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The Gurugram-based digital illustrator Lovely Kukreja shares his journey of being in multiple creative roles and how it all has shaped his process in this in-depth interview.

He has dabbled among creating children’s illustrations, rendering mobile comics and wallpapers and even created wire-frames and UI designs for the iPhone and iPad. His work is filled with subtle strokes exuding warmth and happiness.

Digital Illustrator Lovely Kukreja

Lovely’s work invokes devotion and playfulness – a rare combination. His animated illustrations of Hindu gods and goddesses blew up on the internet when he began posting them, says the visual development artist and Illustrator with over 15 years of experience in the wide spectrum of digital designs.

Digital Illustrator Lovely Kukreja

“My decision to become a designer was quite spontaneous since I was in school,” says Lovely, who now leads the Content Design Team at his firm, Bobble.

 

Since he began his career in 2005, Lovely has dabbled among the domains of publishing, advertising and medical illustrations. His turning point came at Thomson Digital while creating medical illustrations as he could be flexible and experiment with different styles to come up with creative illustrations while heading a team of illustrators at the medical department.

 

He also worked on children’s illustrations – where concepts of harmony and happy emotions were given top priority.

Digital Illustrator Lovely Kukreja

Lovely worked at three other design studios before he launched his own studio, White Mice Media in 2013. Having worked in graphic design, UI and AI design, designing for iPhone and iPad – he was quite familiar with the role of design in tech.

 

With several of these feathers in his cap, he launched Bobble AI Technologies – a medium through which users can communicate with each other in virtual conversational languages.

Digital Illustrator Lovely Kukreja
44 Best Indian Illustrator to Follow on Instagram!

Lovely says all of his work is a result of meditated thoughts and emotions. When asked to describe his design process, Lovely explains, “The first thing I do is to stop browsing on the internet if I want to ensure a particular piece is original. I then try recalling and extracting the original compositions, characters, emotions that inspired me to create the piece initially and try to replicate that on paper.

 

Once this is done, I add colours to support the whole experience and always try to be better than I was yesterday – which is most important.” Some of Kukreja’s favourite projects include Little Punch Inc. Pearson, Penguin, Chinmaya Mission UK, Phizzical Productions UK and Dorling Kindesley to name a few.

Digital Illustrator Lovely Kukreja
Digital Illustrator Lovely Kukreja

As someone who specialised in digital art throughout his journey, Lovely says he saw the decline of all print mediums coming a mile away, even when he first started out. “I saw it happening even before the decline of print media when illustrator started practising art on digital mediums over traditional ones even if they were working for print media. Artists are surely switching to digital platforms for all commercial uses.

 

I would strongly recommend designers to use these devices and software merely to ease their process and not become dependent on them with respect to tools and templates for illustrations,” he adds.

Lovely uses digital software to help him complete large scale projects and help with options and turnarounds but when he is brainstorming for a new idea that is very personal – the conventional pen to paper method works best.

As an illustrator, Lovely has had his fair share of challenges. “I think the biggest challenge of them all is for any creator to be able to sell their skills at the right time, right place and with the right approach. Everyone faces hurdles but evolution is the only way to grow. You should not rest simply because you are the king of a hill. Instead, hustle to become a warrior of a mountain. This approach will automatically help you get to the top.”

When asked about his future plans, Lovely says one of his goals is to own a production house that narrates untold stories with different approaches.

Digital Illustrator Lovely Kukreja
Learn how Digital Illustrator Lovely Kukreja draws:

How to Illustrate ‘Goddess Durga’ with Basic Guidelines!

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If you want to make a mark as an illustrator or looking for someone to work on your next project. No need to search for hours and go into endless profiles to find inspiring Indian illustrators. We present to you the best of the best Indian illustrators from a long list of Instagram illustrators of India who you must follow…

An illustrator, graphic designer, and drummer based in Mumbai. Part of two Mumbai-based metal bands Providence and Gutslit, Aaron is a self-taught artist who works in both traditional and digital mediums adding Eerie and Gothic elements to his artworks. With over 14k followers on Instagram, he also goes by the name Kidsquidy.

 

Aaron has teamed up with MTV India as their senior designer in the past. His work includes creations for several band albums and merchandise for the songs like ‘Squishy and Spongy’ by the band Primitiv.


2. Abhilash Narayanan

Abilash Narayanan has worked on several national and international projects including animated Indian movie ‘Hanuman Returns’ with the direction team of Anurag Kashyap. This Instagram artist is an animator, director and designer who earned his Bachelor’s degree in Applied Arts from the College of Fine Arts, Trivandrum in 1999.

