Concept & visual artist from Mumbai, Medha Srivastava takes us through what really motivates her work and depictions. Likewise, she introduces us to the process by which she executes what she wants to convey onto the canvas, merging realism with animation.

Medha Srivastava - Realism

What makes you merge realism with animated effects across your works, and in what way does it contribute to your style?

Medha Srivastava: I express myself better through art and, so, when I feel deeply touched by a social issue, it begins to manifest thoughts into my head and gradually bring to life an artistic representation. Being a keen observer, I also tend to pay attention to details in my surrounding vicinity and that helps me pick up on textures, shapes, colours and the likes that I see every day.

Medha Srivastava - Realism
Magic Potion

What are the tools that you apply to bring about this merger, and how do they help to execute that effect?

Medha Srivastava: It usually begins with doodling variations of my thoughts onto paper, before going onto the final piece that is digitally created and developed using Adobe Photoshop integrated with a digital sketchpad (Wacom). Also, it proves to be quite useful to be able to edit, undo or backtrack on certain elements so that I can accommodate changes and adjust details according to what I would want to finished design to look like.

Medha Srivastava - Realism
Cat and Coffee, Favourite Company
Medha Srivastava - Realism
Everything WHALE be alright

What fascinates you as subjects for your work?

Medha Srivastava: As I have always been fascinated with realism, conceptualisation and ideation. The whole idea of metaphors and thought-provoking depiction of art is something which I am naturally drifted to. Concepts and character building are of primary precedence as they align with my main intent in any artwork of mine.


Also, I have always followed the importance of light and shadow in my artworks too. Social issues, particularly, have always inspired me to create further.

Medha Srivastava - Realism
Tribal Boy

How would you describe your style of work and the perspective behind it?

Medha Srivastava: My style of work is mostly realistic with a hint of stylisation and conceptualisation. The love of putting realism into my artwork eventually helps me to incorporate realistic elements in my paintings. Initially, I started with mere illustrations and slowly got inclined towards the world of concepts.


I think as an artist, I need to keep an open mind as I don’t know where technology, opportunities and my work will take me.

Medha Srivastava - Realism
Medha Srivastava - Realism
Mother Love

Many things have changed in design, during past few years, and the trends are shifting very rapidly. So, in the new year, what are your predictions for your genre of design?

Medha Srivastava: In my opinion, the digital art will pick up the brisk pace in the year 2018. A decade ago, digital art wasn’t as recognised as traditional art but it is pleasing to see so many artists developing an interest towards it. Additionally, having prior experience as a game artist, I believe that the gaming industry in India is set to blossom in the coming years and there will be extensive opportunities for upcoming artists in our country.

Medha Srivastava - Realism

Likewise, what are the changes that you, personally, would like to see in 2018?

Medha Srivastava: I would like to see, in 2018, artists showing emphasis on various other subjects such as fantasy, sci-fi or even self-developed new concepts and ideas.


Another significant trend I would like to witness is that of artists showing dedicated importance to the stages of pre-production which include concept development, character creation, and environment designs.

Medha Srivastava - Realism
Crimson Akali

Published in Issue 41

Every year brings many opportunities and hopes along with celebrations. For this issue, we reached many visual artists and designers to know their expectations from the year 2018. This issue’s cover designer, Shreya Gulati is exceptionally impressed by the advancement of technology in design, especially how VR & AR has impacted new ways of creating.


Honing and sharpening one’s skills is always a quest for every creative. So, whether you have many or none expectations for the year, this issue is a must-read.


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Concept and 3D artist Bhaskar Rac, who’s been working extensively in character development, 3D sculpting and the likes, expresses how one can come up with and hone one’s own style, without needing to follow popular fads or trends.

Create Your Style
Create Your Style
The legend of Anarchy
Create Your Style

Refreshing ideas is the intention.

The idea is the starting point; its nature, relevance, and quality come into play even before the stage of executing it through the medium. The intention is to bring freshness into the storytelling or characters.


To entertain people is quite a tricky task, and you have to have a fresh mindset to playfully bring something new to the table every time.

