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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 49

 

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From the outside, freelancing looks like the dream. It’s only when you walk the path you see that the struggle is real. Annada Menon, a freelance visual artist, opens up about her freelance work and what it takes to keep getting those projects.

Babel Fish. This is the cover art album created for the Shubhangi Joshi Collective.

Unlike most artists, Annada Menon did not have a childhood calling for the field of art. She stumbled upon this realisation much later at the age of 16 through drawing classes. The technique and patience with which her teacher guided her with different mediums helped build Annada’s interest in the field.

Motivated - Illustration by Annada Menon
Blending In, Procreate Art Prize entry.
The Garden Menace. The illustration draws inspiration from the amusing struggle.

Annada’s journey into poster design has been quite unexpected. She tells us that once she approached a café in Pune to keep a pop up stall to sell prints of her work, later she was asked to design posters for events held at the same café. This also gave her chance to explore the possibilities of paid work.

Sofar Bangalore poster design.
Social Media creative for The Finch, Mumbai.

Elaborating on her style, Annada’s explains that 80% of her work is purely imagination. She draws everyday and this helps her create an inventory of forms in her head. Thus, the realism observed in any of her work is a result of this constant study. She takes a lot of inspiration from surrealism, animated movies, comic books and children’s book illustrations. She believes her style is an amalgamation of all this, though she would rather not label her style.

‘B’. 365 Days of Type. This is part of the series that Annada created for the 365 Days of Type.
Freelance - Annada Menon
Ukulele with Luv. Social Media Creative for Manmauji Cafe.

For Annada the most important phase of a project is the draft phase. Here she provides 2-3 options to the client based on the brief and references. Originality is imperative; hence she does her research to ensure her approach is unique. Annada is also very fluid with her design, where she allows herself to scribble continuously for an idea to be born.

Freelance - Annada Menon
Art’tma. An album cover designed for Rachintan Trivedi.
Freelance - Annada Menon
Tail Waggers Meet. Social Media Creative designed for a dog meet at Manmauji Cafe.

While talking about her stint as a freelancer, Annada tells us that she started out as a freelancer in 2017. Then it was simply by word of mouth that projects came her way. Comparatively it’s getting easier for her now. She believes she still has a long way to go, but she doesn’t take a project if the client does not understand her area of expertise. She is also bringing in versatility to her projects, this has made the process of landing a project easier.

Freelance - Annada Menon
A poster designed for a Sofar music event.
Freelance - Annada Menon
Tail Waggers meet 2. A poster designed for a dog meet event at Manmauji Cafe.

Apart from poster design, Annada is also interested in canvas paintings, murals, installations, etc. These are derived from her pure arts background, and she is looking forward to practicing it in the future.

Freelance - Annada Menon
A social media creative for The Finch, Delhi and Mumbai.
Freelance - Annada Menon
Llamas are Floofs. Learning to Draw Animals

Looking into the future, Annada wishes to establish herself as an independent artist. However, she is also looking forward to learning from a senior designer or artist either in a firm or independently.

Freelance - Annada Menon
Annada attempts to convey the message of the importance of natural habitat and thinking of the future generations.
Latest Issue

Published in Issue 49

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 49

 

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If you’re talented, you will be noticed. The world is full of freelance opportunity these days, just that one must know which and when to take one. A successful designer is one that find his/her niche in the design world, believes young illustrator Ashish Subhash Boyne. Here, he tells us how showcasing everyday stories in a refreshing manner can open doors to a ‘not so every day’ life!

Freelance
Character Design
Freelance
AGHORA.
Freelance
AGHORA.

Find inspiration in everyday things that are omnipresent

People often pass by without taking notice of things that they encounter every single day. For executing story illustrations, these are the places you need to look. The skill is to give mundane life a refreshing and ‘never seen or heard before’ appeal. Like Surmai that showcases the story of a small boy who lives near fishing docks or 100 Kisses that shows how a cup of tea passes through so many people of different backgrounds. Just keep in mind, the purpose of the work is to be understood by everyday people. The execution needs to be simple. Don’t forget that fantasy is all around and finding a unique niche is the key to getting recognised.