 

Abhilash is currently freelancing for pre-production designs, concepts and content development while illustrating for children’s publications and pursuing personal projects.

Author and artist Aditya N. Chari have accomplished specialisation in several types of illustrations with his in-depth knowledge of human anatomy and character designing that helped him write his successful books ‘Figure Study Made Easy’, and ‘Portrait Techniques Made Easy’.

 

Aditya has obtained his degree from Sir J. J. Institute for Applied Arts, Mumbai and worked with various agencies and brands including MTV Asia, Leo Burnett, Forbes India Magazine, ISCKON and did character conceptualisation for the film Bahubali and several other televised serials.

Lover of art since childhood, artist and illustrator Alicia Souza who has a significant fan following on Instagram. She lives in Bangalore with her family of 5 including a dog and a guinea pig. She has worked for various companies in the like The Telegraph, Tanishq, Mondelez- Cadbury, Yahoo, The Hindu, Wipro, Google, IIMB, Cornetto, Ashoka Foundation, Penguin, Grand Mercure, and Myntra. Alicia also sells merchandise designed by her.

Visual artist Annada N. Menon had been working in corporate as a visual designer after which she shifted to freelancing to let her art progress at its natural pace. Her portfolio holds thoughtfully created posters, album art and book illustrations which are all inspired by her surroundings and expression of emotion.

 

Currently based in Pune she studied at the at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore. Menon has drawn amusing illustrations like ‘The Chonky Animals’ series with comical animals in different forms.

Taking inspiration from mysteries revolving around our existence and the interconnectedness of our thoughts, emotions and the universal chain of reaction which we witness from the micro to macro level, self-taught visual artist, illustrator and digital artist Archan Nair draws semi-abstract and surreal creations.

 

Archan, with 93K Instagram followers is based out of Berlin, Germany. He has collaborated with various companies such as Nike, Canon, Netflix, Samsung and GQ. Read his journey to becoming a brand in the Design Industry.


7. Ayush Kalra

Illustrator Ayush Kalra is a final year student of Pearl Academy, New Delhi with over 50K Instagram followers. His illustrations are inspired by artists all over the world with bold colours and intricate details. Currently working as a freelance artist he had his illustrations published in Bollywood magazine ‘Fitlook’.

 

Ayush has also illustrated a children’s book and worked on a few album covers in the past making his portfolio richer.

Finding inspiration from books, illustrator Chaaya Prabhat draws magnificent illustrations with wildlife and nature. Although she currently lives in Chennai, she had spent three years in Hong Kong where she explored the lengths and breadth of art.

 

With Post Graduation in Graphic Design from Savannah College of Art and Design Prabhat possesses over 50k Instagram and has worked with The Times of India, Penguin House UK, Hachette and Facebook.


9. Dhwani Trivedi

The profound lover of fantasy, Dhwani Trivedi is based in Mumbai and works as a graphic designer and illustrator, who grew up with comics, stories and books. To bring her imaginations to life, she began wielding pen and pencils marking her entry into the realm of art, making fathomless illustrations.

 

A Visual Communication graduate, Trivedi has worked with various companies including several animation studios in Mumbai for a range of projects such as branding, character design and illustrations for animated videos.


10. Fathima Hakkim

The charming personality, Fathima Hakkim is an architect, artist and visualiser possessing 53K Instagram followers. She has inspired thousands with her art and public speaking. Every creation by her has a story of her struggles and the psyche of life behind them

 

Currently living in Bangalore she graduated from Bishop Jerome School of Architecture. Hakkim has been featured in books and has also illustrated for multiple children’s publications.

Illustrator, Febin Raj, can do it all with his passion for fine arts, from capturing the beauty of travel in calming illustrations to drawing the vigour of creativity in artworks. Febin is presently living in Thrissur, Kerala, striving to bring the beauty of watercolours to his digitally created works with minimal sceneries and wicked hues.

 

He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Arts from the College of Fine Arts, Thrissur and has over 15K Instagram followers. Raj is also an avid traveller, which is visible in his artworks and works as a Visual Designer at CasaOne.


12. Gaurav Basu

Gaurav Basu, professionally known as Acid Toad, is a graphic artist based in Bangalore who draws dark, psychedelic artworks, often influenced from the bizarre. Gaurav is also an active musician and lead of his band, Inner Sanctum.