Create Your Style
Create Your Style
The Maharaja
Create Your Style
The Gift

So, it’s always recommended to not just stick to any one style or idea for too long, as its magic starts to fade away after being over-repetitive.


The solution, thereby, is to not categorise oneself with a style or medium. When it comes to the major approach, it simply about has preliminary sketches from the brief, and collecting all the related references, structuring, line drawings and then rendering.

Create Your Style
One last bullet
Create Your Style
Create Your Style
Wicked Wazir

Striking the balance is of the essence.

Without expressions, figures are basically lifeless mannequins. So, it is always better to try and find a balance between simplicity and expressing with colours, feelings, emotions, lines, contours and the likes.


If everything is too saturated and complicated, the illustration starts to crumble. The old and prevalent idea is always to capture the main essence of the subject, and let loose off the other things in the background.

Create Your Style
Splinter Cell
Create Your Style
The Interrogation
Create Your Style
The Royal Guard

Colours, for instance, have their own importance in telling the difference between moods and temperature. At the same time, too many colours can be asking for too much attention, thus feeling overdone and confusing.


It doesn’t matter if one goes by the book, even when it comes to choosing colours if the process of drawing is dedicated to more attention and details. If the contrast or values are handled right, colours may not even be needed; it’s like expressing more with lesser words.

Create Your Style
Create Your Style

Do what matters.

The illusion of giving a good light takes the lion’s share in bringing the overall impact, whether it’s a simple line drawing or fully rendered artwork. Contrast and values are important to bring any photograph or illustration closer to its subject. If this fails, it’s hard to bring out what’s important against what’s in the background.


Depending on the composition, textures, surface material, shape or form of anything we are placing as a subject, there can’t be a simple preset to it. This has to have experimented at various levels.

Create Your Style
Create Your Style

There has to be a streamlined and thorough process to creating anything, else the result might be too chaotic in nature. The refreshing part of this industry, to succeed, no one has to copy others. Draw a lot; learn fundamentals; stay open to new techniques and technology, and keep experimenting.

Create Your Style
The Borrower
Create Your Style
The Rational Exorcist

Published in Issue 39

As the festivity is all around, every brand or business is trying to impress the Indian audience. But what really works for us Indians? What is an Indian design? And how we can make designs for India?

To understand it, we interviewed some Indian creatives who are successfully creating designs for the Indian audience. We support keeping ourselves connected with Indian cultures, languages, history, aspirations and more, will help find the Indian context in everything we create. This issue of Creative Gaga is a light read for someone looking for inspirations or insights on Indian design and how the Indian audience can be enticed. So go ahead and order your copy or subscribe if you want to keep receiving a regular dose of inspirations!


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The Mahabharata has been told and depicted in various forms and formats. However, Freelance Illustrator and Concept Artist, Mukesh Singh, never felt satisfied and believed there was more to the story. In Graphic India’s project 18 Days, he illustrates the characters and their stories in a whole new light.

Jayadrath and Duryodhan

CG: Your artwork is a tribute to India’s rich mythology and culture. What gravitated you towards the subject of Mahabharata? As an illustrator, how do you relate to the story and the characters? How is it different from other projects that you’ve worked on?

MS: “Whatever is here is found elsewhere. But what is not here, is nowhere else”. This is the Mahabharata. It is the epic of epics, one that can be told again and again, generation after generation and still ring true. For all of their vain glorious powers, all the warriors, kings and queens are human, susceptible to the species’ frailties. Each character is a story in itself and the epic beautifully traces their lives from birth to eventual death. Read it with an expansive view of the affairs of men and Gods or choose your favourite character and walk with them as they make their way through life. Whoever you are, you will find something in the book to relate to and make of it what you will. At a personal level, compared to other projects, it was different in the sense that while I was already familiar with every major character it was also an opportunity to revisit them. But this time I was not part of the audience. I found myself set loose in a familiar world where I could not just wonder the what ifs, but also act upon my convictions.

The Mahabharata
Enter Man God

CG: Before you could manifest the story in your own style, how did you study the script and understand the storyline? Was it as simple as reading a book, or like a writer? Did you spend some time living in India and soaking in the environment?