Freelance
AGHORA.
Freelance
AGHORA.
Freelance
Character Design
Freelance
Character Design

Education prepares the talent within you

Most people are born with certain talents that define their future. Ask any designer to take a peek back into their childhood; they’d tell you they loved things like drawing, comics and imaginative forms. As you go grow up and finally get into school to do what you love doing, you start to understand yourself better. The vague question of ‘what do you want to do?’ starts to become clearer. Illustration art needs high observation of the subject matter that needs to be combined with your skill to visualise and express the idea in a simpler way. Studying design helps you do that. It also leaves you an initial portfolio that introduces you to the outside world.

Freelance
Illustration for BAJAJ ELECTRICAL'S "Magic of Light "
Freelance
Illustration for BAJAJ ELECTRICAL'S "Magic of Light "
Freelance
DEATH TO LIFE
Freelance
Tribe Spirit Hunter

The outside world is a self-learning experience

The transition from a student to a professional is a gradual process where change settles in with time and comes the wider understanding of client needs, concepts and ideas. Hard work, dedication and passion are the three key attributes that you need to bring to the class every day of your professional life.

Freelance
SURMAI.
Freelance
SURMAI.

Freelance
100 KISSES.
Freelance
100 KISSES.

A satisfied client is a gateway to the freelance career

When you’re just about to start off to try and make a mark for yourself in the big world of design, often most people wonder ‘How do I do this?”. It’s simple. Concentrate on things that come to you. Whether it’s your first assignment or project it’s important to make each and everything you do unique and fulfilling as per the client’s requirements. The rest is history.

Freelance
100 KISSES.
Freelance
FIXTRAL CAMPAIGN ILLUSTRATION

Published in Issue 22

Dedicated to the talented design graduates who are not just looking to work but seeking experience in order to realise the greater goal of life. The issue features various designers from India and abroad. Kevin Roodhorst from The Netherlands realised his goal so early in life that propelled him to start his career as a designer as young as 13. Ashish Subhash Boyne, a student of Sir JJ Institute of Applied Art realised his dream while studying when he started doing freelance projects, which allow him to express his free thoughts. To name a few talents we have Vivek Nag from Fine Arts from Rachna Sansad Mumbai, Simran Nanda from Pearl Academy New Delhi, Anisha Raj from MAEER MIT Institute of Design Pune, Giby Joseph from Animation and Art School Goa and much more. This issue gives a fresh perspective of talented graduates and their unique approach to design.

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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An illustrator and cartoonist, Charbak Dipta gives us a peek into his world of inspiration and then how he transforms his ideas into mesmerising artworks.

Inspiration
Third World. The third world countries busy masturbating.

CG. What inspired you take up art/illustration as your profession?

Charbak. I believe one should always listen to his/her inner calling. Since childhood I enjoyed doodling on paper and walls. However, my parents wanted me to be a lecturer and singer. I stopped my art and earned a MA degree. I also pursued music. But destiny is such that I inevitably landed a job as an intern cartoonist in the ‘The Time of India’. There was no looking back from there.

The Sad Indian Alien. When the girlfriend leaves an alien to marry some other wealthier alien.
Inspiration
Blowing in the Wind. The ecstasy of blowjob.

CG. How would you like to define your style of art? Is there a specific name that you like to call your style by?

Charbak. My style is an amalgamation of the various schools of art which I have been inspired from. As a kid I used to copy whatever comics or cartoons I liked, for example, Phantom comics, Marvel, Tintin and Asterix. Later, with exposure to wider art styles, my style began to develop and take shape.

Inspiration
People 2. Different kinds of people and their actual face.
The Jorasanko Ghosts. Ghosts of Rabindranath Tagore and family in their house in Jorasanko.

CG. There seems to be a use of Bengali alphabets and words in a few of your creations. Is there a specific reason for it? Is culture an influence for your creations?

Charbak. I am a Bengali, thus Bangla culture is a big influence in art as well as the person I am. I grew up soaked in Bengali culture, literature, tradition, music and language. It reflects on my art and is an extension of my psyche. Bengali culture, attire and food keep appearing repeatedly in my art.

Harmonium Monster. The monster lives inside Harmonium comes out.
London Underground. World.

