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Illustrator, Mohan Sonawane, takes us through the process it took him to find and create a portrait with just the right amount of depth and perspective, one that would go on to bring a character to life on the canvas.

Drawing a face, by itself, is not an easy task; let alone a portrait that is synonymous of not just the way a person looks, but, in fact, is a representation of the characteristics and traits of the individual’s personality. Now, that’s no easy mission to engage; yet, Mohan Sonawane did take that it was worth a shot, and came-up with this evocative portrait of actor Nawazuddin Siddique. He takes us through the moves it took him to reach the achieved execution.

Portrait

Step 1: Primary Concept

To start off with, the background was put into effect by the use of the given base colour – one similar to skin colour. Further, basic line anatomy was put into application, also keeping in mind the face structure and proportion, at the same time. This was all done in the Rapid style of sketching, quickly just going step after step, not paying much attention to detail at that stage or phase of the illustration.

Portrait

Step 2: Final Sketch

Following Rapid Drawing, final details were added into the sketch-work. For example, face expressions were introduced, which gave the subject the intense character and effective style. Something it is not only fundamentally essential to distinguish personality, but also necessary when one is trying to create distinct portraits. That is where an accurate face structure comes into shape.

Portrait

Step 3: Choosing Brush

After studying many brushes, one particular brush with a strong stroke, and the apt depth to it, was finalised and chosen. The conclusion was reached only after having tried out a variety of options; they all, however, lacked the primary quality and effect that was desired to create the intended production. Nonetheless, the right one was eventually found to execute the needed depth.

Portrait

Step 4: Primary Base Colour

At first, the basic middle tone colour was selected, followed by applying it to the whole drawing. Post that, the colours that were further used were selected as per natural colours. The whole intention was to be able to create an imagery that represented not just the face, but the very character itself that is synonymous of the person, so as to represent more than simply the face.

Portrait

Step 5: Occlusion Light and Primary Colour

With the help of basic colours, a dark tone was given to the portrait. Thereafter, the initial shades and tones were converted to dark-to-light shades. This was done with the primary goal of providing a realistic texture to the subject, one that would make it synonymous of real life.

Portrait

Step 6: Skin Texture and Details

After observing the skin texture, the Brush tool was brought into play, so as to give the much-needed set of details to the subject and his crucial character. In Photoshop, it is very easy to provide skin texture, as one can create whatever brushes one wants to apply in order to be able to achieve an accurate skin texture. That is what finally materialised or manifested into the evolution of the piece.

Portrait

Step 7: Details

After completing the basic colour sketch, it became very easy to add on a lot more of the face details – one could thus highlight them, as they were very much in the designer’s control, even though it also depends on the subject’s characteristics and expressions. The best way to overcome that challenge is to actually be observant, and take time to grasp them in all their depth.

Portrait

Step 8: Reflection Light

When we see an image that has surrounding lights reflection on it, the drawing looks natural due to the reflecting light. It adds a very natural feel to an image. The same very basic thing was also applied over here, allowing there to be a natural light on the face, which looks very attractive.

Portrait

Step 9: Final Compose

After completing the entire work, colour creation and background were further explored. Both aspects worked to create just the right amount of depth. And, finally, the ultimate picture starts taking solid root and shape. Due to this reflection of light, the desired output could be well achieved at the end.

Published in Issue 39

As the festivity is all around, every brand or business is trying to impress the Indian audience. But what really works for us Indians? What is an Indian design? And how we can make designs for India? To understand it, we interviewed some Indian creatives who are successfully creating designs for the Indian audience. 

This issue of Creative Gaga is a light read for someone looking for inspirations or insights on Indian design and how the Indian audience can be enticed. So go ahead and order your copy or subscribe if you want to keep receiving a regular dose of inspirations!

 

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Symbols and metaphors offer an interesting layer to play around with and discover what lies beneath. Taking a cranky bit on everyday life can lead to fun stories. Designer-illustrator Avinash Jai Singh attempts to evoke emotions through a simplistic approach to metaphors.