MS: I was born in India and have stayed here my entire life. When it comes to Mahabharata, every Indian is familiar with it. I grew up, like most kids do, reading illustrated storybooks based on the epic as well following comic book version published by Amar Chitra Katha. Not just that, my father played a major role by narrating anecdotes from the scripture. This was then followed by television series, that gave 2D character form a 3D appeal. They had become real and have remained so ever since.

The Mahabharata
Markandeya Oracle Entrance

CG: You have given the Mahabharata a twist of your own. How do you describe your style? What was it that you experimented with and changed around? What remained the same?

MS: The modern audience has a keen and sophisticated understanding of the narrative design. They are beneficiaries of an accelerated volution of the storytelling process that started with the invention of the printing press and refined further with each succeeding generation of newer forms of communication mediums. Combine this with their familiarity with modern technology and it isn’t difficult to sell the idea of a hyper advanced civilization of a bygone era that could communicate across vast distances or wield destructive weapons embedded in something as small as an arrow head. I also trust their evolved sense of understanding to familiarize themselves quickly with an unfamiliar cast of characters.

If we shift our gaze from the core USP of Mahabharata, which is of course its multi-layered characters, to its fascinating world of highly evolved technology, it isn’t difficult to envision its larger than life aura. While other interpretations of this timeless epic have done enormous justice to its characters, few, if any, have looked beyond them to its setting, its environment, its grandeur, its scale, its theatre stage where the lives of its players played themselves out. I had remained dissatisfied with earlier visual interpretations of the Mahabharata world. Armed with these inferences, I immersed myself with world building of 18 Days. Some images I had carried for a long time in my head, some suggested themselves based on Grant Morrison’s scripts, the writer of 18 Days. It also helped that I had spent a lot of time with its characters, through the works of others and my own interpretation of their psyche. In 18 Days the characters have remained the same, at least as I see them. Their outwards appearances though have changed. I wanted the audience of today to identify and accept not just the character’s inner selves but their outer ones too, which are external manifestations of their inner selves.

Arjun Invokes War godes

CG: If you look through India’s depiction of the Mahabharata, it appears more colourful and vibrant. Any specific reason why you chose to work with dark shades and hues? What is the overall feeling you wish to create through your designs? 

MS: Impending doom perhaps? For all of their boasts and chest thumping, the characters meet their maker in the end. Some believed that they will survive the war. So they go all out heroic, in their quest to leave their mark on what they know will be an immortal event, this 18-day war. At the end, it was a pyrrhic victory for the Pandavs. Arjun questions the war in the beginning and Yudhistir in the end. What has changed?

Bhem Beserk

CG: This one’s fairly straightforward; how you do manage to make violence look so beautiful? What features and characteristics do you need to balance with to make your artwork come across that way?

MS: Ah! I don’t know how to respond to that. Violence can never be beautiful. If it appears beautiful, it is only during its build-up phase, when primal anticipation overwhelms the senses. The aftermath is always ugly. A mundane analysis suggests few things. Maybe the ornate designs in the drawings coupled with composition choices give it that sense of beauty. It also helps that the art itself isn’t hyper realistic. The line art based style may also have something to do with the pleasing appearance of the images. Or perhaps it is because I knew the inevitable fate of each character. I gave them their moments of glory.

Andhaka -Pimple

CG: No doubt people are smitten by India’s roots in history and culture. So after the Mahabharata, what’s next? In what other ways do you wish to explore Indian culture and mythology?

MS: As of now I am taking a break from stories based on Indian mythology and working on other things. But the intervening hiatus may be good. If I come back, I will hopefully have some new perspective. That is for the future though. We will cross the bridge when we come to it.

Bhem acepts Duryodhan’s challenge

Published in Issue 28

This Illustration Special is best to know why and how illustration as a popular medium is taking the design world by storm! From evolution of illustrations to its place in the world today, renowned designers and illustrators like Abhishek Singh, Mukesh Singh, Archan Nair, Alicia Souza, Raj Khatri with some international talent such as Fil Dunsky from Russia, Iain Macarthur and Richard Field from UK, who live and breathe illustration, would be the right people to gain some insight from. With many more talents to explore with great insights and excellent techniques, again a fully packed issue is waiting to amaze you!