 

He went to The College of Fine Arts at Chitrakala Parishad in Bangalore, where he completed his Bachelor’s of Visual Arts. This talented metal-head has worked with several renowned bands in India and also co-owns Bangalore based design studio, Krack’s Inc.

Harshvardhan Kadam, a muralist, artist and illustrator with over 14K Instagram followers describes his job as bringing colour to people’s lives. He hails from a family of artists and his journey into art began as a child.

 

Together with his brother, Kadam began their studio Inkbrushnme after realising walls as a potential medium for storytelling to diverse audiences. They have now painted over a hundred murals across the country and abroad, few of which can be found in Mumbai, Bangalore, Lucknow, Jaipur and France.


14. Hazem Ameen

With a desire to weave stories out of paint, Hazem Ameen is a 24-year-old artist based in Kerala, with 12K+ Instagram followers. He captures the essence of his imagination with light, colours and form. Upon realising that he could not receive his heart’s desire through college education, Hazem quit college and started freelancing, although he had enrolled in 3Dsense Media School, Singapore for deepening his knowledge in the field.

 

He has worked with several companies such as Paizo Inc, the role-playing game Pathfinder, etc. Now, he is back in Kerala working as a freelance illustrator.

 


44 Best Indian Illustrator to Follow on Instagram!

Hrishiraj Vradhaman Gawali is a creative storyteller and cartoonist who began his career as an illustrator. His passion for art motivated him to modify to new techniques such as digital painting. Hrishiraj nevertheless enjoys painting on canvas and sketchbooks, with pastels, watercolour and countless other mediums.

 

The storyteller draws taking, inspiration from life around him and his artworks are a reflection of society itself. He is currently working on the ‘Upcoming Bollywood Project’.


16. Jasjyot Singh Hans

The lover of the neon mix of fashion, music and pop culture Jasjyot Singh Hans is an illustrator who has worked with many national and international companies including Google, The New York Times, Elle India and Sabyasachi Couture. His works revolve around self-love, body image and sexuality.

 

With his 24K+ Instagram followers, he uses his platform to spread body positivity and has studied animation film design at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and has an MFA in Illustration Practice from Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore.

Graduated in animation, Lavanya Naidu found happiness in illustrating children’s books and has illustrated over 50 of them. She is based in Melbourne and has worked as a pre-production design supervisor and animator on the animated series The Stranger Chores and is currently working on an animated feature film and a short film.

 

Lavanya has graduated from The National Institute of Design and Gobelins l’Ecole de l’Image, Paris and is the designer, animator and conceptualizer of several children’s educational mobile applications,

Mumbai based founder and director of LOCOPOPO Lokesh Karekar is specialised in illustration and design and was featured in the prestigious ‘Forbes 30 under 30’ list in 2015. He has worked for design firms like Grandmother India and Alok Nanda in the past.

 

Karekar also treasures experimenting with new tools and techniques like paper-art, collage, clay-modelling and others. His illustrations include bold compositions and a variety of line-art inspired by local culture, and his personal travel experiences.


19. Maromi Sagi

With over 51K+ Instagram followers Ankita or popularly known as Maromi Sagi is a freelance digital artist based in Kolkata who quit her job at an IT firm to plunge into the world of art. She worked tirelessly to master the profession with the help of several books, art blogs and YouTube videos.

 

Her artworks give form to the abstract, such as emotions and memories. She is currently working for many US-based companies after deciding to learn Adobe Photoshop and receiving several commissions to paint digital portraits.

Medha Srivastava, award-winning cosplayer, illustrator, concept artist and game artist is graduated in Animation and Film Making from Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune and has over 17K followers on Instagram. She worked as a game artist in Dhruva Interactive, Bangalore.

 

With her bold colour choice and context, she spouts about social issues on her social media platform inspiring change in society.

Co-founder of Mechico Design, Meroo Seth is a graphic designer, specialising in branding, packaging, and typography. With her 10.6K Instagram followers, she shares her artworks with bright colours, neatlinear lines and geometric shapes.

 

Based out of Mumbai, Seth has a peculiar liking for modern illustrations. The believer of sharing stories through art makes her process of illustrating fun yet serious.

Concept artist and illustrator Mohan Sonawane have received various awards for his excellence in the field of illustration and graphic designing. With over 20K Instagram followers he lives in Mumbai.

 

Mohan has also designed various games and made many amazing portraits. He graduated in Bachelor of Fine Arts from Sir J.J Institute of Applied Arts.