The Conversation

Everything Stands for Something

On a design, every line and curve is a storehouse of emotions. It’s amazing how simple forms and shapes, when given the right twist and tweak, can mean episodes of a story. As opposed to imitating reality, a basic shape with enhanced or exaggerated features can keep you engaged and involved.

 

Geometry with the right gestures can bring up emotions. Characters, visual elements and environment are just steps in the process.

Nibmaniac
Chill-Out Puttar

Characters Represent a State of Mind

How you choose characters is how you perceive the world. For instance, the choice of jelly-like characters can be indebted to a childhood fascination. The way it moves and its wobbly motions are actually a rebellion against the proper form. As kids, you are taught to mimic and echo reality.

 

Good grades depend on your ability to sketch exactly like nature or books. This may not be liberating enough for some. Which is why one goes to pick characters that represent the thought that lies beyond the conventional.

Music Factory
Music Factory

What the Character Speaks not, the Environment does.

Once you decide the proportion of the character in the context of the situation, creating the environment becomes easier. It is like setting up a novel, one frame at a time. Emotions and gestures are very important here. The environment needs to support the mood and feel of the character.

 

It needs to subconsciously show if the characters are happy or grumpy. Unlike animation, a still frame doesn’t tell you about the sad scene or the happy one. So, the environment makes up for that bit. It’s like the background score for a silent frame.

Audio City

Humour Induces Change

Art has the potential to create an analogy. It can become so big that communities and audience are forced to think. And humour is the most friendly way to put across an idea that can connect, communicate and catalyse. It’s simply a metaphor for dissecting all the complexities of today’s society.

 

Keeping visuals happy and positive often makes them work in the audience’s mind. It’s not about changing the world or practical things around us. That’s not what art is supposed to do. But if worked out right, visuals can definitely change perceptions.

Sub-Woofer

Enjoy the Beauty in Uncertainty

Many times, the visual elements have nothing to do with the design or the story. It’s their shape and existence that triggers something. It’s often more about objects around at that moment or a book that one has come across. That’s what is beautiful about being an illustrator.

 

You don’t have to prepare for it like a photo shoot. Once the idea of the story is sculpted, the environment around it just evolves. The direction it takes is totally instinctive. This beauty of uncertainty is the most fun part of the entire process.

Heroes

Published in Issue 17

We tried to capture the time of chaos and confusion we all are in. How it inspires and influences creative thoughts. Starting with the cover design by Ankur Singh Patar, who captures the duality in the way we treat women. Followed by a conversation with Italian illustrator Giulio Iurissevich who explores beauty behind this chaos. And many more inspirational articles to explore. So Order Your Copy Now!

 

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For most people, starting alone is daunting; Anjali DSouza explains how she feels about the entire concept of being a freelancer? Read on to know what a young designer should know before jumping down the freelance path…

World of freelance
COLOURED BLISS
GRAPHIC GREETINGS

Dealing With Real Problems

For most people, starting alone is daunting; however, for Anjali, the entire concept of freelance was a welcome challenge. In order to create a lasting impression and stamp her mark on the global level, she has worked hard and tried to put herself in the shoes of her client. Earning the praise of clients and critics alike, this designer knows the emotions of design problems enabling her to arrive at a solution.

THE NEW CASSETTE
THE NEW CASSETTE
World of freelance
THE NEW CASSETTE

Perseverance Pays

Being a designer in India is not easy, competition is tough and her mantra is to work hard and believe in oneself. Creating your own distinctive style that sets you apart will always help you move forward; for Anjali, Indian folk tales combine with bold colours and expressive line work elevating her above the rest. After understanding the problem, adequate research is required to move ahead and execute the solution and this is exactly what makes Anjali DSouza click!

