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Satish Gangaiah, a successful independent freelance illustrator and designer, teaches us a few tips and tricks of working in the creative field.

Herbs to Home Poster

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.

Tik Tok lady, personal artwork
Welcome to the world of corporate culture, personal artwork

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 caricatures, 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 mold your work based on the requirement.

Republic Day Tableau, personal artwork

CG. Your artworks have a lot of Indian touch to them but projected in a very contemporised 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.

Chronicles Over Coffee
LDS Smile, personal artwork

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.

Good Morning

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 the things that have shaped and inspired me. My messages are simple, minimal and relevant to us all.

Mahishasura
Auto Santa Claus

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 a delivery of content more efficient. It also gives a good foundation 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

Bakasana, personal 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.

Swayamvara, personal artwork

CG. Being a freelancer yourself, what would be your words of inspiration and a few tips for the 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 towards 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.

Gravity, personal artwork

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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Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

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Every designer develops a style, which can be seen through his or her work. No matter which medium you choose to work in, it is this unique point of view that gives an identity to the artwork. Shreya Gulati gives an insight about her bold and quirky work and delves deep into the process that helps her achieve this style.

Versatility
Versatility
Upstox Branding.

Deconstructing The Subject.

Shreya enjoys in fragmenting the illustration and having fun with each part as it allows her the freedom to create something different each time. Working on individual parts rather than the whole gives her the bold, clean and quirky style that is clearly visible in her illustrations. Bright colours, striking graphics and playful characteristics are synonymous with her style. She loves creating characters and building stories around them. Designing contains many permutations and combinations of applying art and problem solving methodologies. The vastness and the limitless possibilities fascinate her and this lends very unconventional and experimental expressions in her designs.

Versatility
Versatility
Still from the Video ‘Financial Management’.

Versatility is the Key.

She does not believe in any one particular style but likes to experiment with different palettes, treatments and line work according to the subject matter. Not being bound by any precondition and taking the flexibility to explore different mediums and have fun with it makes her each piece unique. Moving effortlessly through mediums her versatile style of work has taken her through illustrating a children’s book to designing an app for stock trading.

Versatility
Pseudo Sapera.
Versatility
Future is Female

Versatility
Pride

Inspiration from the Subconscious.

Inspiration is not something that is acquired but it is the objects, visuals, words or anything that influences you and seeps into your memory. She draws inspiration from memory, sometimes by referring to her Tumblr dashboard which is constantly evolving as she travels and records the inspiring things that she sees around her. Sometimes she also refers to the artworks of the artists she adores. She loves drawing human forms, especially female, mostly not clothed. Human anatomy and sex are the two subjects she enjoys exploring the most.

Versatility
Pop Stickers.
Musings

Design is Therapeutic.

She doesn’t have a defined design process but lays emphasis on research and scavenges for information. Whether it is watching a movie, reading an article or a book everything influences her in some way or the other. At times, the trigger is found right away if not then she analyses the data thoroughly and doesn’t stop till the cue is found. Solution lies in understanding the problem in depth and drawing a clear brief. It is sheer joy when your target consumer is happy with the product and you see your designs being accepted and becoming a part of your users. She enjoys designing thoroughly and finds it very healing and therapeutic.

Versatility
Obot Character.
Anamolies

Asia Map

Seeing Excellent Work Pushes.

In case of a creative burnout or when she feels creatively exhausted, she loves to surf the Internet to see some brilliant work. At times, images, visuals or powerful words that might not be directly connected but seem to have an impact, infuse great ideas. Being exposed to the great work being produced inspires and influences to push the bar further. Seeing good work inspires her but when she finds some extraordinary work it motivates her to push harder and work to achieve greater heights. The amazing and boundless world of design keeps unfolding in mysterious ways inspiring to work more and more.

Genesis
Imperator
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

In today’s international world, being a freelancer means being available to the entire world. No matter where you’re from, one needs to adapt to various clients and cultures to create a portfolio. Fil Dunsky, from Russia, with almost nothing Russian in his designs, uses humour and pun to make his illustrations work for brands all across. A little rendezvous gives more insight on how he creates what he does.

CG: Your illustrations are cartoonish in appeal. What is your style of illustrations? What would you call it? And what have been your inspirations during your design journey?

Fil Dunsky: For many designers, type of style is undefined. I don’ t know what my style is. All I know is that I put in a lot of love in my design, bake it and make it scrumptious so that the end user enjoys it. Through my design journey, my inspirations have been Oksana Grivina and Andrey Gordeev. Oksana was the first digital freelance illustrator I saw that mesmerised me. Ever since, I’ve been inspired by her work and learning her style and technique. And Andrey is my best friend who was the reason behind me leaving an office designer job to become a freelancer.