Living in Bangalore, Muhammed Sajid works as a Creative Designer at Dunzo. His works are inspired by culture and nature. Coming from Calicut, Sajid is drawn towards nature since greenery is tied to his childhood. He is comfortable with both traditional and digital mediums of art and can adapt to changes rather quickly.

 

Sajid obtained a degree in Bachelors of Fine Arts from Trivandrum Fine Arts College, Kerala. His fluid style has helped him reach out to a large audience including on Instagram, with 53K followers.

Nithin Kumblekar, freelancing illustrator captures texture and emotions brilliantly. He initially began his career as an Art Director for an advertising agency, which he quit to pursue a career in freelancing. He has amassed tremendous experience, having worked for several advertising agencies such as McCann, Ogilvy and Triton.

 

Kumblekar graduated from Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat, Bangalore, in the year 2005 and he has also illustrated for several national and international campaigns for companies such as Hollard, Intel, IBM, Lenovo, Pepsi, Brittania, Vodafone and Expedia.

With 33K+ followers on Instagram, illustrator Nikhil Shinde is an Automotive Engineer by academics but an artist at heart. The illustrator currently lives in Mumbai, India. His illustrations are emotive, sepia-toned with big eyes and are inspired by different characters, mermaids and real life.

 

Shinde started his career in the art field back in 2010 and is a victor at drawing from scratch. As a designer, he contributes to the art style and personality with the creation of both real and non-real characters.

 


44 Best Indian Illustrator to Follow on Instagram!

Currently residing in Helsinki, Finland, Parvati Pillai is a freelance illustrator and designer. With her passionate storytelling using illustrations to narrate her tales and express her ideas, Parvati has gained over 14K Instagram followers. Her artworks are marked by their simplicity and vibrancy, all inspired by her observant nature and love for travel.

 

Currently pursuing her Masters’ in Visual Communication Design at Aalto University, Finland, her experience spans from social enterprises to design studios and legal design firms. Parvati has also worked for several established companies including Chumbak, where she worked for two years as the Head of Designs.

Taking inspiration from mythological stories, animated films, colours, culture and heritage, illustrator and graphic designer Pavan D Rajurkar’s works are contemporary and a result of constant experimentation and exploration. His love and appreciation for Indian art forms and culture have helped him find his style and artistic identity.

 

Rajurkar holds over 10K followers on Instagram and is a Post Graduate in Animation Film Design from NID, Ahmedabad. He has worked for numerous advertising agencies such as JWT, Interface, RK Swamy, BBDO, DDB Mudra, Radio Mirchi and several others in Mumbai and abroad.


28. Prateek Vatash

Creator of vivid and vibrant artworks, Prateek Vatash is based in Bangalore. He has specialised in 3D and 2D techniques and is a genius at combining them to form his aberrant illustrations. He shares his artworks with his 25K Instagram followers, which incorporate bright neon colours and unique textures.

 

A graduate in Visual Communication and Graphic Art from Srishti Institute of Art, he also has an interest in various fields such as typography, architecture and interior design and has worked with several distinguished companies across the globe such as Apple, Adobe and Wacom

With his 25-year career span, design entrepreneur, artist and motorcycle nomad, Prakash Thombre never fails to capture views during his travel-times and later uses them as references to create the masterpieces seen in his portfolio. A believer in finding spontaneous narratives in real-life personalities and developing them on his canvas, Thombre holds over 60K+ Instagram followers.

 

Transmitting real life onto the canvas through his various sketches of everyday personalities takes deep observation of the costumes, facial features, gestures, posture, etc of the person. Moreover, about the style of sketching and colouring, the nature of lighting and the likes depends on the time and place.

The founder of Liquidink Design Studio, Ranganath Krishnamani is a talented designer, illustrator and artist, with over twenty years of expertise. With 63k Instagram followers, the Bangalorean relishes travelling and learning new tools and techniques. He artfully captures the heritage, culture and the mundane life in his sketchbooks and illustrations.

 

Krishnamani obtained his Masters in Fine Arts from Chitra Kala Parishat in 2000. His creative studio has specialised in designing engaging user experience and illustrating visuals for compelling narratives for several globally renowned companies such as Google, Adobe, Facebook, Adidas, Creative Mornings and Invision.

Artist and illustrator Rahul Khobragade is based in Mumbai and designing and art have remained with him since his childhood, shaping his thoughts, views and perspective of the world itself. He often draws inspiration from nature, where he gathers young ideas in regards to forms, structure and tones. He has currently shifted to full-time work as an illustrator at Anarock, Mumbai.