World of freelance
DESIGNING DEWARISTS

“For Anjali, Indian folk tales combine with bold colours and expressive line work elevating her above the rest in freelance”

World of freelance
THE CLASSICS RE-IMAGINED
THE NEW CASSETTE

Young Designer should keep in Mind

Being a team player is integral, working with strong-minded individuals can help shape a fresh career and provide opportunities to learn from other designers. Another important aspect is to connect with the client so as to find a common point and further a healthy process of working together. Lastly, in order to ‘grow’ as a designer, one must be open to working hard and accepting both praise and criticism

PLAYFUL PUPPETS

Published in Issue 32

If you are a recent graduate or about to finish your college then this issue may have answers to many of your questions. Like, how to get the best placement or the internship? How to present best in front of the interviewer? Which studio or agency to choose to start your career? How to work in a team or choose to be a freelancer? This issue has advice from many experts such as Ashwini Deshpande and Gopika Chowfla who gave the secrets of choosing the right intern for their well-known design teams. And on another hand, Rajaram Rajendran and Ranganath Krishnamani advise young designer to gain multiple skills and be the best at them. Also, recent MIT Post Graduate Vinta Jakkal shares her secret with which she grabbed the great opportunity of joining the Elephant Design, Pune team to start her career.

 

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Most of the times, the best possible way to express and promote an idea is the easiest and is right there in front of our eyes, but we often tend to ignore it. Sona Signature Papers cracked a brilliant advertising scheme to create a statement through the use of a simple calendar, ‘Daily Dose of Art’.

Sona Paper Calendar

For a company to be successful, it is of utmost importance to reach out to ones’ clients in the simplest and easiest way possible.

For a paper company like Sona to showcase the different types of creative papers it produces, it was an exceptionally smart idea to create their 2018-19 calendar not as just a calendar, but as 365 different canvases, representing all the different paper varieties available! This calendar is called the ‘Daily Dose of Art’ as it portrayed 365 exceptional works of art created by 365 young artists from all over India.

Every single day and date is unique in itself as it has been customised by the artists in their own individual art styles. This calendar will make each day colourful, bright and different as the art styles used are infinite. In fact, it is not only limited to two-dimensional styles like charcoal, oil-painting, water-colours, pencil-art, typography, illustrations and graphic-art but also includes three-dimensional hand-crafted and clay art.

The Mumbai-based creative agency ‘The Social Street’ was engaged in the creation of this calendar.

It is not only a portfolio of upcoming artists, but it also goes a long way in becoming a first-of-its-kind paper catalogue for Sona to display some of the exclusive range of creative fine papers.

This calendar was first showcased in Bangalore in an event jointly organised by Sona Papers and HP India. Since the time of this calendar’s launch, it has been in the limelight and has been accredited with a silver and two bronze awards at Creative Abby Awards, a part of the GOAFEST 2018.

This “Daily Dose of Art”, not only helped Sona Papers to advertise their products in a beautiful manner but also made a statement through a piece of art!

Illustrator, Priyanka Karyekar, run us through the concept-based approach she takes to her work, and how that guides her process of designing her illustrations – right from observing to developing a strong concept, on until treatment and finally communicating effectively.

Concept
Lucky Friend
Concept
Fri-yay
Concept
Weekend Swag

No Substitute For A Concept.

One must rather believe in having a strong concept. Treatment can be varied – for example, the colours that are used across artworks can very well be inspired by the subjects and personalities of the concepts. One might want to focus more on the big idea rather than the treatments and beautifying the elements. If you have a strong idea in your hand, you will eventually find a way to make it look good. The need is to be more simple yet effective. Likewise, quirkiness need not and may not always a part of the illustrations.

Concept
What I Ate For Dinner
Concept
Black Chicken

There are certain subjects that may be serious, but you want to make it more fun to get the whole serious tone out – it entirely depends on what exactly you want to communicate. In the same way, do not really look to maintain symmetry and proportion in compositions, if that suits one’s temperament, style and approach. For example, in some of the illustrations, there is no symmetry that is trying to be achieved – it’s just the way of drawing;, not force-fitting any rules while one is drawing.

