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What do you do when design schools don’t seem to work for you? Tanmay Mandal, a Prague based illustrator and concept artist shows us how you can pursue your passion in the creative field, through perseverance and more.

Concept Art by Tanmay Mandal
The Ritual

Tanmay Mandal is a natural artist, however, his professional journey in the field of art began much later. Art being his natural calling, Tanmay finds great satisfaction and joy in his work. He is one of the fortunate few who find motivation and inspiration in the work itself.

Joker
Batman Fanart

Tanmay’s vivid art style is a display of hyper-realism, ethnic details, with dramatically created characters. Some of the themes that Tanmay enjoys creating are along the lines of Indian mythology, Egyptian goddesses, DC characters and more.

Concept Art by Tanmay Mandal
Isis The Godess
Concept Art by Tanmay Mandal

Being greatly influenced by the Mahabharat and Ramayana series in the ’90s, Tanmay’s art pieces showcase a recreation of magnanimous mythological characters. The discovery of Shilpa Shastra also played a role in the development of Tanmay’s distinct style.

Concept Art by Tanmay Mandal
The Enchanted Melody of Krishna's Flute
Hanumaan and Bharat

However, what makes Tanmay’s art stand out is the play of mysterious dark themes. This is possible only with a deep understanding of principles of art, light, colours, and the emotion of the character. Apart from the foundational knowledge of art, Tanmay believes that one must also understand the personality of the artwork, perhaps in the form of witnessing them in the surroundings or already being familiar with the subject. Thus staying connected to one’s roots, helps one recreate familiar scenarios in a new way. This also gives the artist their own unique identity. On the other hand, pushing one’s boundaries is just as important, allowing one’s imagination to venture without direction.

Concept Art by Tanmay Mandal
Nataraj
Durga

While Tanmay’s art pieces have a distinct taste of hyper-realism to them, he however never really predetermines his style. His art style is ever-evolving, always aiming towards quality and great standards. Thus in his professional work, it takes Tanmay about two to three weeks to complete an illustration. However, his personal work takes longer.

Crucified Zombie

Apart from Adobe Photoshop, Tanmay also relies on Procreate as a digital sketching tool.

The Goblin Thief

Tanmay’s experience through his years as a professional artist has taught him that perseverance is key, and the creative hunger should be kept alive.

You can experience Tanmay Mandal’s creations at his Artstation portfolio.

 

And for more exciting behind-the-scenes coverage of other artists & illustrators from around the world be sure to follow Creative Gaga on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Concept Art by Tanmay Mandal
Marine Mammals
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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.

Abducted bride

Illustration for Antariksha Sanchar Dance Show

Red. A Fanart based on famous Transistor game.

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
Mandala

Create Your Style
The Maharaja

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.

Create Your Style
Untitled

Create Your Style
The legend of Anarchy

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

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.

Create Your Style
Turquoise

Loyals

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
Kolam

Create Your Style
Julius-Chopps

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.

Create Your Style
The Gift

Create Your Style
The Royal Guard

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 on at various levels.

Create Your Style
Kintsugi

Create Your Style
Crystals

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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Seerow Unni, a keen animator, takes us through his approach and process. He sheds light on how he arrives at improvising in the course of designing, and why it is so vital to enjoy each and every aspect of the progression.

Key is to Enjoy the Process and Improvise at Every Level
Key is to Enjoy the Process and Improvise at Every Level
Key is to Enjoy the Process and Improvise at Every Level
Key is to Enjoy the Process and Improvise at Every Level

The core intention is to convey the message.

For that, it is essential that one enjoys each and every moment of the process of creation, no matter how small or big the work. For example, rather than just as a simple image or illustration, one may perceive everything as a scene, like in a movie. This leads to adding details, emotions, fun and more to a scene. Similarly, when we get it right, fun or wit and humor are the easiest ways to make people fall in love with what we create. Improvisation, likewise, is a part and parcel of the experience. From the very beginning, one may sustain the habit of keeping a close eye on the developments that are happening in the world of creative designing. For instance, I had started with the traditional canvas and then with time, shift to the digital medium.