 

Rahul obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Government College of Art and Design, Nagpur and has gained plenty of experience as a freelance illustrator.

A passionate wildlife illustrator based in Pune, Rohan Dahotre, does not fail to capture the wild on paper with flair and grace. He enjoys illustrating animals, birds and all things wild and strives to raise awareness on several issues about wildlife, especially regarding their conservation and welfare on his Instagram with 14K followers.

 

Rohan completed his graduate studies in Animation from the Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune. He has designed logos and illustrations for various programs such as ‘Save the Great Indian Bustard’.

Currently studying Animation and Film Design at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, illustrator and designer, Rohan Bhatia with the help of his illustrations and graphics, narrates stories and weaves tales. His innate curiosity allows him to experiment with various mediums and surfaces, including walls.

 

Together with his brother, he has recently built a brand, ‘The Right Brothers’ and has attended several comic conventions, both nationally and internationally, showcasing his work in many of them.

Self-taught contemporary artist, Sajid Wajid Shaikh specialises in illustration and design. His exaggerated styles and colours, together with the use of basic shapes, communicate a strong message to its onlookers. He tends to take inspiration from music and fine art to create unique works and has shared them with his 17K+ followers on Instagram

 

Mastering the visual language of shapes, forms, compositions and colours, Sajid runs an independent design and illustration studio, 46&2 and has worked with a plethora of renowned clients from around the world, such as Google, Facebook, Air Canada, Paypal, HP, Yahoo and Adidas.

 


44 Best Indian Illustrator to Follow on Instagram!

35. SAMji

With over 66K+ followers on Instagram illustrator, SAMji loves creating pop-culture and futuristic designs and splurging vibrant colours on the canvas. His first step into the realm of art was through the field of animation but after several years of exploration, he realised that his true love lies in the field of illustrations and thus began his career as a freelance illustrator.

 

SAMji took up BFA in Applied Art but dropped out in his third years, thus not receiving any formal education in art.

Saurabh Chandekar’s affiliation towards arts began as a child, hailing from an artistic family he was brought up surrounded by music, theatre and drawing, this played a significant role in his life. He is a creative director, illustrator, painter and founder of design studio Aaiba Design.

 

Saurabh earned a diploma in Commercial Art from Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya and started working in a designing firm in Pune. He has worked for several renowned companies such as Vespa, Lifebuoy and Starbucks.

Artist and muralist Shahul Kollengode hails from the beautiful green town of Palakkad, Kerala but is now based in Dubai, UAE. The untutored artist began drifting his way from canvas to murals and is the founder of 100W Production. With 16K+ Instagram followers, he boasts a plethora of experience in the art industry.

 

Shahul’s vibrant murals have found their way to several notable spots and he was commissioned by Sheikh Mohammed, Prime Minister of the UAE, and ruler of Dubai to feature his work at the World Art Dubai.

Shaivalini Kumar, a Visual Communication Designer primarily works with illustration and typography. A firm believer of the fact that extraordinary designs are created by finding magic in the ordinary and mundane, Kumar specializes in ‘illustrated type‘, an avenue of type design that combines the fields of illustration and graphic design.

 

With 21K+ Instagram followers, she is based in Copenhagen, Denmark and has worked with various companies such as Google, Chumbak and Microsoft. Kumar is also the co-founder of the art studio SuperNova in Los Angeles, USA.

Coming from the river city of Benaras illustrator, Shital Verma draws portraits adorned with varying strokes. His pencil turned blank papers into lifestyle magazine design, page scribbles, children’s books, graphics, info-graphics, ad campaigns, packaging design, storyboards, digital illustration, logo designs and even digital Illustration. His artworks have been regarded by several celebrities.

 

Graduate in Fine Arts from Banaras Hindu University he has worked with Dainik Jagran, Nav Bharat Times, Mindworks Globael Media and DNA Mumbai.

Illustrator and TEDx speaker Sri Priyatham has been working in the realm of art for over a decade. He is inclined towards pop culture which is reflected in his art on his Instagram with 20K+ followers. Sri has also hosted multiple across the country and some of his collaborators include IIT-M, Tech Incubators and co-working spaces based out of South India.

 

He has been featured in various print media across India. Sri has worked with companies like Netflix USA, Zee Studios, Microsoft-Redmond and Wacom.