Concept
Work Life
Concept
Happy 9 Years
Concept
Chai Therapy

Treatment Varies From Subject To Subject.

It can be very simple and minimalistic, or it can have those tiny details that add value to your subject. Adding minor details are actually the observations that you are trying to put into your design, which is also a great way to make your design truly relevant. People, their stories, and events happening around are what mostly inspire any form of artwork, directly or indirectly. All one has to do is observe; that’s all it takes – a keen sense of observation. The stories that you are trying to communicate through visuals, one must recognise, the need of strong colour systems as well – colours that decide the mood of the illustration.

Concept
Batatyachi Chal
Concept
Batatyachi Chal
Concept

To Truly Evolve Our Craft Is The Way Forward.

If artists and designers of all forms focus on the 3H’s (Head, Heart and Hands), their work will positively impact and take forward the process and future results of the field – that would be true evolution. The ‘Head’ stands for the ideation. The ‘Heart’ is for being empathetic towards the people you are working for. Then, lastly, all you need is skilful ‘Hands’ to execute that big idea that is visually appetising. That is the core of achieving what is desired. If these three things can be ensured in the years to come, then the creative communication can not only take a big step forward but can make a giant leap instead, especially with the kind of technology that is available to us today.

Concept
Me
Concept
Cute Monsters

Published in Issue 41

Every year brings many opportunities and hopes along with celebrations. For this issue, we reached many visual artists and designers to know their expectations from the year 2018. This issue’s cover designer, Shreya Gulati is exceptionally impressed by the advancement of technology in design, especially how VR & AR has impacted new ways of creating. Honing and sharpening one’s skills is always a quest for every creative. So, whether you have many or none expectations for the year, this issue is a must-read. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 

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Meditation, Motivation and Manifestation are the 3Ms that Lovely Kukreja, relies on while illustrating. Taking us on step-by-step approach through his painting Goddess Durga, he explains the basic guidelines that play a pivotal role in the final outcome.

Meditation

Nowhere related to the spiritual practice, meditation, here is the thought process, creative thinking before starting any project.

Step 1

Great ideas start as random scribbles (thumbnails, rough drawings and armatures). This will help in deciding the posture angle and composition. While doing these initial sketches, it’s important to mull over the subject aka meditate to set the mood; the vital areas to focus on to bring in freshness.

Step 2

Once satisfied with the sketch of Goddess Durga, start blocking tones in the grey-scale mode with the basic air-brush. You don’t really have to go fancy by trying several textured brushes. Just do the basic block-in while keeping the area to be focused well-lit.

Step 3

Convert your painting to RGB mode and start adding colours on a layer overlaid on it. Choose colour palette as per the theme. For the Goddess Durga painting here, I chose the unsaturated soft shades. Close your eyes and try to see the picture you have in your thoughts.

Tip

Stay away from textured brushes as it may blur the edges of your drawing.

Motivation

Never search for style, but study. This is where research comes into the picture; the motivation gained from creative intuition, studies and reference materials. At this stage, it is important to collect facts about the subject of creation.

Step 4

Once the basic look and the feel of the painting is established, bringing the volume on each object can begin with the direction of light decided in the very beginning. At this stage, it is important to collect facts about the subject of creation.

Step 5

Detailing the elements e.g. water, foliage, trees and grass. Motivation is the key, to paint better with each stroke passing.

Step 6

Now it’s time to break the barriers and go beyond the sketch. After deciding the intricate details (cloth texture, ornaments, fur and hair), paint over the sketch on a new layer with free-hand for each subject.

Tip

If you are in process of learning to paint, try not to use any image.

Manifestation

It finally boils down to manifesting all the effort, knowledge and studies into strokes of brush applied. This is when you bring ideas to life. Those final touches, elaborating it with all those tiny details is vital to make it your personal piece of work.

Step 7

The working area is closed and fine details are added to each object after thorough research.