Key is to Enjoy the Process and Improvise at Every Level
Key is to Enjoy the Process and Improvise at Every Level
Key is to Enjoy the Process and Improvise at Every Level
Key is to Enjoy the Process and Improvise at Every Level

One may continue to keep familiar and updated with the works of renowned digital artists. This automatically teaches to adapt to the needs of the changing times.

Diversity is a boon in the form of a challenge.

Dealing with different clients from diverse fields means they all have different requirements. They all demand a new approach, something that’s entirely path-breaking in the making of their animated film. This gives the freedom to keep the entire setting as well as characters so different from previous work. One must look at this as an opportunity instead of as a challenge and, no matter how big or small the work is, enjoy it to the fullest. Even if you are good in it, keep practicing and never stop sketching. It is equally important that you follow the famous artists and be updated about the trends and changes in design. There is no shortcut to success; as hard work always pays off in the end.

Changing with the times involves observing the direction.

The trend this year is shifting towards clean and minimal design from the complex, elaborated ones. Flat designs are going to be in the limelight. The idea is to keep things simple and minimal. In fact, minimalism is probably going to be a huge trend this year, not just in design, but in all walks of life. The challenge to come up with new ideas would be of a galactic proportion. But simplicity is the way to go forth, and it has got a lot of untapped potentials. We will be able to see these elements everywhere from movie titles to logos and other mediums. As far as perception goes, our audiences have always been game for positive changes. They will embrace the change with open arms.

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. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 


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Animator and Illustrator, Lavanya Naidu, expresses how one can find more, happiness, 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
Healers

happiness-Lavanya Naidu
Wanderers

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

Lavanya. 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 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.

happiness-Lavanya Naidu
Bright Sunny Days

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?

Lavanya. 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 is 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 change colour. It’s an ongoing journey and tremendous fun!

happiness-Lavanya Naidu
Illustrations for Storytime Magazine

happiness-Lavanya Naidu
Illustrations for Storytime Magazine

happiness-Lavanya Naidu
Illustrations for Storytime Magazine

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

Lavanya. 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.

The Dark Glen. Cover art for Tinkle Comics.
What started off as a cover, soon turned into a comic inside as well!

happiness-Lavanya Naidu
Where's the Mummy

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?

Lavanya. We live in an age where there is an 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.

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

CG. What inspires your style of work?

Lavanya. 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.

A Flamingo in my Garden.

To the Future. Personal art dedicated to my best friend and our enormous love for dogs.

happiness-Lavanya Naidu
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 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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Being different, standing out from the crowd and shining like a star is what every achiever dreams of, but not everyone achieves it. Jithin Roda has followed certain of his own principles since childhood to achieve this milestone of shimmer and brilliance.

Childhood
March

A kid who not only loved watching cartoons but was quite a few steps ahead of his age as Jithin could spend hours thinking and creating his own versions of these cartoons.

Childhood
Decapod Monsters

Indian digital Artists

Always wanting to do something which interested him, making a career choice came very easily to him. From childhood, with a mindset that constantly worked on creating the non-existent, Jithin decided to take up illustration as his profession as it was a tool for him to speak his mind and communicate with the world in a visual manner.

Childhood
Childhood
Creatures II

The Fantasy-land in Making!

A big fan of watching fantasy movies and an avid reader of the same genre of books, these interests transported Jithin’s mind to a parallel world. He has created a series of characters belonging to a fictional and imaginary world, some being inspired by animals of the human world.

Childhood
Orc

With concepts in the making and story-boarding, he has created some of his characters to be related to each other, connected through a story. He hasn’t left it at just generating faces and giving these faces a body, he has also worked intensely on the background of these creatures with an intricate level of detailing in both, the creature and their surroundings.

Childhood
Hunter and his beast



Sometimes the use of referential images helps him in channelizing his vision into visualizations in the right way, acting as a guiding factor and preventing him from getting lost in his world of imagination.

Childhood
Decapod Monsters

Digital Impressions!

Using only digital mediums to transform his thoughts into reality, it is quite an investment of time to produce the output he wants. Being a digital creator, he spends a varying amount of time ranging from just ten hours on one piece to a couple of weeks on another piece, depending on what is required of it.

