeply fascinated by the mystery we call existence – how everything interacts and reacts with each other, and where we all originate from; how things are not what they seem, and the more we dig deeper, the more weird and bizarre simple things seem to become, all at the same time. I love that reality cannot be understood, and the attempt to understand it is constantly showcased into what I create.
CG. What qualities do you feel are essential in a designer (especially, a freelancer) to regularly garner commissions/clients?
AN. Just be yourself. Do what you love; create to your heart’s content. I don’t think there is any particular way of getting clients, or any fixed method. If your work is true and original, and someone likes it so much so that it would enhance their project, they would definitely hire you. It’s very simple, I deeply believe, in my experience.
CG. How do you choose your clients? Or clients choose you?
AN. It’s a two-way process, I think. Many-a- times, there are enquiries from potential clients who want to hire you because they like your work, but want something entirely different for themselves. At this point, I understand the direction and then take a call. If it is absolutely different from my direction of work, I would not like to continue. So, yes, it has to be a mutual collaboration between both sides to make it really exciting.
CG. What do you feel is the balance between marketing, portfolio and quality of work when it comes to acquiring work? Do you think there’s anything more a designer needs to do?
AN. I just feel that the only thing required is to create from your heart. The rest are just human-made ideas and concepts, which will anyway happen on their own. There is no need to focus on anything but create and share what you like. Whatever else needs to happen, will happen. We tend to focus too much time on constructing strategies, but nothing works unless you love what you are doing, and that is all that one needs to do.
CG. What would be your advice to freelance illustrators on getting clients without needing to be pitch-oriented?
AN. One needs to just focus on their heart and practice their own work, and not follow any trend, look, style or direction. If your work speaks to potential clients, they would definitely love to work with you.
Published in Issue 37
The issue includes interactions with Preeti Vyas from VGC on ‘How to pitch for clients or retain the existing one’ and Ashish Deshpande from Elephant on ‘Challenges of working with a startup’, along with some best freelancers like Archan Nair, Shreya Shetty and Paul Sandip, sharing their knowledge of working with various clients. Also, Sachin Puthran from Thatzit.com gave a 10-point no-nonsense guide for studios to handle their finances. A must read, if you are planning for the financial year ahead or worried about your handling your money matter, this issue can give you much-needed insight and guide you to a better financial health of your business or freelancing.
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