41. Svabhu Kohli

Visual artist and storyteller Svabhu Kohli is an independent multidisciplinary artist based in Goa with over 11K Instagram followers. This multi-faceted artist has specialised in creative direction, art direction, immersive art, film, projection mapping, installation art, design, illustration and storytelling. He draws artworks inspired nature, mysticism, magic and mechanics.

 

He also raises his voice for various social issues and has designed for singer Ziggy Alberts.

Based in Mumbai, digital artist and caricaturist, Uday Mohite has over 68K Instagram followers. He has an experience in the field of art of over a decade and has drawn various caricatures of celebrities and sceneries.

 

A graduate of Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art, Uday has worked in several leading newspapers, including DNA and MID-DAY.

An illustrator and artist based in Bangalore, Vishnu PR is specialised in digital art with over 12K+ Instagram followers. He pays immense attention to details, textures and colours. Vishnu has reached an almost photographic level of perfection with his fierce passion.

 

He graduated in Applied Arts from RLV College of Music and Fine arts in Kerala and has also worked as an art director at Loud Chilli Studios, with a focus on graphic design.

Working strenuously to perfect his craft and exploring several mediums and styles regularly, Mumbai based artist and illustrator, Yogesh Bhushare possesses 11.4K Instagram followers. His style majorly involves doodling and college. Currently, Yogesh works at a digital marketing and advertising agency as a creative group head- design.

 

He graduated in Bachelor of Fine Arts from D.Y. Patil College of Applied Arts and Crafts, Pune and has worked for companies like Leo Burnett and Taproot.

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44 Best Indian Illustrator to Follow on Instagram!

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Everything around us is the result of a design thought, conscious or unconscious. Diving deep into the story behind its creation inspires original creativity. Ruminates the young and promising illustration & design studio, LOCOPOPO, founded by Lokesh Karekar.

Illustration for Royal Stag Whisky packaging Design
Illustration for Royal Stag Whisky packaging Design
Illustration for Royal Stag Whisky packaging Design

We Live in a Designed World

There is design in every object or thing around us. From a bus ticket to apparels, from roads to an entire city, and every single thing around us is designed. Good or bad, it has been “designed” by somebody. The environment that we grow up in defines our choices of colours, patterns, purposes and forms. As consumers we prefer for a certain kind of design. And as creators, we subconsciously play the role of a designer, conceptualizing a product according to our choices. This is the most fascinating fact about the world around us.

Illustration for Taj Vivanta
Identity design for Myoho - a fashion apparel brand
Identity and label design for SIX FIELDS wheat beer

Creating is the best way to get Inspired

Inspiration can come from anywhere. That’s the most heard statement in the life of a designer. What we do with it shape up our creativity. Travelling is just a beginning to imbibe ideas. Scribbling, doodling, clicking photographs, recording incidents is the next step. As creative minds, we need to keep dabbling with the triggers so as to come up with our own ideas. This is what keeps the mind of an artist fresh, original and prolific.

Identity design for Mango Pickle
Collateral design for Mango Pickle
Collateral design for Mango Pickle
Coaster design for Mango Pickle
Collateral design for Mango Pickle

Our Roots Define our Identity

Our culture has a rich reservoir of forms and content. As designers we should search within and dig out references that are related to our roots. But the quest doesn’t stop there. Being part of the larger global family, our job is to merge our design sensibilities with the international one. Keeping the composition and colour preference modern and the choice of figures and patterns Indian, or vice versa, we are actually contributing our bit to make our own art socially appreciable. It’s time we simplify, modify, create shapes and motifs inspired from Indian traditional styles and implement them correctly with proper use of colours.

Brand illustration language created for festival mailers for Aditya Birla Capital
Brand illustration language created for festival mailers for Aditya Birla Capital
Brand illustration language created for festival mailers for Aditya Birla Capital

Illustration is an Illusion

And of course, a beautiful one. It’s wonderful to observe how it seamlessly integrates into the central thought of the project at hand. Ranging from minimal and form based work, where the whole charm is concentrated in one form to very detailed, sometimes bright and vibrant imagery, illustrations are carriers of ideas and have no existence of their own. Trying to define style through one’s illustration abilities is a wrong approach. Rather, one should focus on one’s communication abilities and explore the preferred design tools.

Illustration for Jack Daniels
Packaging Design for Jack Daniels
Play card Design for Jack Daniels
Play card Design for Jack Daniels

Every Medium has an Inherent Wit

As designers our job is to give a contextual twist and make the humour relevant to the design. There is fun around us. We don’t even have to search for it. If our process of getting inspired is right, it automatically transforms into our works. Be it illustration, collage, clay modeling or even product design, the medium inherits this wit and automatically gets translated through the specific language of the medium. The human figures in my work often follow a feeling of caricature as that is what I imbibe from the human faces around me.