Chilhood
Throne

Depending on the need of the artwork, he makes a decision whether to create his character just to be looked at from one angle in a two-dimensional frame or does the character have to be designed with a possibility to be viewed from multiple sides, which then needs to be done in a three-dimensional frame giving the viewer a complete insight into his imaginative thinking.

Childhood
Doblo

Out of the Box Methodology!

Sometimes being different and not following the traditional path of portfolio making works out to be more successful than the regular and generic way of going about it. This is true in the case of Jithin and his career. While creating his portfolio, he did not follow the way of making what everyone does, instead he just did what he liked!

Childhood
Cowl

His portfolio work, mostly being fictional, never really was a hindrance in his career options. It rather opened up many more doors for him. Not really wanting to work with studios and in-house jobs, being hired or not didn’t deter Jithin from doing what he loved.

Childhood
Flip

With the profile created using his portfolio, he has been able to find numerous freelance jobs as it gives him the freedom to express his creativity the way he wants.

Childhood
Ape

”For the beginners stepping into this world of professionalism and tough competition, he is of the opinion that one should try and improve in every possible way out there”

Childhood
Big Bug Monster

Childhood
Bulk

Published in Issue 43

With the changing weather comes the season of Interns, with fresh new energy everywhere and your talented creatives wanting to test their skills and knowledge in the real world of live creative briefs and super creative professional environment.
This issue is a must-read for internees and fresh talents. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 


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Concept Artist Renju MV discusses the process of creating an effective narrative by blending the knowledge of traditional mediums into digital tools and the interplay of line work and colours to convey the unique emotions in a day-to-day story.

Overlooked Day-to-day Story
Mayan Dance

Unexplored Ruins, Buddha

The Right Blend for Desired Results

Describing emotions in a single frame of time with the help of lines, tones and colours can be extremely stimulating and challenging. Although there are varied digital tools which can be utilised to ease the process of design, injecting one’s knowledge in the traditional forms such as watercolours, oils, acrylics and pastels can be a boon in the process. Sometimes mixing up both mediums to produce quality work with an effective narrative can be immensely productive as well With his passion for Fine Arts, Illustrator and designer Renju MV has had a great experience in interspersing the traditional mediums with the digital while working for various industries such as game, film and animation.

Spiritual Enlightenment

Unexplored Ruins, Lord Shiva

Question Everything

People see and interpret the same situation differently and every person has their own way of looking at things. There is always a story around every corner and it is imperative to question everything around us and interpret the significance and meaning of what it truly means. Art is a wonderful medium to explore and showcase one’s original perspective on the world which might have been overlooked by the mass. Gaining perspective is the only way to break free from herd mentality and stereotypes that are ingrained in society.

Hide and Seek

Thumbnail sketches for Lord Shiva art work

Observe, Interpret and Deconstruct

The illustrator believes that observation is elementary; interpretation of the observation and then deconstructing the information is vital in the process of design. While trying to stay emotionally connected to the facts, he then uses his limitless imagination to assemble his project’s reference. This method provides a base and gives a sense to clarity to begin or develop an idea.

Mayan Dance

Ganesh Chaturthi

The Role of Pencil

An initial comprehensive of early sketches of an idea is essential. These series of quick drawings help the designer to get a visual continuity and refine the sketches in the progression. Fleshing out pages of thumbnail sketches and slowly locking down the final rough is a gradual process that is extremely crucial to understand the different elements in the narrative and how they must be depicted. This later becomes the template for the final art work.

Caravan Series

Ganesh Chaturthi Series

Every Detail is Important

Capturing the essence of the narrative is of the utmost importance when producing the linework, however, the illustration gains its meaning and soul only after it is coloured. The portrayal of emotion and depth in a story is critical to comprehend the mood and appropriate tones and colours highlight it effectively. The designer chooses the colours very carefully to encapsulate the mood and accentuate certain attributes in the story.

Lost Path

Published in Issue 40

We all have favourite TV shows and we passionately discuss the stories and characters of it. But sometimes, we tend to ignore the channel and its branding. Now with many different channels to choose from, we are experiencing many new branding overhauls to grab the audience’s attention. In this issue, we focused on Motion Graphics design and people behind some awesome channel rebrandings. If you are interested in moving design or animated content then this issue is a must-read for you!



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