Step 8

Tonal values, sharpness and colour balance is adjusted.

Tip

Stay away from textured brushes as it may blur the edges of your drawing.

Step 9

Adding foreground elements gives a sense of depth to the scene. Elements like foliage, leaves and any life-full character create liveliness.

Tip

I suggest you to always keep the subject close to its originality. You are allowed to bring freshness while you keeping it intact within logical boundaries.

Issue 40-Motion Graphics Special

Published in Issue 40

We all have favourite TV shows and we passionately discuss the stories and characters of it. But sometimes, we tend to ignore the channel and its branding. Now with many different channels to choose from, we are experiencing many new branding overhauls to grab the audience’s attention. In this issue, we focused on Motion Graphics design and people behind some awesome channel rebrandings. If you are interested in moving design or animated content then this issue is a must-read for you! So go ahead and order your copy or subscribe if you want to keep receiving your regular dose of inspirations!

 

Creating Illustrations on a real-life situation with a personal point of view can turn out as the most difficult learning for an artist. But illustrationist Uday Mohite has mastered this art over the years and now is on his finger-tips.

Illustrations
Ramdev baba proposing to legalise weed as it is natural healer
Illustrations
A portrait dedicated to his Uday's favourite actress, Deepika Padukone, on Women’s Day.
Illustrations
Ranveer Singh

As a kid, Uday was fascinated by the cartoons and caricatures published in books, newspapers and journals accompanying a story but was never really interested in reading the story. This worked as a motivation factor for him to work in a field where it was possible to develop and explain a story just through drawings and cartoons, without the use of any words and so he chose to specialize in the line of illustration.

Illustrations
Proposing the laddus of achhe din will help them secure votes to win the 2019 elections
Illustrations
Irfan khan. A water colour portrait dedicated to Irfan Khan on his birthday.
Illustrations
Gungi Gudiya to Goddess Durga. Indira Gandhi was a shy kid not wanting to talk, but when elected as Prime Minister, a huge crowd gathered to hear her.

As much as the cartoons and journals inspired him to become an illustrator in his childhood days, some world famous illustrationists and cartoonists have worked out as his motivational sources and have had an equal amount of influence on him while Uday still is developing and becoming better and better in his field.

Illustrations
A portrait dedicated to Nawazuddin Siddiqui on his birthday.
Illustrations
Rashtrapti is busy. One of Rahul Dacuna’s story is about how the president is busy, having the only work of inaugurating different functions!
Illustrations
Writer Rahul Dacuna’s story expressing the fact that he wasn’t invited to Virat and Anushka’s wedding inspite of him having a passport!

Self-Learning, a Trick!

Somethings aren’t taught in school but are self-learnt by following other peoples’ work. Following this methodology got him calls from various newspapers at an early stage in his career and also motivated him to start freelancing alongside.

Illustrations
Bahubali-2
Illustrations
This piece of art was in awe of the work of Anushka Shetty after seeing the trailer of Bahubali 2: The Conclusion.

Trying to understand how humor is defined in illustrations and how it can be developed to get it across to people in simple ways, Uday has always held his seniors from the field in high regard. Some of his inspirationists include Jack Davis, Pascal Campion, Mario de Miranda, Tom Richmond, Wally Wood and Paul Coker, who are all international fame illustrations. Also, cartoonists like David Low, Bal Thackeray and R.K Laxman, just to name a few, have really helped him learn the tricks of the art and master it.

Illustrations
Lobo lobo in the city. A character from writer Rahul Dacuna’s story who is always angry, doesn't like anything bad that happens and is against the system.
Illustrations
Arun Jaitley preparing for the 2019 elections and proposing that Union Budget 2018 will have achhe din
Illustrations
Bromance. While on his world tour, Prime minister Narendra Modi would greet the dignitaries with a hug.

The Twist!