CG: From the look of it, your designs have a story. Where do you get such stories? 

Fil Dunsky: How designs manifest depends a lot on the task. Sometimes, the briefs are actually instructions that give less room for experimentation, and hence one simply has to recreate what the client imagines. No matter what the brief, the steps to arrive at an idea always remain the same. Boil the brief in your mind, sketch some ideas and then get one of them approved by the client before the chosen one is carefully finished. As for where I get my stories, well nature and creation are inspiring itself. Just look around. This world is so beautiful and full of stories, isn’t it?

CG: What would you say is ‘Russian’ about your illustrations? How has designing in Russia, enhanced your illustration style? How do you make your designs to relate to an international audience?

Fil Dunsky: I don’t think I have any Russian influence in my designs. I have never felt Russian, especially when the world has colluded and boundaries have been merged due to the internet revolution. Deep down inside, we are all international and there is no division that shows up in designs. Cultural influence comes from the client side at times, I feel. When I’ve drawn for clients from the UAE or China, they have specific cultural elements that need to be included. But that does not mean a designer needs to change his or her style.

CG: Your designs have a lot of elements in play. How do you create harmony amongst so many elements? How do you add your personal signature to all your designs?

Fil Dunsky: I’m just doing what I like, there is no struggle in that and nothing serious, pure humour and fun. I’m just playing.

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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Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

Sri Priyatham takes us through his beautiful journey of establishing himself as a freelance illustrator in the digitalised world of today. Here, he also highlights the merits and demerits of being a freelancer.

Earning his very first commission from his bedroom turned studio, Priyatham took to freelancing by metamorphosing his passion into profession, without having to leave the comfort of his home. An ardent believer of a conventional lifestyle without weekends, he feels not working under someone allows a free-flowing lifestyle and an individuals’ diversified growth.

Starting is Important

Facebook as a medium has worked wonders for Priyatham since his very start as an art student and a budding freelancer, for his communications, promotions and commissions. The outburst of other social platforms like Instagram, Reddit and Imgur helped him extend his reach to the continents of America, Europe and Australia to earn his clientele.

It is up to you!

Preferring freelancing over a day-job, Priyatham feels that freelancing is an individuals’ choice to make. An efficiently flexible working method, freelancing lets a professional explore and expand his horizon, to develop and revamp his personal skill-set, much-needed for survival.

Having its own positives and negatives, freelancing can be quite challenging. Time flexibility and absence of a pressure factor, unlike day-jobs, calls for a lot of self-motivation and commitment to deliver within the self-created deadline. Freelancing gets one working throughout the week, devoid of weekends and a social-life, unlike the conventional lifestyle. Inconsistent income and unrealistic price negotiations are some short-comings of this profession.

Also, a lot of fake freelancer-artist profiles in the market lead to a generalization of genuine and false artists in the same category, leading to a region-specific freelance deficiency.

The Freelancer Way!

To enter into the freelance market, one needs to befriend and fellow freelancers through collaborations and social media. Acquainting to existing standards, price charts and market likes and dislikes. To be in the limelight and attract future-potential clients, a freelancer needs to promote himself and his work by nominalising prices and offering discounts, creating promotional content and upgrading the portfolio with new-refreshing content, besides delivering ongoing projects in time!

Illustrating by blending creativity with trends and expressing it by #hash-tagging and wordplay is a smart tool to grow the followers list. But to translate the ‘following’ into ‘buying’, (or convert the followers into clients,) a freelancer needs to maintain high-quality standards.

Apart from being an illustrator, Priyatham is a movie-buff and a trendy reader. The variety of reads on Reddit and Quora serve as an inspiration for him to illustrate and sketching his favorite actors and film-makers motivates him. He is happy that his passion for art is an obsession!

Reaching out to the budding freelancers, Priyatham says that this is a slow process and requires consistency to be successful. One should be inspired and draw every day, just how you breathe, in-order to be better than yesterday. Making social profiles public and communicating and presenting yourself in the best way to mark your presence in the digital world is most needed in todays’ era.

Published in Issue 34

This is a rebranding special issue focused on finding the answers to some of the basic questions like what is the right time for re-branding? or what all needs changing and how exactly? We interviewed some of the best branding studios like Landor Mumbai, Elephant, VGC, Inchwork, and many more. If you are considering rebranding or want to learn more about the art of doing it then this issue is a must read. So, go ahead

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 48