In an attempt to connect the sport enthusiasts to their very own city on an emotional level, Nike collaborated with Gautam Gajbar to create an in-store mural for their flagship store in Mumbai.


A Nike store is not just where the brand lives, it is where the brand comes to life. Nike is a runner’s company, build by runners for runners. Then, Now, Always.


For its flagship store in Mumbai, Nike appointed Gautam Gajbar to create an in-store mural.


The project brief demanded certain pointers to be taken care of while designing this mural.


To top this list of challenges, the biggest of them all was to get this mural in place with the store being completely operational!

 Firstly, the mural must make Mumbai city, its heritage and Nike, its heritage and brand moment statements as a part of it.


• Secondly, the mural should tell stories that open conversation and connect with runners on an emotional level. They should feel inspired and rewarded for coming in.


• And lastly, the material and finishes of this mural should be inspired by the environment of running.



Considering himself lucky enough to have bagged a second opportunity from Nike to work at their creative front, Gautam Gajbar collaborated with Sachin Kondalkar, Ryan D’Costa, Rohit Bhanushali and Tushar Agawne to achieve the project brief of creating an in-store mural in a short span of time.


The process started with the objective of creating an inspiring experience for consumers as soon as they set foot into the store and go like – “This is ma hood and I belong here”.


Going one step at a time, the first phase was about creating the design followed by the process of approval. The provision of a detailed on-point design brief facilitated the creation of a quick and apt illustration for the mural, which were closed in a few interactions with the brand.


The next phase, post the approval of the design, was its execution in terms of recreating the design on a one is to one scale. The approved design had to be hand painted with the desired effects and texture of a canvas in the same proportion as the store wall that spanned as wide as 22 feet and rose as high as 19 feet.


Once the art piece was completed to scale, then came in the last and final phase of the project: its installation on site. For this, the art piece was divided into 3 parts. Using a special water-based adhesive, these parts were pasted onto the wall. The pasting took about 8-9 hours followed by final touch-ups on the spot. Being in-tandem with the design brief, the installation was done post the operational hours of the store.


Using a new medium and ensuring that it has the desired final effect, and the onsite execution given the constraint of a fully operational store was quite a challenging task!


However, working within the brand guidelines of Nike and at the same time being as creative as one can be to do justice to Nike, the brand, Gautam did his job perfectly.

Client: Nike
Illustrator: Gautam Gajbar

Creative Gaga - Issue 49


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If there’s one thing that disheartens a designer, it’s resistance. On the other hand, every designer should know how to use his free-flowing strokes to justify the core message. Graphic designer and illustrator Gautam Gajbar explains how he strikes the balance to come up with loud and expressive works.

Bowler. Design becomes effortless when you can immediately connect to the subject
Music & Life. When a designer has only him and his world to feel, the creation has strong reflections of the designer’s own persona and way of life

When Your Work Speaks, You Don’t Have to Interrupt

No Boss, no partner to stop you or disagree with you – in one’s own setup, the mind has the brief and the heart is the executor. The perceptions start with a few raw thoughts in the head, which come on to paper in the form of quick scribbles. You start from a core subject and then let the elements develop gradually. Finally making the composition a mix of impulsive visuals and aesthetically placed design elements. This whole process of arranging and composing these elements unfolds the story of the subject on its own.

Rickshaw Chaos. Portrays the daily journey of various people, to and fro work.

Not Being by a Particular Design Language Makes You Versatile.

Whether it’s scribbled pencil lines, brush strokes or edgy ink splashes, there is no restriction to using any particular written or spoken language. The key is how you use them and create a new free-flowing visual/graphic language which is understood just by looking at it. However, it’s important to keep in mind that one’s not deviating from the subject. It’s about being versatile and at the same time leaving one’s own unique essence in it each time.

Panda Artwork. Without habitat there is no, wildlife in fact there is no life!

A Rule Free Zone Encourages Impulsiveness

A designer is not a scientist. Following one’s own instinct while at it is how a designer develops and grows. The idea is not to calculate and care about definitive forms and elements but to do what feels right. Art can never be wrong or right. It’s a personal opinion. You either like something or you don’t. As long as you’re using elements that everyone can connect to, you can rest assured your design is multi-dimensional, offering unique points of view depending on how one looks at it.

Batsman. Displays how design becomes effortless when you can immediately connect to the subject and plot
Che Guevara. A reminder that the value of a real icon is always more than a slap-on design on a ten-dollar T-shirt

No Professional Hierarchy Means, No Rules

Imagine working for yourself and only yourself. That’s the advantage of being a freelancer. However, such comfort also comes with a lot of responsibility and challenges. Versatility is key, where one needs to adapt quickly and with the needs and demands of the client and manage deadlines on your own. In the end, it’s not your good social and communication skills but simply good work that gets you the clients.

Smoking Angel. Anything is possible when you are in control. Inspired from the movie John Constantine
Peace of Mind. A doodle-like portrait inspired by the unique personality of a friend

There is an Opportunity to be Individual in the Industry

Independent set ups are a haven for young designers. It lets them stay true to what they do. Moreover, it gives designers the golden opportunity to work with clients, subjects and brands that they relate to and connect with immediately. Commissioned projects automatically become a part of a designer with respect to the subject. Such a liberating environment encourages the unique style of a designer.

Death to Birth. The cycle of life that every human being passes through, in this age of information
Elephant Artwork. Watercolour is used along with a visual idea to communicate a strong belief

Be Relentless, Until and Unless the Goal is Achieved

Freedom is good only if it is managed well. One must not forget that there is a brand objective that needs to be fulfilled. After all, there is a difference between a painting and client work. Right from start to finish, one must not go off track and forget the subject. The key is to stick to the basal idea at all times. Think whatever, do whatever, but within a particular niche. This is how the entire art work flows from the mind of the artist into the minds of the viewers as one coherent story.

"WILD AFRICA" Graphic for Jungle lore

Published in Issue 09

This issue focuses on strengths and weakness of Indian creative business with cover from Archan Nair. Also, include some of the fearless creatives who had made their mark in the industry without compromising on the quality of the output and many more interesting reads.


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Creative Gaga - Issue 49