When it comes to deciding upon the content of the illustration, Uday prefers to choose subjects based on real life. If his subject is an individual person or an actual situation that needs to be portrayed, he talks to the subject himself in order to understand the situation in depth. He gathers all the information including small details which he thinks is necessary to illustrate the subject close to perfection.

Illustrations
Balasaheb Thackeray’s Birthday. A hand done illustration dedicated to Balasaheb Thackeray.
Illustrations
Jassus Jagga and us. A scene from writer Rahul Dacuna’s story including Virat Kohli, Jassus jagaa, Ravi Shastri and Pahlaj Nihalani.
Illustrations
Lobo Lobo appeared at my doorstep this morning carrying eggs in a brown paper bag. "Thanks Thelonious, for this lovely gift of eggs on Easter."

Illustrations are something where the reader understands the situation from the viewpoint of the artist. And so it is important to aptly choose the theme and style for the illustration.

Illustrations
Today’s generation. Today girls take selfies in innumerable different and weird ways.
Illustrations
Alauddin Khilji

The theme and style for the illustration are developed based on the kind of message that is to be conveyed. With a special liking for caricaturing, Uday creates caricatures for a funny situation as caricatures have a tint of humor in them. He prefers to make funny situations stylish and colorful compared to giving a rough, black and white look to a criminal story.

Illustrations
No words. There are a lot of words in India which aren’t available in a dictionary!
Illustrations
Writer Rahul Dacuna received a call from Tipu Sultan, Gabbar Singh and Akbar asking him for an answer who are the people staying illegally on the land.

The Top Of The World!

For Uday, in order to remain in the market, he feels that knowing the works of people from the field is important. Not only knowing their work but also understanding their style of doing it helps an artist to learn. It is also necessary to know what is that the customers are looking for. Merging the market demands and the artists’ personal style together can help the artist remain afloat.

Illustrations
Dedicated to Mr. Atal Vajpayee on his birthday, an attempt to capture his andaaz of reading out poems.
Illustrations
Laali

Wondering about the pros and cons of working for a publication or a media-house? Get an insight of what it is like to work for a media-house from the first-hand experience of illustrator, Gajanan D. Nirphale.

Illustrating for a Publication
MILIND SOMAN
Illustrating for a Publication
JAMES BOND

Having had the opportunity of exercising his skills as a concept artist with Fabeliser in 2015, Gajanan says that illustration is not just his passion but is his love!

Illustrating for a Publication
SHAHID KAPOOR (PADMAVAT)
Illustrating for a Publication
RITEISH DESHMUKH

Bright prospects of exploring and honing illustration skills in various topics like crime, education, politics, etc, all at the same time, got Gajanan working for DNA And Zee Media. This also gives him a chance to experiment with different styles across a wide range of projects like building storyboards, character designing and portraits.

Illustrating for a Publication
NANA PATEKAR
Illustrating for a Publication
AMITABH BACHCHAN (AGNIPATH)

Talking about the motivational factors influencing the decision making to work for a particular publication or newspaper, Gajanan considers the range of exposure of project typology, the target audience of the company and the monetary rewards are the most important.

Illustrating for a Publication
BALASAHEB THACKRE

When Challenges Become Advantageous!

Working as an illustrator, innovation and time limit are the biggest challenges for Gajanan. Taking into account the newspaper media, the outputs have to be an immediate and witty creation in response to the latest that is happening in the country.

Illustrating for a Publication
NAWAZUDDIN SIDDIQUI

This wittiness needs to be accompanied by simplicity in understanding, so as to reach out to the broad audience in terms of age groups and intellect, all throughout the country. And this can be achieved by a simple exercise of observation, wherever one is. Mumbai locals work best for Gajanan!

Illustrating for a Publication
AMIR KHAN

This way, the challenges actually become the means for the illustrator to keep up with the ever-increasing competition and help keep the publication house at the top. It also helps the illustrators’ individual growth in terms of quick mind-visualisations and their digital execution, thus working as a tool for speed-efficiency and functioning as a confidence-booster!