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Animator and Illustrator, Lavanya Naidu, expresses how one can find more room to grow, not only professionally but also personally, by focusing on producing work that is rather challenging and cherishing at the same time.

happiness-Lavanya Naidu
Art made for TEDx Bangalore’s annual event.

CG. All your illustrations are fun, represent happiness. How do you choose your characters and topics of illustration?

LN. I try to be an optimist about most things in life. I guess my work too in many ways, reflects the same. I want to be able to induce happiness in my audience, I want to be able to share that positive energy. A lot of my work, characters and environments are based on simple joys and human emotion. I draw inspiration from my relationships; my friendships; the people (and sometimes animals) I see around; everyday moments worth freezing on canvas; worth appreciating and taking a second look at.

An illustration created for a friend celebrating her relationship.

CG. You use a very lively colour scheme that is, both, vibrant and subtle. Could you please tell us how you arrive at it?

LN. My colour scheme has developed over time, and still has a long way to go! I began asking myself why does the sky have to be blue when it really isn’t always blue? There are a myriad of colours that we can play with. I began experimenting with different palettes, and started understanding how the absence and presence of light changes colour. It’s an ongoing journey, and tremendous fun!

A Flamingo in My Garden. A beautiful diversity of birds of the Indian subcontinent come together in this lovely story. By Deepak Dalal, illustrations by Lavanya Naidu.

CG. What is your approach towards acquiring clients, and how do you fulfill their needs?

LN. I have been extremely lucky to have had some wonderful clients. Most of my clients have approached me, having had looked at my work on Behance or my blog. I make sure to keep all of my pages updated with new projects, as soon as I can. I respect another person’s time and money as I would expect that in return, so it is of utmost importance that I deliver on or before a reasonable deadline. I usually take on work that I know, I would love to do, so that I can be true to that commitment. Professionalism is key, it helps you filter out the unnecessities and focus on the actual task at hand.

Flamingo in My Garden. A beautiful diversity of birds of the Indian subcontinent come together in this lovely story. By Deepak Dalal, illustrations by Lavanya Naidu.
The Dark Glen. Cover art for Tinkle Comics. What started off as a cover, soon turned into a comic inside as well!

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?

LN. We live in an age where there is endless choice, and it gets harder and harder to make an impact on your audience. Our attention spans are fleeting. However, if you love what you do, and you can put that into your work, people can feel it. If, instead of focusing solely on staying relevant, we can focus on producing work that challenges us and that we are passionate about, it gives us more room to grow both personally as well as professionally.

Something fishy. No Smoke Without Fire – a personal short animation film. Background explorations for an upcoming personal short in progress.

I would say that quality of work is usually the most important aspect when acquiring work, followed by sharing it on different forums, where peers and professionals can see and critique your work, as well as sharing it on more public forums where people can relate and experience your work too. The learning never stops, so ask questions and keep at it.

The Bookworm. A personal illustration dedicated to my best friend, a voracious reader, even in dim lighting.
Lulu and Jazz Sticker set for Google Allo. Sticker pack for Google’s new messaging service. Project commissioned by 'Anyways London'.

CG. What inspires your style of work?

LN. I am an avid observer and am stimulated by those around me; by everyday interactions, sometimes more complex emotion, or relevant subjects around the world that resonate with me. There is so much we have in common, so much to share, so much that can bring us together, that is what inspires me.

To the Future. Personal art dedicated to my best friend and our enormous love for dogs. 27 Issue 37 You Came. Personal work Concept art for an upcoming personal animation film.

Published in Issue 37

Recent demonisation and changing Taxes has pushed most of us in planning our finances more seriously. So to answer some of the basic questions for designers, freelancers and creative studios, we interviewed some of the creative legends to guide and share their wisdom. 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 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.

So don’t wait, just order your copy NOW!


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