Satish Gangaiah, a successful independent freelance illustrator and designer, teaches us a few tips and tricks of working in the creative field.
CG. What was the inspiration for you to take up illustration as a career (freelance illustrator)?
Satish. During my childhood, I occupied most of my time by drawing. My fascination for drawing has evolved through time. My inspirations have mostly been from the urban context or pop culture. Later during my career, I was exposed to art from across the globe. This pushed me to further explore and understand international design trends.
CG. Your artworks depict caricatures. Is that your style in general or do you use it for specific pieces of art? Are there any other styles also that you like to try out or that you follow?
Satish. My style is not exactly caricatured, instead it reflects a sense of lightness and is aimed at easy communication. Stylisations often convey the message far better than realistic depictions. As an artist, I believe in being versatile in style and content. It is important to mould your work based on the requirement.
CG. Your artworks have a lot of Indian touch to them but projected in a very contemporise manner. Could you please tell us a little about this style?
Satish. I take great care to ensure that the style I create connects with the audience. The artworks of this particular style are based on the Indian context and are intended to give a local feel. They carry my lived experience, my influences and my inspirations. The added contemporary feel helps them resonate with the times we live in. They reflect the trends and sensibilities of today’s culture and society.
CG. Your profile showcases an animated version of reality through your work. Is it a concept, scheme that you follow?
Satish. Most of my work draws from my experiences and attempts at thinking out of the box. They all have a common thread that reflects different fragments of my identity. Most of my personal artworks are inspired by things around me.
CG. What are the messages that you aim at bringing across through your artwork?
Satish. One common message is that of joy. I am neutral as far as identity politics goes. Instead, I create my characters in a utopian realm of happiness. My artworks are also a tribute to the things that have shaped and inspired me. My messages are simple, minimal and relevant to us all.
CG. Could you give an insight into your design process, from the beginning till the end to get the desired output?
Satish. I always begin with a systematic understanding of the requirement or the subject. The next step is research; it is vital as it helps me explore multiple possibilities in representation as well as making the delivery of content more efficient. It also gives a good foundation on to base their concepts and ideas. After that, I start compiling mood boards and inspirations for the ideas. I also start making key sketches in tandem. This helps me keep the idea fresh and innovative. I believe by giving this amount of time prior to making an artwork always adds value to it. The next process is all about developing the idea into an artwork.
CG. In brief, what has your journey been like being a freelance illustrator?
Satish. My journey has had its ups and downs, in spite of that, I have enjoyed it so far. Experience has taught me that the more planned and well managed the process is, the more sustainable and easy the journey becomes.
CG. Being a freelancer yourself, what would be your words of inspiration and a few tips for all the people wanting to start out a career in the field of illustration in today’s times?
Satish. The advice I can give to those who are starting their career is – always be passionate. Being passionate about your art practice also builds empathy to appreciate good art and design. And always try to create your own identity. Success always follows slowly if you are focused and retain the passion to be creative.
Published in Issue 48
A Freelancer’s Life in India! Every day, with a dream of ‘Being Your Boss,’ many creative professionals jump into the pool of freelancing. But many are not well prepared for the life of the freelancer, which brings many challenges along with benefits. So to explore further, we interviewed many freelance illustrators and designers to get answers to the question you should ask before taking the final call of becoming your boss! So, if you are planning to or have already become a freelancer then this issue is a must-read for you.
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