Illustrating for a Publication
RAJSAHEB THACKRE

Inspirations are Wonders!

Speaking of inspirations, Gajanan follows a lot of senior illustrators and also feels that nature casts its own magical inspirational spell on him. To get the best out of him, Gajanan understands the required topic in depth from the reporter in-charge and then fuses his inspirations with the trending topic to create an illustration in tandem with the amalgamation. Whereas creating portraits completely depends upon the character and its background.

Illustrating for a Publication
M.S.DHONI

@Copyright, Not to Worry!

In today’s digital world of art and everything is so easily available and downloadable, the problem of copyright is a major concern for artists and their valuable work. A publication house has its own registered copyright and working with/for them provides the artist with the security of their individual work being used by others only with permission.

Illustrating for a Publication
LORD GANESHA

The Driving Force

Gajanan feels that professional security comes from within. The style is an individualised element: it eliminates the fear of someone copying it. The combination of passion and practice is strong enough to guarantee an artist the security needed. Passion urges a person to know more and be updated while practice makes a man perfect, as the famous saying goes. This combination along with a keen eye for observation and a challenging spirit to try new things is the success mantra for any artist!

Illustrating for a Publication
ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL
Issue 42 cover

Published in Issue 42

Every designer wish to be independent and willing to jump into the word of freelance but most of them unaware of the fundamental challenges of the initial phase. So, we dedicated this issue to freelancers and interviewed some established and talented designers to dig deep for the expert advice. Kevin Roodhorst on the other hand, an experienced freelancer from Amsterdam, has recently shifted to be a full-timer with an Agency says “Freelancing is not all roses!” and shared the best way to survive as a freelancer! So, whether you are a freelancer or planning to be one, this issue is a must-read. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 

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Illustrator, Parvati Pillai, tells us how trying out new styles and forms of illustration are key for a designer to grow at one’s craft and expand one’s scope of work in current context.

Illustration
Spain. Tried to capture the magic and the essence of some fascinating countries
Illustration
Print for Food Mat
Illustration
Kamaladevi 115th Birthday Doodle

Various Styles Takes Conscious Effort

The art style and colour palette are very important to Parvati in storytelling, especially if designing for a particular target audience in mind. She tries to use colours and intricate patterns to incorporate various illustration styles. Like most artists, she has a natural inclination to a particular colour and illustration style. As a result of such tendencies, it takes a lot of effort to move away from it and consciously make choices to choose something new and work on something out of the box.

Illustration
Poster. Designed for Spring Demoday at Medialab, Aalto University
Illustration
Designs created for a wide range of products in the Chumbak’s Gold Collection

This challenge is what makes illustrating through various styles exciting and motivating. Also, this way ensures that one keeps coming up with new stuff from time to time without getting entangled in the same kind of work. One can only unearth their potential by discovering new forms, mediums, styles and so on in the process of trying to create fresh designs or illustrative work.

Illustration
Egg Skillet. Sunny spring recipe for 36 Days of Food
Illustration
Flying Dreams. Collaboration with Taxi Fabric was celebrating the concept of Mumbai as India’s 'City of Dreams'
Illustration
Flying Dreams. Collaboration with Taxi Fabric was celebrating the concept of Mumbai as India’s 'City of Dreams'

It is a Lot Like Science

It is all about experimentation. Parvati constantly tries to explore new subjects and experiment with new techniques. She aims to keep herself motivated and to keep practising different illustration styles in her free time. Her MacBook Pro and Wacom graphics tablet are her apparatus in this process, thereby – the two things she cannot work without. Likewise, she also enjoys working with inks and clay while she is currently exploring knitting and embroidery. This serves as a strong and healthy way to work with different mediums and see the potential that lies in them.

