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Generating stories and translating them into photographs doesn’t seem like a cakewalk, but Avinash Jai Singh’s work makes it look like it. Illustrations supported with compelling messages and eye-catching colours and visuals appeal (photography) to the youth and engulf the audience.


Many times, the influences and the exposure one receives as a child, gives one a certain direction in life. Something similar happened with Avinash, a photographer and an illustrator from North India who carved his own path to success.


He grew up in Panipat, the hub of the textile industry and his observations of the colours around him generated a love for visual arts and gave him a perspective to understand lighting, forms, shapes and portraits. Avinash was always fascinated by lifestyle magazines and his world changed when he started his actual learning process in a college in Delhi. Finally, he had his aha moment when he was on a trip to Kashmir doing a series on the lives of people, where he realised that photography was what he wanted to do all his life.


For Avinash, the story and mood behind a picture take the lead and is as important as the technical factors involved. He believes that they are interdependent and essential if there’s a story, the mood can be captured and if there’s a certain mood, a fresh story can be generated. He hears the conversation of visuals in mind and his way of story-telling comes out in the form of photographs depicting bold shapes and forms. Always careful about the colour pallet involved, he doesn’t like to add too much colour and rather believes in using it in proportions that add an edge to picture than causing distraction. Except for this, even lighting plays a major role especially in black and white photography, where the subject dictates the mood and mood dictates the lighting.

Apart from photography, Avinash is also an artist with a quirky vibe to his illustrations. Contemporary designs which deliver a message with a touch of modernity and minimal colours popping, he creates illustrations which have an impact on the audience. Collaborating with other artists as well, he strikes a balance between his art and the way he captures it through his camera’s lens. Crisp and neat lines with bold and chic colours, catch one eye immediately. Avinash also develops art-series which talk about a particular topic accompanied by his interpretations through art and photography.


One of them is the gender bender series where he has captured images depicting humans as a “genderfluid”, taking an important stance for the decriminalisation of sec 377. Backing up his work with powerful and effective captions, the overall effect of the art is noteworthy. The series showcases a person who sometimes a boy, girl or someone in between but ultimately a human who is equal and respectful. Avinash’s personal favourite works include Downtown and Google.org which have an amazing visual impact on the audience. His varied portrayals of love, photography shoots for Jabong and a poster campaign for MTV display regular things with a blend of art and photography.


Avinash uses software like Photoshop and Capture One to enhance his photographs and takes inspiration from artists like John Everett Millais, and Wong Kar Wai who changed the way he comprehends things in his work. He feels that one should keep trying and making bad copies of the imagination one has, until the right one is achieved. Although it is tough to turn the images in your head to reality, he reckons that it is the only way to keep going.

Published in Issue 46

This issue is focused on, how to design for kids, bundled with articles full of inspirations, advice and unique point-of-views from the veterans of the animation industry, illustrators, photographers, artists and many more. So, order your copy or subscribe, before print copies run out and enjoy reading this issue!


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Turning Everyday, Symbols and metaphors offer an interesting layer to play around with and discover what lies beneath. Taking a cranky bit on everyday life can lead to fun stories. Designer-illustrator Avinash Jai Singh attempts to evoke emotions through a simplistic approach to metaphors.

The Conversation

Everything Stands for Something

On a design, every line and curve is a storehouse of emotions. It’s amazing how simple forms and shapes, when given the right twist and tweak, can mean episodes of a story. As opposed to imitating reality, a basic shape with enhanced or exaggerated features can keep you engaged and involved.


Geometry with the right gestures can bring up emotions. Characters, visual elements and environment are just steps in the process.


Chill-Out Puttar

Characters Represent a State of Mind

How you choose characters is how you perceive the world. For instance, the choice of jelly-like characters can be indebted to a childhood fascination. The way it moves and its wobbly motions are actually a rebellion against the proper form. As kids, you are taught to mimic and echo reality.


Good grades depend on your ability to sketch exactly like nature or books. This may not be liberating enough for some. Which is why one goes to pick characters that represent the thought that lies beyond the conventional.

Music Factory

Music Factory

What the Character Speaks not, the Environment does.

Once you decide the proportion of the character in the context of the situation, creating the environment becomes easier. It is like setting up a novel, one frame at a time. Emotions and gestures are very important here. The environment needs to support the mood and feel of the character.


It needs to subconsciously show if the characters are happy or grumpy. Unlike animation, a still frame doesn’t tell you about the sad scene or the happy one. So, the environment makes up for that bit. It’s like the background score for a silent frame.

Audio City

Humour Induces Change

Art has the potential to create an analogy. It can become so big that communities and audience are forced to think. And humour is the most friendly way to put across an idea that can connect, communicate and catalyse. It’s simply a metaphor for dissecting all the complexities of today’s society.


Keeping visuals happy and positive often makes them work in the audience’s mind. It’s not about changing the world or practical things around us. That’s not what art is supposed to do. But if worked out right, visuals can definitely change perceptions.


Enjoy the Beauty in Uncertainty

Many times, the visual elements have nothing to do with the design or the story. It’s their shape and existence that triggers something. It’s often more about objects around at that moment or a book that one has come across. That’s what is beautiful about being an illustrator.


You don’t have to prepare for it like a photo shoot. Once the idea of the story is sculpted, the environment around it just evolves. The direction it takes is totally instinctive. This beauty of uncertainty is the most fun part of the entire process.


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. So Order Your Copy Now!


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