CG. Are your characters purely fictional? Or are they drawn from certain realities? And what is the intention of using of these characters together?

Charbak. The characters are used to depict the idea behind visible pictures. The Indian Alien series is an exception where the alien characters are purely imaginary. The other works show realistic humans too. I like layered art instead of direct communication. So my settings and characters too have different facets in their appearance that incorporate different social, historical or political references as well.

The Essential Family. A group image of a typical Bengali family stuck to one another.
Inspiration
Alien Uttam, Alien Suchitra. An alien avatar of Bengali matinee idols Uttam-Suchitra.

CG. Your artwork varies from showcasing realistic scenes to visualisations of imaginary concepts, covering an indefinite spectrum of situations. Yet there is uniformity all across your work. How do you maintain this universal language in your work?

Charbak. Uniformity is my style. Every individual has a way of thinking. My glass is tinted with a uniformity screen that filters my ideas and gives them a unique shape. For example, if you wore red spectacles, all objects would appear with a red tint, yet retain their original shape and function. Similarly I see objects through a this screen.

Ogres. Monsters. A set of ogres with equipment lose to a little girl.
Inspiration
The Mud House. Surreal Gujarati village houses.

CG. What are the mediums that you use to create your artwork? Is it hand-drawn, digital or a mix of both the mediums?

Charbak. The medium varies, some are hand drawn, others are digital. Often the best comes in a mix of both. For manual drawing I use Clutch and Pigma pencils. For digital, I use a range of software. I sometimes experiment with the drawing on different surface too, for example, paper, canvas, flex or plastic.

The Rain Water. Aliens. An alien who hates rain, submerges into rain water to avoid rain.
Inspiration
Machine Series. Arms are inserted into the peace machine that turns them into peace pigeons.

CG. Change is inevitable. So, 10 years down the line, what is the kind of art creations that world would be exposed to from your end? We would also like to know about your future endeavours in brief.

Charbak. I have moved from single artwork to writing full length books, art anthologies, illustrated books and graphic novels.

Inspiration
The Panama Papers. Drawn for a contest by 'The Times of India', Mossack Fonseca digs the money below the papers.

I have released 3 books so far. The first one was ‘The Art of Charbak Dipta’, an anthology of over 100 selected artworks of mine created between 2014 and 2017. The second is ‘Zero: An Indian Aliens Adventure’, which was a spin off from my earlier Indian Alien series of artworks. It throws light on India’s contributions to the world of science and invention. The third one is ‘Apes: An Indian Aliens Adventure’, a sequel to Zero.

Inspiration
Hutom. Bengali Literature. Based on the cult Bengali book ‘Hutom Pyachar Noksa’.

My fourth book is in production currently and will be out this year. In the coming 10 years I wish to write at least 10 more books. I have so much autobiographical and conceptual content, the challenge though is to put them on paper within limited time. I am also interested in web-comics. Hopefully sometime soon that takes off as well.

Inspiration
Relatives. Nature of blood relatives who bite back.

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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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

Chaaya Prabhat
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Chaaya Prabhat highlighting some of the challenges and advantages she feel are there for an independent illustrator working with Indian clients.

There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages of working independently as an illustrator in the creative field in India.

The advantages are plenty – In India, the need for illustration work has increased over the years so there’s definitely a lot of scope and demand for the work, and when you work independently you can work on multiple projects with various companies simultaneously, so it’s always creatively challenging.

illustrator

You also have a lot of the advantages that come with freelancing – flexible schedule, not being tied down to a 9-5 schedule, being your own boss etc. What I like about working independently as opposed to working in-house or as a part of a company is that I can be very hands-on with the work that I do, and be very involved from the start of the project to the end – whereas in a studio setting the work is usually split between multiple people or compartmentalised.

However the same independence can also work as a disadvantage – you often have to take care of everything on your own and wear multiple hats, which can be quite taxing. In addition to all the creative work that has to be carried out, you also have to have at least a basic knowledge of contract writing and reading, invoicing, accounting, etc.

In India, especially, companies and clients that hire illustrators are just starting to understand the amount of work that goes into illustration and the value that it adds to projects.

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.

 

Order Your Copy!
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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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
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Creative Gaga - Issue 49

 

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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