Illustration
Dream Machine. Collaboration with Taxi Fabric, celebrating the concept of Mumbai as India’ 'City of Dreams'
Illustration
Dream Machine. Collaboration with Taxi Fabric, celebrating the concept of Mumbai as India’ 'City of Dreams'

Parvati spends a major portion of a project’s time on ideation and iteration. She likes to take her time with the composition of the illustration and carefully choose her colour palettes. She also tries to evoke feelings of joy and bring out the intricacies of everyday life in my work. For her, illustration is a form of reflection and is inspired from life.

Illustration
Print for Coaster. Design created for Chumbak's dinning range
Illustration
A social media Illustration for Chumbak, celebrating spirit of Onam with Chumbak

For Money, Planning Ahead Always Helps

It is important to always have enough savings for emergencies, feels Parvati, as they may arise at any point of time without any indication. Likewise, she always tries to take up some projects for paying clients so that she has sufficient money to explore her creative and artistic endeavours. For some people, this may be a compromise but it is essential to her so that she may be able to sustain her creativity. Each one has their own style and approach to doing things, and whatever works for one is what one must do as the same size does not really fit all. Finally, practice and hard work are the most important things.

Illustration
Lebanon. Celebrating the different cultures found around the world
Illustration
Moving to Helsinki. Personal Illustration capturing the magic of my first autumn

One must be tenacious and maintain a positive attitude. Even if luck does not favour, persistence can take one more than just quite far; it can make all the difference. Even luck favours those who are persistent in their journey and don’t back down in spite of any odds they might face along the way.

Illustration
Finland. Celebrating the different cultures found around the world
Illustration
Print for Food Mat. Design created for Chumbak's dinning range
Issue-42-Cover

Published in Issue 42

Every designer wish to be independent and willing to jump into the word of freelance but most of them unaware of the fundamental challenges of the initial phase. So, we dedicated this issue to freelancers and interviewed some established and talented designers to dig deep for the expert advice. Kevin Roodhorst an experienced freelancer from Amsterdam, has recently shifted to be a full-timer with an Agency says “Freelancing is not all roses!” and shared the best way to survive as a freelancer. So, whether you are a freelancer or planning to be one, this issue is a must-read. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 

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In a time when design and artworks surround us all, the importance of doing things differently is what counts. Illustrator, Iain Macarthur from England, discovered a unique way to marry pencil and pen to create intricate patterns and lines that result in surreal outcomes.

CG: Your designs are surreal and make use of carefully crafted patterns. What would you say is your illustration style and how did you work towards achieving it?

Iain: My surreal illustration style is very diverse, sometimes it can be a combination of elegant photo-realistic drawings or wildlife animals created in organic patterns. I began drawing in this style during my college years when I was experimenting pencil with other materials such as paint, charcoal and ink. When I introduced ink into my pencil drawings I immediately became addicted to using it into my work. The reason why I was experimenting pencil with other material is that I wanted to create a unique and unusual look to my work instead of just pencil all the time. The combination works magic.

CG: Your designs are dark and mysterious in appeal as well. What do you generally try and communicate through your designs? Is there a story involved in your illustrations or is it merely a depiction of your imagination?

Iain: Most of the pieces I make don’t necessarily have a story behind them. I get a lot of inspiration from nature, wildlife and traditional native patterns and weave them into my work. Women also inspire me, and I enjoy drawing their eyes to make them look mysterious. When I merge the patterns into my female subjects I like to create it as a decorative element like jewellery or a headdress as I think that form works really well with the pencil drawings.

CG: You seem to use simple tools while crafting your designs. Tell us about what tools and techniques you use in your designing process.

Iain: I mostly use pencils and ink, usually pigment liner pens such as Staedtler pens or Uni pens. They generate really thin and delicate lines that help me draw intricate patterns.

CG: How has illustration evolved over the years? What other potential do you see in this design form that hasn’t been discovered yet? How do you plan on using your illustrations to enhance user experience?

Iain: This illustration form can be used in many ways as it’s quite a decorative and presentable style in more ways than one. The style can be printed on products such as clothing, posters and skateboards and can also be used as tattoos, to name a few.

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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