How the stability of the Indian Rupee affects industries like infrastructure, automobile and banking. Created for Moneycontrol.com
How the stability of the Indian Rupee affects industries like infrastructure, automobile and banking. Created for Moneycontrol.com

Be Original

Look around and you’ll find your voice resonating in one of the elements of your root, your own culture. Get inspired from it, and embark on the journey of finding your own language.

Illustration created for LAKME - Absolute Salon advertising campaign
Lifestyle Illustration created for Lodha Bellissimo

Published in Issue 04

This is a Inspiration Special. The issue with the best insights from some of the top space designers and advertising tips from Happy Creatives with some exclusive mix of media experiments in type and digital art.

 

 

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Visual artist, Manasi Parikh, while looking into her illustrations, expresses and exemplifies how one’s best nature automatically reflects in one’s work when it is an expression and extension of the true, inner-self.

Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
Illustrations by Manasi Parikh

CG. What is your design philosophy, and what are your everyday inspirations?

Manasi: People and animals, their behaviour, quirks and stories amuse me a lot. I love observing how people react to things, their relationships and interactions with themselves and their surroundings, and how everything in the world weaves together to create social fabric as it exists.

 

I enjoy interpreting small stories around me and documenting them through my illustrations. By creating art, I endeavour to understand my place in the world and discover ways to contribute to it.

Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
What happens in the forest
Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
Seven Brides for seven Princes
Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
Drop

CG. How do you manage to find humour in everyday life?

Manasi: I’m a rather serious person, the one mostly laughing at jokes than cracking them. But now that I think of it, I loved reading joke books as a kid. I’d always read the comics in the papers and never bother with the rest. I guess, a light-hearted approach to life was always something I gravitated towards since my childhood, and that somehow shows up in my work without me realising it.

 

For me, life is so full of difficult things that, when something makes me giggle, I secretly want to trap that moment and keep it safe for later.

Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
Prince Shamsher Jung
TRE

CG. Are your designs particularly dedicated towards children as an audience?

Manasi: I love children’s books and collect lots of them, too. I keep telling myself that I’m building a library for kids I might have in the future, but, to be honest, they’re really just for me. What’s special about children’s books is how they need to be the most simplified version of something – which I believe is so difficult to arrive at, but so beautiful once it’s done.

Mansi Parikh - Digital Illustrations
Ghar
Moti Aunty

One of my favourites is a book called, The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers, which communicates the pain and grief associated with death in the most touching way. I guess it was my love for this medium that showed in my work. Clients who connected with that vibe approached me for more of that. It’s never really been a conscious effort to work in or make things relevant in a particular segment. It all just fell into place, organically.

Racoon in a Cocoon
Swallow me whole

CG. What more do you plan to do with your illustrations? What would be your advice to those who doubt their talent?

Manasi: I’d love for my illustrations to travel to newer canvasses, over time. Most of my work in the past few years has been created in isolation from the world, on my work table, and I’ve been itching to get out of the studio more. At this point, I’d be happy to take on projects that allow me to interact with things, people and experiences while getting work done.

Flip
Illustration of best friend and Manasi

I’m also consciously reducing digital work and shifting to hand done. It’s a scary decision to make in a time when digital is growing so fast, but I’ve decided to stick to what makes me happy, and trust it to take me somewhere – which is what I’d tell people in doubt too! Also, there’s no time for doubt really.

 

Just do! Like Dory says in Finding Nemo, “Just Keep Swimming!”

Conversation
Shelter

Published in Issue 38

Each year around this time, many fresh young talented designers come out as design graduates to join the best of studios and agencies. Despite many find the perfect fit for their talent but still majority faces many dilemmas and questions. So with this issue, we try to explore different views from many well-known studio owners and senior designers. While Anthony Lopez of Lopez Design shared tips on what a studio looks for in a designer, Mohar Ray from Codesign highlights the key aspects that play a significant role and make the difference in whether you are hired or not as a promising designer.

 

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Hailing from Manipur, Thokchom Sony celebrates the natural beauty, customs and traditions of his hometown through his work. Inspired by patterns from Indian handloom and textile design, he combines it with his illustrations, which ultimately brings out the unique characters.

Sony Thokchom from Manipur
Manipur
Wild orchid

The magic of Manipur

“I love nature” says designer, Thokchom Sony, and we don’t doubt it! Nature is celebrated through strong themes and yet he is rooted in his hometown. The beautiful Manipuri fabric patterns weave a story with portraits as he imparts socially relevant messages.

Manipur
Indian Ballerinas.
Sony Thokchom from Manipur

Drawing major inspiration from Potloi, a cylindrical skirt worn by the brides and dancers in Manipur and the flowers from the state result in unique characteristics or a personality that are detailed extensively. Working in details, especially with hair, eyes and skin textures Thokchom finds natural skin tones with freckles, moles and blush so beautiful. Incorporating traditional elements like chandon on nose, tanakha on cheeks helps in bringing out the originality and ethnicity in the characters.

Sony Thokchom from Manipur
Lily girl.
client

Published in Issue 37

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.

So Order Your Copy Now!

 

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Characters – you’ll find them in comics, storybooks and fairytales as manifestations of imagination. Beyond that, elements like anatomy, expressions and plot are key in making a character appear realistic and relatable, believes character designer Aditya Chari. He explains the realistic principles one must incorporate while creating a character.

Kali. Illustration for a gaming concept. Depicts a negative character.

The Story Catalyses a Character

It’s important to know the story before giving shape to a character. After all, the purpose of every character is to tell a story. The story is built around their strengths and limitations. The props help them overcome their limitation and move the story forward. Next, figure out the role of the character in the story and layer your vision on top of it.

Tamohara. Displays how the character can narrate the story when placed in the right setting.

When you get content describing a character, you actually narrow down the choices and attain a more focused approach. This makes it easier to plan your character. However, when you work on your own conceptual art, there is no fixed direction. And you have to take the idea in your mind and put it down as a building block for the design. After that, let your intuition take over.

Character Design

It’s All in The Face

Facial expressions are most important when it comes to character designing. The eyes best convey the expressions, especially when in a close-up. The hands and the spine dictate the posture of the body, magnifying the emotion you try to convey through the facial expression. The expression is a window into the character’s mindset. Therefore, if you want people to relate and accept your characters, you need to design them to be expressive.

Character Design
Devi. The soft curves, posture and the facial expression keeps the feminine essence intact.
Character Design
Zoravar. The massive overgrown character has exaggeration that in no way disrupts the rules of anatomy.

Exaggerate What Anatomy Allows

When you are trying to draw from life or memory, your knowledge of anatomy is your main tool. You learn to look out for the landmarks on the body which help you put down your figure faster. Moreover, it helps you foreshorten the figure and also dress it up where the underlying body is not visible. Anatomy helps you understand mobility and the function of muscles. Muscles look different when they are relaxed and when they are contracted.

Character Design
Devi Comic. A very determined facial expression lends it the power that muscle lends to man.

Exaggeration is just an adaptation of muscle and bone structure to the characteristics of the concept you wish to develop. This depends on what you expect the character to do when playing its role in the story. Characters like Popeye with huge forearms, Hulk with massive overgrown muscles or disfigured creatures from visual effects films, all fit into the same skeletal and musculature structure.

Sea Creature. Irregular and bizarre. Follows the anatomy of sea life like the fins, the flippers and the claws.

Know the Difference Between Muscle and Mental Strength

While working with characters that are either male or female, it’s important to be aware of the differences between the two. Apart from the obvious physical differences, you need to bring forth the emotional difference too. Imagine combining the physical frailty of a woman with a very determined look when facing a larger than life scenario.

Gorg. Complex, surreal and mechanical creature. Manages to get living feel because of its fierce facial expression.

You have to make her look strong but at the same time maintain her feminine side. It’s about her mental strength. On the contrary, a male character would be more about robust physical posing and an exaggerated angry expression with throbbing veins and a muscular built. Even the design of clothing has a different approach for each type just as in real life.

Snake Woman. Body postures and facial expressions bring out the character’s personality.
Character Design
Character Sketch. Reveals many characters need props to help them overcome their limitation.

Published in Issue 14

We dedicated this issue to Digital Art where we explored the connection between our dreams and imagination and how the flexibility of technology can be used to document that. In his exclusive article, Android Jones explains the broader perspective of digital art. Featuring Ankur Singh Patar, Aditya Chari, Archan Nair Harshvardhan Kadam and Aamina Shazi Arora, every article discusses how each of them has an individual way of working and yet they all look at life beyond the obvious to appreciate it’s beauty.

 

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Inspiration